That's what Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock character was told by the husband of his lover in the 1967 movie "The Graduate".
What's that got to do with cars? Other than plastics are what car interiors are usually made of today?
Only that the red convertible sports car Braddock drove in that movie is about the only connection most North Americans have with the Alfa Romeo brand.
Alfa (NOT "Alpha", as you often see in classified ads) Romeo is an historic Italian manufacturer of gorgeous sports cars and sporty sedans, now in the hands of Fiat and hence, linked to the "New Chrysler".
The savviness of Alfa's marketing people in North America is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that it took them only eighteen years - EIGHTEEN YEARS! - to capitalize on one of the most famous product placement deals of all time; they launched the "Graduate" version of their Duetto Spider (which Hoffman/Braddock drove in the movie) in 1985. That record incidentally, was broken only in 2001 by the Mustang Bullitt.
Alfa left our market in 1993, and despite several aborted returns, has remained gone ever since.
As a three-time Fiat owner and a long-time Alfa fancier, this news almost brought tears of joy to my eyes.
The 169 sedan was going to be produced in the Miafiori (Italy) plant, but that operation got sold to Chinese interests recently, leaving the 169 prototype temporarily homeless.
Bramalea currently builds the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger, but production of all three has plummeted during Chrysler’s recent financial woes. This also suggests that the 169 will use the Chrysler 300/Charger/Challenger platform, which of course derives from a two-generation-old Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform.
The Alfa brand was well-known here among aficionados (and remains so elsewhere in the world) for gorgeous, high-performance cars with, sadly, a somewhat sinister reputation for reliability.
Given new parent Fiat’s resurgence in recent years under the tutelage of former Torontonian Sergio Marchionne, let’s hope that Alfa can dial in some quality.
They’ve got the gorgeousness and performance nailed.