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Old 11-02-2017   #1
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Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

First post...

Having used (and generally always been very happy with) the venerable Palmer and Phillips in Oxford for many many years but now aware that they are no longer in business (a real shame) I'm looking for a replacement service provider for my Alfa / Fiat household. Must be trustworthy, reliable, fairly priced and customer focussed. Not asking a lot then, for a garage!

Am situated at the junction of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire borders, so ideally, a workshop within striking distance would be good.

That said, I work at the bottom of the M40 so anywhere along the M40 corridor or even West London could work, especially if courtesy cars were available.

Would be willing to travel for the 'right' garage with whom to build a new customer relationship.

Am aware of Solo Italia, Superleggera, 'A for Alfa' and Alfa Aid, but have no experience of any of them, so would welcome comments, positive or negative, as well as any other suggestions please.

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 11-02-2017   #2
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

Quote Originally Posted by Alfa Fiat View Post
First post...

Having used (and generally always been very happy with) the venerable Palmer and Phillips in Oxford for many many years but now aware that they are no longer in business (a real shame) I'm looking for a replacement service provider for my Alfa / Fiat household. Must be trustworthy, reliable, fairly priced and customer focussed. Not asking a lot then, for a garage!

Am situated at the junction of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire borders, so ideally, a workshop within striking distance would be good.

That said, I work at the bottom of the M40 so anywhere along the M40 corridor or even West London could work, especially if courtesy cars were available.

Would be willing to travel for the 'right' garage with whom to build a new customer relationship.

Am aware of Solo Italia, Superleggera, 'A for Alfa' and Alfa Aid, but have no experience of any of them, so would welcome comments, positive or negative, as well as any other suggestions please.

Many thanks in advance!
Hi, and welcome to FF,

I'm a fellow longtermer with P+P.. TempraSW in the year 2000 IIRC

the list for the Oxford end is VERY limited..

I'd used Mellors of Challow for the end of my warranty period..but they have now lost FIAT / Lancia links AFAIK,

the FIAT dealer around Warwick "Days..??" had a good reputation (unusaully..)

members @Palio and @scout are better placed for the other end of the M40,

Charlie - Didcot
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Old 11-02-2017   #3
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the response and the welcome. P&P were such good people - trusted them implicitly and always felt well treated there. Such a shame they are no longer in business.

I should have mentioned that my family cars are older, (Alfa 146 and Fiat Brava) circa 2000 give or take, so nothing that warrants a main dealer. In any case, I've never had particularly good main/franchised dealer experiences in the past and always preferred to find trusted specialists to build a long term relationship with.

Will wait to hear what responses I get but ultimately, need to make a decision soon as service is overdue!

Cheers!
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Old 11-02-2017   #4
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

RICK of AutoItalia / ForzaItalia, etc ( Witney area) had business cards INSIDE the window of P+P after they shut..

they were all the mechanics at Oxfords last FIAT Dealer in the mid 90's..

I've never had work done by Rick though..only bought an old FIRE engine 20 years ago..

too far from me, ( and trading as a "coupe specialist")

the Great service of Black and White Alfa did me until they were also forced from the network.. - but of course Newbury is a LONG way from you....

pretty sure there is a decent garage in and around Amersham for older stuff..,

we will wait for a recommendation.
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Last edited by varesecrazy; 11-02-2017 at 21:17.
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Old 11-02-2017   #5
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
Hi, and welcome to FF,

I'm a fellow longtermer with P+P.. TempraSW in the year 2000 IIRC

the list for the Oxford end is VERY limited..

I'd used Mellors of Challow for the end of my warranty period..but they have now lost FIAT / Lancia links AFAIK,

the FIAT dealer around Warwick "Days..??" had a good reputation (unusaully..)

members @Palio and @scout are better placed for the other end of the M40,

Charlie - Didcot
Do you mean Gray's of Warwick who are a Fiat garage:

http://www.graysgarage.co.uk/
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Old 12-02-2017   #6
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

Quote Originally Posted by Alfa Fiat View Post
First post...

Having used (and generally always been very happy with) the venerable Palmer and Phillips in Oxford for many many years but now aware that they are no longer in business (a real shame) I'm looking for a replacement service provider for my Alfa / Fiat household. Must be trustworthy, reliable, fairly priced and customer focussed. Not asking a lot then, for a garage!

Am situated at the junction of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire borders, so ideally, a workshop within striking distance would be good.

That said, I work at the bottom of the M40 so anywhere along the M40 corridor or even West London could work, especially if courtesy cars were available.

Would be willing to travel for the 'right' garage with whom to build a new customer relationship.

Am aware of Solo Italia, Superleggera, 'A for Alfa' and Alfa Aid, but have no experience of any of them, so would welcome comments, positive or negative, as well as any other suggestions please.

Many thanks in advance!
I've started using Rick at Solo Italia, having despaired a bit with other local specialists & garages.

I went to him after all the check panel on an Uno 70SL shorted and no one else could fix it! He sorted that, and magicked up a used speedo cable for a 70SL which I'd been looking for everywhere and didn't exist online.

Since then he's sorted out dirt in the fuel jets on the Uno & serviced it. Also done a service and cambelt on the Coupé Fiat, and got the sunroof working for the first time in 10 years. General servicing on cars too.

I'll be using him for various older Fiats this year, and I've suggested friends use him (a 1974 Fiat 128 had a steering rack fitted last year - fortunately he was delighted, as I usually hesitate in recommending garages to friends with a rare car).

You won't get a flash dealer experience. You will get someone with donkeys years experience on Italian cars, an old fashioned mechanical knowledge & ability to fix things rather than just fit new. Rick is also a nice bloke to talk to, and will chat about old Fiats/Alfas all day. If you try him, say that Gavin from the Fiat Motor Club suggested him, and to be nice to you
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Old 12-02-2017   #7
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

THANKS @Palio AND @Zeewulf
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Old 12-02-2017   #8
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Re: Trusted / Recommended Garage - Oxon/Bucks/Northants/Thames Valley

Quote Originally Posted by varesecrazy View Post
THANKS @Palio AND @Zeewulf
Thanks fellas!
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