September 23 marked the close of the on-line auction of the first Alfa 156 GTA, due to be launched early next year. The event was hosted from September 13 to 23 on all the European and the Japanese eBay (the world leader in e-commerce) sites for the duration of the Frankfurt Motor Show.
During the ten days of the Show more than 20 thousand people visited the auction sites, while the bids totalled 50, mainly from Japan, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Italy. Starting price for the auction was 1 euro whereas the winning bid amounted to 48,691.26 euro, proceeds that Alfa Romeo will donate entirely to the "Telethon" charity fund.
The highest bid for the Alfa GTA "number 0001" was made by Tadashi Sengoku, a Japanese doctor aged 44 who lives in Tokyo. He is already the owner of two other Alfa Romeos (an Alfa 164 Q4 and an Alfa Spider) and is a real fan of Italy. In fact he wrote to the Company in perfect Italian, "It is a great honour for me to have the privilege of purchasing the first Alfa 156 GTA in the Internet auction. I am also most happy to contribute to a fund to finance scientific research into a cure for muscular dystrophy and other hereditary diseases."
And so Tadashi Sengoku will be the very first customer to drive the new Alfa 156 GTA, which will be delivered to him well before the market launch date, planned for spring 2002. A model with a sporting, aerodynamic line, extra large bumpers and pronounced wings, exclusive alloy wheels and a newly designed engine: the 250 bhp, 3.2 V6 24 valve. But also new suspension geometry and settings, a more powerful braking system, more direct steering and new manual and Selespeed gearboxes developed from Formula 1 technology. In short, a car that truly represents that "state-of-the-art sportiness" which has always been the hallmark of Alfa Romeo.
Turin, September 27 2001