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Alfa Romeo's power chord

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Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.


The Alfa Romeo by Harrison Custom Guitars

(Harrison Custom Guitars)

Apropos of the 104th anniversary of Alfa Romeo’s founding on 24 June, UK-based Harrison Custom Guitar Works has created a limited-edition electric guitar inspired by the Italian maker of sporting cars.

The well-named “Alfa Romeo” is a labour of love for company founder Guy Harrison, himself an Alfa driver. The guitar’s open body, which is made of poplar wood with a maple cap and a carbon fibre composite back piece, riffs on Alfa’s familial grille, with pick-ups, a tail piece and a bridge made of milled aluminium. A large Alfa emblem serves as the volume knob. The neck is carbon-reinforced Korina wood with an ebony fingerboard and inlays of aluminium and coral. Alfa’s signature four-leaf clover, carved of malachite, adorns the third fret. The custom headstock features open gear tuners on the front and back, a metal plaque engraved with the guitar’s production number and the signature of the luthier.

“The Alfa Romeo guitar requires some special techniques,” said Harrison in a statement. “The whole thing is absolutely brand new – the concept, the design, everything.”

Production is limited to 11 guitars (one for each decade the Alfa marque has existed, of course). Colour choice is limited to red. The instruments are priced at £4,000 apiece (about $6,800) and each will require about eight months to complete. Want one? Get in line at Harrison Custom Guitar Works.

A matching 2015 Alfa 4C will add about $70,000.

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Alfa Romeo 4C

(Fiat Group)