Today is as we all know Bloomsday when those with pretensions to being literary celebrate the day on which the late James Joyce set his famously unread novel Ulysses and also the day on which he first walked out with his wife to be.

On this date people who claim to know Ulysses backwards (and it probably makes as much sense that way) besport themselves in Edwardian dress and retrace the steps of Leopold Bloom around Dublin. Some even recreate Bloom’s breakfast tastes where “most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.”

The other significance of today is that it reminds us of the Alfa 166.

Sold from 1998 to 2007, the 166 never enjoyed the success of yesterday’s 156 with only about 100,000 sold compared to 800,000 of its smaller sibling. The main reason is just that, it was a bigger car and didn’t appeal to the European market. Unlike the 164 before it the 166 never reached North America.

In 2003 it got a facelift which didn’t help matters. RHD production ceased in 2005 as Alfa wouldn’t spend the money to make the 2.4 diesel compatible with a wheel on the right and without a diesel RHD sales weren’t economically feasible.

There was no successor. Alfa have talked and are still talking about a new rwd model but that will be a 156/159 replacement.

Have a facelifted 166.