It’ll Buff Out: 1979 Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan

Since buying my spider, my fascination with Alfa Romeo sedans has grown. Aside from usually being the lowest-cost entry into Alfas (well, until recently with Berlinas and Giulia sedans), they’re also appealing in that they’re more usable on a daily basis for longer-distance, high speed travel and are more comfortable to take your friends along in your weirdo car. While some people could consider earlier Alfa sedans to be an acquired taste, the 1978 and 1979 sport sedans are pretty easy on the eye in a late-70s euro way. The subject of today’s post is this 1979 Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan in Albuquerque, NM with bidding started at $200 and no reserve.

On some level, I would argue this should be the most popularly accessible of Alfa Romeo’s sedans (if you ignore the need for smog testing). It’s got a tidy design, a very well-balanced transaxle chassis, the trusty 1962cc four cylinder, and a 5-speed transmission. What’s more is, there’s a lot on this car that’s pretty easy to service, contrary to the myths about these (although I must admit from my own experience, there are some things that can be a pain the first time around). Here’s a front shot of the car – looks pretty clean for a car that’s been out of action for a few years:

1979 Alfa sedan front

And with that remark about being clean, here’s the one iffy part of the body. Probably fairly minor if you’re actually this concerned with cosmetics, and still easier to fix than rust. I would rather concentrate on the running gear first. Being a New Mexico car, this car shows almost no rust, with just minor surface rusting and possibly some bubbling in the spare tire well. It’s far more intact than my own California-native coupe, which has its own bumps, bruises, and cosmetic rust.

1979 Alfa sedan crunch

Engine compartment is fairly complete, aside from the battery. Interesting that the sedans had the battery in front, while the coupes had it located under the trunk floor. Either way, with the transaxle layout you’re already miles ahead in weight distribution, compared to most cars of the time. For any mechanical catch-up needed from its long period of rest, you’ll find the later models have somewhat better parts availability than the earlier 1975-77 cars.

1979 Alfa sedan engine

Interior has clearly suffered from being in New Mexico. However, I would venture that even after a good cleaning/dusting, you’d have a substantially better-looking car. The seller mentions the headliner is toast, but his pictures indicate that while it has a couple of minor tears, it’s generally intact. He also mentions the tach and speedo needles are warped, but there is a documented fix involving toothpicks, some orange model paint, and crazy glue, that should take care of that issue pretty easily. This being a New Mexico car, you might even get lucky and not have to clean up grounds, etc. to get the car running.

1979 Alfa sedan interior

And to bring us to the tail end of things, a shot of the rear of the car. Aside from the bumper, it’s pretty tidy. The easiest resolution for the bumper situation, which is not so budget friendly, is to purchase Euro bumpers, which are reasonably accessible. However, if you’re looking for a budget fix, I would either just remove them, or open up the rubber, paint the metal inside with a rust inhibitor, and then close it up again using either some kind of super-adhesive or just screws from underneath.

1979 Alfa sedan rear


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7 Responses to “It’ll Buff Out: 1979 Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan”

  1. Jeff B. Says:

    Have to chime in on this one – being that I’ve owned several of these as daily drivers for the past 17ish years. Mine have all been series 1 cars – which IMO are much more attractive and still retain front wind-wings (yea!). The battery’s location depends on if the car has A/C installed or not. If it does (this one appears to have it) the battery is in the trunk, otherwise – it’s in the engine compartment.
    I’ve been championing these sedans for a long time – but they still carry a bad reputation that has proven hard to shake. Most currently look like this one – and as such can be total money pits, but once sorted out – they are loads of fun!

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    So this one looks like it has a/c and a battery tray in front – is that right? Unless that’s the air pump, but I’d assume that’s on the passenger side as in my coupe…

  3. Jeff B. Says:

    Well – I’m a little iffy on the Series 2 cars – but if you’re talking about the red square thing – I’m not sure what that is – I don’t see a battery anywhere in the engine photo – as it should be – since I think it’s in the trunk. Normally a non-A/C sedan would have the battery on the Driver’s side in front of the wheel arch.

  4. Jeff B. Says:

    p.s. When a sedan has the battery in the trunk – it’s located on the passenger side – whereas in the coupe – the battery in the trunk will be on the driver’s side. 🙂

  5. Chris Keen Says:

    Yay, Italian logic!

  6. Jeff B. Says:

    lol – yeah. You can add to that this: The coupes have the gas filler located on the driver side – the sedans, on the passenger side. I used to have to stop and think which way to pull up next to the pump, back when I had one of each.

  7. Jeff B. Says:

    So, I’m revising my earlier comment – looking at the red sedan on ebay now – it’s got A/C and the battery is up front. Perhaps the re-design of the series 2 nose allowed space for the battery in A/C equipped cars to remain up front? All I know is the earlier sedans were set up as previously mentioned above.

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