A lot of things have changed in the car market since 1978. For one thing, there was a vast selection of now-absent marques available… Peugeot, Renault, Lancia, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Mercury, Isuzu, and probably more I am forgetting. Two of these in the foreign sector, but not directly competing with one another, were the Alfa Romeo Sport Sedan and the Lancia Beta sedan (to describe them by their US-market names). While both are Italian and share some the intrinsic qualities of Italian cars, they seem to have been targeted against entirely different competitors. You could say the Alfa was designed to face off against the BMW E21 3-series and Fiat 131, while the Lancia was a better competitor to Mercedes W123, Volvo 240, and Peugeot 505.
Let’s take a look at what they share, and how they differ. Having personal experience with both, I can give some insights. But first, let’s take a look at the Sport Sedan, which is listed here on the AlfaBB for $1000. However, the seller has included the old “if it doesn’t sell in a month, it’s going to the crusher”, so I’d imagine as you get closer to the deadline (May 12), negotiations would work out in your favor. Our other car, the Lancia Beta sedan, is a bit more rare, but in no small coincidence, one of those is for sale out of the Rusty But Trusty fleet for $1975.