Ski Car – 1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV

Update, 12/26/13: A visit to this car yesterday yielded some interesting details that are worth sharing here. First of all, the price has been reduced to $2200 since it was featured here in late October. The owner, Mark, is a very personable guy who rescued the car out of someone’s back yard, did much of the work himself, and is now ready to move along to another car. He’s done the brakes all around (yes, even the rears!), and replaced the head gasket and had the valves lapped while the head was off. It’s a non-a/c car, with front-mounted battery, and no floor rust. As usual, there doesn’t seem to be a standard place for these to rust – while the areas surrounding the front and rear windows were rust-free, the outer passenger door skin has a fair amount of rust (that’s where you see the gray paint in the pictures), and there was some rust behind the front passenger wheel. There is also rust at the top of the wheel wells inside the engine compartment. The paint has been redone once, and has since oxidized. Oddly enough, there appears to be no rust around the sunroof. The interior is clean enough, but the upholstery on the driver’s seat is torn and the dash shows some cracking. Unfortunately, the car has lost its original tail lights to some GTV6 lights, which may cover up more rust. Overall, though, it looks like a decent little project for someone with some metal working skills. Given its needs, there is probably some room for negotiation, but project Alfetta prices are no longer in the low- to mid-3-figures like they used to be.

Original post, 10/23/13: We’re so used to seeing faded versions of certain cars that you start to forget how they looked when they were new. Once you repaint, lower the front to a normal height, and possibly convert to European bumpers, these cars gather a surprising amount of comments and interest. And a new coat of paint really brings out some of the most interesting features – the fenders, pulled out around the wheel well openings; the spoiler integrated into the rear deck; the “flying buttress” C-pillars that flank the hatch. You can find this 1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT (or sprint veloce if you’re picky about using the North American model name) for $2999 in South Everett, WA.

1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV silver left front

It’s surprising how many of these cars have been turning up in Argento (silver). This one looks like it’s wearing its original paint, along with the cool optional Campagnolo disk wheels. Check out the old-school For Sale sign, something that’s gone nearly extinct in the days of online car listings. Given the high-traffic location of this car, however, it’s still a worthwhile tool. It does look like the hood is mildly indented, or perhaps this is just a side effect of over-exposure.

1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV silver right side

The passenger side looks a bit rougher, with a missing trim strip and areas that appear to have been sprayed in a slightly-off color. You can see that the front has been properly lowered – perhaps that’s an indicator of other suspension upgrades? The car has been the seller’s daily driver for the past year, and he has replaced many parts, including most ignition, fuel, and brake system components, along with tires, muffler, and a new head gasket. It’s surprising he hasn’t had to replace the flexible driveshaft joints, so that’s something to ask about. Pictures of the engine and interior would also help gauge the condition, but the car looks to be largely rust-free.

How is an Alfetta a ski car, you ask? Well, for one thing they have excellent balance, and relatively skinny tires, both of which help in the snow. And yes, while they’re prone to rusting, in a non-salt state this should be no more of a concern than rain. They also have a decent-sized trunk for all your gear, although no ski pass-through since the gas tank is behind the rear seat back. Just as importantly, the heater is quite powerful, and will keep you warm on your way to and from the slopes. Most of all, it’s a good excuse to point you toward the correct skis for your new car – for $40, you can pick up these Spalding Alfetta skis. Even if you don’t ski, what a neat decoration for your garage. It seems Spalding skis were made in Italy, so it would be interesting to know if there are also Sei, Spider Veloce, Alfasud, and Giulietta skis!

Alfetta skis

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