Going Abroad – 1975 Alfa Romeo Alfasud

If there’s one car that is simultaneously fantastic and likely to have done its manufacturer in if imported to North America, it’s the Alfasud. Amazing to drive, with great handling and a rev-happy flat four, and yet saddled with indifferent quality and unconventional interior design, the ‘sud would have pushed its maker out of the North American market 15 years sooner. It’s too bad, because one could arguably say it was one of the first premium small cars, ages before BMW and Mercedes figured out that compact cars needed to be part of their product lineup. You can find this 1975 Alfa Romeo Alfasud for sale for €2500 ($3459 today).

1975 Alfa Romeo Alfasud right front

As originally designed, and what a nice, simple design it is. It captures a little of the spirit of the Alfetta GT, and was recognized for its design when it debuted. The only engine available was an 1186cc SOHC flat four, using a single carb to put out 63hp. The ‘sud Ti drivetrain is probably a desirable upgrade, making the car more usable with a little extra power and a 5-speed transmission. This car looks to be in clean original condition, with only 39,000km indicated on its 5-digit odometer. It’s said to have a new clutch, and the reason given for selling is simply a lack of use. Note how the seller’s photo has been staged, with random objects here and there to make the setting look realistic. Let the line of the ladder draw your eye down to the rear of the car, and note the bicycle carefully suspended above the car. This is online advertising mastery, so hopefully you’re taking notes.

1975 Alfa Romeo Alfasud interior

Wow. Alfa went all the way with the molded plastics here, way further than the molded door panels in the Alfetta GT. Note the lack of controls on the dash – fan, lights, horn, and indicators were all controlled by the stalks on the column. So while you sacrifice some power, you do get the more distinctive version of the ‘sud, as the designers intended – weird interior, slim chrome bumpers, and skinny tires. So – at this point, these cars are eligible for importation to any state/province, and have been for a while. Would you bring one back? A handful do exist in North America, but you will nearly always be the only one at any event.

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