With the RustyButTrusty fleet manager recently missing out on an opportunity to pick up a 3-figure classic Italian coupe in decent shape, it’s time to feature one of the more readily available four-figure Italian coupes. While there are some 3-figure cars out there, it’s a good chance you’ll have to put in a fair amount of work to get them usable. And with this car, it looks to be a usable driver, but a detailed look will give you an idea of what you’re signing up for. Check out this 1977 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT for sale for $3500 in Astoria, OR.
Some truly period modifications as you might have seen advertised in the back of a 1977 copy of Road & Track include aftermarket turbine wheels that look closer to what you might have found on a BMW, and square fog lights mounted in the grill. The dual front spoilers are both present (if dinged up), and the bumper sports a line of red trim, but the seats wear seat covers. Its nose is in the “something smells in here” position (high), and all the black trim seems to be wearing a generous coat of Armor All.
What’s visible of the engine and its compartment looks fairly clean, though sections of the cam cover and its retaining bolts appear to be sprayed silver. The air conditioning compressor still has a belt running it – what are the chances the original compressor will still hold a charge and blow some slightly cool air at your knee? The car is said to run, shift, and brake well, and to be usable as a project daily driver.
Ordinarily, the other exterior shot would be a rear 3/4 view, but in this case, this hatch shot is more informative. According to the window sticker, the seller is a fan of a local slammed Mercedes 200d, but that’s not as important as the visible rust around the rear window and oxidation in the paint – note its somewhat dull sheen. If that’s the original paint, that’s actually not bad at all, but the rust leads to questions about where else there’s corrosion. At least one split in the bumper means you’ll want to start your search for some Euro-market pieces – their lighter look really lets the design shine.
Once you’ve got the mechanical bits up to snuff – yeah, it says daily driver, but there’s always something – you’ll want to take a trip to your favorite upholsterer. This explains the seat covers, and these are by no means savable. As an earlier 1977 car, it should have the cool molded plastic door panels, and if you can get close enough to original Alfa Romeo velour, you might do better converting to that, given the way the windows magnify the sun’s effect. After you’ve done the seats, pull the dash and send it down to southern California for refurbishment – that will cover 75% of the cosmetic damage on any Alfetta interior. From there, plan to spend the next 10 years of your life casually searching for bits and bobs – but don’t let that stop you from enjoying one of Alfa’s most balanced cars.