Referring again to the Subaru BR-Z for inspiration, a couple of features stick out – the 2+2 configuration, boxer engine, relatively light weight, unfiltered driving experience, and sporty looks. If you did a Venn diagram of the BR-Z and the 1976 – 1989 Alfa Romeo (Alfasud) Sprint, you’d see those features where the two circles overlap. The one critical difference that can’t be overlooked is the front- and rear-wheel-drive dichotomy, though anything you read would suggest front-wheel-drive is a non-issue for the Alfa. On that note, check out this 1988 Alfa Romeo Sprint 1.3 for sale for €3800 ($4100 today) in Salerno, Italy.
Salerno’s location on the Tyrrhenian Sea is even more reason to be on the lookout for rust, particularly on that large cross-member that goes through the engine compartment, separating the engine from some of the ancillaries. While 1980s Alfas are not exactly known for their rust resistance, hopefully this car’s 1988 build date means it’s escaped the dark days of early Alfasud/Sprint quality. Looking closely at the photos above and below, it’s hard to see any rust on the car, but if you’re buying from afar, it’s worth pulling up your favorite translation tool to ask for some under-car shots.
Those tail lights and rear wing are oh-so-eighties, though the lights seem to be an update of the Alfetta GT’s units. The overall shape recalls many cars of the same period, such as the VW Scirocco and Alfa GTV6. While the 1.3 badge on the back doesn’t suggest much power, dual twin-choke carbs made for a solid 85hp and 88 lb.-ft. of torque, and a 0-60 time of about 9 seconds. And hey, even if it’s a little slow, it’ll sound great and you’ll have a great time winding it out.
The interior appears to be in excellent condition. Interestingly, most of the later Sprints changed profoundly under the skin (with the exception of the 1.3 engine) to match their Alfa 33 siblings, meaning you avoid complexities like the front inboard brakes. This particular car is said to be registered with ASI (the Italian historic car association), and to be in perfect shape with new tires.
Unfortunately, the engine compartment shot is rather blurry, but there are still a couple of things to note – new-looking plug wires and master cylinder reservoir, and a clean but not over-detailed engine. The next safety inspection is due in August of next year, so the last one was likely done in August 2014 – you’re kind of at the mid-point between inspections, so there’s probably no comfort to be taken from that. That said, this is a nice example of a 2+2, boxer-powered car, and it’s legal in any state that honors the 25-year import exemption – would you bring this jewel over?