White Elephant – 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT

As a writer, it’s a privilege to be able to highlight any particular model of car, especially ones that are overlooked by most enthusiasts. Frequent readers will know the Alfetta GT provided a lot of inspiration for this site, and as a result each one within the self-imposed price ceiling is featured here. Of course, sometimes that means featuring white elephant cars – unrecoverable projects, or cars for sale from owners who have an overinflated idea of their value. A good example of such a situation is today’s feature car – check out this 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT for sale for $3495 in Boise, ID.

1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 3 left front

To be fair, if you’re looking for an Alfetta – probably any Alfa, actually – in Boise, you’re not exactly spoiled for choice. And with an early car, you’d expect some of the cool features like a dash unmarred by faux wood, and those cool molded door panels. Of course, you’d also get the earlier driveshaft, for which the rubber flexible joints and other pieces are hard to find. Fortunately, this white car doesn’t seem to show a lot of rust penetration, though there is some damage around the front and rear wheels. Weeds growing up around the car aren’t a particularly positive sign.

1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 3 right rear

The rear lip spoiler and rear window louver are cool touches, though they require some equally stylish striping or decals the car doesn’t have. Strangely, this car has some later features like Vitaloni Tornado mirrors – the more delicate trapezoidal polished metal mirrors seen on spiders and other Alfas would be correct here, and better looking. On the positive side, there’s no visible rust around some key areas, like the front and rear windows.

1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 3 engine

While the engine seems to have the kind of grunge that only accumulates through use, it’s said to be a newly rebuilt unit with high-compression 10.4:1 pistons, performance cams and valves, and the SPICA fuel injection replaced with twin Weber 40DCOE carburetors – while there are pros and cons to both induction systems, this setup will not pass smog in some states. The car is also said to have a new clutch, driveshaft and transaxle, though you’ll want to ask about when that was done since some things like the wipers in the shot above suggest the car has been sitting for a while. If you do live in a state that doesn’t test 1976 cars, this setup sounds like it would liberate some of the potential these cars had, and upgraded brakes and suspension would get the driving experience all the way there.

1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT 3 interior

This car looks like it still has the molded door panels, but it’s also got later features like the shift knob and late air conditioning controls, for which the compressor and hoses are no longer visible under the hood. Varnish is peeling off the steering wheel, and as usual, the horn buttons have failed, though these are available from a British supplier. The dash mat and seat covers are likely disguising issues, and the carpet appears to be a mess – a thorough cleaning would give a better idea of condition. If you can live with the cosmetics while you enjoy the (hopefully recent) mechanical upgrades, this car should be a blast on back roads.


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