If you think the world is running out of cheap Alfas waiting to be rejuvenated, step back, Jack, because a diligent search in the online listings will turn up cars that don’t require you to find reproductions of parts last made in the 1960s, but also don’t need you to walk on eggshells after purchase for fear the timing belt might snap/slip, and make your engine do a mashup that’s decidedly uncool. So let’s conveniently disregard the fact you won’t be sourcing obscure parts for your 1970s ride because they just aren’t available anywhere, and take a look at this 1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Berlina for sale for $3500 in Temple City, CA.
Looks like it’s had a minor parking mishap, with dented front fender and door, along with the missing driver’s mirror. Unsurprisingly, the paint is chalky, and you can see greasy fingerprints from previous attempts at reviving it. Those Michelin MXVs were last on the RustyButTrusty Spider in about 1996, so you can make an educated guess about when someone last depended on this car. The description doesn’t give much detail, but to say there’s no rust and it’s not runnning because it needs an ignition tumbler.
Looking at the engine compartment, the missing battery might be part of the problem too, but you’ll also no doubt be counting on changing all the fluids including fuel, and installing some ignition parts. Other than that, things look pretty complete underhood, and the air conditioning compressor gives hope that with some effort, you can revive the rest of the system to make driving an older car in the summer more comfortable.
The interior looks complete, and the dash seems to show no cracking, but otherwise things look as you’d expect in a 37-year-old Alfa with cloth seats – tears, old seat covers, and a profusion of earth tones and faux burlwood. That doo-hickey to the left of the steering wheel is mysterious and concerning – is it compensating for a loose steering column or holding the fuse box together? If you’d prefer the two-door version of this platform, check out this 1976 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT for sale for $2200 in Parker, CO.
It’s said to have some of the common rust, so the sedan has the edge there, but since the seller claims to be the third owner, hopefully there’s some service history that both confirms that and gives you an idea of the car’s condition. The current owner has put 5000 miles on it in 10 years, and hasn’t driven it in a while, though it’s been garaged. The coupe matches the sedan in level of paint oxidation, and you can see the very-1970s dished factory alloys.
The interior looks comparable to the other car, but with a nifty 80s steering wheel and shift knob, along with the early molded door panels. This doesn’t look to be an air conditioned car, and the radio is missing its faceplate. Assuming your proportions fit the coupe, they’re quite comfortable road trip cars for two – a decent trunk and comfortable seats that hug you and provide good support without being too tight. So put on your negotiating shoes and see what you can do with these lower-end Alfa projects.