California Car – 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde

Back when the Alfa Romeo Milano debuted, it was certainly a challenging design – people thought the high trunk line made them look like they’d been rear-ended. But with the benefit of hindsight, the car looks a lot better, and many other manufacturers used the low-front/high-rear look in the coming years. Of course, they were also dogged by the cheap-to-buy, expensive-to-maintain woes – rapid depreciation meant people with little appreciation for the complexities of what was, at the time, a high-output V6 were not prepared to do the maintenance needed, and the underdeveloped timing belt system on the otherwise-awesome Busso V6 was just icing on the cake. That said, the Alfetta-based transaxle platform was pretty well-developed at this point, making it an excellent driver’s car with power and handling to show the German competition a thing or two. Check out this 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde for sale for $2500 somewhere in Orange County, CA. Thanks to reader Marc for this suggestion.

1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde 2 left front

The description is pretty sparse, and probably covers any Milano in this price range – runs and drives but needs some work, with spare parts included. So let’s look at the pictures, which show some decent-looking aftermarket wheels. Thankfully, the seller didn’t go too big on them, and they look like a design you might have seen on cars when this one was new, albeit in silver. Headlight washers are missing, as is the passenger side indicator lense, a typical failing on these cars. The black trim seems to have faded pretty heavily, and in the “surprising” column, both fog lights are intact. The car retains its original grill, unlike most, which have been upgraded to a later, simpler grill.

1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde 2 right rear

Holy oxidation, batman! The car seems to have spent its life outdoors, both in sun and rain, as evidenced by the faded-jeans look and stains from water running down from rust spots onto the paint. In spite of that, the car’s stance looks healthy and the trim is all present and intact. It would be interesting to know this car’s history – was it resurrected after a long-ish period of outdoor storage, or was it someone’s long-time daily driver that simply suffered the effects of living outdoors in a sunny climate?

1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde 2 engine

The engine compartment looks fine considering the car shows 232,000 miles, but a little cleaning never hurts. The timing belt covers are missing, which is handy for assessing the belt’s condition – assuming there is no evidence of recent replacement, you’ll want to flatbed the car home and replace the belt immediately, or gamble that you’ll turn $2500 into $500 in short order.

1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde 2 interior

Commensurate with the exterior looks, the interior is pretty well-used. On the bright side, a previous owner has attended to the seats – they’re at least intact, though no longer in the correct fabric. It’s safe to assume the dash is heavily cracked, and removed interior door panels suggest the window motors or central locking system have seen better days. So what would you do with this car – pull the engine for your GTV6? Put up with the cosmetics to have the best-sounding beater car ever?

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One Response to “California Car – 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I really like these cars but I’d hold out for one in better shape; this thing is as rough as a cob.

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