PCH, Italian Coupe For About A Grand Edition: Lancia Beta or Alfa Romeo GTV?

Welcome to Project Car Hell, where you choose your eternity by selecting the project that's the coolest... and the most hellish! You don't need to be a millionaire to own a classic Italian machine. A thousandaire has enough cash!

Face it, what does the $9,000,000 '62 Ferrari 330 have that a Malaise Era Alfa or Lancia doesn't have? Wait, don't answer that! Instead, consider this: for around 1/9000th the price, you can have a sporty machine from the very same country!

What kind of car can you get for $1,250 these days? Maybe a 15-year-old Sentra, speckled with shopping-cart dings and filled with the smell of countless spilled McDonald's chocolate shakes? Or an Olds Cutlass Ciera with a potato for a gas cap and Bondo-and-rust clusters falling off on every speed bump? How depressing! But wait- what if we were to find you a genuine Alfa Romeo GTV for that price? A car with just 58,000 miles on the clock, because more than half its life has been spent sitting in a garage… waiting for you to rescue it? No, really! Here's a "garage find" '74 Alfa Romeo GTV (go here if the listing disappears) for next to nothing. It appears to be complete, and the seller says the "motor and tranny seem to be somewhat clean and oil free," which we hope isn't referring to their innards. Who knows, it will never might start right up with a simple tune-up! You might need to do a little metal cutting and pasting once you do have it running, because the seller admits that it has "all the usual rust problems of an alfa," and the registration paperwork will require negotiating labyrinths of bureaucracy you never imagined existed a bit of work, due to the car's "unknown title." Is an unknown title worse than a missing one? Never you mind about that stuff- just buy this project and start enjoying the benefits of an Italian basket case daily driver in about 10 years no time!

Everyone loves an Alfa, of course, but what would Fabio drive? A Lancia, of course! You can still buy Fabio's Appia, which hasn't dropped in price by a single lira in the last couple of years, but you might not have the pecs and/or hair to pull off looking cool in a cute little sedan. But buy this '75 Lancia Beta (go "

PCH, Italian Coupe For About A Grand Edition: Lancia Beta or Alfa Romeo GTV?

"/>here if the listing disappears) and you'll find your image on the covers of paperback bodice-rippers within weeks of getting it running. Of course, that might be akin to cleaning the Augean stables a couple of weekends of work, considering that it needs a "new timing belt to run and a little TLC" (translation for those of you who don't speak Craigslist-ese: "Something terrible is wrong with the engine, including what you hope will be just the timing belt"). But hey, Mr. or Ms. Thousandaire, imagine yourself behind the wheel of a genuine Italian sports coupe and it will all seem worthwhile.


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