Images: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe C4 makes for that most daunting of decisions, a nearly out of warranty modern day Alfa. Let’s see if its price might make it worth rolling the dice.

Weathermen (and women) are the most easily derided of news reporters, simply because their prognostications are literally at the whims of mother nature. Weather prediction is still an imperfect science, despite all the satellites, Doppler Radar, and green screen maps at the disposal of the professional meteorologist.

Perhaps much easier to predict was the outcome of a storm that blew through here last Friday, that being a 1991 Geo Storm. It may have offered the amenity of a tow bar so you could have it tag along with your RV, but at $3,990 even its rare wagonback bodystyle couldn’t raise much bluster. In the end, it fell in a 70-percent Crack Pipe loss to wrap up the week.

Have you ever heard people tell you that you need to get more fiber in your diet? Apparently fiber helps you poop which is a good thing. In fact my grandmother’s grandmother impressed upon her the importance of a good bowel movement by telling her ‘Yoo’ve got tae eat, Aggie. if ye dornt eat, ye cannae shite, if ye cannae shite yoo’ll die.

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Wiser words were perhaps never spoken. This health-related message is relevant to our discussion today as this 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C offers up plenty of fiber. Of course it’s carbon fiber, which you can’t eat, but still it’s a good reminder of the health benefits of a diet rich in roughage.

The carbon fiber in the 4C is prominent in its center tub, which is made entirely of that material. Light in weight and contrastingly strong, the use of carbon fiber here means that the 4C weighs in at a bantam 2,460 pounds.

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The 4C was Alfa’s first serious attempt at reentry into the lucrative U.S. auto market, after having abandoned sales here way back in 1995. Its wildly compromised and unabashedly quirky nature proved that little had changed in those intervening years.

Still, a sexy Italian mid-engine sportscar with an exhaust note that sounds like Andrea Bocelli bringing down the house? Who wouldn’t like that?

This private party-offered 2015 4C comes with 22K on the clock, the Coupe Package option, and in what was perhaps the car’s least exciting available color—white. The interior is a bit more rooty-tooty as it rocks some stunning red leather buckets amidst all the black, carbon fiber, and claustrophobia.

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Yes, it’s tight in here. I’m 95-percentile and I have a hard time getting in and out of the 4C. Maybe I need to do more stretching. The flat bottomed steering wheel isn’t just a kitschy bit of style, it’s necessary to allow reasonable access to the seats owing to their high bolsters and the wide sills of the carbon fiber monocoque.

Once in you’ll no doubt notice the lack of a third pedal or traditional manual gear selector—or in fact any sort of gear leaver at all. The 4C sports just one tranny option, that being a six-speed dual-clutch job. That’s operated via paddle-shifters on the column and a little switch on the console for when you need to go backwards.

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Shifts are lightning quick in these, and the ratios are favorably paired with the 1.75-litre DOHC four’s power band. That turbocharged mill is good for 237-horsepower and you’ll hear every single one of them in the cabin since sound deadening wasn’t on Alfa’s punch-list for these cars.

The seller says this car is in ‘excellent condition’ and that it’s been ‘garage kept’ between jaunts to amass those 22,000 miles. He does say that the ‘break’ calipers are painted red, but we won’t hold that against him. In fact, we’ll go as far as to give him a brake on his ad’s too-brief description of the car.

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The big issue here isn’t so much the 4C in concept, it’s the reality of owning a modern day Alfa. These are incredibly complicated cars—keyless entry, ballast driven bi-xenon headlamps, that dual clutch gearbox that’s electronically controlled, as is the throttle. The only thing seemingly missing on the 4C is power steering, and maybe for that we should be thankful as it’s one less thing to go wrong.

Alfa offers a 4-year/50,000 mile warranty on the 4C. As this is a 2015 car that warranty is either just about to term out or perhaps already has. The idea of owning an Alfa of such complexity without the factory to stand behind the inevitable repairs needed may be a daunting prospect for many. That may in fact diminish the 4C’s prospects on the used car market, and hence exacerbate its depreciation.

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That doesn’t seem to be the case here as this one, three or so years old, is asking $45,000, which is about ten grand less than what it went for new. And here’s the thing: this is about the cheapest 4C on the market at present.

The question for you, obviously, is whether or not it’s cheap enough. What do you think, is this soon to be cast free of its warranty 4C worth that kind of cash? Or, for that much would you require the pin to be back in the grenade?

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You decide!

Dallas, TX Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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