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

A disclosure regarding today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Alfetta: I am familiar with this particular car, having seen it at a number of events around town. You probably aren’t however so let’s give it a once over and see if its price is worth disclosing.

Hey Denmark, what’s that rotten smell? Ah yes, it’s yesterday’s 1987 Buick, which while ambiguously purported in its ad to be a Grand National, was in fact just a tarted up Regal. That’s not altogether a bad thing, it’s just a level of equivocation unexpected of Canadians, and the car did come away with a 75% Nice Price win, our second thumbs up this week.

Today we’re moving from Canada’s clean and polite environs to the harsh sunbaked lands of Southern California. Here, Los Angeles, the state’s largest metropolis, along with its rambling sprawl of suburbs and smaller cities, sprang forth from the coastal desert.


There are two reasons for that, one being the estimable William Mulholland and the other being the fact that we enjoy almost year-round good weather, made possible by what is described as a Mediterranean Climate. Because of that, it seems fitting that today we also have a semi-Mediterranean car - this 1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sport Sedan - to consider.

The Alfetta debuted in 1972 in replacement of the earlier 1750/2000 Berlina. Most enthusiasts know the marque for its iconic Giugiaro-designed GTV coupe, but while far less sporty in appearance the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo-penned Sport Sedan is still a handsome, and plenty unique ride.

This 1979 edition has had some significant mods made to it along the way. It started out as a long-nose, and in the U.S. these cars came with massive rubber bumpers which stood proud of the body by a good half foot. Owing to the ravage of age and smog those usually end up also serving to rub off as black smears on your chinos every time you go into the trunk.


That's not the case here as this metallic gold edition has had its rubber baby buggy bumpers replaced with rapier like chrome blades, making it totally chino friendly. They additional serve to lighten - both visually and actually - the ends, but the later squared-off nose does look a little funny with the chrome bumper below. I think it would grow on me however.

The same could be said about the rear end too, where there's also a chrome bumper and a full-on custom section above that eschews the Alfetta's factory lamps for a set of four round units flush-mounted and bracketing a minimalist license plate mount in place of the car's traditional backwards duck bill.


The interior is awash with cloth and wood, although the dash on the '79 is far more plasticky and low-rent looking than on the earlier cars. This one has a custom bucket for the driver, and that has seen better days. The rest looks serviceable, albeit typical for an Alfa of this era.

Mechanically you couldn't ask for much more technological oddity on a sports sedan of this era. The Alfetta is powered by a fuel injected edition of the company's long-serving DOHC four, here in 2-litre 111-bhp form. The engine bay appears not to have suffered customization, and no, it doesn't have a busted engine mount, the motor's supposed to be canted over like that. The fact that there's a good deal of oil that should be inside the engine on the outside actually is a good thing, as it keeps corrosion down.


Gear changes are made via a 5-speed transaxle situated in between a freaking de Dion rear end, and affording the car a 50/50 weight distribution. That's of course without your fat ass in it, and gives these cars some pretty entertaining handling. Cool Campagnolo wheels keep the tires from rolling away.

As I noted, I have seen this Alfa in person, so I'm going to refrain from the vote. I will say that it does look better in the pics than in person, but that there's nothing horrific about the car, it's just an old Alfa that's had some things done to it.


You now know about the car as well, and in fact the ad provides enough pics of the car, inside and out, that you might feel bad at having seen so much and not having at least bought it dinner first.

Still, having seen so much, you need to vote on whether or not you think its $4,500 price tag is reasonable. What do you think, is this custom Alfetta worth that kind of scratch? Or, is this Alfa a dog?


You decide!

Santa Barbara Craigslist (although the car is in Pasadena), or go here if the ad disappears.


A tip on the lid to Rob Young for the hookup!

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