For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?

Illustration for article titled For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The products of Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili are usually reserved for the faithful and reverent. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Alfetta however, looks to be more akin to the fast and furious.

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It turns out Larry Craig isn't the only one with a wide stance that can't garner the votes. Yesterday's Dallara-stein X1/9 couldn't manage anything better than an 83% Crack Pipe loss as its price was seen as crazy high, even if it was in loonies.

Overhead cam four cylinder, sporting, two-door hatchback body, five-speed transaxle, we're talking about Porsche's 924 or 944, right? Nope, but just as the Germans and the Italians conspired during WWII, today's car shares a lot in the way of concept and execution with those products from the neighbors to the north. The Alfetta however never gained the kind of lore as did the Porsche, possibly due to the latter car's seemingly singular attraction to douchebags. Instead, due to its reputation for fragility, the Alfetta appealed to masochists. Or, in the case of this 1976 edition apparently sadists.

The Alfetta introduced the transaxle to Alfa's road cars, and its double wishbone, torsion bar independent front and De dion rear suspension was a lot more complex than anything BMW was foisting at the time. Alfa also beat the Bavarians to the twin cam by decades, the Alfetta being powered in many guises by Alfa's iconic and lovely four. Available in either Centro Stile Alfa Romeo-designed four door, or like today's car, a Giugiaro-penned three-door hatch, the Alfetta proved to be one of the Milano brand's most love-lived models. This ‘76 three door proves that such long lives can contain some strange turns.

Illustration for article titled For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?

This Alfetta is different in the way cabbage ice cream is different - sure it's ice cream, and everyone likes that, but add a flavor that may give your taste buds the impression that they are experiencing a cold and creamy fart and maybe the universe of advocates will shrink noticeably. Similarly, the owner, or some previous project runway-obsessed deviant, has attempted to accessorize the Alfa's clean lines with. . . well, it's kind of indescribable.

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Illustration for article titled For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?

The rubber park bench bumpers have been replaced with what looks like appropriated pieces of guard rail, while popping from the hood is an air intake that's only purpose could be channeling cooling air to the spark plug wires. Around back it has gained a wing off of Wonder Woman's airplane, which doesn't intrude on your ability to view the Pep Boys audio department beneath the hatch. That's just the start of the cornucopia of crap which is the interior, there being the trailer park ubiquitous Grant steering wheel and ‘alloy' pedal covers - the alloy here being plastic. Facing those are a pair of original Alfa bucket that, due to some creative repair efforts now each look like Taylor Momsen.

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Illustration for article titled For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?

Avoiding eye contact with that weird scoop while popping the hood would be advisable, but you'd still want to do it in order to confirm that it's a bridge to nowhere. Like all U.S. Alfettas (Alfetti?) the engine was originally cursed with SPICA mechanical injection, although obvious from the pictures - and the seller's description that it's now ‘carborated' - it rocks a pair of Weber side draughts. He also claims that everything removed does come along with the car, and one would hope that doesn't include any even more egregious add-ons like Lambo doors or Taylor Momsen.

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Illustration for article titled For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?

So yeah, it's a freakshow. In fact, it's so incongruously modified that you might want to start looking up whether there's an Italian word for mullet. But in this Alfetta's favor is that all those additions seem to be tacked onto what appears to be a solid body, and the ad says it only has 25,649 miles on its clock. That's pretty amazing because these cars don't just have a propensity for rust, they have the ability to oxidize with the rapidity of a tanning vampire and leaving their driver with nothing more than a bad case of tetanus. That means that this could potentially be a decent starting point for a proper Alfetta driver and perhaps most of the crap would fall off on the way home.

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Illustration for article titled For $5,000 is this an Alfa dog?

Getting it to strip like a drunken prom date will take giving its current owner $5,000. You might also want to knock him in the nards for making this Alfa look like something Mad Max's dingo wouldn't even piss on, but that's beside the point. What isn't beside that point - actually just a little down-wind of it - is whether you think this Alfetta is worth that $5,000. Is that a price that can make you overlook its personalizations? Or, does that just make it even more personally offensive?

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You decide!

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eBay or go here if the ad disappears. H/T to Toshiro_Mifune for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.

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BTW- Yes, I know you can't see the poll. Vote in the comments, email help@gawker.com and let ‘em know, or put your vote on the back of a 100 dollar bill and mail it to 1 Jalopnik Tower NY, NY.

DISCUSSION

I know this guy. Johnny was his name. He's a genuinely borderline-retarded kid, thanks to whatever drugs his mother was on (his "mom and dad" were actually his grandparents). I went to grade school with him. Several interesting incidents with him during high school stand out (we'll leave out running naked around 4-H camp in the middle of the night because that was in 5th grade, but there's your primer on him).

Johnny loved Fords — was obsessed with them — knew the 2.3L I4 and the 2.8L V6 better than anyone I've since encountered. He was ASE-certified in several areas by the time he was 16. Maybe he was an automotive savant.

Johnny went through at least 4 Fords during the time I was in high school with him (he was there before AND after me). A couple of Rangers, a Bronco, and a fox Mustang. The Rangers and Mustang had the 2.3, the Bronco the 2.8. The entire time, he also had a Subaru, which I'll get to in a minute.

So, the automotive incidents? Attempting to drive the Bronco up a very steep, grass-covered hill adjacent to the marching band's practice field. The Bronco had enough torque in 4L, but not enough traction because Johnny had fitted it with passenger car tires. He got about half way up, then the truck stopped. Johnny pushed the gas harder. The truck started slipping back. Johnny gave up, and instead of trying to ease the truck back down the hill with the brakes, he just let it roll. And roll it did. Right onto it's side in the ditch at the bottom of the hill. It came to rest at a 45-degree angle in the ditch. No real damage, but after the low brass section pushed the Bronco back onto its wheels, Johnny got out and started kicking it, doing more damage than had falling onto it's side. That was Johnny. Whenever he got pissed, he attacked inanimate objects. Sometimes they were the object of his frustration, sometimes they were just whatever was convenient.

Another time, this in his brushed-on primer grey Ranger. The choir had just gotten new risers, and Johnny, ever-helpful, had piled the flattened cardboard riser-shipping boxes in the tailgate-less bed and volunteered to drive them to the recycling center. Someone pointed out that they'd likely start flying out at speeds above walking pace, so a planetoid trombonist named Catfish jumped in the bed to hold them in place. Now, this Ranger was the first truck he'd managed to get his hands on that had a manual transmission, and he enrolled in the I'll-smoke-'em-before-I-let-it-stall school of learning how to perform a smooth take off. With a sense of "this cannot end well" foreboding, we were all gathered to watch as Johnny did his now-characteristic dogleg squeal, which had the effect of instantly depositing the high-momentum Catfish onto the road. He never even moved. The truck drove out from beneath him as though he had been tethered to a light pole. Luckily, most of the stack of boxes came out with him and broke his fall, and he got up and dusted himself off laughing so hard he nearly puked.

To shorten this up a bit, I'll glaze over the next two...

The shifter of his Mustang came off in my hand while I was doing donuts in the school parking lot. Not the knob. The whole lever. I was just trying to grab second quickly. I was only 15 and didn't know shift levers were so fragile.

Johnny decided he wanted to do donuts in his 2WD Ranger in the mud pit next to the band/choir room before a Friday football game. He drove in and stopped dead when his tires sank to the axles in the clay-heavy muck. It took my girlfriend's father's '79 460-powered, 4-speed+granny gear-equipped, F350 dually to pull him out. It was an awesome sight watching that F350 spin all four rear tires on pavement tugging that little Ranger out.

So, the Subaru. What Johnny did to the Subaru is what makes him the likely owner of this Alfa. The Subie was an early 4WD Justy that Johnny swore had rally pedigree. I think it had a 3-cylinder that was only slightly larger than a contemporary Metro 3-cylinder, but the 4WD just made it kind of cool. Mind, this was central Georgia, where AWD cars are essentially useless, and therefore rarely seen. To prove to us how incredible it was, Johnny pulled all sorts of dumb stunts. He successfully drove it in circles (couldn't really call them donuts) through the pit where his Ranger had gotten stuck, which was substantially less impressive as it hadn't rained in a month and the muck had hardened to something approximating kiln-fired clay. He successfully drove it up the hill his Bronco had failed to tackle. There was no re-creation of the Catfish-cardboard incident, and the shifter stayed in place the few times I drove it.

So how's this related to the Alfa ?- I'm getting there. Now, Johnny eventually realized that there were no hop-up parts available for the Justy. So he started going crazy with all the best that Autozone, NAPA, and JCWhitney had to offer. He had a stereo with so much power it stalled the engine. He had the chrome accents all over. Vinyl decals from companies that never made so much as a spark plug to fit the Justy. Purple window tint. Yosemite Sam mudflaps (I shit you not). A roof-mounted wing. What really set it off, though, was when he started taking the brown interior plastic bits and painting them purple, but not thickly enough to cover the brown. So, his interior wound up looking like a unicorn jizzed all over everything.

That's all. I'm too exhausted from a night of too little sleep to bother figuring out some sort of closer to this whole story. Johnny tried to facebook friend me a few weeks ago. I couldn't bring myself to ignore, but I didn't approve, either. The request just sits.