For $6,950, Will This Alfa 33 Be Long Playing?

Illustration for article titled For $6,950, Will This Alfa 33 Be Long Playing?

Before CDs and iPods, music was sold on records and tapes, and a common vinyl format was the 33 RPM LP. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Alfa Romeo 33 is uncommon, but it might make some beautiful music.


They say that to be a true auto enthusiast you need to have owned at least one Alfa Romeo in your lifetime. The reasoning behind this is that no other make juxtaposes a near orgasmic driving experience with the monumental frustration in actually achieving that road-going happy ending.

That duality has made Alfas reasonably rare in the U.S., and today's 1990 Alfa 33 is even more so as this model was never officially imported. Sadly, this is not the uber rare and sell-yer'-granny desirable 33 Stradale of the late sixties, but the Alfasud-replacement from the ‘80s/‘90s. Named after the southern Italy factory in Pomigliano d'Arco, the Alfasud (Alfa South) became one of the company's most successful models. The ‘Sud and later 33 were a family of small cars - Corolla sized - that embodied a unique drivetrain layout. Instead of Alfa's ubiquitous and lovely alloy twin-cam under their hoods, these cars garnered flat fours longitudinally placed ahead of their front-wheel driving transaxles. This layout made for an easy adaptation, through the use of a tailshaft, to all-wheel drive, which was an option on the 33. Now - small car; flat four up front; available all-wheel drive; you're probably thinking that this is nothing more than an Italian Subaru, and you wouldn't be too far off in that correlation. Following that connection, and applying a common stereotype, as Subies are supposed to be popular with flannel-wearers and lesbians, it's completely plausible that the 33 could a favorite of Italian lesbians.

That could mean it. . . would. . .

Sorry, I was just thinking about Monica Bellucci and Valeria Golino riding in the Alfa 33 with a rainbow triangle decal on the hatch, and some hot double-clutch action going on, if you know what I mean.

This 33 is only front-wheel drive, lacking the advanced Steyr-Puch Q4 system that was available, and which would make the car even more like a swarthy Subaru. If not having both ends spinning is a turn-off to the ladies who like ladies they should really reconsider - the car I mean, not the. . . well, you know - as the third generation 33 is generally considered to be one fine handling car. These last of the 33s also feature fully galvanized bodies so rust is no longer a standard feature from the factory. A number of displacements were offered in the 33, and this one has the 1.4 that should put out about 90-ponies, and it rocks either Weber-Marelli or Bosch fuel injection. The seller says that its an Imola edition and has benefited from a chip and sport exhaust, whatever that means. Underhood, and way above the boxer, there's an aftermarket strut tower brace to help the aftermarket Konis do their thing, and the whole thing sits lower than factory and on alloy wheels.

The styling of the third-generation 33 could be best described as the unholy offspring of 164 and Milano, enjoying some of the smooth lines and thin, full-width blade taillamp of the former, and the boxy, angular fug of the latter. Overall it's unassuming and not something that you'd likely contemplate for hours on end. Inside, the sole picture shows sport seats, a tall stick for the 5-speed, and a slab of plastic masquerading as the dash. No wood to cause splinters here.


The seller makes no claims as to mileage nor how he has managed to register the car in Texas - although he does say that it does have a clean title. Texas - like many a border state - doesn't kitten to illegal immigrants, so getting this little hatch legal there may mean that it's also golden in most other states- save for Cali, of course. Barring that, you could just try and title it as a Subaru.

Before you could take part in any kind of DMV shenanigans, you'd need to come up with the necessary dough-ray-me, which in this case amounts to $6,950, sort of a medium pizza's worth. What do you think, is that price cheap enough for this 33 to not be rare in your driveway? Or, for that much, would you rather get a really nice Subaru?


You decide!


Dallas Craigslist or go qui if the ad disappears. H/T to sexyhammer for the hookup!

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Many times I see cars where the owner claims that "since it's titled it's legal" but that simply isn't the case. It's the Federal government, specifically the EPA, NHTSA and Customs that makes that decision. If they wanted to they could take this Alfa and crush it and there would be nothing you could do about it. Now practically unless you have a Skyline or other high-profile car I doubt that would happen but that should be something you think about before you spend your money.

BTW the rule is that the car has to be 25 years old (currently a 1985 model) to be legal to import. I've heard stories that Customs actually uses the build date so some 1986 (and soon 1987 models) may be legal but don't quote me.

The alternative is to go though all the hoops to legally import the car in which case it will have stickers indicating so. I've only ever seen one such car, a 1986 205 GTi that Peugeot NA imported as a test vehicle so unless this 33 was imported by Alfa USA in a similar fashion it's probably illegal too.