Has this every happened to you? You’re sitting, say, in a meeting at work, or maybe you’re doing a quick acoustic singer/songwriter set at a local club, or perhaps you’re chainsawing a massive tree to carve it into a grizzly bear sculpture, when all of a sudden you’re hit with an overwhelming urge to rummage in your car’s glove compartment? Of course you have. It’s part of the human condition. Sadly, for nearly every car, you’d be feces out of luck, and just have to choke back a sob of defeat. Not if you owned an Alfa Romeo 90, though.
If you were the proud owner of an Alfa Romeo 90, there’s no reason for you to ever be out of contact with your glove box or its precious contents for any appreciable length of time, because the Alfa 90 is one of the very, very few cars that lets you take your glove box with you.
I’m not talking about some arduous process involving screws and a pry bar, I mean the dashboard was designed with a glove box that was also a briefcase.
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This is one of those fascinating little details that just makes a car. On its own, the Alfa 90 wasn’t really all that special — it was essentially a 1980s re-packaging of the Alfetta, and was a front-engine/rear-drive straight-edged executive car, and what a better way to really sell that executive part than by having a built-in briefcase?
The interior of the car actually had a good bit of 1980s techno-chic design happening; check out the digital dashboard, with its novel 45 degree-angle LED gauges:
Also interesting was this inverted-U-shaped handbrake, which you can see here in a page of the brochure:
It also may be worth noting that since the glove box has become a briefcase, gloves have been relegated to the little center bin? Are they that strict about glove storage in Italy?
I’m trying to think of another car that had a piece of luggage integrated right into the dashboard; I feel like there must be something else out there — probably British, this feels like a British sort of thing — but at this moment, I can’t think of one.
So, if your primary car criteria is that you never, ever want to be without the contents of your glove box, I think your car search is over.
Oh, one more weird thing! Look at the illustration Alfa decided to use for its section on car washing in the owners’ manual:
This feels like an odd choice for a car built from 1984 to 1987, but, you know, I guess it’s fun.