Having never been officially imported, today Good price or no dice Alfa 155 is a rare bird in the USA According to the seller, it has all its papers and, being an Alfa, some problems. Let’s see if one of these is its price.
I was a bit shocked by the answer to yesterday’s question 1973 DeTomaso Pantera. Admittedly, it was presented in usable but scrappy condition, and according to the seller who was represented in his $89,000 claim. In today’s market, that’s on the low end for a driver. Few of you felt that boost though, and the Pantera dropped to 67% loss with no dice.
Well, seeing as you didn’t like Thursday’s rather expensive Italian price, let’s see what you think of an uber-rare but significantly cheaper one.
This 1997 Alfa Romeo 155 was the company’s mid-size for most of the 1990s. Built on the Fiat Type Three platform which also underpinned the Lancia Dedra and Fiat Tempra, the 155 replaced the 75, which had been sold in the United States. United as Milano. The 155 was never officially sold in the state. This is because at the time of its launch, Alfa had already increased stakes and exited the market entirely. As we all know, it took decades before the company, led by parent company Fiat, made a semi-triumphant return to our shores.
Just as with the 75 that preceded it, Alfa took the racing 155. Unlike the 75, which used an Alfetta-derived front-engine/rear-transaxle chassis, the 155 was standard for the time either transverse-engined/FWD or, with a system co-developed with Lancia, AWD. Combined with a 2.5-litre V6, the latter configuration gave Alfa Corse driver Nicola Larini a record 11 wins and the series title in the 1993 DTM series, beating out a team run by AMG-Mercedes.
Unfortunately, this private import 155 lacks both the sweet V6 and AWD chassis, instead offering a Twin Spark DOHC four and FWD. The seller does not say if this engine is the 1.8-liter of 138 horsepower or the 2.0 of 148 horsepower, but nevertheless notes a recent change of the timing belt. The sticker under the hood for this service says it was done at 87,400 miles, which if my calculations are correct equals about 55,000 miles. According to the ad, the car now has 68,000 miles on the odometer.
Surprisingly for an older Italian car, there’s no rust to be seen, and the car looks pretty clean overall with reasonable paintwork and decent-looking Speedline alloys. Perhaps unsurprisingly for an Alfa, the seller notes a number of issues, including chips of topcoat, a loose corner on a door card, a bad glove box latch and a recalcitrant window motor. Other “problems” highlighted in the ad: there is no headliner, the trunk lid has holes for a spare spoiler, the front turn signals are not connected and the front lip is cracked and scratched. Phew!
On the plus side, the seller claims the car was legally imported and says it will come with all its paperwork. It is also supposed to run and drive very well and offers working air conditioning. The interior is in good condition, although it has tears in the upholstery of the rear seat and the driver’s bucket. These could be easily repaired by a competent upholsterer. The gear lever and the steering wheel are both red elements and the interior is also not in favor. Based on these and the foreign license plate shown in the photos, the 155 may have been imported from Japan.
The seller posted the Alfa on Los Angeles Craigslist, and the photos in that ad seem to indicate it’s somewhere in the City of Angels, however, that’s a bit of a trick. The truth is that the car cannot be registered in California in its current state. What would be required to do so would be an expensive update bringing the engine into smog compliance and then an official BAR certificate noting that achievement. It’s very expensive, so Californians should consider sitting on their hands for this one.
For the rest of you, it’s time to start thinking about what this super rare car might be worth in the United States. The seller is asking $7,350 for his sale and says the “PRICE IS CLOSED”. Is it firm like Captain America’s butt, or firm like Trader Joe’s tofu? There is a difference, you know.
Anyway, let’s hear what you have to say. Is this Alfa 155 worth the asking $7,360 as advertised? Or, does this award turn any DTM dream into a wallet-emptying nightmare?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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