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 issues. 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 featured in repairable but disjointed condition, and by the seller this was represented in his claim for $89,000. In today’s market, that’s on the low end for a driver. Few of you have felt this motivationhowever, and the Pantera dropped to a 67 percent No dice loss.
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.
This 1997 Alfa Romeo 155 was the company’s average size for most of the 1990s. Built on the Fiat Type Three platform which underpinned the Lancia Dedra and the Fiat Tempra, the 155 replaced the 75, which had been sold in the United States as the Milano. The 155 was never officially sold in the state. This’c because, at at the time of its launch, Alfa had already raised the stakes and exited the market altogether. 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 era transverse-engined/FWD or, with a system co-developed with Lancia, AWD. Associated with a 2.5-liter V6, the latter arrangement carried Alfa Corse driver Nicola Larini to a record 11 wins and the series title in the 1993 DTM series, edging out a team run by AMG-Mercedes.
Unfortunately, this privately imported 155 lacks both the sweet V6 and the AWD chassis, offering a Twin Spark DOHC four and FWD instead. The seller doesn’t say if this engine is the 138-hp 1.8 or the 148-hp 2.0, but notes a recent timing belt change, regardless.. 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 does Remark a number of issues, including chips of topcoat, a loose corner on a door card, a bad glove box latch, and a stubborn window motor. Other “problems” highlighted in the ad: there is no headliner, the trunk lid has holes drilled for an aftermarket spoiler, the front turn signals are not connected and the front lip is cracked and scuffed. Phew!
On the positive side, the seller claims that the car has been legally imported and says it will come with all his papers. 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 listing seem to indicate it is somewhere around the City of Angels, however, it’s a bit of a trick. The truth is that the 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 crazy dearso 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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