From its early days producing exclusive and beautiful road cars in the decades following the Great War to its acquisition by the Fiat Group in the 1980s, Alfa Romeo has always had a reputation for stunning design and high performance vehicles. It’s a marque that has an impressive range of iconic cars to choose from.
GTV – The Future Classic
With an eye-catching design by Enrico Fumia, the GTV brought Alfa Romeo’s great sports coupé tradition into the nineties. On sale for over 12 years, with a range of engines from characterful 2.0 Twin Spark to a smooth, powerful and desirable 3.2 V6, that endowed the GTV with a 158mph top speed.
Low prices today make the GTV an attractive purchase. While potentially high repair costs mean there are increasingly fewer on our roads, which also means taking the time to find a good example is all the more important. But with those show stopping looks, the historic Alfa badge and some of the 1990’s most charismatic engines, the Alfa Romeo GTV has future classic written all over it.
SZ – The One to Buy Now
SZ stands for ‘Sprint Zagato’. And this late eighties motor show star was penned by Italian styling house Zagato and produced in limited numbers between 1989 and 1991.
The SZ’s controversial looks certainly raised a few eyebrows (known affectionately as il Monstro in Italy) but critics soon changed their minds when they got behind the wheel. Clothed in cutting-edge composite panels, powered from a sweet-sounding 3.0 V6 and race-derived suspension, the SZ was a driver’s dream.
With late eighties and early nineties classics now on the rise, the SZ is a high performance rarity that currently bucks the trend. SZ prices start from around £30k but, with just over 1,000 cars produced and a coveted Zagato badge, those prices for this controversial Alfa are surely only going up.
Spider – The Superstar
The Alfa Romeo Spider’s iconic status was cemented early on as it outshone Mrs Robinson as the main seductress in ‘The Graduate’. With a production run spanning three decades – from 1966 until 1993 – its fame did not die quickly.
Although the car received a few facelifts and mechanical tweaks in that long production run, the Spider aged incredibly well over the years. While you’d have to have the pockets of Dustin Hoffman to buy an early ‘Duetto’ boat tail Spider, decent early nineties S4’s can be found for around £10k.
Giulietta – The Game Changer
2014 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the Giulietta – a car that proved a turning point for Alfa Romeo. Not only was it the first car from the Italian manufacturer to have a woman’s name, it was the point at which the company started making affordable production cars.
The Giulietta brought Alfa glamour and style to the mass market. Drivers instantly fell for the car. While Alfa Romeo took over 700 orders when it was launched at the 1954 Turin Motor Show.
Production ran until 1965 and, with Alfa offering coupe (Sprint), convertible (Spider) and Saloon (Berlina), the Giulietta has proved a hit with subsequent generations of Alfa Romeo enthusiasts. The name has been revived twice, in 1977 (116 series) and again in 2010 (Type 940).
159 – The Racing Legend
While we’ll forever be grateful to Alfa Romeo for bringing its cars to the mass market, a big part of the Alfa legend is built upon the incredible success of their, often unbeatable, racing cars.
Although it’s hard to pick just one, but the 159 Alfetta gets the Carphile vote. Not one but two Grand Prix legends, Juan Manuel Fangio and Giuseppe “Nino” Farina, won world championships in a 159 (1950 and 1951). Winning 47 of the 54 Grand Prixes it entered, the 159 Alfetta is one of the most successful racing cars the Italian marque has ever produced.