Aye, we are gathered here today to pay respects to this fallen paisano who, although not being a countryman of ours, is far from home and won’t see the old country (or even the parking lot of a Pizza Hut) again. Yes, we just last month gazed upon a slightly older surviving member of this car’s family out in Berkeley, CA, but when an Alfa crosses one’s path, one takes note and doesn’t leave it locked in the camera for the future, especially if it’s red. Or sort of red. Anyway, here we are. Be seated.
While tagged by the yard as a 1974, I believe it would normally be a 1975 model having been built in October of 1974. Add the likelihood of a dockworker strike in Italy, a boat voyage across, immigration on the east coast and then a train ride to Colorado and it’s unlikely it arrived before the new year. So 1975 it probably should be except that it appears there were no 1975s as the new Alfetta sedan and coupe replaced the Berlina and GTV for that year, albeit well into the model year. This could be one of the last Berlinas built if that’s actually the case.
As opposed to Jerome’s Berkeley example, this one sports the newer (and, it must be said, uglier) bumpers and someone has taken the grille as a souvenir for themselves before I got here. While significantly sunbleached, there’s no rust on top. But don’t look down below the hemline, them there are some mighty crusty rocker panels.
While not as dainty as the Giulia, the Berlina has a charm all its own. This later generation one is a little blockier, perhaps a little more Volvo-like in that regard, and wonderfully upright and spacious for what’s still not an objectively large car.
A roomy trunk is perfect for that trans-continental journey, either back home or over here. Take a look at the gloss of the paint on the inside of the trunk lid, now imagine that all over the outside and how could you NOT choose this over an Olds Cutlass or whatever else people were buying in early 1975?
Moving on, the side marker is a bit of an unsightly mole but we’ll blame that on the immigration officer. For shame. In the old country there’s a mere freckle of a light there instead but perhaps the Amis don’t eat enough carrots so they need bigger lights to see them.
You’d be a proud member of the Alfa Club Of Colorado as you blasted up the road to the Mother Cabrini Shrine just outside of Denver while pretending you were running up the Brenner Pass (although Brenner’s peak altitude is lower than Denver), with the wind in your flowing 1975 hairstyle from the ajar vent window.
You’d be sawing back and forth at that wheel, furiously shifting the 5-speed manual for all it’s worth, although at 130hp the twin-cam 2-liter did alright even if you were more relaxed with the stick. Keep in mind that there’s no need to come to an almost complete stop when rounding a curve unlike with that Cutlass…
Fuel? Temp? Ah, those are relegated to the center stack, the only thing that really matters up front and center is the oil pressure gauge. Some heathens will be less than charitable here and assume that the odometer at 16,720 is the actual total, but us Alfisti will debate if there should be a 1 or a 2 ahead of that.
The ravages of time spare no one and no thing, so the interior has seen better days. Does the black sheep-skin cover on the driver’s seat denote something we aren’t aware of relative to the tan sheep-skin on the other? That offside door panel looks nicely trimmed out though, with the wood on the dash still varnished and unsplit this was likely very attractive in its day.
The U.S. market did get their 2000 Berlina in a mechanical-inezione form as opposed to the twin carbs back on the old continent. Four wheel disc brakes too, since at least the previous decade.
Yeah, our paisano isn’t looking so cocky now, but it’s been 45 years, so a pretty good run here in the strongly sunny as well as snowy climate. The Rosso up top is turning Bianco Argentio, but that’s how it goes with human red-heads as well, capisce? But let’s lift that hood and see what’s underneath…
Ah, what a lovely sight, even covered in a bit of dust. This one’s been sitting for some time as the hoses and wires crumbled to my tender caress, uh, I mean mechanically motivated ministrations to gauge the possibility of rehabilitation. Sadly far too big a job for me at this time, and I don’t do cosmetic surgery either, but let’s look even deeper, under that twin cam cover.
Hallelujah! Look at the glory under there. Two cams, a double-row chain and everything so easy to get to. Just six large bolts and four smaller ones and the cover popped right off…Time to close that hood though so no dirt gets in.
And while I couldn’t take the whole thing home, at least I now have an extra piece of wall art hanging in the garage…Molto Bella!