COAL: 1988 Alfa Romeo 75 2.0 Twin Spark – “The Italian”

As you can read elsewhere on this site, the 75 is and always has been one of my favorite cars. I bought my 75 as someone who had grown up with RWD red block Volvos and therefore little actual knowledge of the reliability issues for which Southern European cars are known. When I bought it for 17.000 DKK it needed some work done to be ready. I had a couple of issues fixed and for a total of 23.000 DKK I was the proud owner of a four-door Italian pure breed.

As you may know by now, I like modifications and therefore I installed a K&N cold air induction kit, a 2” sports exhaust system (not homemade this time) and a 15” subwoofer in the trunk and component speakers up front.

Not much is left to say about the car as I have written extensively about it previously, but I can tell you a little about how I drove it. I believe Meat Loaf did a song that summed it up pretty well, if you catch my drift…

Speaking of drifting, with a limited slip diff and the best four-pot I have ever driven with the exception of the same engine in a later 156, it was a hoot and I never did a three-point turn. The way to turn 75 Twin Spark around is to turn the wheel, rev it and drop the clutch. Then once the 180 is complete you leave the scene sideways with smoking tires. I assumed everyone thought that was pretty damn cool, I know I did.

I took this car street racing a couple of times. One time I raced it against another red 75 TS. I won, but most importantly the audience got a feel for what an eight-cylinder 75 sounded like, I imagine most of the tuner Fords and Opels present went up for sale immediately afterwards.

The car, of course, developed a number of issues, some of which were fixed and some of which I learned to live with. The beautiful thing about a car like this is that you learn to appreciate what you get; when everything is running smoothly, you are happy. As with human beings who mean something to you, you learn to accept their flaws because you know what they are capable of delivering. I think this is weirdly part of the magic when you own a delicate car that breaks down a lot. Turn signal stalk doesn’t return when completing the turn? Well, do you ditch your friend because he occasionally pronounces a word wrong?

I long for speedy drives on curvy roads in the 75. But being young and having this as my only car, I became increasingly fed up with the issues and lack of reliability. I swore I would never own an Italian car again, but now some 12 or 13 years down the road, I swear I will once again own an Italian car – preferably a 75 V6 or a GTV6.

For my next car, I looked north again. The 75 was sold for 2,500 DKK and scrapped by its new owner immediately after, but I would take care of my next car. Oh, yes you can count on that.

(None of the cars here are mine but found online)