1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde 3.0

The Milano is one of the great lost rear-wheel drive sedans, able to compete with the best from Mercedes-Benz and BMW at the time. Unfortunately, it wasn't nearly as popular and very few remain, at least here in the states. What do remain are usually rusted out basket cases. Fortunately, COTC has come across this remarkable survivor for your inspection.

Otherwise known as the '75' outside of North America, it debuted in 1985 with a bold new body by Ermanno Cressoni. The shape is a masterpiece of modernity: all hard angles, sharp creases and stark planes. The only round shapes are the wheels, logo emblems and the gas cap. I particularly like the rhombus headlights, which give it a moody, downbeat face.

The rear ends with a high, short boot - something automakers are only recently bringing back, but it's important to note the Milano/75 helped establish the trend. These look good in any color, but black is especially handsome, taking nothing away and giving it even stealthier vibes. The alloys seem to have come from the 164, and suit this just fine.

Inside is just as mod, with the center console basically a stack of rectangular boxes. Some people hate this kind of design. I absolutely love it. I like machines to look like machines, not potpourri. Lack of airbags complete the stark, bare-bones industrial look. The aftermarket steering wheel is ok, but I'd source a genuine three-spoke Milano wheel.

Underneath the hood is perhaps the best part. There were only two engine sizes available in the US: a 2.5 and 3.0-liter V6. This is the larger V6, and it's mated to a stick shift as a bonus for performance fiends.

These cars were almost perfectly balanced from front to rear, accomplished using a transaxle with the gearbox in the rear connected to the rear differential and a torsion bar suspension up front and de Dion tubes with shock absorbers in the rear. The 3.0-liter also had a limited slip differential.

This particular survivor has a claimed 103k miles on the clock and a clean title. The seller lists a host of new parts, but doesn't mention how many owners, any accidents or, perhaps most important with a vintage Alfa, RUST. I'd check for all those things and giver 'er a healthy test drive. This is a very cool car and a wonderful alternative to an E30 or W124. Parts are hard to come by and these are not known for reliability, but if you're an Alfa fan you already know all that. This thing is all about cruising with that sweet Italian engine note.

Available here on craigslist for $4,500.

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