1990 Alfa Romeo 33 Imola Edition

Alfa Romeo in the 90s is something the US market never quite got to see. The company ceased exporting cars to North America in 1995. The last new car they sold here was the 164, a large, expensive front-wheel drive sedan that left probably left consumers feeling indifferent more than anything.

But in the European market, Alfa offered a much broader spectrum of cars. Perhaps if they had brought something like the 33 over here, they would have sold a lot more cars.

The 33 debuted in 1983 and was basically Alfa's entry-level family car. It was based on the modified front-wheel drive platform of its predecessor, the Alfasud, and featured a range of 4-cylinder boxer engines.

The styling is classic Eurobox, which, if you love them as I do, you just 'get' it. You can see traces of the Milano/75 and even the 164 blood in it, with the downturned front lights, hard angles and thick, high rear boot.

This example has found its way to the US from Holland and currently resides in Florida. Cosmetically, the seller says it isn't perfect but it is rust-free, otherwise a concern on any Alfa Romeo.

Mechanically, they say the engine runs very well and even boasts a performance chip that boosts the 1.7 4-cylinder boxer engine output to 120 horsepower. That's not a lot, but it's a relatively small car, and like most Alfa Romeo it should complement a tight and balanced chassis for superb handling.

The seller says the odometer reads about 87,000 kilometers which is only about 55k miles, and that is has a clear Florida title, a huge plus that should make it transferrable to any other state, except perhaps California where it would not be exempt from smog.

I've never seen one here before, although with cars of the 80s now easily importable under the 25-year rule we may see more. But given this or a 164, I'd take this. It's also a great alternative to a Volkswagen, Saab or Volvo from the same era.

Available here on ebay for $17,895.

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