Future Collectibles

Will The Last US Alfa Romeos Ever Be Future Collectibles?

There may be a reason why Alfa had to leave in the first place.

Alfa Romeo is still planning its full-scale return to the US. We have had the 4C for quite some time now, and the Giulia is on its way (ever so slowly). Rewind back to 1995 for a second, though. Alfa Romeo is exiting the US with its tail between its legs after gaining a reputation for unreliability and for not being able to meet emissions regulations. It is difficult to build new cars when the company isn't making any money, after all. So were these final Alfa Romeos as bad as they seemed? Or are there some future collectibles hidden among these unreliable pieces of junk?

The original Alfa Romeo Spider is one of the prettiest cars of all time. However, by the time the Series 4 rolled around in 1990 the car had lost some of its iconic charm. Richard Hammond once drove a slightly older Series 3 Spider when the "Top Gear" trio tried to prove that old Alfas were good.

Clarkson, May, and Hammond all agreed that owning an Alfa Romeo is the mark of a true car enthusiast. Because the cars were so unreliable, Alfa owners needed to be patient and be able to love the car through all of its faults. The last Alfa Romeo Spider had just 120 horsepower, and cars like the Mazda Miata helped put it into its grave. However, you could get 30 mpg out of the 2.0-liter engine (when it actually ran), and prices in the US have reached bargain basement levels. We found a clean 1988 example for just $6,900, and you can find them much cheaper than that if you are willing to take on a project. It might be worth the small investment for a potential future classic.

The last Alfa Romeo to ever be sold in the US was the 164. Just looking at it, it isn't that hard to realize why the company was failing. This thing is ugly! We can't believe that it was styled by Pininfarina. In the US the sole engine option was a 3.0-liter V6 with 230 horsepower. With a five-speed manual, this V6 is actually pretty nice to drive and makes a every pleasant noise. If you can get over the looks, we found a 1991 example with an insanely low 37,000 miles on it. It is listed at a dealership in Colorado for just $6,899. If you want an Alfa Romeo but won't be able to afford the high price of the new Giulia, you may want to go check out this extremely low-mileage 164. Just be sure to bring your blindfold.

The Spider and the 164 may end up being collectible, but both are a big gamble. However, there is another car from Alfa Romeo that has a much greater chance of rising in value, the GTV6. The GTV was first unveiled in 1974 with a 1.8-liter inline-four, and ended life as the 2.5-liter GTV6. This car won the European Touring Car Championship four years in a row. We found a stunning black 1983 example with just 69,000 miles for $11,500. The car may not have been reliable, but even Jeremy Clarkson has said that of all the cars he has ever owned, the GTV6 was the one he regrets selling most. Now is the perfect time to pick up this future classic for a price that's reasonably affordable.

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