den Outer's former Alfasud 5m
Sander den Outer form Dordrecht, the Netherlands was the owner of this 1976 Alfasud 5m. He said he was "a little bit proud" to own a real series I Alfasud. The Netherlands are a paradise for the cars of the seventies and eighties which are called "Youngtimer" in Germany... In Germany, such a pristine car would have surely been distroyed in the nineties during the Ford "Die tun was" (meaning "they do something") campain where owners of older cars got 1.500,00 EUR when they subscribed for a new Ford. Fortunately this 5m still exists. Till today it made 63.000 km. Sander believed to be the third owner. The car was importetd to the Netherlands in 2000 by an Alfa-dealer. On the side view below you can see that this Alfasud is still in a very good condition. The preowner only used it on special occasions. Presumably it also visited the Alfa Romeo plant in Italy. Sander had not done any repairs. He does not know wether the preowners had to do some repairs on 5m or not. Sanders said it was in a perfect condition. Lucky Sander! Some parts of the series I Alfasuds have become so rare that you can not get them for all the money in the world.
The "diabolo rosso", the Italian rust devil seems to have forgotten this Alfasud. Or do you see any rust on the pictures? The only way to distinguish the 5m from its four-speed brother L is the "5m" sticker which hides the seam-welding where the rear side and the roof is connected. 5m stands for "cinque marche" which is the Italian translation for five speeds. When the Alfasud L was presented to the public, it was the only 1200 cm³ car having a five-speed gearbox. Some competitors still had to be driven with a three-speed box. The interior and the cockpit still looks like in 1976. The steering wheel shows no use. The only non-original accessoire seems to be the radio which is surley not from 1976....but nethertheless it is better than one of those old ones!
With the 5m, the five-speed gearbox which was taken out of the ti appeared for the first time in the four-door Alfasud Berlina. In exchange of a little extra money, the L (SE in the UK) version was soon also available with five-speed gearbox. Compared to the N version, the 5m offered additional front headrests, a rev counter and a carpeted floor instead of the rubber mats of the N version. Alfasud beginners will first have to get accustumed with the position of the ignition on the left side of the steering wheel. Sander and his passengers have to sit on black Alfatex (skai) which can become quite uncomfortable in summer. On the picture on the left you can see the "Germans-hole" on the B-pillar. The Germans-hole was introduced in 1976 when the engineers in Pomigliano d'Arco finally had compassion with the larger (and seat-belted) Northeuropeans. Being designed for the average Italian (the famous 1,65 metres person with short legs and long arms which was used for the ergonomics measurements in every Alfa Romeo till the early nineties), the seatbelt often chafed on the driver's and passenger's neck. In a severe crash it would have been leathal. To change this, a second hole over the low one which was meant for little persons was introduced. Every Alfa Romeo dealer or person which knew how to work with a screwdriver now could adjust the position of the seatbelt.
The engine bay also looks very clean. The picture on the right shows another Alfasud curiosity. Instead of a usual little container for the water which isused to clean the windscreen in every "normal" car, Alfa Romeo prefered to use a little bag in the Alfasud. This bag was terrible to fill. Typically Alfa Romeo!
Last Update: May, 27th 2004 Created: March, 4th 2001
© Layout and text by Tim Rauen. Photos by Sander den Outer.