Leonardo's Alfasud 1.2 4-porte

Alfasud 1.2

The very original and well preserved Alfasud 1.2 5m 4-door series III on this page is in the property of the Italian Leonardo Olivari. Original and unmodified series III Alfasuds have become very rare - even in Italy. Especially when it is a 1.2 litre version which is certainly not the most powerful way to enjoy an Alfasud. Alfasud 1.2Leonardo bought this Alfasud when he was looking for a car which should have a maximum length of four metres. The garage he owns is too short for cars longer than four metres. Parking his Alfetta 2.0, "The last of the true Alfas I had", Leonardo says had always been a problem... Leonardo ís a member of the Italian Alfaclub "Alfissima" which focuses on the Alfa range of the Seventies, Eighties and the non-Fiat Alfas of the early Nineties. The youngest models accepted in this club are the 75 and the 33 series 907.
During one of  “Alfissimas" meetings in 2006, one of the other members was talking about an Alfasud, still in the property of its first owner which was for sale because the owner had bought a new Fiat Panda and was in need of the garage. Leonardo was interested and went quite immediately to the little town, in the mountains named “Lunigiana” situated in the Northwest of Tuscany where the Alfasud stood. The warm and quite dry climate of Tuscany had done its best: Leonardo found an Alfasud which was near mint condition placed in a dry  garage. The car was built in May 1980. It is a 1.2 68 bhp engine with one twin-choke carburettor - the engine which once powered the first Alfasud tis. It is already a 5 speed version. The car was ordered in grigio nisida metallizato which was the only optional metallic colour for the Alfasud in 1980. Except for the interior which is kept in blue and grey verlours it looks pretty much like the car photographed for the official press release photos and brochures which were printed by Alfa Romeo at the end of 1979. The only difference beeing that the car shown in the brochures has a brown interior which was actually never available together with the grigio nisida paint.

The well preserved interior.There was nearly no rust, except minor spots under the wheel arches, repainted not recently. The interior showed no traces of use. Only the door panels needed some attention because the velours on them had gone out of its glued, a quite common problem in Alfa's 1970s production. As usual, the black and grey colour of the bumpers had faded and needed to be repainted.

There was a second person, another Alfissima member who was interested in the Alfasud but at the end Leonardo bought the car for a very fair price. He had to replace a rubber seal on the front right brake caliper which was leaking. No further work was necessary to make a relieable driver out of this Alfasud! Leonardo then used it for going to Alfissima meetings or just for the pleasure of driving it. After his daily transport, an Alfa 147 failed, Leonardo started using the Alfasud as a daily driver. The speedometre showed 61.000 km when he bought the Alfasud. For a car made in the early Eighties the car runs very well, Leonardo says. Still today it replaces as daily driver an Alfa 147 (not the same which caused trouble in 2006) he owns today when it faults. In addition to the brake job, Leonardo gave the bumpers a two-tone respray in order to give them their original appearance back.

In 2006 Leonardo took his Alfasud to the first annual classic car meeting organized on Alfa Romeo's famous Balocco race- and testtrack by the Italian car classic magazine “Automobilismo d’Epoca” and to other various Alfissima meetings. During one of these meetings he met Mr. Domenico Chirico, the engineer who developped the Alfasud's Boxer engine.

Alfasud 1.2 at Balocco. Leonardo, Ing. Chirico and the Alfasud .

The Alfasud at Alfa Romeo's Balocco test-track

Ing. Chirico, Leonardo and his Alfasud in front of the Museo Storico

Another photo taken at Balocco.Trying to maintain it original, Leonardo did only very few (and “vintage”) modifications. He replaced the plastic steering wheel against the one of a series III Alfasud Ti and added the gauges for water temperature and oil pressure taken out of a series III Ti. A right outside rear mirror, a Vitaloni just as the original left side, improves visibility for the driver.
Leonardo is still seeking the wooden steering wheel wich was used in the Valentino and Quadrifolgio Oro versions. In the moment, the rear exhaust muffler is the two-tube version of an Alfasud TI 1.5QV. It shall be replaced by the original one in sooner future.

Leonardo's fine Alfasud is registered at the famous RIAR (Registro Italiano Alfa Romeo).

Visit Alfissima's very interesting website at www.arocalfissima.com and enjoy some very nice videos and a gallery full of fine Alfas.

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Last Update: February, 25th 2009      Created: February, 25th 2009

© Layout and text by Tim Rauen. Photos by Leonardo Olivari.