Archive for the ‘Alfa Romeo’ Category

It is easy to get carried away with numbers. Life seems to be measured in millions or billions these days and when Barclays Bank announced a recent drop in quarterly profits from £1.15 billion to £793 million the media led us to believe that bankers were were about to throw themselves off the top of the company’s HQ in Canary Wharf. Time to get a grip we think.

Numbers have got a little out of hand in the car world too now and we have seen deals closed at 1 million pounds plus at a rate never seen before in our time as ‘supercar’ brokers. That is fine and dandy of course but in reality the vast majority of petrolheads have now found themselves following the pursuits of car-spotters and dream-chasers on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram in search of car-pornography to satisfy their lust for automotive nirvana.

We thought, therefore it was time to challenge ourselves to find out which cars can provide the necessary ‘supercar’ fix for car-lovers who don’t happen to have access to the cash reserves of a Russian oligarch but also want a car they can drive without being ‘papped’ on the way to the supermarket.

The initial criteria for creating the ‘affordable’ short-list was as follows:

  • A purchase budget of no more than £50,000
  • Ideally at least 300 bhp power output (or power to weight ratio)
  • a zero to 60 mph time of less than around 5 seconds
  • Modern-ish without being called a ‘modern classic’
  • The car should be a crowd-puller (that was the hardest part)
  • A car that people will give way to at junctions with pleasure (actually that was the hardest part and unlikely to be the case with a few of these cars)

Of course £50k is still an awful lot of money for the vast majority of British citizens but we are assuming that a car-fanatic will be prepared to sell his grandmother in order to acquire the car of his dreams (sorry Nan!). That figure is also roughly a third of what you might expect to pay to become a junior member of the ‘supercar club’ if you were buying a brand new car.

So not in order of preference but in order of the alphabet here we go, including a link to one we have found for sale in order to prove the point:

alfa-romeo-4c-1-75-tbi-2dr-tct-158137613-1Alfa Romeo 4c – the company appears to have found its mojo again with the 4c and hopefully Alfa will start producing great cars again. The 4c has the looks, the noise and the pulling power to compete with its Ferrari cousins without the need for the driver to wear his shirt open to the navel. Drives like a dream and looks cool in any colour. For sale: http://bit.ly/21fCM7e

ariel-atom-all-models-S2188351-1

Ariel Atom 3 300 – a left-field choice but certainly one that would get you noticed parked next to an alien spaceship from Mars. For those drivers who have a masochistic tendency and enjoy being exposed to the elements of nature. This car will try to tear the skin off your face and an Aventador would do well to keep up with an Atom in any drag race. Dare to be different! For sale: http://bit.ly/1UhRZE1

aston-martin-vantage-v8-2dr-n400-limited-edition-33-240-141948863-1Aston Martin Vantage V8 N400 – actually for £50k we could have opted for a DB9 (Coupe or Volante) or a Vanquish. Anything with an ‘Aston Martin’ badge is super-cool anyway so our choice is academic. The V8 Vantage N400 is fast, has a manual gearbox, just enough toys, made in limited numbers and ticks all of the right boxes for us. For sale: http://bit.ly/1rAohPA

audi-r8-4-2-fsi-quattro-2dr-157881774-1Audi R8 – really didn’t think it would be possible but in fact there is a surprising number of R8’s available on the market for less than our target buy-price. It is nearly ten years since the R8 was first launched and yet it still looks fresh today. There probably isn’t another car in our top twenty that can emulate the R8 and look like it is worth twice the price. The family-man choice, however, would be the RS6. For sale: http://bit.ly/1VVSbKd

bmw-m6-S2324909-1 (1)BMW M6 – More of a Grand Tourer than a street-racer but none the worse for that. A stonking 560 bhp on tap means that progress will be rapid and a trip to Monaco can be done in the blink of an eye. The roomy cabin means you can take three mates on the trip with you too! If, on the other hand, you really do need four doors then an understated F10 M5 can be bought for similar money. For sale: http://bit.ly/1VWgCY7

bentley-continental-gt-gt-speed-08my-S2326448-1Bentley Continental GT Speed – Formerly the chariot of choice for Premier League footballers the Conti GT has matured very nicely and fitted with the 600 bhp W12 engine you won’t find another car in this list with a badge that can rub shoulders with the best company out there. The shape still looks current too because thankfully Bentley has kept the cosmetic updates to a mild make-over level over the years. For Sale: http://bit.ly/1XWP0jt

ferrari-360-S2315344-1Ferrari 360 Modena – Trying to buy a fairly modern Ferrari for less than £50k was always going to be tricky but we were determined to get one on our list of favourites. However we did cheat slightly because that budget will get you a left hand drive 360 and nothing else right hand drive will come close. Get one in Rosso Corsa with Crema interior and your mates will think you have just won the lottery. For sale: http://bit.ly/1YVhomc

ford-mustang-S2221654-1Ford Mustang GT500 Shelby – In the 60’s Steve McQueen made us all fall in love with his Highland Green GT 390 Fastback in the film Bullitt and the name Mustang still conjures up the stirring car-chase footage from the film. The car you can buy today will definitely be quicker with anything from 600 upwards available depending on which version you buy. The American V8 soundtrack is worth every penny! For sale: http://bit.ly/1XWSdPU

honda-nsx-honda-nsx-3-0-v6-non-pas-earliest-in-uk-149072729-1Honda NSX – Massively under-rated initially but the NSX turned out to be a giant-killer with Ferrari very much in its sights. The fabulous engine, superb handling and sensible list price meant that in spite of its mass-market origins Honda had managed to produce a proper supercar of its own. Technically because of its age now it is technically a ‘modern classic’ and shouldn’t be in this list – but it is, so there. For sale: http://bit.ly/1UiXL8u

jaguar-f-type-5-0-v8-s-quickshift-2dr-meridian--sport-exhaust-154073136-3Jaguar F-Type V8 Supercharged – We could have equally gone for the Supercharged V6 but the V8 F-Type just tips the balance on the mental scale. Over-the-top explosive exhaust note will have pedestrians running for cover and a rear-wheel-drive set-up that makes for some of the easiest rubber-burning wheel-spins on the planet. Smile factor is huge and with the roof down the search for tunnels will be high on the agenda. For sale: http://bit.ly/1qXh4s1

lamborghini-gallardo-5-0-v10-coupe-2d-494-bhp-148500251-1Lamborghini Gallardo – Disappointingly we couldn’t find anything to fit below our budget in the classifieds but there are some that come close. Lambo’s are holding their values well these days and a Gallardo can still pull a few glances when it is out and about. We think that if you were determined enough to haggle with a dealer and not too fussy about the mileage of the car then there is a Gallardo out there for you. For sale: http://bit.ly/21gPmDg

lotus-exige-s3-s-race-and-premium-S2319035-1Lotus Exige S 3.5 V6 – Lotus has come a long way since the Elise of the late 90’s and in spite of the turbulent history of the company over recent years there have been some interesting developments in product development and big improvements in build quality. Lotus has produced some of the best chassis designs ever since the beginning of time and the Exige will embarrass almost anything on the track. For sale: http://bit.ly/1qXkj2L

mercedes-benz-c-class-saloon-mercedes-amg-c63-156232639-1Mercedes Benz C63 AMG – Like many of the other cars in this list the 6.3 litre V8 C63 AMG makes a delicious sound. Start one up from cold and and the ferocious bark sounds like an angry demon stirring from its sleep. At first sight the C63 looks a little like a C250 with an AMG kit but that is half the attraction really because you can poodle around and blend in with the traffic knowing you have 500 bhp on hand. For sale: http://bit.ly/1XX9NDr

morgan-aero-8-aero-8-S2330125-1Morgan Aero 8 – It doesn’t get any more old-school than Morgan but the company knows how to produce a fast car when it wants to and they are a familiar sight on many race tracks around the world. The BMW V8-powered Aero 8 packs a punch in standard form for the road and is another soft-top in our selection that produces a glorious sound. Its quirky shape means you will get lots of friendly waves too. For sale: http://bit.ly/1rlgdBU

nissan-gt-r-black-edition-159531207-1Nissan GT-R – Another Jap that has spoilt the party for many of the premium brands amongst the high-performance pack. The GT-R has been developed to within an inch of its life and the result is that it shows you don’t need to spend a six-figure sum to buy a car to scare the life out of you whilst losing your driving licence. The GT-R takes on all-comers – just check out the YouTube drag-race videos! For sale: http://bit.ly/1TyR7IY

noble-m400-S2322831-1Noble M400 – If speed is high on your list of priorities then a rare, low-volume production Noble could be right up your street. Zero to 60 mph will be in the 3 second category and if you are brave enough you could push the car to 200 mph. The car is built by the same people who build the Superperformance GT40 and they know a thing or two about fast race cars. Your individuality will be applauded with a Noble. For sale: http://bit.ly/24n03WY

porsche-cayman-24v-s-pdk-148377119-1Porsche Cayman 3.4S – We couldn’t have an Exige in our list without including it’s nemesis the Porsche Cayman. Everything the Lotus can do , the Cayman will try to better it. Not always successfully but in a way that appeals to the more conservative buyer who has build-quality and longevity as their main priorities. The Cayman also threatens its big brother, the 911, in terms of value for money these days. For sale: http://bit.ly/1UjM4hO

porsche-911-turbo-997-turbo-tiptronic-s-S2240456-1Porsche 911 (997) Turbo – Porsche has produced so many variants of the 911 that the choice at £50k is mind-blowing. However, putting aside the GT3 and RS offerings, a 911 Turbo is a wet-dream for any car enthusiast. The performance figures are academic because most people will never have the chance to test the car to its limits and too many will not want to even use it to protect its residual value which is a shame. For sale: http://bit.ly/1WtnP0L

tesla-roadster-S2265010-1Tesla Roadster – Yes there is an electric car in our list and because we wanted a Tesla our choice was limited to the Roadster. You simply can’t buy a Model S (our preferred choice) for anywhere near £50k, at the moment at least. The Roadster is, however, related to the Lotus Elise, has set several world records for electric-powered cars and can get to 60 mph in less than four seconds. That’s why we chose it. For sale: http://bit.ly/1NXEEKx

ultima-all-models-S2050340-1Ultima GTR – it is a coincidence that the ultimate car on our list should be an Ultima. However, it might also be literally the ultimate of our car choices for £50k because it is the fastest car here. Designed originally by Lee Noble (yes, the very same of Noble Cars) the Ultima GTR can blow most ‘hypercars’ into the weeds for acceleration, including the Veyron. Need we say more? For sale: http://bit.ly/1UjTiSU

So there you have it, these are our, albeit subjective, choices for an alternative supercar for around £50k or less. You might disagree and if so, feel free to tell us which cars either shouldn’t be in our top twenty or point out some we may well have over-looked.

The links to the cars for sale have all been taken from the Pistonheads classified listings and you may indeed find better buys from other sources. Some of the cars we have found may also have been sold by the time you have read this article.

Let us know if you need any help looking for your ideal supercar for £50k by giving The Car Spy a call on 01892 506970 – we will be happy to assist you.

And so the conversation started with: “I need some advice. I have a yearning for a soft-top that is not limp-wristed, must be fast and capable of putting a smile on my face. I have a budget of £10k and I want to buy the car and fuel for the summer with the money”. The challenge was on.

Our friend is a car enthusiast, drives an expensive Range Rover but luckily he is not too hung-up on badge snobbery. A mid-life crisis was unfolding however and the interest in a drop-top was likely to be short-lived especially when the balmy days of summer had turned into the dark, cold days of November. Residuals had better be half-decent then for whatever was chosen for the summer ride.

A quick search in the usual on-line showrooms revealed a surprising number of candidates that could potentially do the job for the man. So the plan was to produce a Top Ten list of candidates but it almost became a struggle to keep the list down to twenty such is the variety of choice out there.

However, performance and value for money became the cutting tools for slimming down the list and a magic Top Ten was finally accomplished based on the criteria we had set for the car.

Each car in our list will give you a pleasant shove in the back with at least 200bhp on tap (ahem, with the exception of one) and you will get to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds in most of them. Some will make a glorious sound in the process. Out of the £10k budget we have allowed for a grand’s worth of fuel and insurance to get through the summer.

If you are bothered about the name on the boot-lid then some of you might dismiss half of our suggestions with ease. For those of you with an open mind and a financial awareness that precludes any prejudices against driving a car more than two years old you will hopefully concur with our findings.

For added measure the cars we have listed are cars you can buy today (as long as they haven’t been sold before you read this article) so we have tried to make the choice as real as possible.

And so, in no particular order:

Honda S2000

Honda S2000 – we sold quite a few of these back in the day and even today we can marvel at the sheer flexibility of Honda’s VTEC engine and its ability to rev up to 8000 rpm with ease. Depending on the year model of choice up to 247 hp will be available from the 2.0 litre and the later cars have nicer alloys. Graphite grey or black with a red or black/red interior are popular colours. This particular example would fit the bill very nicely at £9000.

audi-tt-3-2-v6-quattro-2dr-dsg-118574228-7

Audi TT 3.2 V6 Quattro – The shape of the Mk 1 TT has stood the test of time well and Audi has struggled to improve on a design that was somehow just right at the very start of production. The silky-smooth V6 version offers 247 hp and married with the superb DSG gearbox this TT will eat up the miles with ease. Black and silver are preferred colours for the TT and this one looks spot on for £8246.

nissan-350z-v6-roadster-124545272-3Nissan 350Z V6 Roadster – Shamelessly copying from the TT’s curvy shape but still managing to retain its own identity the 350Z dishes up a wholesome 287 hp. The 3.5 litre V6 powerplant also produces a nice snorty note which means driving with the roof down at every opportunity. Some colours can make the car look a little dumpy but this lovely burnt orange example for £8295 looks a peach.

bmw-z4-roadster-z4-si-sport-roadster-e4-S1870789-1BMW Z4 3.0 – Sadly the M Roadster was out of reach of our budget but the lusty 262 hp straight-six 3 litre is a capable substitute. Manuals are okay-ish but the splendid 6-speed auto box with flappy paddles makes for entertaining driving. Black or dark grey are good choices for colours and this low-mileage Z4 for £8395 ticks all the boxes for us.

 

mercedes-slk32-amg-slk32-amg-125280955-1Mercedes Benz SLK32 AMG – If there is one winner in the horsepower stakes amongst our choices then the SLK32 AMG romps home with first prize. The supercharged six-cylinder produces no less than 349 hp and (on paper at least) is likely to be the quickest car on our short-list. The engine noise is beguiling and this version of the SLK distances itself comfortably from the limp-wristed image of the lesser-powered SLK’s. Choose colours wisely and avoid the strange reds, blues and yellows – stick with safe silver or black like this one being advertised for £8950.

Chim4TVR Chimaera 4.0 – Such is the popularity of older TVR’s these days that is was surprising that we could find even one suitable car to include in our list. A 5.o Chimaera was our first target but finding anything less than a basket-case for under £10k was impossible. The 4.0 V8 however will rustle up 240 hp and will undoubtedly make the best noise of any of the cars on our list. The V8 soundtrack is intoxicating and you will be looking for excuses to find a tunnel on every trip. Any colour will do and our choice is this lovely-looking blue example on offer at £8999.

boxster32Porsche Boxster 3.2 – On the other hand there is a large choice (by comparison) of Boxsters out there so the key is to go for the 258 hp 3.2 and not the 2.7. Also look for the latest version you can find for the money. These cars are (almost) bullet-proof and wear the miles well whilst offering brilliant handling and eager performance that will put a large grin on your visage. Most will be found in tasteful, blues, blacks or silver and we found this splendid Seal Grey low-mileage 3.2 on offer at £8995

alfa-romeo-spider-jts-v6-S1850277-1Alfa Romeo Spider V6 – Before you start mumbling about the unreliability etc of Italian cars take a deep breath and consider the virtues of the Alfa Spider. It is arguably the prettiest car on our list. An Alfa that has been cared for has been owned by somebody who loves their cars. For that reason they would have made sure that maintenance and any failed bits would have been taken care of under their stewardship. Our budget allows for the purchase of a 260 hp V6 version which is probably the best V6 engine ever made. Oh yes it is. Let your heart rule your head and be different with this classic Alfa Red example for a lowly £8250.

bmw-e46-m3-00-06-m3-smg-S1862065-10BMW M3 – The second BMW to appear on our list (not a surprise really) and it’s the E46 M3 with its energetic 330 hp straight six powerplant. The car is a joy to drive and once again this is a car that we have a great deal of experience with (including the earlier E36 M3). Service history is everything with these cars and avoid anything with missing BMW history in the early part of its life. The manual 6-speed gearbox is our preferred choice but the SMG sequential transmission is fun to live with. Most colours look good on the car and this Mystic Blue M3 looks very appealing at £9000.

mediaI3W5IUWOMG MGB – Come on, if you are going to live the dream of classic open-top motoring then the MBG is still top of the list. Original early car values have gone ballistic now and you would need £20k to buy a decent example. For our budget we are looking at the later rubber-bumper cars which have been converted back to chrome and all of the US-spec rubbish bits removed. Performance will be underwhelming from the 95 hp 1.8 litre engine but that doesn’t matter because it will keep up with modern traffic all day long and make a nice noise whilst doing so. How about this Tartan Red model with chrome wire wheels for £8200? Could be worth a bit more than that by the time you sell it too!

So there you have it, a chance to let the wind blow through your hair this summer without breaking the bank. Most of the cars listed would depreciate by very little if anything at all and one or two might actually be worth a little bit more by the end of the year.

Which one did our friend go for? He hasn’t made up his mind yet since we gave him too much choice!

Feel free to let us know which soft-top you would choose or if you think there are any other cars out there that deserve to be on our list and why.

 

12 months is not a long time. Only yesterday, it seems, we were waltzing through the airport terminal in Geneva and turning left into the Palexpo to ogle the latest automotive eye-candy. And now it is 2015.

Last year was okay and kind of worth the trip but this year we were gagging to get there. Over 70  new models on display plus the inevitable bunch of interesting concept cars that never see the light of day. So on with the show.

With so much to see we’ll just focus on the cars that were of particular interest to us which means you can exclude most of the mass market offerings.

Cutting to the chase our show hero was the Koenigsegg Regera – ‘robotic’ body panels, 1500 hp, 0-60 mph in minus 2 seconds, brain-mashing top speed, everything about the car is mental. The car is from Sweden and is the antithesis of ABBA. It is Black Sabbath on acid. Everybody now go back to the drawing board.

Koenigsegg Regera

Next up is the Ford GT. Only 250 cars will be made and the launch date is some time in 2016. For a car that looks this good and performance will be up there with the best it is hard to believe that it will cost around £200k. Speculators and investors form an orderly queue now.

Ford GT

Aston Martin. They really are stuck between a rock and a hard place. The brand is bullet-proof, up there with Apple in terms of global recognition and Bond’s perennial favourite weapon of choice. The cars are drop-dead gorgeous and yet they struggle to persuade die-hard Porsche buyers to consider AM as a viable alternative. The GT3 (Aston Martin) is all sold-out – yep 100 cars gone in the blink of an eye without a single car being built so there are some real fans out there. The Vulcan, to be honest, does not look like an Aston Martin. It looks like it came from the planet Vulcan and driven by Mr Spock (RIP). Designed for those who have enough money to have a spare car for track days (at Paul Ricard not Donington) the detail of the car is truly impressive. The rear light assemblies are a work of art and deserve a place in the Louvre. Bravo Aston Martin for surprising all of us!

Aston Martin Vulcan

Yes the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is a concept but the car is real and very likely to be gunning for 911 customers in the very near future. The car on display was rotating gracefully while the crowds gawped and wiped the dribble from their mouths. The EXP is a truly lovely design and there is a little bit of Aston Martin in the profile. The interior is lovely too and you know they will sell zillions of them if they actually start making the car which we think they (VW) will. It is a no-brainer so all they have to do is come up with a sensible name for the car.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

If we all accept that the internal combustion engine will one day no longer exist but at the same time pray that we will not be driven around by a car made by Google there is a ray of hope in the form of fuel cell technology from nanoFlowcell AG. The Quantino F is a concept right now and maybe a little too avant-garde for mass market tastes but it bodes well for the future of green motoring. With a range of 1000 kms and a top speed of 200 kph we can all put away the razor blades – cars can survive without petrol.

Quantino F

Other highlights for us were the Alfa Romeo 4c Spider (prettier than the Coupe), Ferrari 488 (even more desirable than a 458), McLaren 675LT (they seem to going from strength to strength), Lamborghini Aventador SV (how can you make an Aventador even more terrifying?), Sergio by Pininfarina (not a game-changer but such a perfect design and future classic), Audi R8 (looks the same but then again doesn’t – if that makes any sense), Lotus (shouldn’t they be dead by now? The Evora and Exige still look damn good), Porsche 911 GT3 RS in orange (they couldn’t have picked a better colour), Porsche Cayman GT4 in yellow (they couldn’t have picked a better colour) and Renault Sport RS 01 (the bastard child of the Caterham/Renault love affair? At the right price this car will sell well).

There are even more exhibits that are probably worth a mention and we did manage to take a few shots of nice cars during our visit to the show so please take a look at our slideshow when you have time.

For now then we have stocked up on Toblerone, Swiss cheese and cuckoo clocks albeit with less Swiss Francs left than last year but roll on 2016 – not sure if it will be as interesting as this year though!

The New Alfa Romeo 4C

Posted: February 12, 2013 by The Car Spy in Alfa Romeo, New Cars, New Models
Tags: , , , ,

Alfa Romeo is getting ready to launch its new mid-engined sports car the 4C at the forthcoming Geneva Show and information from the company’s Press Release today highlights the following features of the new car:-

  • The engine will be a new all-aluminium petrol 4 cylinder 1750 Turbo – power as yet undisclosed
  • Two seats, rear-wheel-drive
  • Chassis constructed in carbon fibre to allow a power to weight ration of less than 4 kgs per horsepower
  • Compact body design less than 4 metres in length
  • Alfa TCT automatic twin dry clutch transmission
  • New Alfa DNA selector with four settings – Dynamic, Natural, All Weather and Race

Pricing is still to be confirmed by the company as are the anticipated delivery lead times although we would expect the car to be in the showrooms well before the end of 2013.

Rumours are that the company will only be producing 400 of the new 4C which would be a shame because just like the 8C before it the new car may well be consigned to the history books as a on-off limited edition from Alfa Romeo. Word is that the car will cost no more than £50,000 which will pitch it right at the Cayman, Boxster, Elise and Evora segment of the market.

Typically the design cues are all Alfa Romeo and there will be no mistaking this car’s place of birth although we can’t help noticing a hint of the Lotus Evora from the A-pillar of the similarly raked windscreen to the air-intakes to the rear of the doors. Maybe it has something to do with the mid-engined layout. Anyway it sure is a pretty car and we cant wait to get our hands on one.

To be kept informed of the new Alfa Romeo 4C give The Car Spy a call on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

The Alfa Romeo SZ is an enigma. The marmite of all cars. A love or hate motor car. We happen to love it.

This car was produced in 1989 which means it was actually designed from an idea in a designer’s head around five years earlier. That means that as a concept it is at least 27 years old which is astonishing for a car that if it were launched at Geneva today would blow everything else into the weeds.

The Alfa Romeo SZ (Sprint Zagato) or ES-30 (Experimental Sportscar 3.0 litre) is a limited production sports car that was built between 1989 and 1991 in partnership with Zagato, Alfa Romeo and Fiat. A total of 1036 SV’s were produced which is a shame because Alfa quite likely could have sold an awful lot more. The fact that it didn’t makes it that much more desirable.

It was unveiled as the ES-30 in 1989 Geneva Motor Show as a prototype by Zagato and although the car was mainly built by them they had no involvement in the mechanical architecture.

Robert Opron of the Fiat design studio was responsible for the initial sketches while Antonio Castellana was largely responsible for the final styling details and interior. Only the ‘Z’ logo of Zagato was kept. The car had unusual headlights positioned in a trio on each side – a styling used more subtly on later Alfa Romeos which still look very cool today

Mechanically and engine-wise the car was based on the Alfa Romeo 75 and SV production was carried out by Zagato near the Alfa factory in Arese. The thermoplastic injection moulded composite body panels were produced by Carplast in Italy and Stratime Cappelo Systems in France.

The SZ was originally equipped with Pirelli P Zero tyres (front 205/55 ZR 16, rear 225/50 ZR 16) and is able to sustain over 1.1 G in cornering. Some drivers have measured a cornering force of 1.4 G which is pretty good even by the standards of 2012 and most reviewers rated the car as a top performer for its handling abilities.

The powerplant in the SZ is the venerable 3.0 light alloy V6 12V which was tuned by Alfa’s motor sport department Alfa Corse. The engine’s compression ratio was enlarged to 10:1, the double overhead camshafts received a sharper cam profile and the Bosch Motronic engine management system was reprogrammed. This meant the maximum power output was raised by at least 20 hp to 210 hp @ 6200 rpm and maximum torque was stated as 245 Nm @ 4500 rpm.

The rear wheel drive SZ had a top speed of at least 245 kph and a zero to 100 kph time of around 7 seconds.  Not exactly blistering by today’s standards but quick enough in the real world. The looks and the noise more than compensate.

So if you eventually fall in love with the SZ the next problem you face is trying to find one because there aren’t that many around to choose from. Don’t get fussy about colours either because they came only in red with a grey roof and a tan interior which is probably the best colour combination you could choose for the SZ anyhow.

However, we do know of a privately owned example with only 7000 miles on the clock that is looking for a new home. This is car number 410 built in 1991 that is original and has covered 7000 miles with two owners. Offers in excess of £32000 are invited for this stunning car. See the images in the slide show below.

For further details please call The Car Spy on 01732 760699 or email sales@thecarspy.net

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After its international public debut at the Geneva Motor Show last April, the Alfa 4C Concept will be exhibited at the 64th International Motor Show in Frankfurt next month in a new and exclusive ‘fluid metal’ exterior colour that dynamically enhances the smooth and sinuous lines of the car.

In recent months the project has been refined and enriched with technical contents to enhance the dynamic excellence of the Alfa 4C Concept. Vehicle weight is confirmed at around 850kg, the engine delivering more than 200 bhp and a power to weight ratio less than 4kg per HP – traits worthy of a true ‘supercar’.

The Alfa 4C Concept showcases the formula of the two-seater, rear-wheel drive coupé with its central engine, a length of approximately 4 metres and a wheelbase of less than 2.4 metres.  These dimensions on the one hand emphasise the Alfa 4C Concept’s compact attributes, whilst on the other accentuate its agility.

The Alfa 4C Concept uses technology and materials derived from the 8C Competizione – carbon, aluminium, rear-wheel drive – and technology from Alfa Romeo models currently on sale: the 1750 turbo petrol engine with direct injection, the ALFA TCT twin dry clutch transmission; and all the best of Alfa’s DNA technology, obviously including the Alfa DNA dynamic control selector.

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Finished in white with black upholstery, carpets and hood this very rare and particularly pretty 1956 Giulietta Spider is fitted with a 1290cc Veloce engine and five speed gearbox and twin Weber carburettors.

This delightful car was delivered new in November 1956 to Hoffmans in New York and returned to Europe in 1988. It received a full restoration between 1989 and 1995 in which, according to a listing in the file, every component was restored or replaced and which cost around £20,000.

This Alfa has not been used much in recent years and so is having a gentle re-commission in the workshop. It remains in excellent condition with some minor marks on the paintwork, some chrome deterioration on the grille and scuffed seat backs are the main areas requiring attention.

A special sports car which runs and drives beautifully. Can you imagine the reaction to this car when it was launched in the 1950’s? With such an advanced design it must have looked like a spaceship compared to similar cars of the time! Offered on sale at £27995.

P.S. Have you seen the BBC2 series ‘Two Greedy Italians’? Well the stars of the show are driving a simlar car on a gastronomic tour of Italy and the Alfa looks stunning in its own back yard! Check it out.

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For further information please call us on 01474 854490 or email sales@thecarspy.net