Classifieds Hero: Alfa Romeo 156 V6 Sportwagon

Looking for the coolest estate on the market? AutoClassics can offer you this rebuilt Alfa. Yes, we said rebuilt – making it one of the best in the country

It’s said that entering Alfa Romeo ownership requires a heavy dose of brave pills with a side order of Dutch courage. With that in mind, plunging into the world of second-hand Alfas can only be compared to drunkenly wandering across a minefield in clown shoes.

But is that strictly true? In reality, this urban automotive legend is largely unfair. Purchasing any classic can result in headaches or a large fire – it all depends on how the vehicle has been treated by previous owners.

If the car has been run into the ground or used to ram-raid the local bank, chances are it’s a money-pit on wheels. Should servicing or the need for oil have been casually ignored, you’ll no doubt have a disaster on your hands. Has the vehicle been used on salted roads? There is a high probability corrosion will be an issue come MoT time – every single year.

Admittedly, when it comes to Alfa Romeos the above statements are even more likely to be true on any rundown example. The Fiat-Chrysler owned marque built its models with passion and designed them with sheer driving pleasure in mind, and consequently it has suffered a reputation for reliability woes for as long as any petrolhead can remember.

However, as values drop through the floor for certain models – asking prices on the open market frequently dip below £1k – Alfa has only the previous custodians to blame for its ill repute. Nobody wants to maintain a car that’s worth so little money, meaning they are destined for the scrapyard via several disgruntled owners unable to ignore the pull of a cheap Italian sports saloon, coupé or roadster.

There’s always an exception to the rule, however, and this 156 Sportwagon is one such machine. Originally located on the island of Jersey, the 156 covered minimal mileage on what its careful owner ensured was a strict and comprehensive servicing schedule. That means – unlike most Alfas of this age – everything works.

Sportwagon may be Alfa speak for estate car, but the 156 calmly demonstrates that load-luggers can be as sexy as they are useful. Arguably, the Sportwagon is the best looking of all the 156 variants – meaning you can move house, take the dog out or cart around the kids’ rugby mates without losing the trademark slick Alfa image.

The owner’s intention was to keep the 156 ‘as new’, both aesthetically and mechanically. This naturally involved going beyond the usual regular valet and 6000-mile fluid changes. From start to finish, this Sportwagon has enjoyed refurbishment works totalling a jaw-dropping £8k.

As a bonus, the highly sought-after Busso 2.5 V6 lurks under the bonnet. As the final incarnation of this wonderful, naturally aspirated engine, it makes for the perfect everyday companion for those looking for a touch of performance flair.

So what’s been replaced?

Completed work includes:

  • Major service including plugs
  • Timing belt, water pump (with metal propeller)
  • New FSD suspension
  • New discs/pads
  • New bushes front/rear
  • New drop links/anti-roll bars
  • New clutch
  • New slave cylinder
  • New radiator
  • New upper and lower arms
  • Cradle shot blasted/painted
  • Air-conditioning re-charged
  • New wooden steering wheel and gearlever (OE steering wheel / gearlever available)
  • Novitech stainless-steel exhaust and afterstyling
  • All electrics checked, connections cleaned, bodywork cleaned and wheelarch liners removed (no rust) and treated
  • All four wheels replaced with upgraded OE Alfa multispoke rims (OE 16in Teledials available), with Michelin tyres fitted all round

Alongside this intensive list, you’ve got a freshly detailed interior with a Bluetooth stereo. Get your Matt Monroe tunes ready for a drive through the mountains...

As you’d expect, all the parts that deteriorate due to age have been thoroughly attended to. This Alfa 156 V6 Sportwagon drives and looks as though it’s just rolled out the factory gates, and as a guaranteed future classic it would make for the ideal investment.

Get a closer look with the AutoClassics classified advert.

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