Classics for sale: Why you should invest in an Alfa Romeo 156
Finding the ideal modern classic from Alfa is quite a task – unless you buy this 156. Having undergone £22k worth of surgery, it’s the best you can get…
Alfa Romeos can be a dangerous proposition. Combining a potent blend of styling and performance with lashings of Italian flare and the handling ability of a go-kart, their sleek lines and moreish exhaust note can leave grown men weeping. Find the right one and the world stops spinning – it’s just you and it, unspoken sensual thoughts passing between your libido and its decadent stance.
Except, as many owners can tell you, Alfa-infused love affairs can end in disaster, bankruptcy and divorce. In the pursuit of passion and innovation, reliability and quality control have been left to the gods. Disintegrating trim is of the finest Italian quality, whereas the designer rust can strike any panel at any given moment. The engine is more a work of art, less a functioning everyday item.
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Alfa Romeo’s 156 is the perfect case in point. This handsome, purebred machine reacts to tarmac undulations like a scalded cat scooting up the curtains, and powers along with enough clout to create new admirers in its wake. Showcasing all the attributes that make Alfa saloons so special, the 156 also demonstrates the steadfast ability to shorten your lifespan and drive you towards the realms of insanity.
It was already tarnished in the dependability stakes when new, and the classifieds have been awash with used 156s for the best part of two decades. In that time, swathes of disgruntled owners have dispatched defect-ridden examples to the scrapyard in the sky. Governments have come and gone along with the 156s respectability. About as reliable as Silvio Berlusconi and built like a Cadbury Flake, the 156 has become something of a byword for anxiety.
Yet this makes it prime investment fodder. As numbers thin and we are left to fight over the good ones, mark our words – the 156 is due a value injection before the decade is out.
Don’t believe us? Look at the current market trends for the Fiat Mirafiori – the Fiat 131’s re-badged and lampooned corrosion magnet. Once worthless, but now rarer than a decent ITV2 programme, restored examples are advertised at £24,500; and people are buying them. Clearly, nostalgia rules the bank account.
So why should it be any different for the 156? It’s fast, striking and embedded in automotive culture – and as those who longed for one as a youngster are now breaching the jurisdictions of disposable income, why wouldn’t the big-earner of the future be tempted by a visit down memory lane?
Still don’t believe us? Look at the Austin Allegro; it’s everything the Alfa isn’t – lumpy, poorly designed, achingly slow and radiating the aesthetics of dung. However, while you could acquire a concours Allegro during the early 2000s for next to nothing, these things now change hands for upwards of £7k. Rose-tinted glasses reign supreme.
In typical Alfa style, you need to care for the 156’s every whim to truly enjoy the fruits of its underpinnings. This was something most owners refused to acknowledge; it was cheaper and easier to simply replace one tired 156 with another. As a result, asking prices have slowly progressed upwards over the last few years – meaning now is the best time to purchase a good one and keep it tucked away as prime investment potential.
Could this be the best Alfa 156 for sale?
This 2001 156 Twin Spark Veloce for sale in the classifieds could just be the best on the market. Restored by renowned Alfa Romeo specialist Autolusso alongside various other specialists, more than £22,000 has been spent to ensure every nut and bolt is correct. It’s unlikely you will find another 156 on the market in this condition.
The car has since been dry stored with a professional detailer to preserve its restored/showroom condition. This is not an Alfa that’s been abused after renovation. Its condition is jaw-droppingly mint –both inside and underneath.
While it hasn’t been possible to buy a new Alfa Romeo 156 since 2005, this is as close as you’ll currently get. It’s an opportunity not to be missed; get a closer look with the AutoClassics classifieds
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