1988 Alfa Romeo 33 Cloverleaf Veloce 1.7 carburetted from UK and Ireland
A driver's dream car for peanuts!
Gearbox: second gear synchromesh very poor.
Rust: tailgate rusty because of spoiler drill holes.
Passenger electric window: sticks at times.
Car cost £450 with 26K miles - this is a lot of performance for the money.
Engine: starts easily, runs a little bit lumpy cold, but once warmed up it is a very sweet unit. Revs comfortably up to 6500, and oh boy, what a lovely noise. Induction roar, exhaust note, and flat four grumble are a delight to hear, particularly through the gears at higher revs - very sexy.
Gearbox: probably the worst thing about the car - vague selection, poor synchromesh, mine is very crunchy, but I gather that is a general problem with these. Gearstick vibration is annoying. Ratios are pretty good though.
Handling: predictable and repeatable; loads of early under-steer, which is terrific fun; moderate to good acceleration with that lovely engine sound; fair braking capability. It all adds up to a great handling package. The penalty for the nicely balanced and engaging handling is a dreadful turning circle and heavy steering at slow speeds... a small price to pay in my view. Would likely benefit from very slightly stiffer suspension.
Interior: seat cloth covering a bit worn for its age, likewise steering wheel. Some sun damage in places also. Appears quite dated now, but I do really like the facia air vents.
Driving position: OK for me at 6 feet tall. Pedals are very closely spaced which is nice for heel-toe, once you get used to it. Not so comfortable for longer trips as not easy to get your left foot comfortable. Also I have put my foot on the wrong pedal at times!
Looks: they grow on you. This is not the most beautiful car Alfa has ever produced... maybe the plainest looking. But it does have some nice styling details and the Veloce body kit looks alright in a period kind of way. Mine is red... not so keen on other colours.
This is my first Alfa, but I suspect it will not be my last... the car is a driver's dream and this particular example is the best value for money I have ever found in a car. Will be a sought after practical classic in 5 years.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th May, 2004