1988 Alfa Romeo 33 Reviews

1988 Alfa Romeo 33 Cloverleaf Veloce 1.7 carburetted from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.7 carburetted Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance28000 miles
Previous carTriumph Spitfire

Summary:

A driver's dream car for peanuts!

Faults:

Gearbox: second gear synchromesh very poor.

Rust: tailgate rusty because of spoiler drill holes.

Passenger electric window: sticks at times.

General Comments:

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

1988 Alfa Romeo 33 1.5 Ti from Norway

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5 Ti Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 kilometres
Most recent distance200000 kilometres
Previous carAudi Cabriolet

Summary:

Really high performace

Faults:

Nothing, only some rust, but it was easy to remove.

General Comments:

I have changed the seats with Recaro seats, so I've only got 4 spots.

I have also got Pirelli with 18" MOMO tires. I have 275/30 R18 low profile.

It's original Jamo lowered 60mm so it's really low.

I have also changed the interior with white plates behind the speedometer, and a new gear top.

I have 4x 12" Flame Q Audiobahn subwoofers 1100 RMS in the back with 4x Audiobahn amplifiers.

In the back I have 2x 6"x9" ABF39T Audiobahn full ranged speakers 225 RMS. And in the doors I have 4x 6,5" AN6000 Audiobahn full ranged speakers with 100 RMS.

And the CD player is a A3451D Audiobahn with DVD, and there are 2x AVM170Q 7" Audiobahn LCD screens behind the seats and 2x AVM270Q 7" flip down screens in the front. And of course 4x ACAP10Q 2 Farad digital capacitors.

The car is perfect on the road. It sits on the ground even if I make a hard turn when doing 150 km/h.

I have 2 20lbs tanks with NOS and computer controlled injection and bar pressure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2003

1988 Alfa Romeo 33 1.7 IE 1.7 flat four 'boxer' from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.7 flat four 'boxer' Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 kilometres
Most recent distance192000 kilometres
Previous carAlfa Romeo Alfasud Sprint

Summary:

Really good fun, practical

Faults:

Water pump replacement.

Window lift replacement.

Brake pipes front and rear replaced.

New rotors and pads.

Master cylinder replaced.

Some parts of trim started to fall off.

General Comments:

Very endearing little car - I went looking for a 318 BMW and purchased the 33 instead.

The 8 valve 1.7 injection engine is the pick of all 33 engines - it has bags of torque and is cheap to service.

At higher revs (above 5,500) the engine is flat and gaspy... I could have souped it up, but why bother - it was reliable, economical every 33 IE I drove was like that (see my 1981 Alfa Sprint review for a different perspective)...

The 33 has split fold rear seats that make it really practical.

I would purchase another Alfa - they are very well built and designed cars.

By 1988 Alfa were making good, solid cars - parts may be quite expensive, but generally the original parts have a long service life.

If you are buying a 33, get it checked thoroughly. If a 33 does not come with log books and receipts, the first dollar you should spend is to get the cam belts replaced. Forget about tinting, a stereo or anything until you get it's belts replaced. From that point on, every 60,000klm or 3 years... it's very cheap insurance.

PS a set of spark plug leads can be horrendously expensive... my tip - get a competent auto electrician to make a set up for you - I saved 75% by doing so.

Oh, PPS - fuel filters... injector cleaning etc... replace and carry out as per user manual... cheap insurance!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2003

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 8 reviews