1991 Alfa Romeo 33 ie 1.5 from UK and Ireland


Reliable but dull, expected more


Rear passenger door handle no longer opened door.

Syncromesh very weak on 1st and 2nd gears.

Paintwork needed polishing, but it was Alfa red...

Terrible brakes.

General Comments:

We bought this Alfa from someone who had lavished much time and money on her; consequently she cost us very little to maintain.

I replaced the brake pads and shoes all round, and gave her a full service, and she never let us down. The brakes were still terrible.

Having had a 'sud before, I expected more, but the front end was a bit soggy, and she ran out of go when you expected the boxer engine to have more oomph.

Light and economical, and you could sling lots of stuff in the back with the seats down. But not exciting like an Alfa should be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st March, 2011

1991 Alfa Romeo 33 Boxer 16V 1.7 16v from Netherlands


No easy coffee break, but a real drivers' car!


The first 6 months everything was working just fine. The electrics, even the Alfa control, gearbox, engine, just everything was fine.

As this was my first car and I didn't really thrust myself on the technical side of the car, I brought it to the closest garage to take a look at it. I knew the brakes needed replacement and maybe, just maybe the exhaust. Turns out the exhaust was fine, but the steering house needed replacement. This was an expensive repair of about 300 euro. But together with the brakes, that was all.

After about 9 months the cable of the front brakes turned out to have a hole. This was not a mistake of the car, but the mechanic who changed the brakes left this cable hanging against the drive shaft by mistake!

General Comments:

First of all, this is technically definitely not the best car in the world. It needs a lot attention and not just normal maintenance, it needs to ne understood just right.

On the other hand, to me this is the most awesome piece of equipment I've ever had! This car is a great piece of machinery! In order to keep the the car performing as great as it does, this needs good care and all of it's regular maintenance.

I bought this car as my first car. Many people were trying to stop me, but I was unstoppable of course. I just couldn't resist the rather abnormal looks of this car. I wanted a black one, but found a red 1.7 16V which looked like a normal Imola from the outside. It had been taken good care of and it had done only 88000 km at the time. I often got amazed looks, given the car was red and the paint was almost like new given the car was 14 years old already! Red of course needs a lot of maintenance and I polished it about every 1,5 months.

There are many things why I love this car. The Boxer engine is probably the best of it all, especially when it gets to high revving at 7000rpm. Another thing I like is the low front end of the car, you really find yourself in a racy-like car, especially when you're behind another car it makes you love the drive. I think the dashboard is a really good design: no unnecessary stuff on the main panel, just right.

A nice detail is the digital clock above the front window. The seats give you good comfort especially during high-speed cornering, but maybe after a 2 or 3 hour drive you might wanna get out for stretch as the space for the legs is not that superb. The seats are quite low, so your legs are almost on the same level.

I had some other kind of problems with it too besides what I wrote above. I always loved the huge amount of grip it had during cornering. It just gives a nice feeling of safety, even though it has no airbags whatsoever. Once I took a roundabout for 3/4 of the turn. I was going slow as the road was bad and wet. Almost at the end of the corner, I started turning out of the corner to the road, when the back of the wanted to get there quicker than the front! That was a serious spin. It happened once again after that, this time with a friend with me.

Turns out the rear tires were very old, not worn out, but the tyre just couldn't do a proper job anymore.

I sold the car after about one year, with pain in my heart. (as a student it became impossible to have a car of any kind) The funny thing is, when I sold it it was the first time I actually saw how beautiful it was.

After a while I needed a car again, I happened to spot a beautiful 1994 black Q or QV or whatever for sale. Looked very different from any other 33 I'd seen before. The owner was busy with maintenance to make it just right again befor selling it. As he didn't had much time and I wanted to have an all ready to drive car when buying, I couldn't wait the other 2 months he needed. So I found myself driving a 1990 Nissan Micra with heating problems. You really can't call that a car after driving an Alfa 33 at all, but what the heck, it got me from A to B easily.

After about 4 months I accidentally spotted that black 33 Q or QV again. This time at a car dealer. It was all ready to drive, just waiting for it's new owner. I couldn't resist it and after a test-drive (this car drove way better than my previous 33) I didn't think twice and took it home. I now own it for about 2 weeks and so there is not much to say about anything else, but as the 33's are really getting rare and hard to find, I feel like never selling this one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2007

31st Jul 2009, 18:07

Please let me know what about feeling the black one, different than the red one you used to have. I`m about to test a 33 1.7 16v in a few days. Thanks!

9th Aug 2009, 21:54

Hi there.

I own a trophy winning 1991 33 Boxer 16v QV, if anyone needs help with any questions, I would be happy to help.