1986 Alfa Romeo Sprint First Photos

It’s Christmas morning! Merry Christmas to all of you!

We did Christmas dinner last night so I’ve got a little time this morning to post up the first photos of the Alfa Romeo Sprint I bought yesterday.

Here is the car in our front yard, which is starting to represent an automotive palliative care ward for Italian and Swedish cars 🙂

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I picked the car up yesterday, put some fresh fuel in and was surprised at how well it drove on the short trip home. After being parked for six years, I expected it to cough and splutter a fair bit but the power was smooth and the brakes worked OK, too. I’m pretty sure it’s going to need a new clutch, though, which is a bit of a bummer.

The not-so-good bits

Let’s look at the downsides of the car first…..

A couple of rust spots. I’m going to try some basic repairs myself with a wire wheel, some rust converter, filler and colour-matched paint. This is a fun daily driver, not a show pony.

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Sadly, there is some dampness in the carpet on the passenger-side footwell so the window seal isn’t great. That’s something I’m not going to fix (cheap fun runabout, remember), but I’ll do my best to keep the car covered and out of the rain. Thankfully, I live in the second-driest capital city in Australia, so it’s not the challenge some people imagine it to be.

I’ve just ordered a new tail lamp lens……

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…. And I’ll keep an eye out for a steering wheel in good condition to replace this one. Or maybe look into getting some sort of decent leather cover for it. Any tips are welcome.

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The fabric in these Sprints looks great, but it’s notoriously prone to wear. Three of the four seats are OK but the driver’s seat is…… well……

(note: that’s a green rag sitting on the seat. I should have removed it)

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The good bits

To the rest of the car, then, which seems pretty tidy. There’s no evidence of accidents anywhere, the interior is very comfortable and the engine seems to be pulling quite well. This little Sprint should only need a few mechanical repairs, a lick of filler and paint and it’ll be ready for duty.

The front’s in good order. It even has the groovy Alfa covers on the fog lamps:

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The phone dial wheels have a small amount of pitting, but no curbing. Good condition, over all. Tyres are OK, too.

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The back end is very neat. The rear hatch could do with some new struts but everything else is fine. The luggage cover is in perfect order (which is unusual for one of these)

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One notable bonus with the interior is the dash pad. These are prone to cracking but this one’s completely intact. I think I’m going to have to employ some sun protection to keep it this way.

The instruments all seem to be working OK. It even has the original Alfa Romeo stereo and speakers, made by Pioneer. The car has air conditioning, but the belt has been removed. It most likely needs an overhaul, which I’m not going to bother with.

Rear seats are factory fresh.

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Here’s the heart of this little Italian beauty – the dual-carb 1.5 litre boxer engine. It needs a cleanup – that dirty-water look is from when the water pump gave out – but the engine is running well. It needs a water pump so I’ll get the timing belts done at the same time, along with the clutch and a full fluid service. That’ll be early in the new year.

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——

So there you have it.

The car’s not perfect but at the price I paid, it’ll do just fine. It won’t take much to pass inspection and it should be registered and back on the road in no time at all.

Viva l’Italia!

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11 Comments

  1. Looks great – there’s nothing quite like giving a tired but interesting car a new lease of life, is there? Enjoy your gift to yourself.

    Merry Christmas Swade!

  2. If the car has not been moved in six years then I’ll assume the tyres are that old at least. It is generally recommended to replace tyres when six years old regardless of the state of the treadwear as rubber will deteriorate over that time and the tyre could have unseen weaknesses.

    Fun daily driver it may be, but better safe than sorry.

  3. Why wasn’t it used for six years? I mean, it doesn’t look like a wreck…
    BTW, what’s the big, green (?) circle on dash above the stereo? Radar screen? 🙂

  4. Merry Christmas. The Alfa looks a real find and in decent nick. My boss had one when they were new – great fun to drive. We could get a one-metre-cube box in the boot! (for a ACT Sirius 1 computer with hard drive IYAI). Looks like the driver had an accident even if the car didn’t 😉 . Could get the steering wheel re-leathered surely? IIRC that green thing on the dashboard was a clock with green digits?

  5. Steering wheel-take the leather cover off altogether and see how it looks. You could always pop on a lace up leather job from Super-Barn for $20 or so. Put covers on the front seats, gaffer taping the splits to keep the shape. Maybe the clutch cable(?) can be pulled in a bit to change the uptake point a bit.
    Don’t be taking the screen out to do the rust. Just don’t. Take out the windscreen filler strip and rope up the rubber. Then you can get into it with all the bits and bobs to de-rust those ugly bits. Barn-Auto do pressure packs to your paint code now for $35. You’d be surprised how close they get to a good match.
    All good fun. Love those wheels! They would look fabulous in a fresh GM style silver…

    1. That’s when you know your getting old… The last few months I accidentally mentioned Soviet Union and radio cassette player to a certain (and extremely curious) 11 year old girl – and then had to explain them to her…

      1. Yup… The tricky part was the cassette. Copying music took as long as the music lasted, you needed to wind it to find the right music, you often had to take it out and put it in the other way around to access side B, etc. So I got one of the myriads that are still around in some of my storage boxes. The hard part with explaining old tech to her is not about *how* it works (she gets that instantly) but rather the feeling the she do not understand *why* it even existed in the first place…