Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Alfasud Ti 1978 - precious and a great first car to own

When Alfa-Romeo introduced the Alfasud in 1971 is was a very innovative car. It was much more spacious than its rival VW Golf or most others of the family cars of that time. With the compact boxer engine mounted in the front most of the space of the short car (3'935 mm) was given to the people and the luggage. The car was built in a new factory in the south of Italy. A new factory with partially inexperienced workers though wasn't the optimal basis for a successful venture. Earl Alfasuds suffered from severe corrosion issues. It was so bad that the German magazine Rallye Racing ordered their long run test car in white to be able to detect the rust easier. The first Alfasuds weren't that powerful, the range started with 63 to 68 HP from 1.2 liter. Later versions delivered up to 105 HP thanks to twin carburettors and up to 1.5 liter. The suspension design was what you would expect from the 70ies, but the 4 disc brakes were more than what many of the competitors had in their cars.
The Alfasud TI 1.5 of 1978 delivered 85 HP at 5'800 RPM, max. torque was 120.6 Nm at 3'500 RPM. It took the car roughly 11 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h. Weight was 880 kg and the tires were 165/70 SR 13 quite skinny from today's perspective.
The car was a great drive. Not only did it enjoy its driver with a great Alfa sound that had a very special appeal thanks to the boxer design of the engine, but it also handled very well. It was no surprise that there were motorsport series driven with the Alfasud in many different countries. The Alfasud (the blue car pictured) was my first car and I loved it. Of course it was not new when I got it and despite quite a bit of new paint the rust showed up quite soon after I took possession.
But with its sporty interior, big trunk (400 liters), spacious passenger compartment and impeccable handling it was a great car to own and not even that uneconomical with a fuel consumption of 9 to 13 liters per 100 km. And it was an Alfa-Romeo, meaning the "cuore sportivo" was part of the package. I swapped it later on against the faster and more stylish Alfasud Sprint Veloce, but I still have only good memories of the "ti".

1 comment:

tuahsgaragesale said...

I love this car so much. Raw simplicity and pure driving thrill.