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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the U.S., one often reads/hears the notion that between the last RWD Alfas (75/Milano/SZ/RZ) and the Giulia, Alfa was stuck making mediocre re-badged FWD Fiats; an inconsequential brand that was basically dead as a mass market before being revived with the 952 platform.

Though the years between the 159 and the Giulia was a period of neglect by their FCA masters, to say that Alfa didn't make some great cars during the Fiat era is simply wrong. Besides making the winningest DTM car ever, the 155 V6 Ti, Alfa made some very cool production cars. Someone mentioned in this forum recently that he'd like to import a Brera when it hits 25 years (about fifteen years from now). While Breras are achingly beautiful, my choice would be from among the the 3.2L Busso cars, the 156 GTA, available here in about twelve years (conveniently, when all my kids will be out of the house). Nice write-up:

http://www.classicandperformancecar...720/alfa-romeo-156-147-gta-the-next-big-thing

And a good article from RAC:

https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/car-reviews/alfa-romeo/156/207718/

Takeaways:

Alfa Romeo's competition Giulia Sprint GTA blazed a trail of success across the racetracks of Europe in the '60s and '70s, taking three consecutive wins in the European Touring Car Championship in 1966, 1967 and 1968 - and it deservedly occupies a proud position in the annals of international motorsport. Thirty-seven years later the company introduced two high performance road cars that combined an enviable motor racing pedigree with the sort of contemporary appeal that won the Alfa 156 the European Car of The Year title. The 156 GTA and 156 Sportwagon GTA went on sale in the UK in May 2002 and proved very popular with the sort of enthusiast who'd grown disillusioned with a parade of quick, soulless German alternatives.

Though the 156's build quality and reliability record is not quite as good as that of, say, Audi, it's not too bad. (Me: reliability data of the 156 and 159 is comparable with that of the E46 and E60, respectively, if not slightly better in the case of the 159 vs E60.)

Whichever transmission you choose, this car is one of those which just begs to be driven. Maybe it's the wonderful steering, that glorious engine wail, the prodigious grip or the well-controlled body roll. Whatever it is, the whole thing adds up to an intoxicating mix - nor must you put up with a harsh, unpleasant ride as a penance for it. Alfa took too long to come up with a sporting flagship really capable of doing the 156 justice. In the GTA it produced just the thing.

Aristippus was a follower of Socrates, who taught that the ultimate goal of all our actions is pleasure, and that we should not defer pleasures that are ready at hand for the sake of future pleasures. He was willing to break the social conventions of his day and engage in behaviour that was considered undignified or shocking for the sake of obtaining pleasurable experiences. With lusty performance, impossibly sensuous styling and an engine note to die for, the GTA is a car for the true aesthete. One suspects Aristippus would approve.​
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
while you are waiting for the 156 you could pick this up, 3.0 spider

https://boston.craigslist.org/sob/cto/d/perfect-for-the-summer-2001/6610012729.html
I saw one of these in Montreal and to my eyes they certainly look better in person than in pictures, and they don't look bad in pictures. I wonder though how one gets this titled here in the U.S.? In any event, I already have three old Alfas and the wife would like that number to be closer to zero, so this is a non-starter for me. If I had the room, the willing wife, and any confidence I could get this titled, I'd be all over it though. Looks beautiful and that singing V6 in a small convertible must be an experience!
 

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"closer to zero" - yeah been/got there, and my wife has concerns even with a new one ...
"get this titled" states it has a clean MA title, but doesn't mention epa and fed motor vehicle forms

I like them but the fwd is a non-starter for me.

I just got the import done on a bike, OK on the fed side but am a little worried about getting MA title with the Quebec docs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I use Terry's Tags and Titles here in MD to facilitate all my title work; a small fee for a huge convenience compared to dealing with the lines and bureaucracy of the MVA (aka DMV). But though less bureaucratic, I still think they'd pick up on it not being a DOT/EPA-approved vehicle. Maybe not but if they do, what becomes of an essentially illegal car? Best case scenario, park it in the garage until it turns 25? Anyway, beautiful car.
 

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Whichever transmission you choose, this car is one of those which just begs to be driven. Maybe it's the wonderful steering, that glorious engine wail, the prodigious grip or the well-controlled body roll. Whatever it is, the whole thing adds up to an intoxicating mix - nor must you put up with a harsh, unpleasant ride as a penance for it. Alfa took too long to come up with a sporting flagship really capable of doing the 156 justice. In the GTA it produced just the thing.
[/INDENT]
The Busso engine in its many forms is even a joy to view at standstill. The chrome runners and the red lettering on the block. No plastic covers. Even the base 2.5L V6 busso on the 156 was a great performer. I remember besides the 6 speed manual, you could opt for the auto - an Aisin automatic box with a 4 speed H-gate shifter! The engines would wail to over 7K rpm and the gearing ratios were tall. I had a 2.0 Twinspark manual (for fear of the selespeed!), and I miss it to this day. When the Giulia came, it was like being reunited in spirit - what's old is new again.
 

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