Let’s Talk About Alfa Romeo’s Fancy New ‘Historical Vehicle Certification Program’ In The Context Of Clunkers

Alfa Romeo Classiche Topshot

Owning a classic Alfa Romeo is a bit like adopting a mixed-breed puppy. You’re not quite sure what you’re getting into, but you love it to death regardless. Like DNA tests for dogs, the new Alfa Romeo Classiche heritage program should help demystify old Alfa ownership. Let’s break down what it entails and how it could be useful to Alfisti.

Many old sales documents like brochures and order guides are essentially lost media to Alfa outsiders; such is the nature of printed materials designed to be disposed of. However, Alfa Romeo itself has kept all sorts of records and will soon happily tell you all about your slice of Italian magnificence.

In its press release titled “Alfa Romeo Creates Historical Vehicle Certification Program to Protect and Promote the Brand’s History and Enthusiasts,” the company discusses its new Heritage Program, which offers of a Certificate of Origin, a Certificate of Authenticity, and a Restoration service.

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Alfa’s Certificate of Origin contains a vehicle’s engine serial number, paint and trim options, specifications — the lot.

Once Alfa Romeo gets your chassis number, it can then also offer you the opportunity to partake in the Certificate of Authenticity program. Factory specialists will grab all the details on your car from records at HQ, then come to your house and poke around your Alfa, verifying its authenticity and functionality like concours judges. From there, authenticity is either established or marked down, so you can know exactly what sort of shape your Alfa’s in according to its makers. I suspect this isn’t one for the faint of heart, as old cars often see all sorts of work through their lives, often in varying degrees of quality. Remember, even Ferrari 308s were considered old tat at some point.

So maybe you find out that your Alfa Romeo has all the authenticity of Taco Bell. That’s okay, you can either enjoy it as-is or splash out some cash to make it nigh-on perfect.

Yes, Alfa Romeo is rolling out a restoration program to undo however many decades of questionable repairs your car has seen. Restoration will be done by the same team that takes care of Stellantis’ historical collection, so expect high quality of workmanship. Possibly even higher quality of workmanship than your car had when new.

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Considering how classic Italian car specialists are far and few between, there’s a fairly viable business case for cognoscenti with more money than time who are looking to make their 1750 GT Veloces and Giulietta Sprints feel factory-fresh. Equally intriguing is the program’s offering of tackling maintenance. Bosch L-Jetronic can be a fickle beast, so having experts tackle tune-ups could be useful.

If you own an old Alfa Romeo and are interested in these programs, Alfa Romeo’s American website should receive a portal to the Classiche program sometime early in 2023. I can’t imagine it’ll be terribly cheap, but even if a certificate of origin costs a few hundred dollars, it would just be a really cool thing to have. The best part is that it doesn’t seem limited to certain years and models, so Concours d’Lemons competitors are welcome.

Gtv Kijiji
Photo credit: Seller

That includes vehicles such as this tatty GTV, listed for $4,200 Canadian — which is like $2. If that seems a bit cheap, there’s a reason. There’s no left indicator visible on the front end, nor does there appear to be much glass on the left side of the car. The interior is incomplete, the paint on the front end is doing some strange things, and the windscreen seal looks rougher than 80-grit. However, none of those seem especially concerning considering why this car was parked up in the first place.

Stored 2 years ago. The seller started it at that time though I personally don’t know how to cross the wires to do so.

Cross the wires? Right. Anyway, if you can hotwire this GTV and transfer legal ownership to your name, you’ll soon be able to order a certificate of origin for it. Doesn’t that sound fabulous?

Cars 164l
Photo credit: Seller

Maybe you want less of a project and more of a driver, yet still don’t have five figures to spend. No worries, let’s hop on down to Raleigh, N.C. where this beautiful 1991 164L awaits. Sure, something has happened to the passenger-side sill, but would you look at how that white paint gleams? The black leather interior is also properly nice, just the right satin sheen and minimal bolster wear. It’s hard to believe this thing has done more than 97,000 miles as it appears to have held up as well as a Toyota Corolla. It may have an automatic gearbox, but that’s not so bad when the legendary Busso V6 is under the hood. This thing even has its original stereo, which means it’s a prime opportunity to pay what presumably is a lot of money for Alfa Romeo specialists to fly in and inspect the originality of a $5,988 car.

There’s something wonderful about Alfa Romeo not restricting this program to just the fanciest models from its long and storied history (even if those cars were clearly the intent). No matter your budget, so long as you’re a bit of a masochist, the joy, pain, and prestige of Italian car ownership is open for you. Feeling brave today?

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19 Responses

  1. 164s were quite durable and dependable. They were fully galvanized so rust was never an issue unless the body was damaged in improperly repaired, and were pretty solid overall, as long as you did all the maintenance. I had an S model for several years in the 90’s and 00’s and sold it with 178k w perfect compression, oil pressure, and all original engine ancillaries. Still miss that car.

  2. Okay correct me if I’m wrong here. Buy a crappily built car. Pay hundreds to determine numbers matching or not. Pay tens of thousands to get it restored to the crappy build quality it was originally delivered in? Now if I love the vehicle and they rebuild it in a state of quality of a Toyota okay. But original quality no thanks.

    1. Buy a crappily built car

      Smile when you say that, sir….

      Classic Alfa Romeos are not Fiats, nor British oxcarts scraped together from darkness and despair and tractor parts. Problems you will see on the old pre-Fiat takeover Alfas are almost always problems of age and neglect not of inferior design or assembly.

      Now, rust….if you had said, rust, that would different.

      1. I think it’s reasonable to assume any restoration shop or service would do that. Technology has moved on after all. Porsche and Mercedes have certainly done a good job of fixing original engineering deficiencies with their factory certified restorations.

  3. The certificate sounds similar to the British Motor Heritage Trust… you pay them somewhere around $100 and give them the VIN of your British Leyland car, then they issue you a factory certificate with all the engine, body, transmission, rear end, even the key numbers. Plus original colors and any factory fitted options.

    Once BL went under BMHT got all the factory records and has a team of people who scour the records and produce certificates.

    It would be interesting if they got into factory correct restorations too… after all they still produce brand new MGB and Mini body shells on the factory tooling.

  4. “Restoration will be done by the same team that takes care of Stellantis’ historical collection, so expect high quality of workmanship. Possibly even higher quality of workmanship than your car had when new”
    Um.. thats a joke right? I mean they’re probably experts but it still sounds like a joke.
    That brand name will never sound right

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