1990s / Alfa Romeo / Future classic / Italian

Is the Alfa Romeo 145/146 a future classic?

alfa-145-1Introduced at the 1994 Turin Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo 145 / 146 was a two-pronged approach to replacing the eleven-year old 33. Both cars were penned by Chris Bangle, whose name became infamously linked to BMWs in the early 2000s, and shared the same 164-inspired front end but they were drastically different from the B-pillar back.

Only offered as a three-door hatchback, the 145 was undoubtedly the wilder looking of the two. It featured a very upright rear hatch that gave it a wedge-like shape, long and narrow horizontal tail lamps and rear side windows that popped open. The car looked fairly futuristic in the middle of the 1990s but it arguably looks dated today.

By contrast, the 146 was a more fluid mix between a sedan with a very tall rear end (slightly similar to the Milano / 75) and a sporty fastback. Its design was much softer thanks to a sleek roof line, more rounded tail lamps and a curved trunk lid.

Both cars were offered with roughly the same engines, including a small 1.3-liter aimed at heavily-taxed markets, three different sixteen-valve TwinSpark mills and a 1.9-liter JTD oil-burner.

The 145 and the 146 were given the axe in 2001 and replaced by the 147, which was available as both a three-door and a five-door hatchback. The vast majority of 145s and 146s on sale locally are listed at less than a thousand euros – will these cars be preserved by Alfisti as they age, or will they go the way of the 33 and slowly disappear at the hands of unloving owners?

3 thoughts on “Is the Alfa Romeo 145/146 a future classic?

  1. At a certain point people will realize that good 145/146s are getting really rare, and prizes will go up again. Not much I expect,but still. This is already happening to the 33s. The more the majority of the cars is neglected, abused, forgotten, victimized for plastic tuning or ‘parked running’, the higher the value off well preserved examples will get. So yes, buy a good one. Now, while they’re still cheap.

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