1970s / Alfa Romeo / Italian / Rust in peace

Rust in peace: Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT

I don’t remember precisely how I found out about the Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT pictured below. It wasn’t listed in the local classifieds so I probably heard about it through a friend or an acquaintance. What I do remember is that it was parked next to a funeral home right in the middle of the Salt Lake valley, and I left work early one day to go check it out.

The car was much rougher than I expected. It was fairly rusty, the interior had seen better days, and it was parked due to issues with the cooling system. If memory serves (bear with me, this was a decade ago) the water pump gave out and the engine overheated. The seller figured he’d have it back up and running in no time, but it ended up sitting outside for nearly ten years.

Ran when parked, granted, but I’d spent enough time with my head buried between the fenders of old, rusty machines to know there was a decent chance the engine had seized. The owner reassured me it wasn’t, and that the Alfetta just needed a new water pump and a tune-up to roast its rear tires once again, but I decided to pass on it.

The Alfetta and I crossed paths again a few months later. It was sitting among dozens of organ donors and projects cars behind a local repair shop that specialized in European cars.

“I see you bought the Alfetta from the funeral home,” I told the owner. “Yep, picked it up a couple of days ago!” “What are you gonna do with it?” “Part it out; it’s rusty and the engine is seized up.”

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