I went for a wander to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon and spotted this well-preserved Alfa 75 at the side of the road. The K-plate indicates that this example was one of the last models registered in the UK.

The 75 is not just a roadside rarity, but it’s also something of a landmark production car for the brand. It was the last mainstream rear-drive Alfa Romeo and was developed while the company was still independent of Fiat.

The 75 had a transaxle layout – the gearbox is mounted on the rear axle – which gives a car tremendous inherent balance, something that was supercar-exotic back then. The 75 also had a de Dion rear axle, which gives most of the advantages of independent suspension, without the cost and complexity.

The 75’s rear brakes were mounted inboard – reducing the weight of the wheel and hub assembly – and the front suspension system was a decidedly unusual mix of torsion bars and conventional dampers.