It is often said that you can’t possibly call yourself a petrolhead unless you have owned and experienced an Alfa Romeo. It has also been said (by me, mostly) that you need your head examined if you buy a secondhand Alfa because it will break down, fall apart and bankrupt you. Either that or the driving position will cripple you for life.
The upside is that it should be lots of fun to drive, the engine will make a characterful sound and, if you're lucky, it will be pretty to look at.
The best bit, though, about buying an Alfa is that it will be cheap. Depreciation is something that traditionally tears into every single Alfa Romeo, making them relatively affordable as soon as they have left the showroom. For the Bangernomic bargain hunter, then, these fiery Italians offer an awful lot of fun - and possibly grief - for not much money.
Here are a few hardtops I quite like.
Alfa Romeo Brera
The Brera is now generally accepted as being the Alfa you don’t need to make any allowances for. It’s reliable, great value and very, very pretty. Not as sporty to drive as some other coupés, though, despite sharp steering. Entry-level 2.2-litre four-cylinder develops 185bhp. It sounds good, too, thanks to a trick exhaust.