Sexy Alfa Romeo Classics at the 2015 LA Auto Show

1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

Alfa Romeo at the 2015 LA Auto Show: more than just Giulia

While Alfa Romeo blew the socks off most everybody during media days at this year’s LA Auto Show with the Giulia sedan, that’s not all they had in store for the braying crowds of journos that beat a path to the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Centre.

Those keen enough to make their way to the LACC early on Tuesday morning had the chance to catch what could very well have been the most interesting exhibition of the whole show, which included 30 examples of some of the most iconic Alfas dating back to the 1950s, almost all of them privately owned. Trouble was, it was wrapped up and gone faster than you could say “Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde”, if you can say that at all. Call it masochistic, but we were there at the crack of dawn (at the outset of two days of throwing elbows and walking the equivalent of about 500 city blocks) and got a look at the wares on display.

Here’s a gallery of some of the highlights.

1953 1900 “Matta”

1953 Alfa Romeo 1900 Matta

It’s a Willys painted red, right? Actually, no. As much as it look like one (aside from the Alfa-fied grille), the Matta 1900 actually has nothing at all to do with that symbol of American military might, the Willy JP. It’s powered by an Alfa I4, and it’s actually more advanced mechanically than the Jeep of the era.

1967 1600 Duetto

1967 Alfa Romeo 1600 Duetto

Well, all you really have to say is “The Graduate” to get the significance of this car. For it was in that movie that one was piloted by a young Dustin Hoffman, although it was technically a year older than the one you see here, and painted red, of course. Still, you gotta love the 1600 Duetto’s simple yet elegant lines, from the headlight roundels to the dog-dish wheel covers. Very few other cars say “Italian countryside” better than this icon.

1964 2600 Spider

1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider

Well come on. Just look at it. The stacked headlights, wire ‘knock-off’ (not as in fakes, but as in knock off with a hammer) wheels, and chromed bumpers and grille outside, the glossy three-spoke steering wheel, supple leather and designer watch gauges inside; spectacular. I know, when you think of grand touring convertibles of the era, it often begins and ends with the Mercedes SL. Tell me you wouldn’t consider this piece of Italian art over one of those…

1968 33 Stradale

1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

10 million dollars. One of only eighteen produced. That is all.

10 million dollars. One of only eighteen produced. That is all.
Seriously, though… the race-car derived 33 Stradale (it uses a Tipo 33 racer as its base) is as gorgeous to look at as I’m sure it is to listen to. Just imagine the exhaust note from the 2.0L V8 echoing off the canyon walls along the Italian coastline, or shaking the windows of the stone houses along the Targa Florio race course. If looking at these photos isn’t enough to sate your appetite, you can try your hand at virtually driving one in the Forza Motorsport 6 video game.

1968 GTA 1300 Junior

1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior

Junior or no, don’t tell me even the most grown-up folks wouldn’t love to hop into this little number – made famous by years of success in touring car racing – and try their hand either on the track, or even on some of the twistier roads around town. You’ve probably seen this particular example in some of the videos on the uber-enthusiast Petrolicious YouTube channel.

If that one’s just a little too shiny for you, well, Alfa brought a long a “game-worn” 1967 GTA, too.

1956 Giulietta Veloce Spider

1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider

The total lack of bumpers, steel wheels (not to mention the stickers) designate this one as a race car. Inside, though, the dinner plate-sized wheel (with horn) may suggest otherwise; the competition-spec seat belts reveal its true mission if you weren’t already sure.

2008 8C Competitzione

2008 Alfa Romeo 8C Competitzione

On the surface, the 8C may not seem quite as eclectic as the rest of the examples on this list, but hang on a second. The 8C, for all its modern curves and advanced carbon-fibre body shell is one of the rarer gran tourers/super cars you’ll see on the road. For every 10 Ferrari 458s you’ll see, you’d be lucky to see one of these curvaceous beauties. Under the hood, it uses a V8 built and designed in part by Ferrari, so it can most definitely walk the walk, too

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Dan Heyman

Dan Heyman

Dan Heyman is a car guy through-and-through, ever since his first word was “Toyota”. Dan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2010, having driven and written about everything from Abarths to Sierras and tackled race tracks from Texas to Toronto during that time.