Buy­ing Abroad – head south to find the sound­est ‘Suds

Fewer than 90 ex­am­ples of the Gi­u­giaro-de­signed ’Sud re­main in Bri­tain, so it’s worth scour­ing the globe to find one that’s as rust-free as pos­si­ble

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - BUYING & SELLING - Theo Ford- Sagers

Solid body­work is hard to come by with this bar­gain gem of Ital­ian de­sign, so buy­ers in the UK have a good in­cen­tive to cast their nets be­yond our soggy shores. The main headache is that while val­ues have picked up, big trans­port costs can be hard to jus­tify. But there are some wor­thy bar­gains out there.

Italy was of course the Alfasud’s sunny heartland, and that’s where most of the clas­si­fied ads orig­i­nate to­day. Op­tions are rel­a­tively plen­ti­ful, though ser­vice his­tory and the qual­ity of past weld­ing can be ques­tion­able, so choose care­fully. Bud­get roughly £3000 if you want to con­vert one to right-hand drive.

Assem­bly also took place in Malaysia where, as in Italy, they were the car of choice for the lo­cal po­lice. It’s a po­ten­tial source of right-hand drive mod­els, but de­cent sur­vivors are rare and would need to be ex­cel­lent in order to jus­tify the roughly £4500 im­port costs. You’ll be a pi­o­neer if you’re im­port­ing to the UK, so try the ac­tive Alfa Romeo Own­ers’ Club Klang Val­ley (AROCKV) Face­book group for sources and con­tacts.

A safer bet is South Africa, where right-hand drive Al­fa­suds were pro­duced. UK Alfasud spe­cial­ist John Christopher of Just­suds in Lan­cashire (01257 794823) says that a few UK buy­ers have had some suc­cess buy­ing over there.

There’s not a huge num­ber avail­able, but they’re cheap, and the dry cli­mate is po­ten­tially a big ad­van­tage with such a rot-prone car. John says buy­ers should look out for a few in­ter­est­ing lit­tle dif­fer­ences in spec com­pared to Euro­pean mod­els though. He says: ‘South African cars have dif­fer­ent vinyl trim and head­lamps, and the bumpers are made from chromed mild steel rather than stain­less steel.’

Although the cost of ship­ping seems lav­ish, bar­gain val­ues com­pared with their in­flated prices in the UK could make it worth­while in the end. Just make sure that you choose care­fully, ei­ther by in­spect­ing the ve­hi­cle your­self, or get­ting a lo­cal im­par­tial ex­pert to ad­vise you. It may be worth the ex­pense. John adds: ‘If I were look­ing to buy an Alfasud to­day, I’d def­i­nitely con­sider look­ing over­seas.’

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