Alexander StoklosaWordsMay 15, 2020
If there’s one thing this 1980 Alfa Romeo Alfetta 2000 might need, would you have suggested more weight? Like, more than 50 percent more weight? When new, this little Italian sedan weighed about 2,500 pounds. Sometime after its sale, this white example that just sold for $11,750 on Bring a Trailer got an additional 1,300 pounds of armor. Wait—an armored Alfetta?
That’s right, this run-of-the-mill small Italian sedan was fitted with armor plating, a conversion that took the little number from sporty to porky real quick. Perhaps its original owner, Francesco “Franco” Muto, was more concerned about blocking bullets fired his way than dodging them. Per the BaT auction listing, it would seem Muto was a member of an organized Italian social club that occasionally bent the law. There’s a term for this sort of group, but it escapes us at the moment. We ain’t snitches.
Anyway, the Alfetta spent its initial years in Centraro, Italy, totally not being used for mafia activities after having undergone period armoring by Marazzi. Among the Alfa’s extra ballast is armor body plating, bulletproof wheels and tires (although the latter sound more like run-flats), an interior-to-exterior intercom, and an onboard fire-suppression system. There also are beefed up door locks, supposedly bulletproof (circa 1980, mind you) windows, and a “telecommunication system.”
All of this gear makes for a rather unique old Alfa Romeo, if an overburdened one. The factory 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transaxle—and the driver manipulating both—has its work cut out moving roughly 4,000 pounds of security on wheels. The extra pounds added by the armoring is a good reminder of why such protected cars tend to be based on larger, sturdier, and more powerful vehicles. Again, this all makes the little Alfa Romeo so interesting—imagine 40 years from now stumbling across an armored Toyota Corolla or Honda CR-V. It’d be weird, right?
A few things for the new owner to note: As we mentioned, the period body armoring likely fares unimpressively against the sort of firepower modern populations (at least Americans) can buy with relative ease; oh, and the car hasn’t been road registered since 1981—although that perhaps isn’t exactly a red flag. Sure, with a typical used car, registration that far out of date implies a lack of use or roadworthiness—here, it likely has to do with the original owner(s) taking the Alfa off the books, so to speak. Still, the Alfa has lived a pampered life, as it has 13,000 kilometers on its odometer, equivalent to about 8,000 miles.