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Buyer´s Check : Sedan/Berlina
alfa romeo giulia bollino d' oro

Assume the worst. Better to buy a good car than restore a rusty one. Again, the good news is that most panels are available, perhaps less than with coupe/Spider. There are a lot of variations in trim and condition, some trim variations (Bollino d´Oro, Biscione) are more valuable when completely original.

Until recently, the Giulia sedan was the «Ugly Duckling» of the 105 range, with lower values. More recently, the inherent virtues of the sedan have come more to the fore. The sedan´s build quality tends to be better and its design has better inherent rigidity than the coupé/spider versions, whilst maintaining their sporting feel. Sedan is a more comfortable driving experience, has plenty of interior and luggage space for 4 adults. Its quirky styling is better accepted now and the berlina is recognised as one of the best post war sporting saloons.  As a result, it has proven popular in historic rally and racing, where pre 1966 «Appendix K» models are particularly popular for competition use.

There are a lot of variations in trim and condition, and some trim variations (Bollino d´Oro, Biscione) which are more valuable when completely original. Some items of trim can be hard to find. Absolute originality currently matters less than with coupé, and many cars have been mechanically upgraded. The majority of units were Italian market 1300, which can lack performance in modern traffic, so some have often been upgraded with 2 litre engines. In case of such a hotrod, it is important that the brakes and suspension have been similarly upgraded and LSD fitted. The 2000 Berlinas (and also 1750 to lesser extent) had this specification from the factory and some consider this model to be the best of all.

Underneath (Front to back)

 

  • Check any rust prevention measures/underseal integrity
  • Check front valance and cross member under radiator (supports front anti-roll bar)
  • Check front wheel arch behind wheel. Are splashguards in place? Evidence of repair?
  • Check fit of engine cross member to inner wings for corrosion/damage.
  • Check mounting points for steering box for splits
  • Check chassis frame for corrosion/repairs
  • Check sills. Outer sills for correct welding/filler, inner sills for corrosion/repairs.
  • Check jacking points for corrosion
  • Check front spring pans for corrosion
  • Check footwells for corrosion/repairs
  • Check where rear suspension trailing arms attach to body shell for corrosion/repairs
  • Check boot floor, spare wheel well, fuel tank for corrosion/repair/leakage
  • Check rear valance for corrosion/repair/drain holes

Body work (front to back)

 

  • Check front valance and wings for corrosion/repair. Nose is very easily accident damaged.
  • Check area where bonnet hinges for corrosion/repair
  • Underbonnet should be painted in body colour.
  • Check inner wings underbonnet for corrosion/repair at front and rear of engine compartment.
  • Check front scuttle panel under windscreen for corrosion.
  • Check around windscreen rubbers and A posts for corrosion.
  • Check front wings behind wheels for corrosion/repair. Minor bubbling can indicate significant corrosion.
  • Check sills. If replacement, are they welded correctly behind front and rear wings?
  • Lift carpet/mats to check inner sills for corrosion/repair/rough surfaces. Integrity of the car depends on sills.
  • Lift carpet/mats to check front and rear footwells for corrosion/repair/damp.
  • Check doors for fit /locking/panel gaps. Also check for corrosion/repair/sagging hinges
  • Check window winder and quarter lights operate smoothly
  • Check door seal rails correctly welded on doors, specially bottom part of door
  • Check A and B pillars for corrosion/repair
  • Check roof for corrosion, especially if sunroof is fitted.
  • Check rear wings for corrosion/repair or distortion around wheelarches.
  • Check inside fuel filler flap for corrosion/repair
  • Check boot lid and boot flange for corrosion, check condition of seals.
  • Check if boot lid stays in lifted position once open  (special hinge bolts are broken)
  • Check boot floor, spare wheelwell, fuel tank for corrosion/repair/damp
  • Check rear panel for corrosion/repair
  • Check rear valance for corrosion/repair

Interior

 

  • Check for damp/ musty smells.
  • All interior trim is available, some special trim items can be more difficult.
  • Check seats slide well on runners
  • Leather is probably not original
  • Dashboard often cracks on sunny climate cars
  • Rubber mats fitted in general, carpets on Berlinas and to order on sedans.
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