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Top 10: Forgotten Italians

There have been plenty of brilliantly successful Italian cars launched over the years, models that have either sold in huge numbers or have gone on to achieve iconic status – particularly amongst British enthusiasts. And then there’ve been others that have sunk without a trace. Well, almost…

So we thought we’d celebrate some of the Italian-badged underdogs that failed to make it big. Not all of them were officially sold in the UK, but even those that were have long since been forgotten by your average Brit. The sad part is, not all of them were terrible. Let us know your thoughts! 

Paul Guinness, Contributor

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Alfa Romeo 90

Launched in 1984 and running for just three years, the Alfa 90 was a reworked version of the old Alfetta, successfully updated via new outer panels for a far more 1980s look. The changes were enough for it to receive a new name (the Alfetta had been around since 1972), but the 90 remained a niche model in the UK, where just one version – the V6-engined 90 Gold Cloverleaf – was sold. That cost a hefty £11,000-plus, making it dearer than the Mercedes-Benz 190 and BMW 323i. Perhaps inevitably, British sales of the Alfa 90 never rose above a trickle.

Read our Alfa Romeo 90 review

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Comments

francdever    on 23 May 2016

Hi, i was living in italy in those years and i cannot remember a fiat 133 or anything that looks like the car in the photo. I think it was a Seat that was never sold in Italy, if it was sold in Italy it must have been sold in very small quantities. More likely it was built and sold in Spain as Seat.

Fiat named with higher numbers like 130-131-132 used to be big cars, the higher the number, the bigger the car. Of course the 500 and 600 are not from the same period.

And of course i could be wrong, it was a while ago.

Kind regards

Giuseppe

PG1234    on 23 May 2016

Hi Giuseppe

Yes, as the article says, the 133 was a SEAT built in Spain - but it was sold in Britain (for a very short time) as the Fiat 133.

The 133 was based around the platform, engine and running gear of the old SEAT 850 (the same as the Fiat 850 but Spanish-built), albeit with all-new bodywork.

The Fiat 133 wasn't a success in the UK and remained on sale for just a few months.

Hope this helps?

Best wishes

Paul

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