Last week I asked you to endure the appearance of the polarising Alfa SZ. This week I ask you once again to don the ugly-protection goggles as we take a look at the SZ’s equally eyeball-upsetting cousin, the Alfa Romeo 75 Quadrifoglio Verde. The name is about as elegant as the car’s appearance is, so to save us both a huge amount of time I’ll just refer to it as the 75 Q.V. Also known as the Milano in the States, the 75 was named to celebrate Alfa’s 75th anniversary, making it possibly the least appetising birthday cake in the history of universe.
‘Designed’ by Alfa Romeo’s head of Centro Stile, Ermanno Cressoni, apparently using every member of his prized ruler collection, the car attempted to bring the wedge-shaped, angular designs of the era’s supercars to a saloon. I’ll let you be the judge of how successful old Ermanno was. That said, and as with the SZ, some deeply disturbing part of my brain loves the way the 75 Q.V. looks, even if it appears to have been involved in several crashes from the factory. I think there’s something undeniably cool about the boxy designs of the 80s, and that black stripe running the length of the car and ending in a boot spoiler doesn’t hurt either.
However, as with most ugly people, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and the 75 Q.V. certainly makes up for its appearance in that department. Quasimodo over here had near-perfect front-rear weight distribution thanks to a rear-mounted gearbox coupled to a limited slip differential. It had centrally-mounted rear brakes, next to the gearbox-differential assembly, and exotic de Dion tube suspension at the rear, all of which reduced unsprung weight and improved handling. The 75 also featured a then-advanced dashboard-mounted diagnostic computer, which will almost certainly be broken by now. The 75 Q.V. really is an incredible car to drive, my uncle had one and he maintains to this day that it is the best handling car he has ever driven.
The 75 Q.V. also had a beautiful exhaust note, produced by its staggeringly-good 3.0 Busso V6, also found in the SZ, albeit at a higher state of tune. In the 75 Q.V, this icon of an engine produced 190 Hp and 250 Nm of twist. Again, if you haven’t listened to the sound this thing makes go watch a Youtube video immediately. However, you may want to be alone in a locked room as the sound of this car does things to the human body.
There aren’t many of these examples of boxy Italian excellence on the classifieds, but around £12K should bag you a pretty nice one – just be on the lookout for rust. If the appearance is still putting you off consider this, at least if you’re driving one you won’t have to look at it, and there’s always that sound to sweeten the deal.