Updated: Jun 24, 2020
TEXT AND IMAGES BY ALESSANDRO BARTELETTI - Photographer, SpeedHolics contributor
Cars are an important part of my work as a photographer but they also represent one of my greatest passions. That's why I find myself writing the story that binds me to the Alfasud Ti Quadrifoglio Verde.
I still remember the day my father took her home. It was the summer of 1986, she was already three years old and I was only five. It was love at first sight, perhaps because in my childhood imagination, the amiable round headlights and the red-rimmed shield were the smiling expression of a new friend. When we bid goodbye to the car a few years later in a dealership square, I was sure that we would meet again some day.
In 2010, after four years of daily and at times almost exhausting research, we found another. It wasn't the same Quadrifoglio Verde as when I was a child -- that one had unfortunately been scrapped just before I could find her. But it was an almost identical twin sister, born at the end of 1982 in the same original Nisida gray metallic color, and with a very similar plate.
She wasn't looking good though. It had been resprayed red and the engine was done. Melted. Caput.
Determined to return the Alfasud Ti Quadrifoglio Verde to its former glory, my father and I have undertaken a labor of love. It's been long, painstaking and meticulous. With the exception of the bodywork and gearbox overhaul, which we've entrusted to a former Autodelta specialist, we took personal care of dismantling and revamping it down the the very last piece.
We were lucky enough to recover many original brand new spare parts and to retrieve the remaining from a few of other "donor" cars. We used sandblasting, tropicalization, powder coating and burnishing techniques to revive even the tiniest of details. We even managed to source an unused version of the original car radio.
It was an eight year job in total to reconstruct and restore this Alfasud Ti Quadrifoglio Verde. And while it was a nostalgic operation between father and son, there was more to it than that.
With a more adult awareness, I consider the Alfa Romeo Alfasud Ti Quadrifoglio Verde a truly brilliant car today-- one which should not be left to decay and die. To those who claim that the real Alfa Romeos are only those with rear-wheel drive, I answer that Alfa is excellence in solutions, regardless of what they are.
In addition to the Giugiaro line, the front-wheel drive is combined with a boxer engine arranged longitudinally with a delivery, sound and road handling worthy of a racing car. The Ti Quadrifoglio Verde, the latest and sportiest evolution of the Alfasud sedan, has a 1.5 and two double-body carburetors that bring it to 105 HP. Even Ayrton Senna chose her as a personal car when he lived in England -- a gray Ti too! On top of that, the Alfasud Ti gave birth to the Alfasud Trophy in 1976, a single-brand championship that has left its mark on the careers and hearts of many drivers.
In our view, it was an important and rewarding restoration, not just for familial nostalgia, but for the good of motoring.
Photographer and journalist, Alessandro was born in Rome in 1981. He documented the training of the Italian soldiers leaving for Iraq in 2004, the 2008 presidential elections in the USA, the earthquake in Abruzzo in 2009, the training of the Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli in 2017, just to mention some works. Being keen on anything one can drive fast on the roads or fly in the sky, over the last few years he has specialised in the auto and aviation industries. National Geographic Italia, National Geographic Traveler, Auto Italiana, Ruoteclassiche and Rivista Aeronatica are some of the magazines he collaborates with. He has also shot exclusive projects for Dallara, Ferrari and Italian Air Force.