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I nicked the following from the Fiat barchetta mailing list .... :-)

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 09:38:08 +0100
From: Steve Collins
Subject: [barchetta] Alfa 2 Litre barchetta!!!

I thought you might find this, nicked from an Alfa Romeo mailing list,
rather interesting...It's just a shame the rest of the Alfa list is soooo
dull - mainly Americans whining on about 20 year old cars. Still, I suppose
it's my fault for having bought a 156 rather than a 'b' (but I'm still
saving for the 2nd car...)

From: Jonathan Haines <"oblio@domain.elided"@domain.elided>
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 22:50:21 -0800
Subject: Alfa Returning to US Market in 1999

I would have posted this earlier, but I just returned from a two week
business trip that included attending the media preview of the Detroit
Auto Show.  While in the men's room, I overheard two guys speaking
Italian (this peaked my interest, being part Italian myself and be able
to speak fair but passable Italian), It turns out that these two guys
were reporters for La Stampa and were talking about Alfa's return to the
U.S. market in the spring of 1999.  At this point I spoke up and told
them I overheard what they saying and asked them if they knew any more

They told me that Alfa will be back with an Alfa badged, but reskinned
Fiat Barchetta with a twin spark 2 liter engine.  The cars are likely to
be handled by an independent distributor based in the Seattle area
(they've heard rumors that the entire enterprise is being bankrolled by
someone at Microsoft).  The spider will be on sale first, followed by a

After contacting some friends in the auto industry, I have since learned
that "someone" held a clinic in Southern California last summer showing
two cars (one seemed to describe the "Alfa Barchetta", the other car
sounded a lot like the 156).  A sales announcement will likely be made
at the NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) Convention next
month (a good place to attract dealer interest).

Well folks, it looks like Alfa is coming back to the U.S.!  Let's hope
the 156 and the GTV make it here soon after the spider.


Steve Collins


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