Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Another 33 owner's opinion as requested. I have owned 5 33's, 2 Sprints and 2 Suds. My first 33 was a 1.5 single carb series 1 which was a great car round town, reliable, economical and easy to drive.
I then had a twin carb 105BHP version which went better but was more temperamental, I had lots of fun with this car on the track and it never let me down (diff blew up shortly after I sold it though!)
I then had a series 2 1.7ie (you probably don't have these in the UK) which wasn't a lot more powerful than the 1.5 although it was a lot torquier, more economical, always ran well and was a pleasure to drive over 3 years.
My favourite however was a 1993 (Series 3) 33 1.7ie which was a great car, everything the series 2 had, just with power steering and better looks, unfortunately they didn't import these to Australia or I would have one again instantly!
Then I had a 33S 16V Permanent 4, a car I had always dreamed about owning, nearly sacrificing a house purchase to get one earlier. What a disappointment. By far and away the worst car of the lot. Jerky and difficult to drive smoothly in traffic, no low speed torque- very easy to stall at low speeds when turning and the extra weight of the 4WD really dulled the performance. Added to all of this it was the least reliable of all!
Now I have a series 3 Alfasud Ti which I have fitted with a 1.7ie motor which I reckon is the best combination of the lot, reliable, economical and great to drive on road and track- I had great pleasure in overtaking my old Permanent 4 with it on a track in the rain! Unfortunately the sight of water makes Sud owners nervous- keeping the dreaded rust at bay is a constant concern!
To conclude, if you drive around town a lot and don't want to spend endless weekends on maintenance- buy an 8V 1.7ie. If you want the sound (and maintenance) of a carb engine, buy a 1.7 twin carb series 2- they are the most fun of the lot. If you must have a 16V- buy a FWD one, the P4 just isn't worth the hassle.
Hope this is of assistance wink