Re: What to buy - a Sud sprint or just a Sud.
Early sprint veloce circa 1979 to 1982 would be my choice, especially if you can find a Trofeo. Although both the Sprint and the Alfasud are superb! If I was buying a sud now it would have to be a series 1 Alfasud TI.
Over the years I have owned 9 Alfasuds, 7 Sprints, 1 33 and 1 33 16 Valve (not to mention GTV6, GTV and 147!!!!! :-) ) Having experienced all the derivatives of the sud I would always say stay away from anything 33 based, that is to say make sure you get one with inboard front discs.
The only reason the 33s were changed was to bring down the cost of servicing and maintenance and nothing to do with make the car better.
The Alfasud is an engineering marvel and one of its best points are its inboard disc (amazing on small hatchback this is normally Ferrari territory!) reducing its unsprung weight and contributing to the Alfasud being one of the greatest handling cars ever produced, even by today standards.
if you can try and dig out some articles from motoring magazines of the time featuring the sud and the spring if they were in a group test they always won! The 33 by contrast has never been rated as any other than a 'ok' car by the motoring press. Many journalist still compare new Alfas to the Alfasud because of its greatness. I cant stress highly enough how fantastic the original design was, to drive, to race and by engineering standards. The 33 was a huge disappointment, the 16 Valve was ok but lacked the spark... In my opinion when the Alfasud died, Alfa didn't build another truly fantastic car until the GTV of 1996, (although the 75 was good)
The fact that many journalist STILL talk about Alfa Romeo being a victim of their own success with the Alfasud speaks volumes! Nobody says that about 1976 escorts!
Get a sprint veloce you will not regret it!