Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Alfa Romeo 166 on Craigslist

I was sent this car by Dave over at Just a Car Geek. It's a 2003 Alfa Romeo 166 on Craigslist in Midtown Manhattan. As optimistic as I usually am, I have to admit thast this ad is dripping with scam telltales. Were the car truly for sale in the US it would be totally black market and not legally registerable, but the photos look like they're taken in Italy, and the seller's description is in British English aside from a few American keywords at the end. Find the listing here on Craigslist.

The 166 was the successor to the Alfa 164, which was the last Alfa Romeo sold in the US up through 1995. It was introduced in 1998, facelifted after the 2003 model year to a less-droopy, more edgy look, and discontinued in 2007. The replacement, to be called the 169, is tentatively scheduled for North American sales in 2011 and will share it's platform with the next-generation Chrysler 300. Another potential shared-platform Chrysler-Fiat was just shown this week at the Detroit Auto Show - the Chrysler-badged Lancia Delta. Check it out here on Autoblog.

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

UPDATE: Reader kashgar216 blew my mind with a link to Jalopnik that showed a dark colored Alfa 166 in Manhattan nearly three years ago, with PA registration and a British owner. Their source link, a post by justin on, includes a bunch of photos as well as mention of AutoDelta (the illegal Alfa Romeo importers who have been shut down). I don't know much about AutoDelta, but I assumed that any of their cars must have been confiscated. Apparently not so, at least in 2007, unless this car was actually a legal Temporary Import by it's expat owner. This Craigslist car, however, has some visual differences to car in the Jalop/CarConenction story - the color, the location of the rear badges, the wheel size, and the rear license plate bracket (note the US plate on the Jalop/CarConnection car and the empty European bracket and frame on Craigslist). While I now believe there are black market 166s here on US plates (and as you know I'm officially opposed to black market cars), I'm sticking to my guns and calling this ad a scam with Italian photos. If anyone is in Manhattan and wants to set up a test drive with the seller, we'll know for sure. Thanks kashgar216!


  1. I'm with you on it being a potential scam. The pictures could have easily been taken in an industrial area somewhere in Europe as they don't resemble what I've seen of New York City, and not only is this car considered contraband in the USA, but putting a blatantly illegal car on Craigslist with possible scam references in New York City (which has more than its fair share of crime) causes me to smell a rat.

    Personally, I'd wait for new Alfas to be sold in the USA if I were interested in this kind of car, rather than risk a scam, criminal and/or civil charges and losing this car.

  2. It's sketchy but Jalopnik spotted it in Manhattan in 2007:

  3. Doesn't sound like much of a scam, looks more like an uninformed seller who was going to sell his Italian-market car over here. From the updated listing:


  4. you can bring over ANY car legally. The trick is to disassemble it and ship over only the body with no drive train or seats. It will legally pass customs. Then you must check with your local state DMV on registering a car built from multiple pieces. Generally all that is required is proof of purchase of all the components.

    Yes, youll have to ship the drivetrain seperately to a friend or family so you can purchase the parts for proof of purchase.

    Anyways, dont take my word, look it up and you will see to bring in a "vessel" is not the same as bringing in a vehicle.

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