Alfa Romeo 145 Cloverleaf | Spotted

Rare, cool, slightly odd old Alfa for £10,000? Sign us up…

By Matt Bird / Friday, 22 September 2023 / Loading comments

As seems to be a point of discussion all too often, it doesn’t feel like a great time for hot hatch fans. There are fewer new ones than ever – as well as fewer manufacturers seemingly showing an interest. And the classics show no signs of becoming any less valuable, even the ones that weren’t very good. What’s the point of a hot hatch worth so much money you can’t even drive it fast?

Help is still at hand, though, it just needs seeking out in unusual places. Now, nobody is going to suggest that the Alfa 145 Cloverleaf was a Clio 172 beater, but it’s widely accepted to be the best 145 made by some margin. The combination of not very much weight, an effervescent 2.0-litre Twin Spark under the bonnet and a sharp shifting manual gearbox made it a fun little car to drive when earlier 145s hadn’t really delivered on the promise.

It’s always looked a bit strange, though, the 146’s three-door sibling, and that point was rammed home when the svelte 147 arrived to replace both models. Then Alfa found a way to squeeze the Busso V6 in, resurrected the GTA badge and ensured two intriguing hot(ish) hatches were almost completely forgotten about. Nobody cared about the Cloverleafs once there was a 147 GTA, and especially while so many other pocket rockets remained affordable, if anybody did in the first instance. Which is a pity, and means that the small number sold went neglected.

This one must be one of the very best left in Britain, showing just 26,000 miles despite being registered as long ago as 2000 and with a single owner for the first 20 years of its life. The condition is testament to that; this era wasn’t a brilliant one for Alfa build quality, yet the little Cloverleaf’s interior presents remarkably well. There are no signs of excessive wear, the Momo leather chairs are plump, and the steering wheel only looks as odd as it would have when new. The 145 isn’t known for its durability, but here we are. If anything points to careful and considerate ownership, a Cloverleaf still looking this good must be it.

The condition is backed up with plenty of paperwork, from old MOT certificates to service stamps and receipts. The last service was in October and the cambelt was done with the water pump at the end of 2020. Obviously, a new owner can’t hope to treat a 23-year-old Alfa Romeo like a box-fresh car, but there seems little reason why similarly diligent upkeep couldn’t keep the 145 fighting fit for many years yet.

And it’s £10k. In a world where old Golf GTIs with five times the mileage can be more than twice the money – as well as way more common – the Cloverleaf’s case feels quite persuasive. It may not be an icon of the genre like some others, but as a cool classic curio that looks nice enough to show – yet isn’t valuable enough that it must be parked forever – there are many things to like here. Even if the styling may still not necessarily be one of them…


Engine: 1,970cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 155@6,200rpm
Torque (lb ft): 138@4,000rpm
MPG: 30
CO2: 210g/km
First registered: 2000
Recorded mileage: 26,245
Price new: £14,884 (1996)
Yours for: £10,495

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