Alfa Romeo Arna and Fiat Duna on list of historical cars
The Italian national auto club ACI (l’Automobile Club d’Italia) has recently started putting together a list of car models from the past which have more or less turned into cultural heritage. The ACI has been doing this for years when it comes to rare and often sporty cars, but they’ve now also nominated a few ‘youngtimers’ (modern classics). These are cars which were sold to the masses around twenty years ago, but have now disappeared and become a rarity due to scrappage programs. A few examples are the Alfa Romeo 155, 33, 164 and the more antique 6 (‘Sei’), Alfetta, Sud, 90 and 75. Fiat and Lancia have models such as the Croma, Tipo, Tempra, Uno, Ritmo, 124 and K, Thema, Prisma, Delta, Beta and Gamma filling the list.
However, nobody had expected that the ever-so-serious ACI would put models as the Fiat Duna and Alfa Romeo Arna on the list. Two cars which were already a symbol when they came out; a national symbol of ugliness. The Arna and the Duna were subject to a lot of jokes and ridicule (picture below) and were nearly only bought by people who didn’t really mind being laughed at. So in fact the ACI made a rather good choice here, as this was indeed a historical fact in the (Italian) automotive history.
The Arna has by now become somewhat of a cult-car within Alfa-circles. Many Alfists thought of it as scandalous when Alfa tried to up their quality image by means of Nissan-bodyworks, and the rust problems the brand had had with the AlfaSud were certainly not suddenly forgotten by the big public because of this. Though lots of people still think this was one of the few shameful milestones in Alfa’s glorious history, it is a subject that still causes a lot of funny discussions at meetings. And it is – even today – a figure of speech in Italy, much like we use a Lada in conversation (or Top Gear a Morris).
There’s quite a bit of commotion in Italy because these models actually made the list. But we think that, because some sort of strange fascination we have for them, the ACI made the right choice in doing so. And the owners clubs that exist for these models think so too.
Someone couldn’t contain himself when seeing this sales advert for a Fiat Duna.
It stated; ‘ON SALE: Fiat Duna 98.000km, first owner. Please call during lunch hours.’
He wrote on it; ‘Hey Maurizio, you’ll want to eat slowly’.