Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV More
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  •   Nathan Chadwick reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    CAR: #Alfa-GTV6 / #Alfa-Romeo-GTV6 / #Alfa-Romeo-GTV / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta-GTV6 / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta

    Name Paulus Ferdinand
    Age 52
    Occupation Events organiser
    From Bath
    First classic 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
    Dream classic Ferrari Dino
    Best trip Around the Pindus mountains, Greece


    During the early 1970s, the most exotic vehicle on our street sat under a faded tarpaulin; it was a rusty MGB that belonged to a friend’s uncle and was avoiding road tax. My first sighting of a supercar was while on holiday in Italy. Parked at a petrol station by one of the new autostrade was a bright red Ferrari Dino. A handsome couple was standing next to it, smoking skinny cigarettes – right by the fuel pumps!

    The Dino was making a ticking noise as the engine cooled down, and the smell of hot oil and alloy was even stronger than that of the petrol spilling from my dad’s Hillman. I’ll never forget the sound of its frantic scream as it rejoined the motorway, and from that moment I was completely hooked.

    Moving on nearly four decades, the closest I had ever got to driving a Ferrari, let alone owning one, was a white 1973 Fiat 128 Sport with a fake Momo steering wheel. But then a few years ago I found an Alfa Romeo GTV6 for sale in the classifieds: it was just £4500, Italian, and it was red. How could I resist? I picked it up with my son Max, who, as we headed home on a congested A303, suggested that I’d have been better off with something German or Japanese. That was in mid-summer, and every happy camper seemed to be making its way to the West Country.

    As we endured the heavy traffic, I began to think that my co-pilot was correct. The Alfa’s steering felt like closing the valve on the Hoover Dam, the gearshift was troublesome and made worse by a lead-weight clutch pedal, and to top it all the electric windows refused to open. But then, mercifully, a sign signalling that a dual carriageway lay up ahead. Third gear, foot down and the GTV6 lurched forward with the most delicious howl. My stressed frown was rapidly replaced by a stupid grin, and from that moment I realised our relationship was going to be a long albeit somewhat contrary one.

    Once the initial euphoria of purchasing the Alfa – and my wife’s annoying “It looks like something a pimp would drive” – had worn off, I realised that owning the car was one thing, but that looking after and maintaining it would be another. We didn’t have anywhere to store it, nor the finances for the upkeep of a 1980s Italian coupé.

    Fortunately, my in-laws had a garage that housed their new Mini Cooper. After a lot of grovelling and hedge cutting, I persuaded them to park the Mini outside so that the GTV6 could live inside. A course in car servicing at the local technical college followed, which lowered the annual running costs.

    Since then we have been to the Silverstone Classic, Hever Castle and the Le Mans Classic twice without a hitch, but an Alfa will always throw a curveball – such as the time when it blew its bonnet open at 5000rpm or when the horn decided to trumpet every time that I opened the glovebox! More recently I left the handbrake on while the car was laid up, causing three different engineers to use very colourful language. Thanks to TT Workshops in Bristol for sorting that in time for La Sarthe.

    The Alfa is a car that’s seldom seen on British roads today, and that, along with its profile and song, is why I’ll hold on to it for as long as I can. Recent work has included having a badly welded inner wing sorted, and I’m planning to take the car to the Spa-Classic later this year – a friend has asked to come along, too, as long as we drive through the Dartford Tunnel and take out full European recovery! Let’s hope I can fix those electric windows in time.

    The bright red Alfa Romeo stands out among classic Fords and Volkswagens at Bath & West Showground. The sleek Italian is a joy on country roads. Alfa is sent to workshop for wing repairs. Shiny new metal let in under the bonnet. Ferdinand Snr and Jnr with dream Dino. Waiting for the ferry en route to Le Mans.

    ‘My frown was replaced by a stupid grin, and I realised our relationship was going to be a long albeit contrary one’
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  •   Evan Klein reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    CHASING CARS / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta-GTV6 / #Alfa-Romeo / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta / #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta-GTV / #Alfa-Romeo-GTV6 / #Alfa-Romeo-GTV

    Quentin Willson’s hot tips

    ‘Montreal styling, great handling and the Busso engine – and they’re not as unreliable as you would think’

    VALUE 2011 £5750

    VALUE NOW £16500

    Alfetta GTV6 has room to grow

    The Giugiaro-penned fastback has risen sharply, but that’s not the end of the line

    Although I’d love to say that the Alfetta GTV6 is still a hidden bargain, it’s not. Values and interest have really picked up and properly original and cherished V6s can now cost £20k plus. And they’re getting very hard to find. This is another Eighties icon that’s been quietly simmering under the radar. In 2011 Richard Edwards Auctions sold a fine ’1985 with two owners and 41,000 miles for just £5k but since then they’ve moved up strongly with some lightning-fast rises in 2016 – but we shouldn’t be surprised at all. All those Montreal styling cues, an alloy transaxle, inboard rear discs and almost-perfect handling balance made contemporary road testers rave. And they still do, with one magazine glowing that the Busso V6 makes ‘one of the best engine notes ever, period’. There’s also their gold-plated motor sport heritage, with GTV6s winning the European Touring Car Championships four years in a row, the British Touring Car Championship in 1983 plus a cabinet of other international race and rally trophies. And they’re still reasonably quick by modern standards with a top speed of 130mph, and 0-60mph in a respectable eight seconds.

    Time has been kind to those striking lines and a GTV turns plenty of heads. In bone stock factory condition they look hugely cool, wonderfully Italian and very individual. Rising prices mean lots have had big money spent on improvements so the Alfa propensity for rust should have been sorted. A private Cambridge seller has a red ’1984 he’s owned from new with 40k miles, Dinitrol rust-proofing from new with total Alfa history for £22k. That might sound a lot but I can see GTV6s as perfect as that climbing steadily in the future. Best buys are post-1984 with an exterior and interior facelift plus better gearing.

    Timing belts need changing every 30k and modern cylinder head gaskets should cure the common overheating issues, but given that Alfa was broadly broke during the GTV6’s timeline, they’re not as unreliable as you’d think. With prices of the 2.0 GTVs also up and now nudging £15k, a proper 2.5 V6 would be a shrewd buy. Think of it as a mini Ferrari that sounds just as good with even sweeter handling and you’ll see the appeal. Back in 2011 I remember watching H&H knock down a decent, rustproofed-from-new ’1982 in Grigio Metallic with 65k and a slipped timing belt for just £900. Blimey.
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    Car #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta-GTV-2000
    Year of manufacture #1981
    Recorded mileage 33,416
    Asking price £13,000
    Vendor Attington Classics, Thame, Oxfordshire

    Price £8150
    Max power 132bhp
    Max torque 131lb ft
    0-60mph 8.9 secs
    Top speed 118mph
    Mpg 23.5

    This #GTV is a rare thing as a four-cylinder car – and scarcer still in this amazing rot-free condition. Ziebarted from new, it was put away when just a couple of years old following the death of its first owner, and has only relatively recently been back on the road with its nominally third keeper. Pleasingly, it has its original keyfob, manual, service book and Alfaplus service folder, plus the dealer sticker in the back window. The body is smart, the paint has been freshened up and it has just been Dinitrolled underneath again. There’s a hint of a repair under the paint by the offside rear light, but otherwise it’s excellent. The stainless rear bumper is fine, the front has evidence of straightening but looks good, and there are small dings in the rain gutter trims. The alloys have been refurbished, and wear new #Michelin Energy tyres with the old XVS on the spare. Remarkably, the gas strut still supports the tailgate – and even gently opens it for you.

    The motor is tidy, with no leaks, its coolant clear blue and the oil dark, but to ‘Max’. There’s a fresh-looking master cylinder to go with the rebuilt rear calipers, and electronic ignition was fitted last year. There are no leaks from the transaxle, plus the rear discs and driveshaft gaiters look sound.

    Inside, the carpets are slightly faded but the dash is perfect, with the usual Alfa fit and finish to the steering column shroud. The velour edging to the driver’s seat is worn, but the headlining is mint. The gearknob top has faded to white, but they all did that early in their lives. Being a UK-market car, it has the speedo and not the rev counter directly in front of the driver.

    It starts readily and drives sweetly, feeling very much a low-mileage car. The long-throw gearchange takes a little getting used to, but the synchros are strong and the brakes are smooth. All the electrics work. It’s sensibly geared for today’s roads, too – 2500rpm in top giving 70mph – and feels more modern than it is. Oil pressure is steady at 55psi, and temperature at 170ºF. The MoT runs until May, but is likely to be renewed upon sale.

    SUMMARY EXTERIOR #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta-GTV

    Remarkably solid; newish paint

    INTERIOR #Alfa-Romeo #Alfetta-GTV 2000
    Outstandingly original; driver’s seat velour is slightly worn

    MECHANICALS #Alfa-Romeo-Alfetta #GTV-2000
    Low mileage, sorted, and feels as if it’s never been apart

    VALUE ★★★★★★★✩✩✩

    For Fabulous rot-free condition
    Against Minor brightwork flaws

    SHOULD I BUY #Alfa-GTV-2000 ?

    Much less than the equivalent 105, but as fast and longer-legged, so worth a serious look. A similar car in Portugal is up for the same price.
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