ALFA ROMEO GTV REVIEW

You can’t claim to be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo, so why not make it a really good one? We show you how to avoid the pitfalls of Italian exotica on a budget...

 

Classic Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV

The driving position is typically Italian, which means your legs will feel cramped, and your arms outstretched. You’ll either like this or you won’t, but do persist. Whether the sparky Twin Cam or the glorious V6, the driving experience itself needs to
be savoured. 

Performance is strong, but it’s in the corners that the GTV really attracted plaudits in its day. Nicely weighted, accurate steering and perfect weight balance mean it has a grace lacking in many rivals. A Porsche 944 gets close, but can’t match the GTV6’s intoxicating six-cylinder howl. As long as you’re sensible, the Alfa will edge towards understeer if you really get a shift on, but clumsy driving can upset the back-end in the damp. A De Dion back end ensures things don’t get skittish if the road surface is less than perfect either. It is a true driver’s car.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

Alfa Romeo GTV 6 2.5

 

Engine                                    2493cc/V6/OHC

 

Power (bhp@rpm)                  160bhp@5800rpm

 

Torque (lb ft@rpm)                 157lb ft@4000rpm

 

Top speed                                133mph

 

0-60mph                                  8.2sec

 

Consumption                            25mpg 

 

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

BODYWORK & CHASSIS
 

Spot a GTV6 by the bonnet bulge. All UK GTV6s used fuel injection, which tends to be reliable. Timing belt changes are required ideally every four years or 36,000 miles. A good independant will charge around £300, with dealers charging much more. The V6 is very robust and will easily sail past 150,000 miles with sympathetic maintenance. The original timing belt tensioner can leak oil, but a mechanical replacement from the 155 can be used. Head gaskets can fail, but later gaskets are a better design. Check the state of the coolant. If it’s fresh but the expansion tank looks filthy, the head gasket may be suspect. The twin-cam engine is a bit more fragile and a rebuild may be needed around 100,000 miles. The top timing chain needs replacing every 50,000 miles and all engines can smoke when worn. The V6 can be easily tuned, and 3.0-litre replacements from the 75 are much sought after and shouldn’t harm the value too much.

Check for corrosion under the scuttle panel. It can get very expensive to sort properly as the dashboard, heater, wiring loom and windscreen need removing. Corrosion also strikes around the front suspension turrets, the bottom of the front wings behind the front wheels and the sills. If there is any sign of bubbling above the sill trim of a later GTV, there’s likely to be much worse beneath.

Examine the jacking points carefully, especially just below the leading corner of the front door. Inside, if there’s a bulge in the floor where your heel rests, it suggests the floor is rotten. Lift the carpets in both footwells to check for any grot or signs of damp caused by water ingress, and have a good look underneath as well. Be aware that copious amounts of underseal can be used to disguise problems, so give it a good poke with a screw driver. 

Get underneath and check around the spare wheel well – and the battery well on a GTV6. They are spot welded to the main chassis rails, so rot in either can quickly become structural. Rot can be tricky to spot and may get missed on an MoT. It’s worth checking this area very carefully as muck gets thrown up by the rear wheels.

 

ELECTRICS

Electrics can live up to the Alfa reputation for unreliability, though usually only because of dirty connections. Make sure everything works but note that oil gauges can be erratic. A new sender usually does the trick. If a car has been standing electric window switches can stop working.

 

RUNNING GEAR

A car with worn suspension will not handle well and will feel vague and clumsy. Everything is available, but once you start replacing worn bushes and get the geometry checked, it can get expensive. A lot of people upgrade the brakes, but this often requires larger, aftermarket wheels. The inboard rear calipers are prone to seizing, especially in little-used cars. Worse, they can also leak fluid, causing the pedal to need pumping to give any stopping power. Pay around £126 for a reconditioned caliper. A soft clonk from the rear when you come off the throttle is probably worn gearbox mountings. Watch for failed synchromesh – a gearbox rebuild will be in the region of £1700


INTERIOR

Interior trim can be very hard to find, and earlier cloth disintegrated in sunlight. Leather upgrades are popular and hard wearing, as are later Recaro interiors, which command a premium. Black trim can fade to a sort of greenish colour if left exposed to sunlight and the elements for any length of time.

 

OUR VERDICT

This really is motoring for the heart, but it’s essential that you don’t go blindly into GT or GTV ownership, or your joy could be short lived. A shiny car isn’t necessarily a sound one. Always go for bodywork ahead of mechanical woes. Fixing the running gear can be costly, but is rarely enough to write a car off in economic terms. A thorough bodywork restoration on the other hand can very easily outweigh the value of the car. Keeping a GTV on the road needn’t be a bind, though parts support is not without problems. Club support is also excellent.

Recently Added

20180118 170626 resizedSponsored Ad
1971
£POA
1275 MK 3
  • 75,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104213
1971 Austin Mini Mk3 1275 cc in Island Blue with an Old English White roof. This mini will appea...
6
07967135037
View details
Mini cooper 083 1Sponsored Ad
2000
£16,995
SPORT
  • 16,300
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104210
2000 X Rover Mini Cooper Sport in the last edition colours of Solar red and silver. The full leat...
2
07967135037
View details
Singer vogue estate 1801 mainSponsored Ad
1965
£6,750
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104209
Singer Vogue Estate MkIII
8
+44 (0) 7711 509600
View details
Img 0060Sponsored Ad
2000
£36,990
Vantage Volante
  • 52,400
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104208
A staggering motorcar at a modest price....
14
01904 829728
View details
Ford model ySponsored Ad
1934
£23,995
APLINE
  • 82,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1095676
1934 PP FORD MODEL Y ALPINE TOURER 2 Door Sports Red, 82000 Miles, Full Service History, HPI Chec...
18
01202 509 343
View details
Img 1563Sponsored Ad
1989
£10,995
V8 CSW
  • 142,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Manual
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104201
motodrome are pleased to offer this 1989 Land Rover 110 V8 County Station Wagon, refinished in Ep...
15
0118 968 0987
View details
49272 1Sponsored Ad
1970
€Auction
246 GT L-SERIES
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 N/A
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104196
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Paris event, 7 February 2018. Estimates:...
1
020 7851 7070
View details
49271 1Sponsored Ad
1963
€Auction
STING RAY SPLIT-WINDOW
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 N/A
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104195
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Paris event, 7 February 2018. Estimates:...
1
020 7851 7070
View details
49270 1Sponsored Ad
1992
€Auction
  • 0
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 N/A
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: TA1104193
To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Paris event, 7 February 2018. Estimates:...
1
020 7851 7070
View details
Img 0719Sponsored Ad
2003
£3,850
5.0 V8 W220 Limo
  • 96,000
  • Transmission 69197354786223e29b85070a0695cc247a4c2b215c743673c2d02e864b4cd687 Automatic
  • Steering ca68a9643bbb915d30839040f432af59e679db8cf98e23a4378cbef2ed805059 RHD
  • Refcode: DIY1104153
11 months MoT remaining. Near immaculate condition, FMBSH, Limousine model, beautiful condition, ...
8
07816843244
View details
See All Classic Cars for Sale