By on August 20, 2019

Rare Rides has featured Alfa Romeos from the Seventies (including this car’s sibling) and the Nineties, but never any from that most powdery of decades: the Eighties. That changes today, with an angular and excellently preserved GTV6.

The aforementioned sibling, the Alfetta sedan, provided a foundation for the more sporty Alfetta GT. The sedan was afforded a two-year head start on the GT, as Alfa placed a design order with Giorgetto Giugiaro over at Italdesign. Cues were taken from the existing Montreal halo car to give the GT a more upscale family resemblance.

The rakish liftback was ready for production in 1974, debuting with a single engine option: a 1.8-liter mill taken from the Alfetta sedan. Engine choice expanded in 1976, when the 1.8 was replaced by either a 1.6 or 2.0. The latter of those two revised the model’s name into Alfetta GTV. Two-liter versions had a slightly different grille, as well as GTV nomenclature carved into C-pillar decorations. Standard throughout the model’s life was a five-speed manual transmission; automatics were off-limits.

By 1979, additional changes to the 2.0-liter engine saw the model renamed Alfetta GTV 2000L. A select few were passed to Autodelta, who affixed a turbocharger to the engine to create the Turbodelta. But the design was getting a bit stale by the end of the Seventies, so Alfa went to work on a redesign. For 1980, new bumpers accompanied tail lamps, side skirts, and revised C-pillar trim. The cheaper 1.6 model was discontinued, and the remaining Alfetta grew apart from its sedan brother, taking the name GTV 2.0 instead. A new version also entered the fray with a 2.5-liter V6. Borrowed from the luxurious Alfa 6 sedan, the larger engine required a bulging hood.

Notable with the bump in cylinders was an increase in technology: The V6 was fitted with German fuel injection instead of Italian carburetors. Some boring reliability ensued, and the GTV 6 was born.

A few more changes over the years included some revised gearing for the transmission and an updated interior in 1984. American tuner Callaway got hold of a few GTV 6 models and created its own version called C3. The most important change Callaway made was adding twin turbos to the 2.5-liter engine, which increased horsepower from 158 to 230. Various additional upgrades were made to the standard cars, including better suspension, brakes, and wheels.

Alfa Romeo and tuner Autodelta took the GTV racing in various forms between 1975 and 1986 with some success. The last year the GTV went rallying preceded its last year as a production car in ’87. The Seventies design was showing its age, and new four-wheel-drive rally cars meant the rear-drive GTV was no longer competitive. Alfa Romeo did without a GTV until 1995, when it debuted a new front-drive version.

Today’s Rare Ride is on sale in Miami. With 74,000 miles, it asks $16,900.

[Images: seller]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

37 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV 6 – Black and Tan...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    You should add this engine sound video to your post. She really does sing.

    deletehttps://wwwyoutube.com/watch?v=SS_Im-XJZl8

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Talk about a coincidence – I was out to dinner Monday night and one parked right behind me. First time I’d seen one of these in a LONG time.

    Love this car…good find!

  • avatar
    jmo

    Here is the MotorWeek Retro Review c. 1986.

    (delete)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oa3qZMdxbkA

    Note the comment about the quick 0-60 run in 9.8 seconds.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      In 1982, Car and Driver reported 0-60 of 8.1 seconds, which was moving out at the time. They said it reminded them what the competitors were missing, which was an engine with some power. This was a few months before the Porsche 944 showed up and did everything the GTV6 did except seat four, break down, and look awkward from some angles. In the same issue was the “BMW Killer” Dodge Charger 2.2, which could hit sixty in 10.5 seconds on its way to 105 mph.

      The GTV6 spoke to me before I ever had a license. When the opportunity arose to get a low mileage used one around 1990, I decided to stick with my German cars after seeing the passenger door flop on its hinges too much to latch. It’s possible that the driver’s door had already been repaired. A friend bought a Milano. It broke down before he’d had a chance to sell his old car, which sort of worked out.

      Callaway turbocharged a few GTV6s and sold them through the US Alfa distributor. They said that compared to the usual VW and Chevy engines they worked on, the Alfa V6 was sturdy. Too bad about the rest of the car.

      • 0 avatar
        Flipper35

        A couple years later you could get that Charger with 75% more power and 0-60 in the low 7s. Then the Omni GLH and so forth came along. Some of those could actually outrun a 3 series on a back road. Unfortunately, quality was about the same. (Though the issues were in different areas, BMW and the master cylinders and clutches were notably bad.)

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          The Charger 2.2 could already outrun any 1981 or earlier BMW on a back road. They were point to point masters. BMWs of the time suffered from massive rear camber change that limited them to narrow tires relative to their mass.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    I like the head rests with built-in hair net. Good for keeping your rear passengers hair free.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      Hey, that’s ’80s cool.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        +1, dukeisduke. These scream ’80s in a good way.

        – – –

        An Alfa GTV anecdote from 35+ years ago on which Arthur Dailey perhaps could pass judgment:

        According to my uncle, a work colleague got caught speeding in Ontario in his GTV. (I’m not sure if it was a GT or a GTV6.) In addition to speeding, he was using a radar detector (it had to have been an Escort, given the period in history), which apparently were illegal at the time. (Still are? I haven’t checked current Canadian or provincial laws.)

        Rather than go through the rigmarole or a ticket, the OPP decided to mete out frontier justice and said the driver could be on his way provided he let the OPP place the radar detector under his right rear tire. Ouch.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The sound of these things is absolutely intoxicating. Best-sounding V6 ever.

  • avatar
    Morea

    European Touring Car Champion (Div. 2) 1982 through 1985

  • avatar
    Lokki

    The V-6 Alfetta breaks my heart again every time I see one.

    They are theoretically the perfect ‘poor man’s Italian sports car’.

    Fuel injected Aluminum V-6, with a 5 speed transaxle? Four wheel discs? 50/50 weight distribution? Sophisticated suspension design? Italian styling?

    Oh my God, yes to all of the above!

    But….. Alfettas rust like….like… nothing else I can imagine, and I have a 71 Alfa Spider – which is a model famous for rusting. I mean…. well:

    https://browse.startpage.com/do/show_picture.pl?l=english&rais=1&oiu=https%3A%2F%2Fi.pinimg.com%2Foriginals%2F93%2Fe4%2F64%2F93e464144a905a283cede955a5eb8948.jpg&sp=c790bd72e0278734337bfecbdd9b676a&t=default

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Delicious!

    But that $16,900 is only the beginning of the GTV’s pull on your wallet. Italian cars are like supermodels – beautiful, temperamental, and expensive. They attract, then repel, then attract all over again.

    Where do I sign?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      EXACTLY.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      The real hard part is getting parts irregardless of price. I might be crazy enough to give it a go otherwise.

      • 0 avatar

        Okay please do not say irregardless.

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        MBella, parts are available and not particularly expensive. The trick is to find a mechanic experienced in older Alfas. They are unlike other cars and mistakes are easily made. Contact your local Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club chapter to find a good mechanic.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I owned one of these, red on tan, an ’86 as well but with the earlier and cooler seats with the wooden headrest supports.

        https://flic.kr/p/8a74Tg

        https://flic.kr/p/8aaiPW

        Parts are not particularly hard to come by in the Internet era. 80%+ is shared will a million Alfa sedans. the remaining 20% that is unique to the coupes is readily available, but tends to be somewhat expensive – an oem radiator is in the $700 range, for example. But of course, there are extensive parts cross-references, I was able to get an aluminum radiator for mine that worked just fine for $300 or so from a hotrod shop.

        $17K is top money for one of these – it had better be PERFECT. They are lovely cars, and once the known issues are addressed, reasonably reliable.

        One pro-tip – especially as the GBP is in the toilet, the UK is the go-to place for Alfa parts. Even when I owned mine, it was usually cheaper to get parts from the UK than from US suppliers. Not having to pay VAT generally paid for the shipping, and the pound was a lot stronger then than now.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “With 74,000 miles, it asks $16,900.”

    Also interesting is the original MSRP was $16,500 in 1986 which is about $38k today. That’s an interesting price point. For comparison a 1986 325es was $22,245 or $52,075 today.

    Also interesting a 1986 Toyota Supra Turbo was also $22k or $52k today.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Interesting data points. Tougher to quantify but I would like to see wages and cost of living of the period vs today. Assuming equal pricing with inflation, I would venture to guess it is much more expensive to live today (food, insurance, student debt) and guess wages on average were higher as well adjusted for inflation.

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Food is a lot cheaper today as a percentage of income.

        (delete)https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/Charts/58367/food-prices_fig09_350px.png?v=9920

        • 0 avatar
          jmo

          Another data point. A 1986 no AC manual Honda Accord was 10,436 or $24,430. A top of the line LXi was $14k or $33k today. Keeping in mind that while they were mechanically reliable for the time – it was still the rust bucket era. And a 1986 Accord is 4″ shorter than a 2019 Civic.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Did ’86 Accords rust where you live? Where I live, Hondas stopped rusting early pretty much the moment they started being made in Ohio. The first generation Civics, Accords and Preludes rusted like Chevy trucks, but after that they lasted as long as anything other than a fully-galvanized post-’75 Porsche. There have been cars sold in the past decade that rust faster than mid-’80s Hondas did in the mid-atlantic region.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Even early ’00s Hondas rusted quite badly in Maine. There is no comparing the mid-Atlantic to Northern New England or Upstate NY/upper Midwest for the amount of road salt heaped on the roads every winter.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Medical care, student debt, and housing have gone up as a percentage of income. Nothing else has.

        The increase in medical costs reflects a combination of rent-seeking and an actual increase in value delivered. The other two are almost pure rent-seeking.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Medical care, student debt, and housing have gone up as a percentage of income. Nothing else has.”

          All of which conceivably lower the amount people can spend on a vehicle. I also wonder if income inequality impacts the “average” used for some of these figures.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I have no doubt that if housing and education had stayed constant as a percentage of income then at least those people living in car-dependent places would be spending more on cars.

            (One thing that would have helped keep housing cheaper is if big cities had allowed the construction of much more central-city housing, and many of those extra residents probably wouldn’t have cars, which might skew the overall picture a bit.)

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            If only the government hadn’t gotten involved in housing markets, medical insurance, and making unlimited debt available to degree-seekers. It’s scary how stupid anyone would have to be to support big government at this point.

    • 0 avatar
      SilverCoupe

      I was offered a used one of these in 1978, a “real car,” I was told, but went with a Scirocco instead. One of my fellow Architecture students did by a GTV, and it quickly rusted away in Ithaca, not that my Scirocco fared much better. I do not recall the GTV’s price , but I think it was about $4000.

      In ’91 I saw a Supra Turbo in the dealer with a price tag of $30 K. I walked over to the used car area and bought an ’89 Supra Turbo for $18 K instead. Still the best performance per dollar I have ever gotten.

  • avatar

    I recall reading that the trick was to put the car nose up when filling the radiator, or there’d be a bubble of air in the back of the engine.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • krhodes1: Far better to work on it yourself. Loads of resources online for these – there are no mysteries after...
  • bd2: “The U.S. never kept the lands that it captured in the war, unlike most other countries.” Uhh,...
  • probert: It’s got 1 gear.
  • krhodes1: Even early ’00s Hondas rusted quite badly in Maine. There is no comparing the mid-Atlantic to...
  • Inside Looking Out: “Hopefully the citizens rise up and rebell which is what has happened throughout...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States