Rare Rides: A 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV 6 - Black and Tan

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides a 1986 alfa romeo gtv 6 black and tan

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]

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  • Jmo Jmo on Aug 20, 2019

    "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.

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    • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Aug 25, 2019

      @jmo 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.

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Aug 20, 2019

    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.

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