One thing I want for the next silly old car is something I don’t see a lot of. The previous installment of “Next?” – the Audi Coupe Quattro – certainly fits that bill. I’m not sure I’ve seen another one on the road around here. That’s one of (the many) things I liked about my BMW Bavaria: There just aren’t many around, anywhere, and I never saw another at the local Cars and Coffee. Old E30 3 Series are common by comparison. Indeed, I see a couple on my daily commute.
In the 1980s, Alfa Romeo would sell you two essentially similar versions of the same car. The Milano/75 sedan was aesthetically challenged to the point of being cool. The 2.5- and 3.0-liter V6s with Bosch fuel injection made music when punished, but the transmissions – a transaxle under the back seat, of course – could be fragile. The handling was glorious, or terrifying, depending on your point of view.
The Milano’s sister, the GTV6, was a handsome, chiseled machine right out of the gate. Available in the States with only the 2.5-liter, they weren’t fast by today’s standards. But it looked fast rusting quietly to itself standing still, and was actually kind of quick when it ran when moving.
The ergonomics were classic Italian; stretched arms, bent legs, switchgear scattered willy-nilly over the dashboard, wires hanging down to remind you that this car could burst into flames at any moment. Power accessories worked when they weren’t drunk or on strike.
I’ve never seen a GTV6 in this part of the world, the cold upper Midwest, a chip-shot from Canadialand. Do they exist? There’s one for sale right now across town, but since the seller can’t be bothered posting pictures I won’t be covering it. That hardly diminishes my interest.
First up in this charcoal 1984 example, originally from California and now in Miami, FL. Complementing the lack of rust and generally good cosmetics, this car has had the critical timing belt service and a host of other work performed at Alfa-specific repair shops, including a clutch and a transmission rebuild. With cold AC, the seller has been using it as his daily driver.
While I like the overall vibe of this car, including the aftermarket wheels, there are some broken and fiddly trim bits here and there as well as a cracked dashboard. And what’s with the rats nest under the hood behind the left headlights? I know… probably stock. Still, at $6000.00, it could be a deal for a rustless driver.
This red 1985 GTV6 is actually in my part of the world (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a mere 350 miles away) but the seller, a dealer, provides virtually no information other than the color combination and the mileage. Still, it looks fantastic in Resale Red with a clean cloth interior.
Engine? Transmission syncros? Timing belt? Overall condition? Rust? Okay, yes! Or no! Moving on.
If you’re going to buy an Italian car, you probably want one from a Western state where rust is less likely, like this 1986 out of Colorado. In classic black with tan leather, it presents as an exceptional, original example of the breed, with lots of receipts and a traceable history. Like most GTV6s, it’s had a bunch of work done recently (sense a trend here?) and, as much as the owner loves driving it, it’s time for the car to move on (sense another trend here?).
Not a lot of information, and $12,500.00 must be all the money and then some for a stocker. I’m not sure this is a case of “go find another” since they are out there if you look. However, if you want to know what one should drive and feel like, this is probably a good candidate.
Finally, this hot rod, also originally from California and now in the Mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast. It’s being sold on the Alfa Bulletin Board by
a fellow geek an enthusiast. Modifications to this clean example include a 3.0-liter Milano V6 upgrade, modified heads with Alfa 164S cams, Koni shocks, auxiliary gauges, Euro-market ride height, and a host of others bits. I won’t repeat the entire ad – you should go read it – but it’s had most everything you’d want to do, and then some.
It looks stunning inside, outside and underneath. Rust? Almost none. Paint? Gorgeous and shiny. Dashboard and interior? Not perfect but really, really nice.
Of course, it has some issues. The AC system is incomplete, various electrical things are iffy, and that infamous Alfa Romeo 2nd gear synchro is weak. It drinks a little oil and will need the all-important timing belt service within 10,000 miles. And a brake caliper is oozing. And it will need steering rack boots and front suspension bushings. And and and…
Still, it’s had a ton of work done and, as a starting point for a running refurbishment project you could do worse. $10,000.00 is probably right. I mean, just look at it!
Maybe I’ll call the camera-challenged guy across town with the GTV6 this weekend, provided it’s not snowing.