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Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0

Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0 Published: 19th Nov 2018 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0
Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0
Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0
Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0
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Three years with this 1984 GTV left Alfa addict Tom Scanlan with decidedly mixed emotions

Miles driven 4700
Purchase price £3250
Expenditure during ownership £5013.05

In its day, the 130 horse power Alfa Romeo GTV 2.0 was something of a head-turner as well as goer. Its Giorgetto Giugiaro mid 1970’s looks were certainly radically different from its predecessors, the pretty Bertone 105-series coupés of the previous decade.

In my experience, it still is a head-turner: on one occasion, a guy stepped off the pavement as I waited in heavy traffic and gave me a big thumbs-up. So, too, did a fellow on a motorbike, while several more such instances underline the thought.

Underneath the smart bodywork, Giuseppe Busso’s legendary twin cam ‘Nord’ engine was fed by twin Dellorto carbs, so, in that respect, hardly different from the earlier 2000 GTV. What was totally different was the transmission arrangement. Alfa put the gearbox/transaxle as a lump at the rear, so that weight distribution was 50/50 front and back.

Driving a brand new car off Alfa’s press fleet back in the day, I remember being disappointed in the clunky, long-linkage gear-change, whereas the earlier 2000 GTVs had been a delight, especially compared with some of the offerings in British cars of the period. Move on thirty years and, well, I needed an Alfa, but on a very tight budget. I had not long before sold my 1960 Giulietta Sprint and was feeling the loss. Cash was a problem (when is it not?-ed), so the budget was around £3000. Was there anything out there worth having?

To my delight, there was a decent choice of GTVs at around that figure (and some a fair bit more) and I soon found myself behind the wheel of my handsome ‘new’ Alfa. I bought it sight unseen, apart from a few photos and a chat with the owner, and enjoyed the drive home from Birmingham to Reading, even feeling that the gear-change was not at all bad…maybe after 80,000 miles, the system had bedded in nicely.

I was least-impressed with the gear ratio in its fifth (top) gear. At an indicated 70mph, the rev-counter’s needle was firmly fixed at a rather buzzy 3500rpm. Another gear, or an overdrive, was badly needed. Alfa owners presumably get used to this: my current Alfa, a Brera 2.2 JTS is not that much different to be fair.

Driving along bendy roads, the fuel gauge started fl ashing its red low-level warning light even when the tank was at least half-full which irritated me (typically Italian), so I stuck a bit of black tape over the light!

Romance blossoming?

Apart from those high revs in top, which I reckon contributed to my overall fuel consumption in three years down around 25mpg, I started to enjoy the GTV and felt that my money had been well spent. A few weeks after purchase, we were part of a club rally assembling at Dover docks, all sorts of classics were there and my Alfa got as many admiring looks and comments as any other car, in spite of a worrying clatter from somewhere down under, the exhaust middle box, as it turned out. But it got no worse, and, strangely, more or less disappeared – until a couple of years later when the pipework suddenly cried enough and the car’s decibel output went up by an illegal percentage.

Meanwhile, the joys of French roads and a very pleasant few days in Le Touquet seemed just what the Alfa wanted. Back home and for hundreds of miles, all was well and I was really enjoying the thought that, quite often, I would be off somewhere or other in the GTV, it being, for some periods, my daily driver. A trip to a VSCC meeting at Silverstone was coming up and I set off on a sunny morning in good spirits.

Oh dear! And this might be a familiar story to more than one classic car owner — at around 70 mph on the A34, the engine suddenly started faltering. It’s a feeling that makes your heart sink and your stomach churn.

After a few hundred more yards, I was lucky that, when the engine completely cut out, it was just short of a parking lay-by. A quick inspection revealed nothing obviously amiss under the bonnet. A phone call to the AA produced the familiar yellow van in less than half an hour; the AA man delved; after a few minutes, he said to start it up and, yes, all seemed well, so off I went, with electrical contacts all clean and shiny. But only for a further ten miles. Same thing, it just stopped; this time, though, trailered back home. New coil was needed, reckoned the second AA man.

A few days later, in went the new coil and all was well, except that it wasn’t. A couple of hundred miles later, this time on the A40 west of Oxford, the engine faltered and stopped. The AA duly arrived and the engine started up just like that. Was it because the new coil had got too hot and was okay again when cooled off? Mr. AA man thought that could be possible and followed me thirty miles towards home. Once again, the Alfa slowed and stopped so we waited twenty minutes and all was fine and I got home safely.

Another new coil was purchased, on the basis that coils are probably not made to high-enough specification…which, in hindsight is perhaps complete rubbish, as it’s now known what the problem was. However, I became accustomed to having to stop more or less anywhere to let the engine problem resolve itself by waiting a few minutes, after which I could start up and proceed once more. However, this was quite wearing on the spirit, in spite of my love for the damn car. After all, it was not ITS fault, was it, really?

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