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Alfa GTV

Alfa GTV Published: 9th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Alfa GTV
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£2000-£40,000 - Stylish and sophisticated - Good choice in UK and abroad - Strong club support - Practical, cheap saloons

Giulias are svelte coupés that cost the same as a Capri to buy and run, plus there’s sensible saloons that are much more fun than a Marina! Twin cam, five-speed transmissions, sophisticated suspensions, all round disc brakes etc – have been taken for granted for decades. Yet Alfa was offering all this more than half a century ago. Club support is good and spares aren’t a particular problem and you’ll get admiring and envious glances everywhere you go.

Driving

Compared to our crude Capri, Firenza, Rapier and Marina, these Alfas are sophistication and elegance personified, although none are exactly rapid by today’s standards. But the beauty of any Alfa, even the perky 1300, is eager throttle response and a lovely sound when working hard. The handling balance of a good, well set up GTV still stands out, and it’s the driver involvement that an Alfa demands which makes all such fun to drive.

The Giulia saloons are as practical as any Cortina and boast a more sporting character, so don’t rule out one if you can’t find a GTV of your choice at a good price, although bear in mind that the very earliest cars (of which there are scant few in the UK anyway) sported a column gearchange and drum brakes!

Most interest lies in the 1750 GTVs, followed by the 2000, then the 1600, although the 1300 is no booby prize, if you can find one that is, and that’s because so many have been upgraded to 1600 or 1750 spec, but standards vary.

Best models

There are no bad buys and condition counts above all else but, by and large, the later 1750 and 2000 GTVs are regarded as the picks of the pack, with the former actually preferred for its sweeter if slightly slower 122bhp engine. As we remarked earlier, any good 1300 model isn’t to be sniffed at and you can easily fit a larger engine if you wish, although to do it properly you need to correct the gearing and upgrade the brakes the way the factory did. Most owners didn’t.

Values

Certainly, expensive propositions when new, with GTVs costing E-type money, much the same can be said now, as great GTVs can command up to £30-£40,000, with the rare GTAs, selling for Aston DB6 dosh! ‘Stepped front’ Giulia Sprint GTs and Veloces only trail by a little, and the rare, sweet but sedate 1.3 Giulia Junior is generally a third cheaper. The real bargains have to be the saloons, where ten grand will get you the best, particularly with the less stylish later 1750/2000 Berlinas, although their boxier styling conceals a fine sports saloon. Back to the GTV coupé, which ran up to 1977, and for the UK market there was also a specially-trimmed SE version which came with a tacked on (quite literally) vinyl roof.

Buying advice

Try a few for size and don’t automatically dismiss a good 1300. Like Spiders, most have been re-engined and this isn’t a bad thing, but check it’s been done well, as major parts differ; for example, the brakes on the 1300 are smaller and not dual servo assisted, while the gearing may now be incorrect for a larger engine.

When it comes to the body, it’s more a case of ‘where don’t they rust’, but chief area is at rear of the chassis, where the suspension hangs. If bad, or badly repaired, it’s best to find another car.

A good engine will register 50-70lb oil pressure but can drop low at idle. Look for smoking and fuming. Cylinder head gaskets can fail, and the 2000 head is known for cracking.

Different types of carbs were used: Weber Dellorto and Solex, and all are very expensive to overhaul, and are the reason why many cars are in a permanent out-of-tune state.

Gearboxes are okay, although synchro on second always goes. Diffs are durable, but limited slip diff on 2000s and some 1750s require special repairs. Check steering box location for fatigue, sagging springs, soft engine mounts (does clutch judder?) and general decay. Trim parts, saloons mainly, are now difficult to source.



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