Considering a gtv6 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a gtv6

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I am looking at a 1986 gtv6 and was wondering what maintenance and insurance costs would be, and would like to know if the car would have any problem running in the summer in Texas. Is the gtv6 reliable enough to use as a daily driver?
Thanks
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 04:15 PM
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Welcome Fred . The GTV6 is a great car, but keep in mind it's a 30year old Italian car. Would ANY 30 year old car be a reliable daily driver ? These are best suited as a car for weekend fun . How handy are you ? These are easy to maintain and repair if you have basic tools and skills. If it's in good running condition the Texas heat should not be a problem. At least for the car, the driver may not be so comfy inside it. They get very hot inside . Good luck and don't let me talk you out of getting it. Everyone here loves these great cars.
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Joe C . Brooklyn NY
1986 GTV6
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:36 AM
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I've used GTV6s as daily drivers in the past. But mine were 15 years old back then... not 30 years old. Never had one strand me. If your commute is not Houston-to-El Paso, you might be OK. As the one on your radar is an '86, it should have the Tropic-Aire A/C upgrades to keep things cooler. The huge glass areas (front and rear) act as a magnifying glass for sunlight. A set of louvers over the rear glass can minimize that... but won't help the styling. Since you are in Texas, you are not blessed with twisty mountain roads, unless you live near Big Bend or that section near Austin. So, you may never experience the true beauty of a GTV6. They corner like a roller coaster on steroids.

From my personal experience, these cars give you sufficient warning on any upcoming maintenance needs. As the old story goes--- These cars will tap you on the shoulder to say, "Petey, just a quick heads-up. You have about 3 months to deal with that funny noise." A month later, it will remind you that you now have two months. If you still ignore that little voice with the Italian accent, when the timer rings after 3 months... it says, "Notta my fault!" Whereas a British car is more apt to give you a more condensed warning signal. At three in the morning, in the pouring rain, on a road as far as possible from any help... your alert might be an abrupt "Night, Night!", in a British accent.

It's a good idea to make sure you have a trusted ALFA mechanic nearby. Not that these cars are mechanically troublesome. Just that there are enough quirky details, that you don't want to be paying a mechanic triple the hours to find those out the hard way. And to swap on a fresh timing belt regularly. Check for any rust. Particularly around the front shock towers under the hood. GTV6s are quite rust-prone. But a Texas car should have less rust worries than one from Michigan, say. Still a good number of new parts available. But the gang here can help supply any used bits that might be needed, as well.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide on that purchase.
Peter
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Last edited by planetmojo2; 03-19-2017 at 08:45 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 08:45 AM
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I use my 88 Milano as a daily driver in the summer (I don't want to expose it to road salt). It has only left me stranded once in about 8k miles of usage. It has started every time I've asked it to (even in the middle of winter after sitting for months), the climate control is adequate but not great on those 90 degree 90% humidity days. It has never overheated. As a caveat, I'm a mechanic for a local sports car shop and have spent a fair amount of time on maintenance.

To answer your question directly: Yes it can be a daily driver, but don't expect to buy one and have it at that level right off the bat. It will most likely take some work initially. Buy the very best example you can afford, don't be tempted by project cars or basket cases unless you have the time , money and experience to make it right.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:48 AM
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I daily drive (except on brined winter roads) our '81 GTV6. I don't think it has any more maintenance needs that any other 30+ year old car. I bought it in Houston TX, flew down and drove it home. The A/C is not quite up to 2017 standards but I keep it garaged or park in the shade & use a windshield shade. The interior is black so I think that makes it harder for the A/C to cool it down if it gets hot.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 11:12 AM
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I have an '86 as well, so long as the A/C is working I think it would be fine in the summer, the engine runs very cool. I've taken mine on trips up to about 200 miles and it's never let me down. Just keep up with the maintenance and enjoy, if anything they run better the more you drive them!
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 01:50 PM
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Great daily drivers! I have been dd'ing them for over 20 and nearly a million miles with very few problems. Like Pete said, they let you know what is coming up.
I recommend learning the basic elec system that runs the injectors, tec, so you can troubleshoot if necessary. Most issues with these cars are elec in nature, usually dirty connections.
The A/C can be upgraded with a Milano compressor, makes a difference.
Plus you have all of us here to provide advice and parts!
Go for it.

And remember, just add a set of sticky tires, and you have an instant track car !! }
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Plaster View Post
Hello
I am looking at a 1986 gtv6 and was wondering what maintenance and insurance costs would be, and would like to know if the car would have any problem running in the summer in Texas. Is the gtv6 reliable enough to use as a daily driver?
Thanks
There is good and bad advice in this thread...but it's advice nonetheless. You've posted in the right forum anyway!

The GTV6 is an awesome driver's car but for any kind of city driving in Texas as a daily car it is a terrible choice. (read: impractical on many levels).

Regarding your questions...

1) Maintenance - if you're not doing it yourself, put aside at least $1,000 a year (rough estimate) to properly maintain the car and deal with things that pop up. Hourly rates are not cheap at any legitimate shop that will handle this car. Parts are not inexpensive but they are usually available for any mechanical ailment. Furthermore, there aren't many major needs you should anticipate if the car is fresh. Clutch, driveshaft, timing belt and water pump are the big consumable items. Major rebuild items like a weak engine that consumes oil, weak synchronizers in the transaxle, or a tired front suspension will require at least a thousand bucks to remedy - each. Trim parts are not available new. Windshield is very expensive. Rust is a consideration.
2) Insurance is between you and your insurance provider, it is not difficult to get a quote.
3) Summer driving in Texas - I would never. Tons of glass, lots of black plastic, inadequate A/C even when new? No thanks. I daily drove a GTV6 in DC summer heat and humidity but I was (now wiser!) a glutton for punishment. Never again. It is very tiring to drive a GTV6 in summer heat.
4) Daily driver reliability - sure - but it's an old car, so it will treat you as you treat it. As with any old car, **** happens - be prepared financially and practically (backup vehicle) to deal with it and the GTV6 will be a treat rather than a burden.

I propose that the happiest GTV6 owners are those who purchase, own, and drive the car without unrealistic expectations. Fully embracing the potential issues and costs of ownership lets you enjoy the car's many engaging and exciting dynamics. Otherwise, one risks being disappointed by an old car.

Where are you in Texas? There is an absolutely awesome GTV6 (in Texas) that is not yet advertised from a long-time club member who is trustworthy. If you're nearby I can link you guys up...

Rob
Alfas first, then everything else.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:44 AM
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I have a project '82 GTV6 in Austin. Never would I consider it a daily driver. The traffic density is brutal on cars like this, i.e. old.
It's also too dang hot. I know a local guy, an old-school Alfa mechanic, who can do a retro-A/C install using VintageAir components, although in the dog days of summer it's reportedly still not enough to make the car as comfortable as you'd like.
The secret of life is to have your reliable, even boring daily driver, but get the Alfa as your passion project.
And for what it's worth, it's sort of fun to be taking your car out of storage around the time other folks in colder, wetter climates are putting theirs away!
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'82 GTV6
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:14 PM
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I agree completely with Rob. A Milano is a better choice for the V6 transaxle experience. It is not so much of a greenhouse and the air conditioning is decent. The power assisted steering with the faster rack makes the Milano a much nimbler car at low speed and in parking lots.

Ed Prytherch
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 02:37 PM
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The 2 Boyz above are correct the GTV-6 is a HOT House! Got 2 one with the original AC one with an aftermarket Vintage Air. The aftermarket one makes it tolerable the original struggles, but I live in New England. It's the windows and the angle, sometimes like a magnify glass.
Get a Verde, you'll be way better off, Deep in the Harda Teaxas!
Better gear box LSD, 3.0 liter motor, but I do like the 2.5 better.
It's the last real sports car though, and fun to drive, but surrounded by traffic makes it a bad experience.
All depends where you live.

AlfasRule!

1972 Montreal (The Pumpkin)
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1984 GTV-6
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1987 Milano Verde(Da kREDden Mobile)

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 08:14 AM
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get the car and drive it in the "winter". not driving it for a few months in hell, er, summer, is like us northerners who don't drive our alfas in winter. too snowy, too salty.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 09:27 AM
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Without repeating what others have told you, about the A/C, the driving in traffic, etc. I can say this for sure.

IF you remember it's an old car, and you accept that, and IF you are willing to go through the electrical system thoroughly and do the recommended work, then yes-- the GTV 6 can be a reliable daily driver. That has been our experience, without any reservation.

Just get yourself a good one to begin with. If you see rust, splices and tape in the wiring, and signs of no/low maintenance, then walk away from it.

alfaloco
Lexington, KY USA
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-23-2017, 07:15 PM
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I think most of what has been said so far is true. I live in NYC, but I have a 2nd car that serves as my "daily driver." (Note: driving daily in NYC is insane...hence my "daily" is really my errand car on the weekends.).

The GTV6 comes out on days when traffic is light, and roads have been repaired after harsh winters. It's fairly robust, provided it's been maintained. I have an '85 with Tropic Air and find it to be adequate in the summer, though stop and go traffic with the A/C on isn't a good thing with this car - it never gets cool enough and the engine temperatures start to creep up. On the open road, no problem.

I also had a Milano Verde for a daily driver until recently, and it's much more comfortable and easier to drive IMHO. The '6 will kind of beat you up in daily driving - especially the slow, unassisted steering. You don't lose much of the experience with a Milano (and with the 3.0 you actually have more power). But, the GTV6 gets many more compliments on the street (if that's something that's important to you). And, it just FEELS more like a sports car than the Milano - even if objectively I found my Milano to be better all around, the '6 was/is more fun.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-24-2017, 08:21 AM
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Fred,

If you do find a nice example of a GTV6 for yourself, and fall in love with it to the degree you might eventually start considering applying a bit more $$ in offsetting the mild complaints mentioned above, and tailoring it to your taste... you do have some options. Some in our midst have pirated a power steering setup from a Milano to add to their GTV6s. I've not tried this, but have heard some great reviews from a couple owners who have.

If the time comes when you think the stock 2.5 V6 could use a bit more grunt, replacing it with a 12v 3.0 from a Milano Verde makes a nice noticable difference. That's a fairly easy swap if you can find a Verde engine. You can also use a 12v 3.0, or 24v 3.0, from 164 models. But those options require extra work to get a FWD engine to play nice in a RWD chassis.

There are plenty of posts here on the BB on upgrading the A/C. If your final choice is older than a 1985 model, you can add the later Tropic-Aire components to help. Many have swapped the stock York cube compressor with a Sanden rotary pump. Others have gone the extra mile with condensor upgrades, or a more complete Vintage overhaul.

Plenty of experts and advice to be found here on any of those considerations. You may be satisfied with the car as-is. After you and the GTV6 have established a bond, you'll have a better idea of what issues you think might be worth the trouble to adjust for you, personally.

Peter
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