A Tale of two Alfas. - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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A Tale of two Alfas.

Once, many years ago, when I was still strong in my Mission to Save GtV6's, I saw a club ad for a nice 85 GTV6, black, nice interior, fairly well sorted. I had a young Lady who test drove one of my silver GTV6's back in Maine, but wanted a black one. She lived in Co.
So, I called, it was an Alfa Shop in San Francisco, a bunch of guys that raced Alfas and hung out. After talking with him, I felt confidant the car was solid enough to make it to Colorado and be a good car for this good Lady.
SO, I flew from Maine to San Fan, took a cab to the shop early one evening, met a great crew of Alfisti, jumped in this car and drove to a hotel.
Next morning, drove up to see a GTV6 I saw in a local ad paper, in San Raphael. Went to see the car, liked it, left a deposit. Started that afternoon to Colorado. Had a an amazing drive, through the Sierras, to the deserts on to the Rockies, met with the Lady in Colorado and sold her the car. Words cannot express the beauty I saw on that leg of the journey, and the sound of that great car echoing in the Mountains. I made a small but adequate commission, and then the adventure continued,,
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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So, after I sold the good Lady that excellent car, I flew back to San Fran, took another cab to San Raphael, and bought the second GTV6.
It belonged to a builder, who was also a small aircraft Pilot, and we hit it off at the get go.(my Dad was a small aircraft mechanic and I grew up around planes.)
He assured me it was properly maintained, and it showed it.
I gladly started out, back to Maine, feeling good about the car.
Now, you might be expecting some tale of tragic breakdowns and trauma, but the car sang a strong Song all the way back to Maine! I took 10 days and enjoyed many back road routes.
I got back and sold the car to WonderBrad, a great Alfisti and Alfa BB'er, and he drove it for years.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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This is another GTV6 I bought sight unseen, to drive back to Maine. It was in Phoenix.
This one was owned by an Air Force Pilot, who was deployed a lot and decided to sell this car, cause he couldn't afford storage. He told me it was strong, but had a detailed list of what it needed to be driven.
Most of the items were things a Pilot would consider an issue, but a seat of his pants crazy Alfisti like me shrugged off. I just had to spend a day in the parking lot next to a parts store and fix a bunch of lights and hoses, and off I went. I had time on the way back to explore the Mogollon Rim area, and spent several days enjoying the mountains in New Mexico !!
Of course, had to see Roswell.
Then motored back to Maine.
Sold the car to an older gent in NH. He still has it I think
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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And then there was that time,,
Well, there were many trips like this.
This is Virginia, my Verde rat rod and Sal's GTV6.
And Many parts,,
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 08:12 PM
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Most excellent drives, indeed. When in decent condition, they are very good for this type of drive. We drove our new 78 GTV back across the country from DC to Seattle, doing the 4 banger version of your trips.

Our pristine black 86 GTV6 was a very good ride on mountain roads. Had a very good one around Mt St Helens on one way back roads where one could wind the sucker out, to the extent of overheating the front discs a little, one expanding to slightly hit the inside of the caliper. Otherwise, a spirited drive up and down through the gears, on and off the brakes. Whew, heart rate raiser run, so much fun. Have taken the beast 94LS(Q) on similar trips around the West.

Was my daily driver for a few years, but ended up selling it to Lino Durante for his son, since it was still pristine with a new class 1 paint job, engine maintained by his brother Carlo. My wife didn't really care for that GTV body, and I didn't really care for the interior. When I test drove the 91S, wife said "your grin in this car is wider, lol". The engine had so much more grunt and good Alfa sound.

Anyway, still kind of miss that 86.

BTW, our car mechanic friend still lives in Cornish, but we now meet them for lunch at Warren's Lobster House, yum, in Kittery (close to where my father's ancestors lived, Gould's Corner, ~10 miles inland), rather than driving west to Cornish out of our way to try to stay with them.
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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
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1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:17 PM
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Yep, one of the all time great road trip cars. Mine was an 85, bought it in 86 used from Cline's Datsun in Salt Lake. Took four hours of negotiating before they would let it go (had 5k miles and they wanted $16K for it, I offered them $11K and wouldn't budge. They finally had to call the owner and he said sell it). I drove that thing all over - Salt Lake to LA, Salt Lake to Bandon, Oregon, Salt Lake to Denver a bunch of times. Best trip was Salt Lake to Portland to see my grandmother. Left around noon, had to stop somewhere in Oregon to replace a bad headlight in the rain, still made it in a touch over 10 hours (~770 miles or something like that). Never missed a beat although it was a little dicey one year coming back from LA and it was snowing outside of Vegas. The only thing missing was cruise control. Nothing like it driving through the Blue Mountains, or the Rocky Mountains. That car tracked straighter than any car I've ever owned, even at speed. I wouldn't mind a fully sorted GTV6 again but in all reality, it probably wouldn't live up to my memories of my old one.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:37 PM
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Had a great but scary drive in the 86 one winter in northern Oregon just south outside of Boardman while visiting my wife who was doing testing at Boeing's radar range there. Took the car out for a drive through the hills, and discovered that all the roads were glazed with ice. Spent the afternoon tiptoeing at reasonable speed around on those roads, the car in perfect balance.

Fun but in a totally on the edge scary way, amazed that the car was so stable, while with a constant feeling of slightly slipping ALL of the time. Never wanted to do that again, however, tough on the nerves, even though I could do it, feeling exactly what the car was doing through the seat of my pants. Sort of like being on the edge when sailing, feeling just what the motion of the sailboat was, but in a far less scary way, lol.

Sigh. Kind of miss that 86.

Del

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1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27

previously owned since 1964:

62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HeavyMetalAlfa View Post
And then there was that time,,

Well, there were many trips like this.

This is Virginia, my Verde rat rod and Sal's GTV6.

And Many parts,,


I don't know about everyone else, but I for one am wondering how you got the gtv6 in/out of the van
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Easy enough, just hire a rollback, ramp style tow truck guy for 10 minutes. He winches it on his truck, backs up to the box truck and you just roll it in !!


I've had a great many wild driving experiences with GTV6's all over America.
I have literally driven a GTV6 in All connected US States !!

Many is the time the awesome handling of a GTV6 has enabled me to save myself.
Had a lot of white knuckle moments, but they never let me down.
They seem to come Alive when pushed really hard.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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I miss the road trips. Flying to the other side of the country, buying a car I only saw some pics of,
and driving back to Maine.
Met a lot of great Alfa characters, saw a lot of our amazing Country.
And clocked nearly a million miles in many sweet cars doing it.
Not done yet, still wrench on them everyday,,
But I miss the Road Trips.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 08:53 AM
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I saw what was probably one of your black GTV6's in downtown Portland in the middle of winter years ago (1999-2003). There was about two inches of frozen slush on the ground. I said to myself "that dude's nuts for driving his GTV6 in Maine in the middle of winter," but I also had an immense sense of respect for you driving in those conditions.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 09:29 AM
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I found our '81 GTV6 in A Houston, TX Craigslist ad. A BB member checked it over for me and gave a good report. I then paid for a PPI and made sure the A/C was charged up. My wife & I flew down to Houston, the seller picked us up at the airport and we drove the car home to North Carolina. I only had two issues 1) it took me a while to figure out the steering wheel was adjustable (it had been set very low) and B) after filling up with gas on the morning of our second day the engine began to buck. I feared it was a tank of bad gas but once I found a place to stop and opened the hood, I saw the air duct was loose from the AFM.

Even years later, the sound of the engine as it revs past 4,000 puts a smile on my face.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:25 AM
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Great stories, thanks for posting.

Yes, these are great road trip cars. As posted elsewhere on this forum, two years ago this week my girlfriend and I did 3,000-mile journey in our '81 Copart special as part of the Lemons rally---up the CA and Oregon coasts, then up through Washington and close to the Canadian border before heading back down through the central part of each state. Besides roasting in a car with no A/C, the car was very comfortable and ran great during the entire trip.

The GTV6 has been my daily driver since then!

We just did a HeavyMetalAlfa-style trip last month in our latest Lemons Rally car, a '74 Jensen Healey roadster without a top. From CA to Maine and back, via Toronto. 8,000 miles in 15 days. It was a whirlwind trip, but was also amazing. The GTV6 would have been very comfortable, but brutal in some of the places with 90+ degree temps and 90% humidity. We only had to duck under overpasses and gas station awnings a few times to wait out Midwest thunderstorms .

Reading all of this makes me want to go on another adventure!
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Chris A: '81 GTV6 rescued from junkyard, "GT" car/'86 Porsche 944 Turbo track/street car/'73 BMW 2002tii fun street car/'74 Jensen Healey Lemons Rally car!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 10:44 AM
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Great stories, thanks for posting.

Yes, these are great road trip cars. As posted elsewhere on this forum, two years ago this week my girlfriend and I did 3,000-mile journey in our '81 Copart special as part of the Lemons rally---up the CA and Oregon coasts, then up through Washington and close to the Canadian border before heading back down through the central part of each state. Besides roasting in a car with no A/C, the car was very comfortable and ran great during the entire trip.

The GTV6 has been my daily driver since then!

We just did a HeavyMetalAlfa-style trip last month in our latest Lemons Rally car, a '74 Jensen Healey roadster without a top. From CA to Maine and back, via Toronto. 8,000 miles in 15 days. It was a whirlwind trip, but was also amazing. The GTV6 would have been very comfortable, but brutal in some of the places with 90+ degree temps and 90% humidity. We only had to duck under overpasses and gas station awnings a few times to wait out Midwest thunderstorms .

Reading all of this makes me want to go on another adventure!
Was it not equipped with A/C or just not working?
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 01:30 PM
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Was it not equipped with A/C or just not working?
Originally had A/C, compressor was missing when I bought it. I'm not gonna bother doing A/C in this car as I live in Santa Barbara where it isn't needed much, plus the oven-like interior makes efficient A/C difficult, even with modern components. We have numerous other cars, though only one of our "fun" cars has functioning A/C ('99 BMW Z3 Coupe).

Chris A: '81 GTV6 rescued from junkyard, "GT" car/'86 Porsche 944 Turbo track/street car/'73 BMW 2002tii fun street car/'74 Jensen Healey Lemons Rally car!
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