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Ciao Alfisti.

I have had a couple of 105 Giulia GT (one 68 GTj and one 74 2000 GTV). Now I have a 750 Giulietta Spider.
I am considering to buy a 1979 Alfetta GTV (2L with carbs) and would like to know the driving experience (handling) compared with the 105 GTVs´.
Have somebody driven both models that could give me some impressions?. Thanks a lot in advance.
 

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Enrique,

I was working at an Alfa dealership during the time when the Alfettas were introduced. I owned a 105 GT at the time, and greatly enjoyed its handling and spiritedly performance.

The Alfetta that I first drove made a huge impression of me. The rear axle design and fore/aft weight balance were immediately noticeable as significant improvements over the earlier cars. It felt as though it was carving through a corner with a sharp knife instead of being tossed through a corner as with the 105.

However........

The era included increasingly strict smog restrictions, and the car felt underpowered. The 75 Alfetta I drove was also noticeably heavier than my 65 Sprint GT. the Alfetta would have been more delightful with about 150+ horsepower.

I have driven the later GTV6, but not enough to comment.

I would be happy to own a 4cyl Alfetta if it was in superb condition, and I did not have to restore it. Alas, not many around like that.
 

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Fetta's are the best. They are my favorite! The Sedan and Race car(It's got to be >150HP) are so nimble and they are a very unforgiving. Rust is the biggie!
No RUST get it, you'll never regret it.
 

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Ok, so having owned a few of both, driven many and raced a couple the first thing I would say is that Alfetta's are much softer than 105's. The spring rates are softer particularly in the front end, they understeer and they roll more.

Rear traction though is vastly superior and with the longer wheelbase on an open flowing road or track they are faster out of the box than a 105. They also respond really well to some fairly moderate changes to the suspension setup.

Their fundamental weakness as standard is that the rear grips way better than the front. The reason for that is that the front roll centre is way below the road surface, whereas the rear is tied to the watts linkage mounting point on the de dion. if you lay out the centre roll line it goes from high at the back to low at the front, so when you turn the car wants to kneel over the outside front wheel.

So to sort that the quick fix is stiffer front torsion bars but longer term what you need to do is raise the front roll centre and drop the rear. You can only do that by so much without relocating suspension points at the front. Mostly people put in knuckle risers or extend the front uprights. The best car we ever built also had a modified rear end with some toe out, a bit of negative, and an adjustable sway bar. It was a blinder. You could drive deep into corners, get the rear to move a bit under brakes, then hit the gas and really drive hard through the apex. But now I'm reminiscing!

Back to your standard car question, they are different for sure but you do get the same Alfa connected feel through the steering and suspension. Steering can be pretty heavy at parking speeds but with a little care they can be tremendous cross country cars.

Hope this helps.
 

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I have a 79 2l Australian delivered. I have driven the GTV6 and a number of 105s. All great. The difference between the 105 and 116 (alfetta) is like asking which sister would you take home? The 105 has an "old school" feel with big round dials, a low seating position and a feeling that the car is up around your ears. The tail will step out and you can get axle tramp. They both sound fabulous. The seat are (were) better in the 116, especially those with the recaros. The GTV 2l with a good exhaust, good fuel, upgraded shocks, 15in wheels with good tyres is a wonderful drive. The car sings at 5000rpm and it will "push" through corners at the limit of adhesion but the good thing about that is the car can steered on the throttle. Ease off to tighten the turn, harder and you can go a bit wide and it will drift if you get it right. I am presuming that braking happens well before the apex and that you have the loud pedal more or less flat to floor or off. Easy to heel/toe. In fact the pedals are so well organised that you can have your right foot on both the brake and accelerator at the same. it 's all in the roll of the ankle.
The great thing about the 116 is that it does not rattle your teeth due to super hard suspension. It has travel, roll and the body moves about BUT it grips well beyond the point where sanity has been replaced by some kind of Fangio miasma. Go hard enough and the brakes will fade, the tires will scream and the engine will use vast amounts of fuel and you will get out thoroughly satisfied.
I have drifted mine at 160km/h in complete confidence, driven it at a steady 150-160km/h for over 400km and never lost the tail: ever. The transaxle is marvellous but the gear change requires skill, the clutch is light and the brakes good if you don't ask too much. Steering feedback is like a go kart at speed and visibility is excellent. Add to that the fact that the 2l is now fairly un-loved and it makes a real classic bargain. They are much easier to fix than you might think. Beware the tin worm.
 

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I have a '79 Alfetta GT ("Sprint Veloce") recently converted from SPICA to carbs, and I love driving it! Can't compare it directly to the 105 cars because, although I had a '78 Spider once, that was about 15 years ago and as we all know, memories fade with time. Two things I'm certain of, though, the rack-and-pinion steering of the 116 cars is more precise and has less friction than the steering setup of the 105s; and the transaxle cars handle mid-corner bumps better than the solid-axle 105s which do tend to skip when upset in curves.

Probably because of the roll center (centre) differences explained very well by Aggie57 above, Alfettas seem to show some diagonal pitching in curves, which is not unpleasant or dangerous in any way, it just takes a bit of getting used to.

And yes, rust. My current Alfetta may be one of the few left in the US with no rust, and I'm doing everything possible to prevent the tinworm from starting on it. My first Alfetta GT (also a '79) died from rust, and my former Milano (an '87 Gold model) was heading that way when I sold it.
 

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I have drifted mine at 160km/h in complete confidence
Just to illustrate the point have a look at this clip at about the 8 min 30 sec .


Drifting through turn one at Philip island Australia at about 100mph.

The modifications Aggie 57 described plus a twin spark engine make for a great little car
 

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Great Vid! I don't recall applying that much opposite lock ;) but it does demonstrate my point precisely. Ease off the throttle, steer, back on the throttle. It is very forgiving at the limit if you stay off the brakes and steer. All that without tooth slamming suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

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I have a '79 Alfetta GT ("Sprint Veloce") recently converted from SPICA to carbs, and I love driving it! Can't compare it directly to the 105 cars because, although I had a '78 Spider once, that was about 15 years ago and as we all know, memories fade with time. Two things I'm certain of, though, the rack-and-pinion steering of the 116 cars is more precise and has less friction than the steering setup of the 105s; and the transaxle cars handle mid-corner bumps better than the solid-axle 105s which do tend to skip when upset in curves.

Probably because of the roll center (centre) differences explained very well by Aggie57 above, Alfettas seem to show some diagonal pitching in curves, which is not unpleasant or dangerous in any way, it just takes a bit of getting used to.

And yes, rust. My current Alfetta may be one of the few left in the US with no rust, and I'm doing everything possible to prevent the tinworm from starting on it. My first Alfetta GT (also a '79) died from rust, and my former Milano (an '87 Gold model) was heading that way when I sold it.
Are there any special/particular things you do to prevent rust in the first place? Obviously keeping it out of salt/snow, and maybe even rain. Other then that I wouldn't know what to do...
 

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"FishOil" in all the right places but mostly it is luck. Apparently Alfa sourced their steel from Russia and it was low quality. A least that is the story we got here in Oz. But to be fair the only manufacturers that built their cars not to rust prior to the mid 80's were the Swedes (SAAB and Volvo). Some Mercedes too possibly (The SL's seem pretty immune). The best thing to do is to get a rust free car, keep it dry and keep on top of any rust spots.
 

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The story I've read about 70s Italian cars was that, in order to secure licenses to build Fiat plants in the Soviet Union, the Italian government (who owned Alfa at that time) agreed to purchase Soviet steel and forced the Italian carmakers to use it. The porous nature of the steel, combined with frequent Italian labor strikes and other logistics problems that left Alfas (and Fiats and Lancias) sitting at port docks for weeks or even months, absorbing salt before getting shipped to dealers, were allegedly the main perpetrators of rusting. But really, most cars of that era had rust problems -- American cars certainly, even Swedish cars (I've never seen a rust-free '70s Volvo, for instance).

I'm keeping my Alfetta garaged, and frequently clean up and dry off known trouble spots like the spare tire wheel, battery box, shock towers, rear hatch, windshield and rear glass surrounds. I'll touch up the paint whenever I get a chip or scratch, and avoid driving during the winter within a week after a snowfall (once the authorities have spread salt all over the local roads, until the stuff has gone away) -- or if I can't avoid the salt, wash and rinse the car thoroughly as soon as possible thereafter.

Did I miss anything?
 

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USED Motor Oil and an old paint sprayer. Been doing this for years and I've had no rust issues. It's the only way to go. I take all the panels out and spray everything.
My 2 75's which I've had for 15+ years show no sign of rusting at all.
 

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USED Motor Oil and an old paint sprayer. Been doing this for years and I've had no rust issues. It's the only way to go. I take all the panels out and spray everything.
My 2 75's which I've had for 15+ years show no sign of rusting at all.
How often do you spray the inside of the panels? Also, does anyone know where to get touch up paint? I can't find any online venders selling it.
 

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Got my touch up paint from automotivetouchup.com , give them the paint code and they match it. 5 to 10 years depending if I drive the car in the rain or not. Some of my cars I drive everyday. I never leave the house unless I'm sitting in an ALFA! Some I've haven't touched in over 10 years cause I never drive them in bad weather.

I get a 20X20 tarp spray the crap out of it and let it drip for a day. It works and it costs NO MONEY!!! Except for the tarp.
 

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I have an 82. I also have a 04 Ph3 Spider. I've owned plenty of 'handling' cars, inc Lotus. For value for money and sheer driving fun, the GTV is a winner, even 30 years later. As others have said, the brakes could be better if you swap to a later set-up. However with better shocks, Pirellis and enthusiasm, the GTV is joy to drive. It grips, it ignores pot-holes and won't bounce through corners. At 5,000 RPM you are spending money, but it sounds great and gladly responds to driver input.

IMG_20150630_130000 by Dean Groom, on Flickr

Early on a Sunday morning, and with the choice of several classic-cars, the GTV is the one I'll take for a blast down around the back-roads every time. The only down side is that it's silver and people ask me if it's a DeLorlean all the time. I now say 'sort of' which seems to work. I do like 105s and not at all saying they are less able, but to me the GTV is/was the finest handling car you could get in the 80s off the high-street. Yes they had rust issues and other well known vices, but today, most good GTVs have survived and had those things sorted. As I'm in Australia, parts are not exactly easy to come by locally, but I can get them - amazingly cheaper if I ship them in.

I went for the 2.0 because it's rock solid, old school and locally, it's hard to get a 'great' V6. I find it has enough power for a really great drive and though I'm dealing with some 'issues' (previous owner maintenance omissions) it has to be one of the best 'drivers cars' I've owned.
 

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Alfasrule, I bet you don't but what does it smell like?

But Alfasrule has a point. Oil that is dried onto paint or metal stops the water getting through and so stops the tin worm. In Australia "fish oil" was used for many years. It was fish oil because fish oil is a "drying" oil unlike motor oil which though it "dries" eventually (years?) will run off long before it dries. House paint is/was made using linseed oil and is/was thinned (in the old days) using turpentine made from pine trees (retsina anyone?). This was because the linseed oil "set" or "dried" and the turpentine thinned but then rapidly evaporated leaving the paint formula the same as intended. The point here (yeah I know it's a long way round) is that if you apply a thin, drying oil to your metal parts capillary action will draw that oil into all the cracks and other rust inviting areas and then eventually set. I think (not know) that fish oil may actually mix with water but over time the water would evaporate leaving only the setting oil. So in the same way as turpentine evaporates leaving just the paint, so the oil is left behind covering the metal. In essence then using fish oil is like painting the inside of your car with a clear, water proof oil coating. Using engine oil would work too but the engine oil would sit on top of the water already there as it takes a lot of effort to get it to mix with water (like your engine running and the pressure and heat of main bearings). This means that if you used engine oil when the car was warm allover and totally dry it would work fine but it would not allow wet spots to dry (and may actually trap water) and would be too thick if the car was not at least 30degC. Though used oil would be thinned by the unburnt fuel which may allow the capillary action to get in deep enough and then in theory the unburnt fuel would evaporate (smelly or what ?). If it was thin enough and warm enough it might just displace the water...

Gepetto, touch up paint is generally made to order. You need to find the paint code on the car. This is usually on a plate in the engine bay, often/usually painted over and is a series of letters and numbers. It is usually not on the aluminium compliance plate that describes the car but sometimes the paint is on there.
Once you have the code then a good parts shop should be able to order in a spray can for you.
Lots of "shoulds" and "usuallys"...
Thus ends the lesson...;)
 

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Just to illustrate the point have a look at this clip at about the 8 min 30 sec .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iax4dys2BIk

Drifting through turn one at Philip island Australia at about 100mph.

The modifications Aggie 57 described plus a twin spark engine make for a great little car
Nice Gully! And I should add that his "great little car" is one of the nicest and best presented Alfetta GTV's you'll find. Plus it gets used as you can see.
 
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