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I have admired the GTV for its looks for years but have never had the opportunity to drive one. I miss the simplicity and connected feel of the earlier cars, I once had a Datsun 510, a couple of old Subarus, an E30 M3 (a bit over rated in my opinion), and a 911 among others, they were just fun to drive. You really felt like you were driving and not just a passenger. I currently own a Lotus Elise and have since 2005, it's a fantastic car but I can't stop dreaming about Alfa.

Is the GTV the kind of car and what a smile on your face every time you get in it. Are they a maintenance nightmare? Is there a particular year to stay away from? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Michael
 

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Hi Michael,

I am a new owner of a GTV put had the Alfa itch for years! The car in my opinion is the essence of a drivers car, it pushes you to drive better and always puts a smile on my face. I have had a few good (mid level) cars over the years and although the Alfa is not the fastest of them at this point it still has that certain something about it that makes it special. I could expand more but the fact is I am just breaking in the car at this point and have just broke the car into its correct power band (I had been driving it way too low in the rpm range).

In terms of year the 67 GTV "Stepnose" is a very popular model and out of all of the GTV's will command the highest price in most situations. I opted for the 69 which is not a Stepnose but still has the very classic interior plus some fantastic details unique to that year, it also has the 4 light grill which I like most. From what I have seen, the 74's are some of the more available and lower priced versions, to me, the interior is not as classic as the other models but they are still very lust worthy!

Maintenance, from what I have seen this is very approachable. I have never done much work on my previous cars since all of the electrical parts freaked me out, the Alfa is very understandable in its primarily analog form. I see you are from Illinois so be careful about corrosion both in your purchase and in your usage of the car, as long as you do not put it away salty and wet you should be a happy man. One thing I would highly suggest is to find an Alfa specialist that you feel comfortable with and let them guide you both in the purchase and the care of the car, I was given this advice and it has saved me money and troubles!

Hope that helps.

Cheers,

Roger
 

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Good of you to post your location.. everyone should.. it helps so much give assistance. You are located a stones throw from Mike Besic at Besic Motorsports in Hinsdale. Mike is the kind of guy you probably have a lot in common with and is always willing to help even when the meter isn't running. He races Alfas and works on them for a living. He can give you face time and probably give you some seat time on cars he knows. He has worked on the worst of the worst and the best of the best so you will get a real good idea what kind of car fits you the best. He has driven them all from 50's Giuliettas to late model Spiders, GTV's and Alfettas and Sedans. I'd recommend you give him a call followed up with a visit.. He will pretty much help you through all the nuances of each GTV iteration from 1300, 1600, 1750, 2000 and performance enhancements to all if that spins your wheels. Don't tell him I sent you. Rick https://plus.google.com/107231975323606603575/about?gl=us&hl=en
 

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Alfas are strong reliable cars once got into good condition. I had a 74 GTV for 15 years, used it variously as a daily driver, weekend car, track car, road trip car. Used to regularly put 1000 miles on it in a weekend going to track events at the other end of the state. Never once failed to get me home. Go through they systems and bring them up to spec, it should serve you well.

Andrew
 

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Glad to hear about the reliability, there is no shortage of horror stories about Italian and British sports cars, especially electrical issues.
 

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I overlooked your question on maintenance.. these cars (Alfettas with inboard rear brakes an exception) are so straight forward it is silly. All the wear parts are easy to work on including the engine, clutch, brakes (ATE), suspension, and drive train. The Spica fuel injection can be a bit of a quandary when and if it acts up but the rest of the car is well thought out and there is nothing a weekender DIYer can't do with a set of metric tools and some experience with cars. Valve adjustments are a bit odd but last 10-15000 miles or longer so a properly maintained car should be fine. Even changing out synchos in a transmission is something a person can walk through with a manual and the manuals are superb. Parts are readily available if you don't mind a phone call and a wait through the domestic mail at probably a fraction of what the BMW's, Jags , or Porsches bring and certainly not Ferraris or Lancias. Good luck in your search for a car you will definitely enjoy.
 

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Thanks for the information Rick, I will be sure to contact Besic when I get closer to moving on something.
 

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I'm fairly experienced with Spica, my 74 had it. Once it was set up, I never had to mess with it at all. Good starts hot, cold, smooth, clean, good gas mileage.
Carry a spare fuel pump in case it craps out, otherwise don't worry about it once a knowledgeable person sets it up.
Andrew
 

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My GTV

I bought my 72GTV in the spring of that year. I only drove it for one winter here/Nebraska before moving to the mountains in Colorado where we lived at 8k feet(never driven on salty roads). The Spica thermostatic actuator adjusted for the altitude perfectly and is very reliable. I just had it rebuilt by Wes Ingram. Pricy but worth it I'm told. There are arguments on both sides of the fence saying Webers are better than Spica but no one that I have seen have submitted any dyno comparisons to prove their point.
The car is a dream to drive. I say that because of the near perfect front to back weight ratio of 51-49 the car handles extremely neutral but it sucks on slick roads. Tire tread is everything. The first summer on the winding mountain roads I got three speeding tickets so fast....... The transmission is sooo sweet. Nothing like the vague Porche sloppiness. The throttle is brisk and responsive for heel and toe downshifting w/2nd and 3rd gear the best ever. The exhaust note is rich and smooth like a fine port wine.
It is really hard to describe until you have owned and driven a GTV for a period of time and until you've become one with the car. Ohooommmm. Or is it Vrrrooooommmmm?
I am restoring the car now and can't wait to drive it again.
 

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Is the GTV the kind of car and what a smile on your face every time you get in it.
Yes, very much so.
Are they a maintenance nightmare?
I have no experience with the SPICA injected US models, but the earlier Weber fed cars are not a maintenance nightmare at all *if* they haven't suffered at the hands of a nincompoop previous owner.
Is there a particular year to stay away from? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Michael
Particular year to stay away from? The later years with bigger motors (1750/2000) have Spica injection in your market, and are generally heavier than the older cars, however the 2000 has bigger brakes and a limited slip diff. My 66 is a bit of a hybrid - 2l brakes and lsd, 1750 engine on webers. It's a blast.
 

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I'm new to Alfas also....have been intrigued for a number of years. Most of my experience is 60s vintage MBs. Several weeks ago I picked up a 74 2000 GTV non-runner. Which I now I have running!

Compared to MBs the parts availability and pricing are better - not much aftermarket for MBs and only a handful of MB sources with good prices. I've used mostly Classic Alfa in UK, Centerline in CO, Rock Auto, and Amazon so far.

The information on MBs is better. The big blue MB service manuals and parts catalog (both paper and EPC) can't be beat. The Alfa equivalents are OK but coming from MB I'm probably spoiled.

MBs are better to work on...but the Alfa isn't bad. Nothing major - but it seems like little things were better thought out from on the MBs (captive vs. blind nuts, access to adjustments or other parts, rooms to work on systems, etc)

I wouldn't be too scared of the SPICA. I downloaded the Alfa Romeo "Inspection and Maintenance" manual. It's very detailed. The downloads on Wes Ingram's website are very useful also.

I'm located in Chicago and have also heard Mike Besic is the go-to guy. Haven't needed to visit him yet but would trust the recommendations if the need arises.

I think the GTV will be a fun car - particularly with the aftermarket support if you like to tinker/improve/mod.
 

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I owned an 06 Lotus Exige for six years. The Lotus is a great car, and I cannot imagine a more rewarding car to drive on the track. However, over time I found the car less and less appealing to drive on the street as you couldn't come close to pushing it in that environment without seriously breaking the speed limit and endangering yourself and others. It was sold a few years ago after deciding to cut out track days from my schedule, but I seriously miss that car.

My current daily driver is Mini Cooper S, a vehicle that many people praise for driver dynamics. It feels dull and synthetic compared to the Lotus. An Elise/Exige does that to most modern performance vehicles, including newer Porsches and BMW's.

In the same years I had the Lotus, I also had a 74 GTV and then an 85 GTV6. I found both Alfas more enjoyable to drive on the street than the Lotus. The Lotus was much faster, but the Alfa's, particularly once the suspension is setup correctly, just seem more special to drive. Some people have compared driving a vintage car like an Alfa to listing to music on an analog stereo with a turntable and a tube amp. I prefer to compare it to eating an aged steak with a 20 year old Barolo. The difference between driving vintage and modern cars is hard to describe, but it is there.

In summary, if your ideal place to drive is a racetrack, keep the Lotus. If it is a winding, country two lane road, the Alfa will be more rewarding IMHO.






 

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There are arguments on both sides of the fence saying Webers are better than Spica but no one that I have seen have submitted any dyno comparisons to prove their point.
Did you miss this: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/304825-79-spider-dyno.html

There are other Weber motors making around 180 HP on pump gas. There is even a 1500 (enlarged 1300) that makes 169HP on pump gas with Webers. I would be interested to see a chart for a SPICA road motor making more than 150 HP. The SPICA Montreal engine made 200 HP. Richard Jemison's Weber Montreal makes 300 HP. Go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I owned an 06 Lotus Exige for six years. The Lotus is a great car, and I cannot imagine a more rewarding car to drive on the track. However, over time I found the car less and less appealing to drive on the street as you couldn't come close to pushing it in that environment without seriously breaking the speed limit and endangering yourself and others. It was sold a few years ago after deciding to cut out track days from my schedule, but I seriously miss that car.

My current daily driver is Mini Cooper S, a vehicle that many people praise for driver dynamics. It feels dull and synthetic compared to the Lotus. An Elise/Exige does that to most modern performance vehicles, including newer Porsches and BMW's.

In the same years I had the Lotus, I also had a 74 GTV and then an 85 GTV6. I found both Alfas more enjoyable to drive on the street than the Lotus. The Lotus was much faster, but the Alfa's, particularly once the suspension is setup correctly, just seem more special to drive. Some people have compared driving a vintage car like an Alfa to listing to music on an analog stereo with a turntable and a tube amp. I prefer to compare it to eating an aged steak with a 20 year old Barolo. The difference between driving vintage and modern cars is hard to describe, but it is there.

In summary, if your ideal place to drive is a racetrack, keep the Lotus. If it is a winding, country two lane road, the Alfa will be more rewarding IMHO.






I agree with you regarding the Lotus, I love the car and ideally would want to keep it but the joy of that car gets lost driving it on the street. I don't track it however, I'd be too concerned about wading it up, I have a VW Golf race car for that.

That's the whole purpose of my original post. Modern cars, excluding those like the lotus, are dull in their driving experience. I'm looking for exactly what you said when you describe what the Alfa is to drive. Special and rewarding.
 

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stock to stock

Did you miss this: http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/304825-79-spider-dyno.html

There are other Weber motors making around 180 HP on pump gas. There is even a 1500 (enlarged 1300) that makes 169HP on pump gas with Webers. I would be interested to see a chart for a SPICA road motor making more than 150 HP. The SPICA Montreal engine made 200 HP. Richard Jemison's Weber Montreal makes 300 HP. Go figure.
I'm talking about a stock 2litre w/Spica compared to a stock 2litre w/Webers. There's not much diff from what I have read besides the exhaust note.
 

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dyno fantasy

I don't believe that dyno results apply here..Whenever I light my Alfa up, my grin touches my ears. I truly believe that driving a modestly powered GTV is much more fun than herding a monster at part throttle.
Love your Alfa
Chuck
 

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I bought my first Alfa 49 years ago and sold my last British sports car 48 years ago. I have owned Alfas ever since. I love the looks of my '67 GTV, but more than that I love the way it handles and the way it just feels right when driven hard through a turn.

One person's "hard driving" is another's Sunday afternoon cruise, but there is plenty of room to play with the setup to accomodate both types of drivers, without compromising the looks of the car or its reliability. My car, as do many that belong to forum members, has upgraded engine, brakes, suspension, etc. I even put in a fancy stereo. Now THAT was a total waste of money. The engine makes sounds that are better than any heard on my favorite jazz or blues albums.

My Alfas have always been reliable. In my opinion, those who have problems are either (1) Unlucky, (2) bought cars that others have mistreated, (3) are cheap when it comes to maintenance and repairs, (4) need another mechanic (even if the current one lives in their house), or (5) about to spend time undoing the effects of time and weather on cars that have not been driven for a while. Bodged repairs are common, as are corrosion issues in the electrical system, but not in well maintained cars that are driven at least periodically.

No sports car that is 40+ years old is going to allow you to drive it like a modern car and not give it regular maintenance. The 105 series Alfas were built when 3,000 miles was a long time between service intervals. It only takes simple tools to maintain them, but those tools should be used on a regular basis to keep everything in top shape. Think of this as valuable bonding time and your Alfa will reward you.

That said, however, Webers and Spica FI normally only require that they be set up right in the first place to provide long, reliable service. Running either with no air cleaners, as some do, sucks dirt into the engine and leads to premature failure of induction systems and entire engines. If you switch a breaker point ignition to electronic -- and set it up properly -- you can drive for a decade without touching it again ... well, I've done it. I do check the distributor cap and rotor every year or two, but the timing never changes.

All in all, it's about what and how you like to drive, how good an Alfa you're willing to pay for, and whether or not you mind doing more maintenance than in a modern.
 

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I say that because of the near perfect front to back weight ratio of 51-49 the car handles extremely neutral
Is this true for a standard GTV?

I always thought they were a nose heavy car? I'm more than happy to be proved wrong!
Pete
 
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