Dad it seems was pig ugly and had a body that was worn out after 3 years. Nice legs though, and a good set of running gear but not much in the go department. Mum was a boring old dear, a plodder but with a great heart, all be it with a few valve problems.
Now the colt looks like neither of them, has all the good running gear from dad and the big heart from mum. And he is a winner.
So how do you pick 'em I ask? Easy, says he, I just do what Alfa did with the Alfetta and the Alfa 6. Mated 'em together and got the GTV 6. Bloody magnificent!
The Alfetta sedan was launched in 1972 and was followed up a couple of years later with the coupe. This had various 4 cylinder motors fitted to it but it took the 6 cylinder out of the unloved Alfa 6 saloon to turn it into the now classic GTV6. In the Alfa 6 the engine had struggled with either a six Weber or a six Dellorto carburetor set up but a new Bosch fuel injection system transformed the engine into one of the great motors of the Eighties. It's no coincidence that GTV6's won the European Touring Car Championship four years running from '82 to '85.
The gearbox on the GTV 6 is a rear mounted as a unit with the twin-plate clutch and final drive (just like the spanking new Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione). This was aimed at perfect front/rear balance, although with the six cylinder motor up front the balance still leans towards the bonnet end of the motorcar just a tad too much. It tells in the handling too, which, untypical for a rear wheel drive, tends to understeer rather than oversteer through mid to fast curves. It may be that the De Dion rear end is just too good and refuses to unstick itself when the driver would like just a little bit of rear end slide.
That long gearbox linkage also has a downside in terms of changing gear. Never the best gearchange from new, wear in the lever bushes and worn synchromeshes can take a lot of fun out of driving a GTV6. So my advice if you buy any GTV6 is to put the gearbox at the top of your checklist!
The unassisted steering, hwever, is top of the class. It communicates with rare sensitivity when the driver attacks a series of bends with enthusiasm. The ride quality is excellent, appropriately firm but no untoward harshness.
The steering wheel/seat set up is typically Italian, which may not suit the short of arm but otherwise the interior of a GTV 6 is a lovely place to be for the driver and passenger. The rear seats are of the plus 2 variety.
The car at Classic Autos has had considerable money spent on it, and unlike a lot Seventies and Eighties Alfas, is virtually rust-free. The car is being sold "as is" so there is no warranty to fall back on. However, there are service receipts aplenty (about $10K), so the previous owner has been happy to throw a bucket load of cash at the car to get it to this condition.
The GTV6 is undoubtedly a classic of the future, and represents the last and best of the "old type" Alfa Romeos. There were not that many made (20,000 or so combining Series 1 and 2), and I'm tipping that there wouldn't be a fifth of that number left today.
WHAT, WHERE, WHEN & HOW MUCH
Model:Alfa Romeo GTV6
Dealer:Classic Autos Australia
10 Compton Road,
Underwood, QLD, 4114
Ph: (07) 3208 3900
0-100 kph: 8 seconds
Best point: Good breeding
Worst point: Reputation for rust
Recommendation:Sub $10K classic
Trivia: Now that Aston Martin is owned by Indians (that's east, not red), it's time to look at other James Bond cars. Maybe like the GTV6 he drove (make that stole) in Octopussy.