European GTs, part 1 – 1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6

Given my obsession with Alfa Romeos, you’d think I’d have featured one of every affordable model. There have been Milanos, Berlinas, Alfettas both sedan and coupe, and spiders. At this point I could almost even feature a 164 – would you believe it’s been nearly 20 years since they debuted in the US market? But one car I haven’t yet featured, in spite of the fact that there are affordable examples out there, is the GTV6. They’re really quite attractive cars, with a classic Giugiaro design and that fantastic six. But, like the spiders of the same period, you could always see Alfa had upgraded an earlier design by tacking on plastic bits, upgrading the wheels and seats, and adding a digital clock to the dash. The clunky bumpers also did nothing to help the loss of purity of design.

That said, there’s still a lot to like about these cars. Aside from the engine and styling, they have all the heartbreaking maintenance challenges benefits of all the transaxle chassis Alfas. You get a rear-mounted transaxle inboard brakes mounted on a deDion triangle, with a great-sounding V6 that relies on a timing belt to keep its valves from running into its pistons. Today’s car has managed to avoid all the dangers placed in its way by Alfa Romeo’s adventurous engineers. It’s a first-year 1982 model, whose interior owes a lot more to the Alfetta than later cars, with its simpler interior including vinyl seats. Listed in Novato, CA (near San Francisco) for $2450, it’s a rare case of a reasonably priced GTV6 that also looks good.

1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6 left

In a new coat of grigio grafite (or is it grigio metallizzato), it actually looks really good. To finish what the owner started, try some new retro wheels, or having the original Campagnolo wheels refinished. They actually look pretty smart refinished with dark gray centers, although if you’ve ever owned a set of these or Cromodora turbina wheels, you’ll know they’re a pain to clean.

1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6 engine

The engine compartment looks clean and serviceable. Since the car has had new paint, make sure there’s no rust or accident damage in here. The owner also mentions the need for TLC, suggesting the car has mechanical needs – definitely an occasion for pointed questions. People will crow about the transaxle having a horrible shift mechanism – there is some element of truth in that, but honestly, if you’re an experienced manual transmission driver, you can handle this with ease.

1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6 interior

Here you can see what the interior owes to the Alfetta. Keeping in mind that these are small pictures, the interior actually looks quite nice – no splits in the vinyl, and no dangling wires. It looks to have the eighties-tastic blue interior the earlier cars had. Do keep an eye open for sun damage – if the car needed repainting, for a California car that means oxidation damage.

1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6 right

Really, overall it’s a nice car for the price. Find out what the seller means by “needs a little love”, and make sure there’s been attention to detail in the work already done. And make sure to mount a nice exhaust so you can enjoy the sweet song of this Italian-sounding V6.

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4 Responses to “European GTs, part 1 – 1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6”

  1. Chris Says:

    Oh dearie me… I am feeling pangs of temptation. Why do you do this to me?!? We had one of these as a company car for one of my summer high school jobs. It was the first sports car I ever drove (and the first one with under 200k on the clock, at that point).

    Mmmm… the high school girlfriend won’t come back, but there’s always the car…

  2. Jeff B. Says:

    FYI – All ’82 MY GTV6’s were delivered with light silver exterior and blue interior. This one’s had a color change (to an argueably better color), along with retrimmed or replaced seats…

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