There are two anomalies in the ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Alfa Romeo. One involves the price and the other the engine’s displacement. Let’s see if we can get to the bottom of both.
The holiday season is upon us, and for many, that means traveling to visit friends and family, often on rainy or snowy roads. What a comfort it would be to make those trips in a car like yesterday’s 1998 Jeep Wrangler. Not only did it have Jeep’s reassuring part-time 4WD but it also came with a snow plow for when things get extra dicey. At $6,000, many of you felt that to be reasonable insurance against what the holiday weather might just bring. The result was an overwhelming 78 percent Nice Price win for the go-anywhere Jeep.
The idea that you could “go anywhere” in today’s 1983 Alfa Romeo GTV6 is a bit laughable. After all, older Alfas kind of have a reputation for not being able to even make it to the grocery store and back without something going wrong. Still, there’s a lot to love about a classic Alfa.
To wit, Jeremy Clarkson once famously averred that ownership of an Alfa is the ticket to becoming a true auto enthusiast. He followed that up a few years later with the tale of how his GTV6, a car much like this one, dropped its prop shaft in the middle of an aggressive drive. That was a failure that could have resulted in flipping the car on its roof as the escaping shaft dug into the pavement.
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The GTV’s driveshaft, by the way, is secured on either end by a flexible rubber donut commonly called a guibo, with a supporting bearing in the middle. This all connects the front-mounted engine to the fixed rear-mounted transaxle. The rear suspension wrapped around that transaxle is a semi-independent de Dion setup with inboard disc brakes for minimal unsprung weight at the wheels. The front suspension is a little bit less exotic, featuring A-arms and torsion bars for springs.
Alfa debuted this chassis under the Alfetta sedan in 1972 and would use it under the GTV, the Alfa 90, and the succeeding 75/Milano model for the next two decades. The benefit of the layout is its nearly even weight distribution and the exceptional handling that affords.
This GTV6 has another ace up its sleeve. As denoted by the 6 in the name, it offers the awe-inspiring Busso V6, so named for its lead engineer, Giuseppe Busso, who during his long career at Alfa also had a hand in the company’s stalwart DOHC all-alloy four.
It’s this engine that leads to the first discrepancy we find in the ad. According to the seller, who is apparently listing the car on Craigslist for its owner, that engine is a 3.0-liter with the ad describing it thusly: “3,0 liter S cams.” That appears to be counter to the badge on the back end of the car that clearly denotes it has a 2.5 liter engine. What gives?
It’s an important distinction because the difference between the two displacements isn’t just size but output, with the smaller engine offering a factory-rated 153 horsepower and the larger one giving about 30 ponies more. It should be noted that either engine is going to make for an engaging ride and will sound like an Italian opera when given even a little bit of throttle.
Leaving the engine issue for a moment, we can see from the ad that the car has no issue with its clutch or five-speed gearbox, the latter being another typical weak point on Alfas. In fact, the seller goes so far as to call it a “true pleasure to drive,” and says there’s not “a squeak or rattle in the car.” Further, it’s described as “enthusiast owned” and will come with its complete service history. It also sports a clear title.
Aesthetically, it looks the part too. The paint (arrest-me red, naturally) seems to be in perfectly serviceable shape as does all the plastic trim, something that Alfa seemed to slather on their cars in the ‘80s. Inside, there’s even more plastic and while that may look a little chintzy, it’s just how Alfa built these. The black leather trim goes incredibly well with the salaciously red carpet too. Notably, there’s no stereo in here that might take away from the glorious noises the engine and gearbox collude to make. Speaking of that engine, it looks clean enough to eat off of in the ad’s under-hood shots. Yum!
What might that all be worth to someone? Well, that brings us to the ad’s second discrepancy. In the title, the car is listed at $29,500. That by the way, is the price we’re using in our consideration. In the body of the ad, however, the seller strangely states “$35,500, get me close…” Close to what? I don’t want to know.
As I noted, we’re using $29,500 as our target price and it’s now incumbent upon you to weigh in both in the comments and the vote as to whether or not that seems like a fair price. What do you say, should this GTV6 go for that kind of cash? Or, is that price too high even as a ticket to true auto enthusiasm?
Spokane, Washington, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Jason McDowell for the hookup!
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