20 Years in Warehouse: 1982 Alfa Romeo GTV6

As of late, I’m on the hunt for a 1980s Alfa Romeo. Specifically, a 75 / Milano sedan, in either the base model flavor or upgraded Verde trim. So, I’ve noticed that while the best cars are commanding respectable money, average cars are still plenty attainable. The GTV6 is the more sought-after sibling of the sedan, but that doesn’t mean prices have exploded yet for them; in fact, some enthusiasts might even say values are a bit low for the driving experience it delivers. Still, the seller of this tired 1982 GTV6 here on eBay seems to think this project-grade specimen is worthy of a fair purchase price in addition to the necessary restoration costs, with a Buy-It-Now of $6,700 and the option to submit a best offer.

The seller provides very little information, other than to say he owned it for many years and used it as a daily driver in San Diego. He parked it in his warehouse about 20 years ago, where it’s been ever since. The old-school California license plates tell you how long it’s been off the road, but the rust poking through on the taillight panel is more concerning. Although California is largely kind to vintage sheetmetal, any time spent near the coast can cause it to look like a snow belt car in short order. It doesn’t help that Alfa Romeos of this vintage are notoriously fragile already. The GTV6 in particular seems to attract rust like other vulnerable cars from the same period, such as the BMW E9.

Even with the long-term ownership history, it’s clear to me this GTV6 has been left neglected for some time. The interior isn’t awful but it has seen better days, and the dash is completely trashed by cracks. The OEM steering wheel and shifter remain in place, but the steering wheel itself is worn right on down through the departed leather wrap. Blue was a typical interior color scheme for the GTV, and the matching blue carpets seem to be in decent shape. No photos of the seats are provided, which would be my biggest concern as nicely preserved GTV buckets are worth a fair price given their Recaro-like appearance with thick bolsters around the torso and the thighs.

The 2.5 “Busso” V6 is one of the prettiest engine notes you’ll ever hear, and it’s a big reason why I want a Milano sedan. Throw a freer-flowing exhaust one an Alfa equipped with this engine and be prepared to never need a radio and always have the windows down. Still, timing belt and tensioner changes are must-dos on these cars, and the seller offers zero details on when and if this work was ever done. At the moment, the engine bay appears sorely neglected, so even if the belt was changed at one time, you’ll want to plan on doing it again soon. These cars are not getting easier to find, but plenty of good examples still exist; hopefully, the best offer option is one the seller takes seriously because as it currently sits, the Buy-It-Now is awfully ambitious for a GTV6 in this sort of condition.


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  1. alphasud Member

    Jeff, you will love the Alfa Milano. My first one was a 88 Gold model. If you don’t want to spring for a Verde 3.0 I would get a Gold trim level. The base had burlap seats and hubcaps, the Platinum trim level gave you leather and ABS, and limited slip. If you get either version that has the ABS you should consider sourcing spares from a non ABS car. The ABS units are troublesome and I believe parts are NLA. Plus there is no built in diagnostics which added to my frustrations when I worked on them at the dealer. The early GTV6 will possibly end the upgraded clutch assembly used on the 86 and up models. If the timing belt hasn’t broke don’t even try to start it without a new belt. The interiors are really fragile and you will most likely run into transaxle issues, DeDeon bushing, rear caliper rebuilds in addition to the usual long term storage needs.

    Like 4
    • Quidditas

      I had a steel bumper a 1976 2.0 L GTV. It was modified by, at the time, by South Africa’s best known Alfa tuner, Roger Taylor. It moved really well once you got past the shift from 1st to 2nd. So I tended to shift from 1st to 3rd.

      When the 2.5 L GTV 6 came out, I was so disappointed to find that my old GTV could not only match it, but also beat it.

      Sadly I wrote of the 2.0L and before I could get round to fixing it, it had turned to ferrous oxide. Only the mechanicals and certain body parts could be salvaged. Today the engine and gear box reside in my nephew’s pristine 1981 Alfa Giulietta.

      I am sorry to say that this GTV is in far worse condition than my beloved late GTV. The boot (Trunk?) is totally shot as is the front valance and the bulkhead and the chassis is probably worse. If that V6 has stood for 20 years, most likely the pistons are frozen to the sleeves. Never mind the shot interior. Is it even worth while as a parts car?

      In South Africa we have the unique and famous 3.0L GTV that have become very valuable and can fetch upwards of USD 80 000. The 2.5L has not fared has well.

      Caveat Emptor

      Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Was service manager for the Alpha dealer in ’84 when they came back to the US. Milano and GTV6 were great driving cars but had the Italian ability to rust on contact with the outside world. The electronics were fragile and as we were a Porsche repair and modifying operation we solved a lot of the problems with neat things like twin Weber carbs and US made ignition systems. Light, fast, and comfortable, they sold well but we did a lot of warranty work. It was a shame as the designers did a great job on both cars.

    Like 1

      I worked as an Alfa mechanic for the dealer in 1984, and we worked on Alfa’s, not sure what an Alpha is.
      I never replaced the Fuel injection on and GTV6’s or Milano’s with twin webers, as it would have been very difficult on a V6 to make this work. The spiders were also Bosch FI as well as ignition by 1984.
      The same Bosch system as many BMW’s and Porsches and many of the parts are interchangeable including the distributor if you change the drive gear.
      From 69 to 81 they ran SPICA. I think I changed one system to webers. Spica is not bad if you know how to work on it and gives better performance and economy than webers. Biggest issues is that many mechanics didn’t want to learn how to work on it.

      Like 2
    • audifan

      I didn’t know there were Al PH a dealers in the USA or anywhere in the world. LOL.

  3. Da Mange

    Does it have an interference motor?

    Like 11
    • rkirkpatrick

      Yes. Failure of the timing belt will cause bent valves.

      Like 3
  4. Cincinnati Chris

    I had an Alfa Romeo from a few years before this GTV. I LOVE the GTV… but I wanted to reiterate the bad steel issue. I understand that the Italians were getting their steel from Russia – and it’s horrible steel. When I replaced my Alfa Romeo – I couldn’t bear to sell it… left it parked at my parents and would push it back every month or so and just sweep all of the steel that it shed off the driveway.
    That being said – there is no more passionate car than a 1970’s or 1980’s Alfa Romeo!

    Like 5
  5. Willowen Member

    I’m a Milano owner and lover, on my second one. My wife had wanted a 164 since we were picked up in one when we flew to Atlanta to get Milano #1. That Milano eventually took us from Nashville to Pasadena, and then as THE car for about six more years, but she got her 164 in a swap deal I won’t go into here. That one eventually left us, and she got a new Giulia … Anyway, no, you can’t have “Flash”, my latest Milano. It was a Platinum until the ABS tried to set the car on fire, and the ABS got yanked. It’s about to get re-upholstered in the tweed cloth original to the Silver spec cars, because I like that better than leather. That is, if the seller ever gets back to me!

    However, I must congratulate you on your excellent taste in cars!

    Like 1
    • alphasud Member

      Willowen, I had 2 Milano’s as well. My first was a 88 Gold trim level in Alfa Rosso, that car got me hired at the Alfa dealer when I came in to order special tools and workshop manuals. After I worked at the dealer a couple years the wholesale guy came across a mint 88 Milano Verde in Rosso that I bought. One of the cars I which I still had. Such character and a pure joy with the 3 liter engine. My last Alfa was a 94 164LS that I got pulled over for speeding driving to the Saab training academy no less! It was new at the time and a few years later the dealer principal purchased it at auction and I immediately snatched it up. Found out later it was the car I got busted in. That car along with the other Alfa’s frequently saw Triple digits. The Alfa’s are only happy when you run them hard and often.

  6. Charles Atlas

    My 1986 Ford Escort 4 sp is better than this.

    Like 10
    • grant

      No. No it isn’t.

      Like 1
  7. Araknid78

    Located in:
    Boerne, Texas

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