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Drive and Restore: 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV

The other day we covered a non-running Alfa Alfetta; today’s selection is its older sibling, in “running project” condition, here on craigslist. This 1969 GTV 1750 is posted with an asking price of $16,000 – less than half what a nice example costs these days. It’s located in Los Angeles, California. Cosmetically, just about every corner inside and out needs work. But while you figure that out, you can drive the wheels off it. T.J. found this one for us – thanks T.J.!

Alfa’s GTV was introduced in 1963 to follow the gorgeous Giulia and Giulietta Sprint coupes. Both generations were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone, but the GTV deviated from the rounded, lush lines of the earlier cars. The modern idiom flattened the waistline plane and incorporated the headlights into the grille. Squint at the front of an Alfa GTV and you can see the lines of the contemporaneous Lancia Fulvia – though the latter was designed in-house by Piero Castagnero. This car has seen better days but someone has made at least a minor attempt at repairs. The seller notes rust in the front floors and trunk area, but Alfas are very competent at rusting so scanning every inch of the underside and innards is essential.

Still equipped with its original Spica injection, the 1779 cc twin-cam four-cylinder makes about 130 hp. This motor has clocked only 45,000 miles and has seen regular maintenance. The gearbox is a five-speed manual and don’t be surprised if the shift between first and second gives you a “graunch” – synchros are notoriously fragile. Four-wheel disc brakes outclassed much of its British competition and uprated suspension geometry improved the GTV’s handling. This example has new tires, pads, rotors, rear calipers, and master and slave cylinders. The alternator has been rebuilt. The seller drives it a few times a month – a reassuring interval for a 55-year-old machine. The GTV is a performance upgrade over the earlier coupe, while still offering a vintage experience.

The interior needs … more than a spa day. We’re looking at a major renovation here. Just about everything is cracked, split, or altered. A tangle of wires hanging below the dash is not confidence-inspiring. But we’re assured that all the lights work, though no word on the gauges. Still, I would rather tackle an interior than an engine. Meanwhile, this model has seen serious appreciation, starting in about 2016. Asking prices over $50k for very nice examples are common; in fact, Hagerty suggests a “fair” car is worth around $30k. What do you think – is this one a bargain or a bust?

Comments

  1. Harvey Harvey Member

    The brush guard looks out of place:-)

    Like 5
    • TomD

      Not i you’re parking it on the street in LA!

      Like 2
  2. RayT Member

    Michelle, I’d rather tackle an engine than an interior (or even a cracked dash), but having driven GTVs I’d be sorely tempted to get the seats redone, make sure the mechanicals are in order, and then drive the bejeebers out of this car. Restoration could wait; these are incredibly fun to hurl around, and you really can’t see much of the cosmetics when you’re in it.

    Like 9
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      RayT said it for me. I’ve got some time behind the wheel of these cars and they are fun on the run.

      Like 6
  3. Marco

    I owned a ’69 GTV many years ago. Paid $300 for it and the Blaupunkt radio in it was worth more than the car. 1969 was the only year for those much sought after “Flying Buttress” racing seats (USA version). If restored they command many thousands for the seats alone. As such the 1969 model year ALFA GTV has brought over 100k for an excellent condition example on various auction sites. Too bad about this one but not unrestorable in the right hands and with enough $$$!

    Like 3
    • Tirefriar

      This has all the right bones in place. The flying buttress sears area huge plus, coupled with the much desired 1750 motor this one is worth restoring unless the rust is too widespread but even then….

      Like 0
  4. Martin Horrocks

    All parts available. Sweet spot of the Betine range. Unusual colour combo, this is a bargain. Nice examples are delightful and you get the money back if you get it right.

    Michelle, Fulvia coupé came along a couple of years later than the Giugario Giulia GT, which was itself an evolution of his Alfa 2000 Coupé. Fulvia Coupé cannot have had any influence on the Bertone Alfa.

    Like 0
  5. DJ

    I wish there were better photos of the seats. Yes, they need to be reupholstered, but they are unique with the seat back side bolster cutouts. The vinyl used on these was a basket-weave pattern, and didn’t wear well, hence the total deterioration.
    These are such wonderful cars.

    Like 2
  6. Jjd Member

    “The interior needs … more than a spa day.”

    Lol!

    Like 1
  7. MikeH

    In the early 70s I bought a ‘69 Fiat 124 spider—bright yellow. I got stopped 5 times in the first two weeks I had it. It drew cops like bees to a yellow flower. I had to sell it to keep my license. I got a ‘69 GTV, grey, just like this one. It was invisible to the cops. It was the most fun car I have ever owned.

    Like 2
  8. Frank Barrett Member

    The Craigslist street photos instantly made Elvis start singing, “Down at the end of Lonely Street…” Everything depends on the floors, but the car is complete and together and runs, so there’s that. Holes below the “bumper guard” indicate it may have been part of a towing mount for dragging it behind an RV, etc.; it may have held a screen to protect the front of the car. Yes, very unusual color combo and rare seats. Definitely worth saving, and the purchase price is almost insignificant compared to restoration costs.

    In 1992 I bought a ’65 Giulia Spider like this for $4,200 and did a running restoration. It’s great fun to drive, and I recently turned down a $45,000 offer.

    Like 1
  9. Guido 36

    This is an oddball and I would question it’s history. As far as I recall the body is European with small tail lights, round side marker lights and the 1750 trunk script to name a few pointers. The seats are not the Euro flying buttress version with the crank up headrest. 1969 Euro seats did not have top mount headrests. Nor did Euro 1750s have Spica fuel injection – they would have either Weber DCOEs, Solex or possibly Dellorto side drafts. I had three 1969 Euro 1750 GTVs and a 1750 Euro Berlina before I traded for a new 2000 and a 1.8 Alfetta.

    Like 0
    • Tirefriar

      The large tail lamps appeared in 1970 on the GTV 2000 and were universal for all markets. Difference was in color of turn signal lens – red for US, amber for RoW.

      Front turn indicators under the bumper, SPICA, headrests indicate that this is a US spec car.

      Like 0
    • Marco

      It’s clearly a USA version. You are correct about headrests, Spica injection, etc. All for export to USA that year.

      Like 0
  10. Randy Simon Member

    I bought it! Very nice seller, drive it 30 minutes home without incident, including highway. I usually put my cell phone on the passenger seat but didn’t this time because I was worried if I hit the brakes, it would fly out the hole in the passenger footwell. Cool watching the pavement zoom by and the spinning tires through the floor holes – free AC! Front guard is to protect bumper from car parking in front. Thank you Barn Finds!

    Like 3
    • DJ

      Congratulations Randy! So happy for you and that worthy Alfa! Have fun with it!

      Like 2
    • Glemon

      I came here to post it was gone already, and that is no surprise. If it were closer to me (half the country away, so not even close) we would have been racing to see who could get there with cash in hand. I would call driving it home a win. Enjoy.

      Like 1

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