No Reserve Driver: 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6

When it comes to the question of vehicle styling, Alfa Romeo has always tended to march to the beat of a different drummer. Sometimes the results have been vehicles of incredible beauty, while some of their offerings have been somewhat less than attractive…to be diplomatic. The GTV6 is definitely one of their more successful designs, and the basic body shape remained in production in various guises largely unchanged for a total of 15-years. This 1981 GTV6 is in better than average condition for its age, and the owner has decided that the time has come to part with the little thoroughbred that is located in Flanders, New Jersey. It has been listed for sale here on eBay, and bidding has reached $5,200 in what is a no reserve auction.

The GTV6 is finished in the very imaginatively named Alfa Red and generally presents quite nicely. The body wears a few minor blemishes, but there is nothing that is severe enough to warrant immediate attention. The owner supplies a great selection of photos of every aspect of the vehicle, and for those who might be worried about the Alfa’s reputation for rust problems, you will be relieved to learn that the floors appear to be completely solid and clean. Oh, how I wish that I could say that the vehicle is completely rust-free, but unfortunately, I can’t. However, the rust that is present appears to be of a very minor nature, and if this was addressed quickly, its progress could be arrested before it had a chance to gain a stranglehold on the Alfa. It is confined to four very small spots, including the top of the front fender on the driver’s side, a couple of small bubbles on the driver’s side rear wheel arch, and a small area in the rear edge of the roof. These are all pretty minor, but attacking them now would potentially save a fair amount of heartache in the future. The exterior trim looks to be in good condition, the factory alloy wheels are in excellent order, while there is no sign of any problems with the glass.

Apart from a reputation to develop rust problems, one of the other aspects of any Alfa that can cause grief is the interior trim and plastic. It wasn’t unusual to find early examples where the carpet started to accumulate a fair collection of little pieces of plastic as things began to crumble and fail, but if you find one today that hasn’t suffered that fate, then the chances are that you are onto a bit of a winner. The most pressing issue is the fact that below that cover, the dash pad is cracked. It isn’t clear just how bad this is, but it might be worth investigating whether it could be repaired. If it can’t, then it isn’t the end of the world. Finding a replacement cap is actually pretty easy, and they generally sell for around the $180 mark. The upholstery on the driver’s seat is stretched a bit, but the remaining upholstery and the carpet look quite good. There is an aftermarket CD player fitted in place of the original radio, but otherwise, the interior appears to be original and is generally very serviceable.

What made the GTV6 such a formidable vehicle and an absolute giant-killer was what could be found lurking in the engine bay. In this case, it is the fuel-injected 2,492cc V6 engine, which sends its 158hp to the road via a 5-speed manual transaxle. Now, 158hp doesn’t sound like a lot, but with a relatively light vehicle weight of 2,668lbs, and a smooth and aerodynamic body shape, the GTV6 could not only cover the ¼ mile in a respectable 16.4 seconds, but it could wind its way to a top speed of 132mph. The good news, in this case, is that this is a car that would appear to have been properly maintained. The owner says that all of the fluids are fresh, that the engine starts and runs well, the clutch and transmission operate smoothly, and overall, the Alfa drives nicely. It sounds like the wide-open roads are beckoning this little classic and its next lucky owner.

If the rust that the owner identifies in this 1981 Alfa GTV6 is all that is present in the entire car, then this is an Italian classic that shows a lot of promise. Of course, it will take a personal inspection to confirm whether this is accurate, but this is something that the owner is actively encouraging potential buyers to do. When owners follow that line of thinking, it generally indicates that they don’t believe that there is anything to hide, which is always an encouraging sign. These are by no means a rumbling muscle car, but slipping behind the wheel of a GTV6 can provide even the most skeptical of drivers with a pretty pleasant surprise. Not only does the engine provide impressive levels of performance for such a small capacity, but pointing a GTV6 at a twisting piece of road can provide one of the most enjoyable driving experiences that you can ever imagine. Enjoyment. Isn’t that what owning a classic car is supposed to be all about?


WANTED 1976-1980 Plymouth volare Looking for Dodge Aspen / Plymouth Volare donor car with good sheet metal for parts for my project Contact

WANTED 1934 Ford 3 Window Coupe ORIGINAL Steel Body Style .The body should have a rusty texture rather than a clean state. Contact

WANTED 1967-1969 Pontiac Firebird Looking for an original 400 convertible, 3 or 4 speed preferred. No restomods. Contact

WANTED Caterpillar Any Wanted Caterpillar , in any condition running or non running for restoration project parts machine Contact

WANTED 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Looking for parts for this project. Especially seats Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. CJinSD

    What is it about people who own old Italian cars that they do things like painting the aluminum engine castings in pretty colors? I’m out.

    Like 1

      Good question, the short answer is vanity.
      The longer answer is Italian tradition to show a hot motor. It goes back to at least the 50’s when Ferrari painted the cam boxes and heads of an engine and christened the car “Testarossa” or red head. Tuners for Alfa Romeo did the same with the likes of Conrero painting their valve covers usually black or red wrinkle coats. Lancia continued the tradition with the Fulvia in particular the Fanalone HF cars with their bright Blue and Yellow valve covers.
      So mostly it is just Italian hot rodding tradition and vanity.
      The other reason is that it helps keep the engine clean. The valve covers are not smooth and are tough to keep clean. They are also somewhat porous and while they will not leak they are tough to polish well. Also a lot of the busso v6 valve covers are magnesium and those do not polish as well as the aluminum ones. Painting them just makes the engine easier to keep clean.

      Like 3
  2. DSteele

    Is that a Busso V6?

    • SubGothius

      Yes it is, singing one of the most soul-stirring arias in automotive history. In my head I can still hear the 3.0L version from my dad’s old Milano Verde, over a decade since the last time I drove it. I can even do a passable verbal impression of its idle to initial revs; just repeat the word nuga in a low baritone getting faster and higher.

      Like 1
      • Dickie F.

        In the Alfa Romeo’s (then) factory in Brits, South Africa, the GTV6 3 litre came to fruition in 1983. As a result of a collaborative effort between Alfa South Africa and Autodelta (the Italian parent company’s specialist competition arm), once the Italian marque’s Arese head office had given the project its blessing.
        There were 220 cars built to achieve homologation. These cars were built for racing and in road form produced 172 hp.
        They were easily identified by the large bonnet air scoop. They were fast.

        Like 3
  3. SubGothius

    We have the maestro of automotive design, Giorgetto Giugiaro, to thank for this timeless design, originating as the 1974 Alfetta GT. It’s hard to capture in photos just how steeply the short nose plunges from the cowl down to the grille, but it’s readily apparent and impressive in-person from eye level.

  4. jerry z

    Callaway modified these GTV6 but have never seen one for sale. Curious how many they made.

    • Joe Elliott


  5. Dickie F.
    • Araknid78


      Like 1
  6. bill wingfield

    they were a sling shot ! had a problem with head gaskets . if you rode it hard it would blow a head gasket . they were quick though

  7. eisenmen

    All dashes cracked on GTV6’s but dash covers are readily available. This one has the usual rust areas and some coverups (black over leading edge of the rear fenders). Also missing rocker trim and the mirrors have been painted. But overall a keeper if it runs/drives well. A decent driver in need of TLC is running around 10K these days. A low mileage, near perfect example just went for 36K on BAT.

  8. Araknid78

    Ended: Jun 23, 2020 , 2:53PM
    Winning bid:US $9,211.00
    [ 44 bids ]
    Item location:Flanders, New Jersey

    • Michael

      That went pretty cheap. Hope the new owner gets on the alfabb board or the FB Alfa GTV6 2.5 group and tells us how it goes.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.