One of 350: 1982 Alfa Romeo Balocco GTV6

Special editions are nothing new, but as a car gets older, does that cosmetic or other styling-related “upgrade” that sets a limited edition model apart star to matter more? That’s my question about the 1-of-350 Alfa Romeo GTV6 Balocco edition here on eBay that features a few cosmetic tweaks – but no performance gains – to set it apart from other models. 

According to Hemmings, “….the Balocco edition of the Alfa Romeo GTV-6 added mostly trim and graphics (red carpet, black leather upholstery, special alloy wheels) to the front-engine, rear-drive coupe.” It was “….Named after the Circuito di Balocco test track that Alfa Romeo built in the early 1960s,” and otherwise, wasn’t all that different from a garden variety GTV6. Still, not many were made and that red carpeting is stunning! The Recaro seats and sport steering wheel are a nice touch as well.

The seller doesn’t offer much information about the health of this GTV6, and the body and paint look fairly tired. It doesn’t appear rusty, but the snow in the photos makes it plainly obvious that this Alfa resides in a road salt state – Whitestone, New York, to be exact. Rust repair is mentioned as a need for the next owner to address, but the seller has already installed “….rebuilt heads, new timing belt and waterpump.” Mileage is also quite reasonable at just 56,000 miles.

So, while the changes are purely cosmetic, I’m sure there’s an Alfa fanatic who would love to add this car to their collection. No matter what, the GTV6 is a fine driver, and with a $5,395 Buy-It-Now, the asking price seems reasonable. However, with no photos of the aforementioned rust repair needed, one does have to wonder just how bad it could be. But hey, the correct carpet is installed, and my guess is it’s way harder to find that than to fix some light corrosion.

Fast Finds


  1. sir mike

    They have snow in NY state in late June??

  2. Adam T45 Staff

    I’ve heard it said that you can not consider yourself a true petrol-head until you’ve owned an Alfa. I’ve driven a few and while they have really lovely engines and superb handling, the driving position is simply gruesome. Even the beautiful mechanicals are prone to some fairly major issues. Alfa Romeo have always built cars to be as good as they can possibly be….briefly!

    • tirefriar

      Adam, spoken truly like the man who has never owned an Alfa. I hate to be a Mythbuster, but Alfas are some of the most reliable cars out there. I can attest to that as I have owned 9 of them, most 105 chassis Spiders and Berlinas and none of the ones I drove ever left me stranded on the road. I used one of my Series 1 Berlinas as a daily driver with some of the commute during worst rusher traffic. It never overheated because it was properly maintained. The worst problems Alfas ever had were careless or ignorant owners who failed to maintain these fantastic automobiles. In the hands of an enthusiast, these will run and run…

      As correctly states, Balocco was a special edition trim treatment only. A more interesting special edition Maratona, being a special edition limited to trim treatment as well, featured plexiglass panel on the hood, a full body spoiler kit and lighter wheels. There was also an Andretti version as well.

      These have a rear transaxle for better weight distribution and rear in-board brakes. Not fun to work on. These like to chew through the guibos, not a big issue. The biggest problem here is rust which will be costliest repair item. From the owner’s description of mechanical work performed, this one lost its belt and dropped a valve. Being an interference motor, this would be the reason for engine rebuild. If the car is not running, and given the fact that it has rust, cracked dash and whatever else this car will need (suspension rebuild, tires,brakes and clutch, etc) $2k is the most I’d pay and only after seeing the rusted areas in their entirety. You can always be penny wise and dollar smart and buy one in great condition for about $10k.

      • Dave Wright

        Some of the most expensive cars in the world are old Alfas…..and mine have always been very reliable. These are not an old Fiat.

      • Adam T45 Staff

        Well picked Tirefriar. I have never owned an Alfa. I came very close to owning a GTV6 many years ago (when I was younger and more flexible than I am now). I adored it, but just found the driving position to uncomfortable to really get full enjoyment out of the car. The other thing that influenced my decision is the experiences of a few friends that I know who have owned various Alfas. All had various mechanical issues, and one pretty much watched his Alfasud dissolve before his eyes.

        If I lived anywhere but where I do I’d still consider ownership. However, we have a limited number of truly competent and experienced mechanics. It makes it hard to own any car that would be classed as “exotic” as maintenance is always questionable.

        Having said that, my workshop is currently empty, so I will never rule one out in the future. I really do love them.

        By the way, your powers of observation are the reason that I gave your comment a thumbs up. Well picked my friend!

      • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

        … OUCH ! ! … Dave Wright … I think a Fiat 124 Coupe with a Lampredi TwinCam is a much better investment than this Alfa… but of course most any Southern or West Coast GTV6 would be a better investment at any price.
        56k miles and needing ‘rebuilt heads’ … coupled with R U S T and built in Northern salt pockets, just waiting for more moisture from a wash job , is enough for me to pass this one by.

      • Dave Wright

        Hello Dave, I have great respect for your knowledge and opinion but we will have to be on different sides of the ring on Fiats. Off course, it is a big company and some are better than others, the 124 pushrods cars were serviceable. When I lived in Germany, one of my (German) neighbors was the service manager at the local Fiat agency. He told me that 20% of the cast parts he got from the factory including heads were porous. Many that were not Porous had to be machined to fit the cars properly. He absolutely hated them. They paid him more money than the head mechanic at the local Mercedes dealer just to keep him. The heat treating in the steel was not reliable, some parts were over hard and broke, some were soft and bent. To an old German craftsman these were absolutely not acceptable. I have owned a couple Fiats that were acceptable little commuters mostly for my ex wife. The little 128 front wheel drives were so limited in turning radius (because of the CV joint design) that my 300SE would turn rings around it, the little front engine rear drive sedans and sports cars were acceptable transportation but they are the exception. There are a whole new generation of people learning about Fiat today. Jeep has gone way down hill under there ownership and influence. Real Jeep guys want nothing to do with them. Have you compared a 500 to a Mini Cooper. These supposed competitions are not even in the same league. I have done a lot of Alfa heads and gaskets. There were many improvements in the technology and materials as time went. By the 80’s they held up well and who doesn’t love a wet sleeve dual overhead cam hemispherical head engine. There is a reason Fiats never seriously raced against Alfas (or BMW’s, Datsun 510’s) in real road racing competition.

    • KL Harper

      I have both Fiat’s and Alfa’s currently I own everything from a 65 Giulia Spider to a couple of GTV6 and a few 124’s.

      First off there is nothing special about a Balocco, buy on condition and not a special edition.

      Driving position all depends on the person I guess. I am 6’2″ and find both the Alfa’s and the Fiat’s very comfortable to drive, not as nice as the Jaguar or Volvo, but much better than the Miata or BMW.

      And actually Dave W Fiat’s and the Lampredi 124 are damn good. Fiat has in fact done quite well in competition with it. Everything from E, F and G production in SCCA, and back when it mattered, to beating Porsche in world sportscar racing in 79 and 80 as well as a string of rally championships in everything from the 124, 131, Lancia 037 and Delta Integrale. The Integrale won the World rally championship 6 times in a row, a record that still stands today all running the Fiat twin cam Lampredi motor.

      I have never had a casting or a metallurgy problem with Fiats and as a PE I find the design and mechanical pieces exemplary for the time period. I have had a couple of casting problems with Alfa’s one valve cover and an oil pan, but I have had several with Mercedes on the 107 series.

      I like both Alfa’s and Fiats and rust and poor maintenance are the biggest issues. Get past those and both cars can be driven very reliably.

      KL Harper

    • Bobsmyuncle

      @Adam T45

      If you like Tirefriar’s sleuthing than this should knock your socks off. Your comments are nearly word for word those of Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear


      you can not consider yourself a true petrol-head until you’ve owned an Alfa.


      Alfa Romeo have always built cars to be as good as they can possibly be….briefly!

      • Adam T45 Staff

        Bobsmyuncle, I have seen the occasional episode of Top Gear. I’d thought that I’d forgotten this one, but it had obviously wormed its way into my subconscious. Thanks for the link. I enjoyed watching that.

  3. Tirefriar

    Adam, depending on how deep you want to get involved with an AR, I’d start with a Nord powered Alfa. Usually the love affair starts with a Spider and then progresses depending on what tickles your fancy. The Nord engine is a straight forward motor with “floating” cylinders, which is part of the reason the blocks could be almost infinitely rebuilt. If you like the 116 chassis, which the car featured here, then take a look at the Alfetta GT. The twin overhead cam four is lighter than the Busso V6 in the GTV and makes up in handling what it gives up in power. I’m talking stock to stock on serpentine roads… I had a 164 L manual for a short time. While I liked the seating position ( you see well above the dash) and the handling was great for the fwd, it was not as light and tossable as the Berlinas. I really wish you can find a great seat for yourself and install it in your future Alfa!

    • Adam T45 Staff

      Tirefriar, this is why I love this website. I get to converse with like-minded people who are able to provide me with insight and information. Thank you so much for your information. It’s been invaluable. Horsepower is not the be-all and end-all of a car for me. If you want to get an idea of the sorts of roads that I am dealing with, go onto YouTube and search for “Targa Tasmania”. You will see that we have no real freeways in our little island state, but plenty of real driver’s roads. Check out some of the footage. I think that you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. Thanks again.

  4. Dave Wright

    My best Alfa was a 2600 spider and then there was my 2600 coupe but I still own and have owned many later Spiders, Berlinettas, and Gullias. I have never been fond of the GTV body style or the newer V6 cars. The Alfasuds I have driven were very disappointing and I have never owned one. My wife’s 78 Spider will sit for 6 months at a time and start right up with its Spica fuel injection. Here is one I saw while in Germany last fall. It was quite impressive. When I had my shop in Utah, we used to buy many broken cars where the owners had been given ridiculous repair quotes. None of them were difficult repairs. The parts were of the highest quality and the cars stayed fixed.

  5. alan

    Perfectly perforated. Don’t go loco for a rusty Balocco!

  6. Dolphin Member

    As a GTV6 owner I agree with a lot that the Alfa owners have said, especially about being careful to check for rust damage. There are so many of these selling for reasonable money that you can hold out for a good one with no, or minimal rust, relatively low miles, and a good history.

    I am 6′ 1″ and have no problem with the driving position. It might help to use an arms-out-straight steering position, which is probably what you should use with vintage Italian cars anyway.

  7. Derek

    I agree that the seating position seems a bit odd. Get it on a twisty road and start giving it beans and you don’t notice this any more. Never owned one, driven lots.

  8. Wolfgang Gullich

    Snow doesn’t mean road salt state! I live in Anchorage, AK and the state uses no salt on the roads at all… Weird chemical reaction combined with extreme cold creates what’s called chemical ice which is extremely difficult to remove from roads

  9. CCFisher

    Only an Italian automaker would attach a special edition plaque with exposed flat-head screws, yet take the time to ensure that the slot on each screw is perfectly horizontal.

  10. Martin Horrocks

    @ Dave Wright I compared the Fiat Panda 100HP to a Mini Cooper and got a five door 16valve 6 speed go kart for 1/2 the price of the Mini. 10 years and 300,000kms of hard Madrid driving, I have no regrets….car still rips up Minis!

    Ref general comments on Alfas:

    I´ve also had a tlot of Alfas, 105 series spyder, Bertone and Berlinas, Alfasud, Alfetta GT, 75 V6, more modern fwd155 16v and the super rare 155Q4 (Lancia Integrale in an Alfa Shell, massive fun). No huge problems, and no huge bills either.

    Basic rule is buy a good one and maintain it. I am neither rich nor practical, but knowledgeable mechanics are a big help. Avoid the official dealerships.

    Finally, always pass over neglected stuff like this car.

  11. Martin Horrocks

    @ Dave Wright I compared the Fiat Panda 100HP to a Mini Cooper and got a five door 16valve 6 speed go kart for 1/2 the price of the Mini. 10 years and 300,000kms of hard Madrid driving, I have no regrets….car still rips up Minis!

    I´ve also had a ton of Alfas, 105 series spyder, Bertone and Berlinas, Alfasud, Alfetta GT, 75 V6, more modern fwd155 16v and the super rare 155Q4 (Lancia Integrale in an Alfa Shell, massive fun). No huge problems, and no huge bills either.

    Basic rule is buy a good one and maintain it. Knowledgeable mechanics are a big help. Always pass over neglected stuff like this car.

  12. John

    I had a 58 Giulietta Spider. I was young and poor. A starter for that car cost a couple of hundred bucks in 1966. But the starter was all it ever needed. It ran and ran and ran. I loved that car. I finally got a real job and traded it for a brand-new MGB-GT. I missed the Alfa almost immediately. I had more issues in one year with the BGT than I ever had with the Alfa. Its only problem was that its steering wheel was almost flat like a city bus, and its seat was so far back that I had to stretch to make corners. I also remember that its gear shift lever was in a strange place and I always hit the dash going into third gear. And there was a reason Italian shoes were pointed, the pedals in the Alfa were about the size of a silver dollar. I would buy that car back in a heartbeat if I could find it. I hope it still exists.

  13. Chuck Foster 55chevy Chuck Foster

    I bought this GTV-6 for $800 last fall from a Pick n Pull and sold it for $2400 on Ebay, it would turn over but not start, can’t keep them all.

  14. Dave West

    In case no one else mentioned it, those are seats from a later GTV6. Arguably more comfortable, but not what came in the Balocco.

  15. Steve

    Great commentary on this, I love to read about Alfas. We just got the new 2017 Giulia here in the US. The next new car is my choice my wife picked the last one, if I enjoy the test drive I will be buying a new Alfa in January.

    • tirefriar

      I checked out the new Giulia. Liked what I saw but was rather disappointed that it does not come with a manual transmission.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        If it did I’d be driving one now, it has been the only car I’ve ever lusted over.

  16. Rolf Poncho 455

    I like the steering wheel! That’s it

  17. LD

    Love this discussion, always learn a lot here. Have a 79 Spider Veloce , much fun! Like ’60s Guilas but never a big fan of the gtv, friends have encountered lots of maintenance.
    Thanks to Dave Wright for providing a new high in low praise–Fiats are acceptable commuters—for ex-wife! LD71😄
    “have owned a couple Fiats that were acceptable little commuters mostly for my ex wife.”

  18. michael

    these things rust faster than I can type the name Alfa …

  19. Mark-A

    Is it just me or does the Seat Squab seem hella long? I’ve heard people say that Alfas/Fiats must mean that Italians are built differently from everyone else (think its down to the Seating feeling like it’s made for people with Short Legs & Extremely Long Arms!!??) I’ve never owned an older Alfa or Fiat so can’t comment from experience. Someone able to put me straight or better than that actually Tell The Truth about it? Thanx

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