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Thinning The Herd: 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6

There comes a time when almost every car collector will acknowledge there are not enough hours in the day to attend to every car’s needs. This clean 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6 is a great example of a car that is rising in value but hasn’t become unobtainable – yet. While the earlier versions aren’t exceedingly desirable, the later GTV6s are easy to love. The seller discloses he is an Alfa Romeo fanatic, and that he’s not finding enough time in the day to either driving this car or further sorting it out, despite having already put some real money into it. It’s listed here on eBay with bidding over $11,000 and the reserve still unmet.

The Alfetta and GTV6 are two models that have seemingly been a part of the usual round-up of affordable collector cars from the 1980s, but they haven’t exactly earned mass-market appeal. Plenty of BMWs, Porsches, and even the Fox platform Mustangs have taken their place among the podiums of desirable 80s sports and muscle cars, but the GTV6 still remains a bit of an outsider. It’s mysterious to me, personally, as it’s only moderately less reliable than those cars, and may even possess some superficial qualities that make it more interesting – that sonorous V6, for one thing, and the gorgeous Giugiaro-designed body for another. 

The interiors were also quite lavish, with Recaro-style seating (though some examples came with actual Recaros – I can’t recall if those seats, or Alfa Romeo’s version of them), a three-spoke steering wheel, and a seemingly jetfighter cockpit-inspired dash layout. I still am haunted by one of these cars that I saw shoved way in the back of a local pick and pull by a careless owner that despised foreign makes. It was a pristine example with an interior like this and beautiful blue leather and a pristine wood-rimmed steering wheel. I’m sure I would have made a GTV owner quite happy if I had grabbed those parts and stashed them away. It didn’t happen, unfortunately.

The good news is a car like this is far, far away from being junked, with a very rust-free chassis and a recently rebuilt transmission. The seller claims there are records that document numerous other improvements made at the hands of local Alfa Romeo specialists, but those receipts don’t show up in the listing gallery. Regardless, you can generally tell if one of these has been loved or neglected just by looking at the interior, as those cabins don’t take kindly to abuse. The GTV6 is the one to buy if you’re sweet on the hatchback-bodied Alfetta, and provided the reserve isn’t too much higher, this black-on-tan example looks worthy of re-homing.


  1. alphasud Member

    The 86 GTV6 was the last year we saw this model. It’s also the model that has the updated clutch. Mechanically it’s the same as the Alfa 75 or Milano. Transaxle synchromesh on these isn’t as robust (uses the same style as the Porsche 915) so it’s good those issues were recently addressed. Timing belts need replaced every 30k along with valve adjustments. Switchgear is a little weak but not too bad. Really pretty design which will accommodate taller people. My buddy at work was 6’2” and he owned one. Last ones on BaT brought good money. Once you own an Alfa it’s hard not to own another.

    Like 5
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    It’s located in Fresh Meadows,New York.

    I’ve always thought Alfas were really cool cars,
    but was never brave enough to actually own one.

    Like 1
  3. Marc

    Having had 6 of these over the years I say buy the best you can afford. Interiors don’t hold up to UV rays and bodies can rust horribly from the inside out.
    It’s a love hate relationship for me. They handle and sound great but are tough to cosmetically restore.

    Like 3
  4. Bultaco

    This would be a much more interesting car to own than a contemporary E30 BMW. The Alfa is much more maintenance-intensive than the Beemer, but about as reliable if properly maintained (similar Bosch Motronic engine management). The beauty of the Alfa is its very predictable and tossable neutral handling. And the sound of that V6 is the sweetest thing this side of a Ferrari!

    Like 5
    • alphasud Member

      I owned 3 Alfa’s and all 3 were more reliable than people give credit for. Not one of them ever left me stranded. The key is driving them daily. It was the garage queens that became repair garage queens. In fact I had several Ferrari owners who drove their Alfa’s as dailies. I also worked on Saab’s at the same time and they seemed to break with the same frequency.

      Like 5
    • SubGothius

      It’s actually Bosch L-Jetronic, an analogue system even simpler than the later Motronic digital system, and basically the same as any other L-Jet system. Any shop that services ’80s Euro models should know how to troubleshoot any glitches with the L-Jet system.

      Like 1
  5. Steve S

    Owning one of these is like having a hot but crazy girlfriend. High maintenance, will empty your wallet and leave you broken hearted, but man what a ride.

    Like 17
  6. Martin M

    My love of Alfa’s runs pretty deep. Back in 1970, when I was 20. I had saved my money and was ready was ready to buy my first car. I was torn between an Alfa GTV or a Chevelle SS. In a conversation with the Alfa mechanic at the dealership I was tole that if I owned an Alfa I’d better have a second car because the Alfa would always be in the shop. Barely purchasing my first car, his comments made my decision easy. It was the Chevelle SS with the L-78 and a 4 speed.

    Like 1
  7. John

    Steve S, you might do well to not take the first available hot but crazy girlfriend. I had an Alfa GTV many years ago. It was one of the best cars I’ve ever enjoyed, it’s a much more passionate driving experience than most everything else in its class. After years of having desire but being afraid to jump in, I finally bought a used Maserati, it’s similar in that it takes driving passion to a whole new level compared to its competition. I did a lot of research and learned that if you buy a good one and verify that you’re not getting one of the more problematic years (ie F1 Trans) they are an absolutely wonderful car at a bargain price. It isn’t cheap to maintain, but is well worth the price of admission. I’ve owned it for several years now and enjoyed it thoroughly. I spend some money on it to have it thoroughly looked over and gone through when I purchased it . I take her for a ride and feel passion that nothing else in my stable of 20 cars gives me. She may cost more to maintain but i get something in return that most will never realize. Life is short…Live it well.

    Like 7
  8. chrlsful

    Delta HF integrale Evoluzione II (the Lancia) would B my choice (even tho ‘a ford guy’ & most around the world will choose the same yr RS200) in this ‘genera’. You? Wha? no rally cars? How bout same in a go-cart?:


    Like 0
    • SubGothius

      Sure, who wouldn’t want an Delta Integrale Evo? But those will cost at least 2-3x as much as a GTV6 in similar condition these days.

      ‘Grales are also harder to find, as they were never officially imported to the US and only started tricking in over the past few years since they got to be over 25 years old, and there are no US parts sources for them, whereas old Alfas still have at least a couple thriving parts vendors here.

      Like 0
  9. DSteele

    1 word, Busso!!!!!!!!

    Like 2
  10. Douglas Hunt

    i test drove an earlier version off a local chevy dealers used car lot in the late 80’s[i cant remember exactly] but when i test drove it and stopped and looked it over it was too rusty for me, first car i ever saw with inboard rear disc brakes.
    these sealed me on imports forever though and later i ended up with a similarly designed scirocco.
    ive had an e46 330ci, and now a 05 GTI and a 01 TT but the italian cars hold a place i want to revisit.

    Like 0
  11. PRA4SNW

    SOLD for $15,100.

    Like 1
  12. Araknid78

    Ended:Feb 17, 2021 , 10:08PM
    Winning bid:US $15,100.00[ 13 bids ]

    Item location:Fresh Meadows, New York

    Like 0

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