Friday, August 12, 2016

Little Alfa: 1977 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV 2.0

Chances are I will never own an Italian car, and I'm not really sure my grass roots mechanical abilities would afford me the skill to maintain such a beast.  If I did consider wading into the world of Rosso Corsa, I would want to cut my teeth on something less recognizable and forgiving of my mechanical malaise. That way, I could make a complete mess of it and no one would be the wiser.  Find this 1977 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV 2.0  near Los Angeles, CA for $4,500 via craigslist. 

In 1972 Alfa debuted their newest model, the Alfetta which was the nickname of their highly successful 1951 Tipo 159 Formula One car.  Alfetta's were available in either saloon or coupé configuration and were an instant hit due to modest weight and powerful engines.  Consisting of a totally new chassis layout for Afla, the clutch & transmission were mounted in the rear of the car with the differential.  This resulted in excellent weight distribution and the cars were highly praised for their handling characteristics. By the end of production in 1987 over 400K units had rolled off the assembly line.

The GTV 2.0 coupé became available in 1977 and included Alfa's 2L power plant as standard equipment.  Dual overhead cams helped increase power to 131 HP, the most available during the full 15 years of production.  The seller states in the ad that the engine has been gone through, and looking at the pictures of his shop instills confidence in that disclosure.  Hopefully the fussy transmission has had similar treatment.

These cars were made for driving, and nothing screams that more than having only a tachometer dead center in front of the driver.  You want to know how fast your going?  Well, if you must, look yonder to your right son, as the speedometer is sitting in the middle of the dashboard.  Oh yeah, so are all your other indicators & gauges...but who needs them anyway??

The seller has already undertaken some modifications to this car and it looks like he has decided to move on mid-project.  If the powertrain is as stout as he suggests then this could be a fun project.  Learning to appease the fickleness of Italian automobiles hasn't yet found a way onto my bucket list, but if it did this example would be worth a further look.  If I were to render the car completely unusable with my ham-fisted wrenching skills then surely the parts are worth more than the sum of the whole?

See another quasi-exotic ripe for use as a lab rat ? email us here:

When not receiving complaints of "distracted by cars...again" from his wife, Glenn can be found in the kitchen whipping up exotic cuisine and nourishing nosh.


  1. The yellow devices on top of the cam cover could be used to hold items essential to owning an old Alfa: the left one holds a bottle of Excedrine, the right one holds the Prozac. Body might need a bit of attention but over all seems like a reasonable price. Lots of pictures in the ad, not trying to hide anything.

    1. No, they are for holding a bottle Chianti.

    2. Right up until it expands enough to push the cork out and then everyone assumes you've got a really bad rear main seal.

      Put the Chianti in the fire extinguisher bracket inside the car. Make sure the bottle's corked so you don't get busted for an open bottle.

  2. Oooh! Blue hose, smog fail.

    Yeah, I like these, but if I'm going to slip down that slope I'd be looking for something pre-smogtologist.

    1. You guys have a visual inspection for smog, right? This car won't pass as it's missing the hose that goes from the airbox snorkel (using the clips on the cam cover) to the injectors on the exhaust manifold. The seller didn't show a pic of that side of the engine, I'd guess that it has the earlier manifold that doesn't have the holes for the exhaust injection. It does still have the airpump though (by the coil), most of those were tossed when most Alfettas were de-smogged. You might be able to scrounge up the parts from APE to pass a visual in CA.

    2. The thing about our visual inspection in Cali is that it depends on the skill/interest/care of the guy doing the inspection and if he thinks there is any chance you are a NARC (The smog folks regularly run sting operations on smog shops to crack down on shops that pass for cash)...however, with something as obscure as this thing, I'd think that if it blows clean and has correct timing it'll probably pass most shops. There are even some portions of the test that are subjective -- such as with an EGR valve test where the car is supposed to sputter or stall if they pull vacuum on the valve during a certain time, but it is 100% up to the smog tech to determine if that sputter was sputtery enough.

      Still...I'd prefer my Italian cars pre-smog.

    3. So glad we have no visual and a rolling 25yr exemption here in the land of moss.

      De-smogging an Alfa is no big deal until 1981, when they went to the monofarfale (I love that word) intake with the SPICA. Skip '81 and go to the '82 Bosch.

  3. There's a whole thread on AlfaBB started by a potential buyer which uncovers some of the issues this car has... sounds like the seller has invested in getting it running properly, but without significant regard to things like passing emissions.


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