Monday, August 29, 2016

Secondo Round: 1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6

A few weeks back I wrote about my inept ability with all things Italian featuring a mid-seventies GTV Alfa.  DT readers are an educated bunch and I learned a lot about the car in question.  The world of Italian cars is still a black hole for me, but I look forward to pulling up my intelligence.  Shall we try this again?  Find this 1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6 for sale near Los Angeles, CA for $11,900 OBO via craigslist.

This example moves us into the eighties...and heavier emission controls as well I presume.  While still holding the basic design, by the time 1984 rolled around many revisions had taken place.  US mandated bumpers detract from the overall shape but speaks to the era.  This car looks to be well cared for with a claimed 71K miles since new.

Intorduced in 1979, automotive magazines quoted the Busso V6 engine as one of the best sounding engines ever.  Advertised at 160 BHP, the engine still packed enough grunt to throw the car around making for enjoyable drives.

Interiors were updated for 1984 giving the car a more modern feel.  The speedometer was now placed to the left in the driver binnacle instead of in the center display.  The tachometer was still dead center to keep an all-important eye on the engine revs.  A/C seems to be the biggest complaint with these cars, staying cool in warm climates is not the norm. 

I am interested to hear what readers have to say about this example.  I garner pre-smog Italian cars are better favored, but this example is 32 years old already putting it well into classic automobile territory.  Is this a desirable model?  Does the asking price reflect what's on offer?  Let the Italian edu'mcation begin!      

See another Italian classic we can dissect? 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. Sweet, another post about Ducatis :)

    I am always looking for an Italian car but have found that some of my favorite affordable ones are up in price.
    It seems there is not a lot of good deals to be had on CL or the bay.
    The people who have the most reasonable prices I believe are on Alfabb
    fun cheap example
    not so mint Milano
    Also the little Alfettas are still priced pretty low. But I want an Italian V6!

  2. I wouldn't worry about the emissions, it's Bosch L-jet and cats. For most places (sorry CA), it's most likely exempt from smog. We never got the Busso V-6 with anything other.

    The key issue with the Alfa V-6 is the timing belt - 3yrs or 30k miles or you risk pistons and valves coming together. Also, keep the original oil-fed tensioner, just make sure it doesn't leak(you can rebuild it if it does). The non-oil fed has fallen from favor. The ad is conspicuous in not mentioning timing belt.

    Also most cars have been converted to the Milano single disc clutch when the time comes, but again nothing in the ad.

    It would also be interesting to find out the story of why it has 164L wheels.

    Additionally one might ask the seller about the interior, almost all 1984 Silver GTV-6's came to the U.S. with a blue interior due to a paperwork error when ARI ordered them from AR Corporate.

    And ditch the stupid cone filter. The stock airbox is better, Busso knew more than you...

  3. Good advice on all counts Gianni. Does the single clutch help in balancing the mass that wears out the rubber driveshaft connectors?
    I never understood why they put the clutch in the back which makes so many hurdles to overcome. If it was for weight distribution only that would be a very expensive 40 pounds.
    I read the story on development and they certainly took the difficult road.,

    1. BionicTorqueWrenchAugust 30, 2016 at 1:26 AM

      The clutch at the back makes life easier for the synchros. And you already know the reputation Alfa has for synchros. The clutch at the front means the input shaft of the transmission also carries all the rotational inertia of the driveshaft, and the synchros have to overcome all of this rotation to create a smooth gear change.

      (Porsche managed to do this with the 944, but they are Porsche.)

      I replaced the rubber driveshaft connectors in twenty five year old car - I figure that it is just age and rubber. I don't think they deserve a bad reputation.

      The clutch is easy to replace. I've done it a couple of times on different cars. With a hoist, you can be in and out in about four hours.

    2. Actually it makes no difference. The synchros match the clutch disc to the RPM determined by the Road Speed and the gear being synchroed into. A light weight clutch or drilled gears would make a difference in the rotating inertia and make thingds last longer.

      In both cases the clutch is at the front of the transmission and the main source of inertia are (1) the clutch disc itself and (2) the rotational inertia of the gears of the tranny on the layshaft and meshing with it.

      The input shaft to the clutch can be thought of as an extension of the crankshaft so while it may be a bit more flexible and affect the engine response due to more rotating mass.

      That tranny is very similar to the 101, 105 and others with the split case 5-speed. The synchro design is by Porsche using a 'C' synchro ring instead of a cone as on most trannys.

      Just remember to pause in neutral when upshifting and the syncros will last longer.

  4. Do valve guides at 30K as well. The material was too soft from factory. I added front torsion bar stiffener plates to reduce body roll. The stickshift is like a '64 Bug...loose and sloppy, but there are kits to tighten it up. Tensioner, right. OTT,C Castrol 20/50 and good filters, not Fram.

    1. Too bad they didn't put the 3.0 ltr in and updated it. Would've been a good way.

    2. They actually did create a 3 liter GTV-6 for the South African market for homologation purposes.

  5. Why a clutch in the back? Not for weight balance, but Italian eccentric engineering!

    I owned an Alfetta a long time ago and it was such a delight to drive, not fast but fun. Had always wanted a GTV6 for the power, but felt the Alfetta was the more pure shape (particularly with Euro bumpers). The Busso V6 is a beautiful motor and quite durable if you follow the guidelines Gianni mentioned.

    I eventually moved on to Porsche for speed and reliability, but I lost a good deal of soul.

  6. Excellent discussion, sharing this type of hard-earned info is something we can all learn from! Keep it coming!

  7. Alfabb is still the place to lean about Alfas though.....Easily as hardcore as an american brand!

    1. Nice thing about the Alfabb and Alfa owners in general is that there is a lot of knowledge and expertise out there with them and they don't have any problems sharing it.

      Unlike and VWVortex. I like my Miata and I liked the Rabbit GTI I once owned, but I can't say the same with most of the people on their forums...

  8. Here's another example for GTV lovers. Price is $5,700 USD

  9. Somehow, Moore's Bond saves the world driving one of these, frantically, in a clown suit at the end of Octopussy. That did it for me; plus, the Italian scowl nose makes up for the unfortunate humpback, IMO at least.

    1. here's that clip of Moore/Bond driving the Alfa - too bad he's not in clown makeup at the time, only the clothes - the car looks great - interesting mix of police cars


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