Unique of the Week: 1985 Alfa Romeo GTV6

Classic Cars / Comments

The Alfa Romeo GTV6 was a truly great sports coupe that was discontinued only a few years before Alfa bailed out of North America.

Parent company Fiat has paved the way for Alfa Romeo to return to the New World with the introduction of the 500 to North America. While the city car didn't quite meet sales expectations in its first year, there are high hopes for its slightly more upscale cousin. Before Alfa Romeo left the North American market back in 1995, it offered several models that were popular with brand enthusiasts, but oftentimes failed to register with mainstream buyers.

One such car was the Alfetta. Built as a sedan and fastback coupe, the latter being known as the GTV, it was first unveiled in 1974 and originally powered by a 1.8-liter inline-four. Alfa soon began to offer a greater range of engines culminating with a 2.5-liter V6 in the GTV6. Although this engine was originally featured in the larger Alfa 6 sedan, it turned out to be best suited in the two-door GTV6, and for very good reason. The GTV6, in addition to being a solid road car, also went on to have an excellent racing career. It managed to win the prestigious European Touring Car Championship four years in a row, from 1982-1985.

It also won the British Touring Car Championship in 1983 and even took part in Group A rallying. It even famously made an appearance in the James Bond film "Octopussy". Alfa also built two limited-edition GTV6s for the US market, called the Balocco and Maratona. Just 350 Baloccos were built and it featured a red exterior with a black interior, sunroof and a unique seat pattern design.The Maratona, meanwhile, came with its own aerodynamic trim package, lightweight wheels, clear engine view port, wood steering wheel and shift knob, sunroof and fog lamps. With its silver exterior and black interior, just 150 examples were produced.

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Even Callaway Cars, well-known for its work on Corvettes and Camaros, tinkered around with the GTV6 by adding a twin-turbo for a couple of years. When it came time to replace the Alfetta sedan, its GTV6 coupe counterpart disappeared entirely from the market in 1987. This particular 1985 GTV6, currently up for sale, is reportedly a fixture in the Northern California rally scene. It's been meticulously well maintained; the paint is intact and has original factory glass. Modification work was done to the suspension and it has a set of nearly new Kumho tires. With 152,000 miles on the clock, the GTV6 is available for $7,800.

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