A Tale of Two GTVs
OK, I admit it: when I first met my friend Manuel about four years ago and saw that in his ridiculous Alfa Romeo collection he had more GTVs than I have toes, I thought to myself: “Why on earth would you want so many examples of the same exact model”?
Sure, we all fantasize about our dream hangar full of our favorite works of art on wheels, but I always imagined that one would want to build a fairly diverse collection before starting to repeat a particular model.
How foolish I was. I recently became the proud owner of my second 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV. Both are the same year and model, and yet they are completely different animals. Let’s just say that each one scratches a different itch.
The Green One
The old cliché about Alfa Romeos is absolutely true: you don’t look for an Alfa, the Alfa finds you. This couldn’t be more true with the Olive Green Metallic GTV that popped up for sale in late 2011. I was not in the market for another Alfa, and I certainly did not have the space for one, but the color immediately grabbed my attention. I love a red Alfa like as much as the next guy, but I’m a sucker for all the pop colors that were available on GTVs, Montreals, and many other sports cars from the ‘70s.
The GTV was located in the Netherlands but was originally a US-spec car sold in California where it spent most of its time. In 1994 it was taken to the Netherlands where it was barely driven. In fact, it still has its American tires with more than 7mm of tread left. The ad also indicated that it had factory A/C which also meant that it had rare factory original green glass to help keep the cabin cool. All in all, it looked like a solid, original, and well maintained GTV in a rare original color that would make a great daily driver.
I decided it was time to bring this GTV back to its home in California. Sight unseen, I wired the full purchase amount to the seller and crossed my fingers.
About a month later, the GTV shows up on our shores and Manuel and I go to pick it up. Upon first inspection everything looks great. The paint was and is even more beautiful in person. The seller had even kindly included a little surprise in the glovebox. This GTV turned out to be pretty much as described by the seller. I have been driving it for about a year now, and it has proven to be a fantastic, reliable daily driver GTV that I can take on spirited canyon runs with my fellow Alfisti on a Sunday morning and then drive in the evening for a stylish night out with my wife.
The Red One
Simply put, the red GTV is a beast!
I’ve only had it a very short time, and frustratingly I’ve only driven it a couple of days due to a delay in getting it insured, but it is a very different driving experience than the green GTV. If these GTVs were dogs, the green one would be a very loyal golden retriever that walks by your side, whereas the the red one would be boxer tugging at the leash, wanting YOU to keep up with the chase.
I bought this GTV from Manuel. Yes, the same Manuel with a seemingly endless collection of GTVs. He built this particular GTV to be the most sporty streetable setup you can get while still being able to drive around town in a civil manner if need be. It’s a dual purpose car with an excellent setup making it competitive at club track events, but remains fully street legal and able to use 91 octane gas.
A full report on this GTV will have to wait until I’ve had more seat time in it. In the meantime, if you’re inspired to jump into Alfa Romeo GTV ownership, start by taking a look at some on eBay:
1974 Alfa Romeo GTV
(JL BT 59)
• Factory original Olive Green Metallic
(Verde Oliva Metallizzato) with a partial respray
• Wild boar vinyl
• Stock 2 litre
• Stock SPICA injection
• Marelli Plex ignition
• Stock 14X5.5 Cromodora Turbina
• Factory-installed A/C
• Factory optional green-tinted glass
1974 Alfa Romeo GTV
• Originally silver. Stripped to bare metal and
repainted Rosso Corsa
• Front & rear side markers shaved for a cleaner look
• Black naugahyde
• Custom rear upholstery to fit rollbar
• 2 litre
• Wes Ingram SPICA race pump
• Petronix ignition
• Ported head
• Bigger valves
• Eskendarian high performance 10.7mm cams
• GTA headers
• 3 core radiator
• Magnaflow stainless steel
• Araminas lightened gearbox
• Sachs heavy duty clutch
• Double shim LSD with 4.56 ratio
• Ward & Dean springs
• Koni yellow shocks
• NOS Shankle sway bars front and rear
• Alfaholics 14X7 GTA replica wheels in gunmetal grey