This 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV Is No Use In Treating My Alfa Addiction
Story by Klaus Hahn
Photography by Allan Reakes
If you enjoyed the story about my ’59 Giulietta Spider last week, I’d like to introduce you to my GTV. It’s a 1969 Series 1 car, a 1750, and it isn’t the first of the “Bertone coupes” to enter my garage either.
I can still recall, back in 1973, the first time I became hooked on these now-classic Alfa Romeo coupes. I was heading to the local sports arena to watch my girlfriend play a game of handball, and we were going to meet up afterwards and go out somewhere. I was smitten with another pretty girl though, and I saw her on my way into the stadium in fact! She was of course an Alfa: a dark blue GT Junior, and as I was walking from the parking lot to the seating area, it came darting into the open lot at speed, the engine high in the revs and a few puffs of smoke coming from its pert backend. I was in love. It was then that I started dreaming of owning one for myself.
A decade later, it came true. I found a seemingly solid 2000 GTV, bought it, and then four years of ownership later came to terms with the fact that it needed to be restored. So, I went through the car, and a short time after the body and interior and in-need chassis components were completed, it also received a major tune-up in the engine bay, resulting in 155 horsepower from the 2-liter. I owned that car for 23 years in total with no problems after that point, only adding oil, water, and replacing the spark plugs when necessary. It was a great car, but sometimes you need to have more!
So it was, one night while surfing the internet for interesting Alfas (I do this often, as you may know by now), that I came across a car in Helsinki that piqued my interest. I sent a message to the owner right away, and the rest of the process moved in a similar fast fashion—I called him up as he was responding to my email, arranged a meeting for the following weekend, flew over, bought it on the spot, and arranged for all the necessary bureaucratic paperwork to be in order so I could ship it home straight away. I plopped it on a ferry to Stockholm, drove it 800km through the Swedish forest alongside some amazing lakes and waterways, and then we set off on the ferry that would take us home to Denmark.
According to the stories told to me by the previous owner, this car was one of the very few GTVs imported directly from Italy to Finland. It’s first owner was a member of a locally famous rock band, and one day whilst driving in the snow (it is Finland after all), he had an accident that resulted in the car’s storage for a number of years. An Englishman who was living in the country building rally cars for the Finns, bought the car and restored it for his personal use, but he rarely drove the car. He sold it to someone with the same problem—how you can own this car and not drive it I have no idea!—and eventually it came to me.
So, this car was restored—a little over a decade ago—and in my ownership thus far I’ve brought it to the well-known Danish workshop Skallebølle Auto to have a technical refresh that addressed the carbs, the ignition and timing, overhauling the top end, the steering, the brakes, and the complete exhaust system. It’s all perfect now in my opinion, and I just love the driving experience that much more now. The aluminum twin-cam is a delight, and paired up with the Bologna trumpets (Webers!) I find myself having a hard time getting out of it after a spirited drive. I could take this all the way from Copenhagen to Rome and never tire of it. And indeed, I have brought it to Italy in the past, and I hope to do it again soon.
I took this car on the Mille Miglia a few years ago, and you’re probably asking “Can you do that in a car made in 1969?” Well, you can if you follow the same route, stay in the same cities and towns, etc.—what’s the real difference? I know we had a terrific time of it, and that’s what matters the most right? The tour from Brescia to Rome and back took just a bit longer than two days, and I met a bunch of likeminded enthusiasts that have since become likeminded friends.
In Denmark though, the best times to drive it are in the summer months, wherein I take it to work on nice mornings, to the bakery on Sundays, and on the weekends I’ll often drive to the coastline and explore the ranks of the small fishing harbors and villages that dot the landscape. There’s also a great Cars & Coffee event some Saturdays at the famous Arne Jacobsen fuel station. Whether it’s a trip to the shops or a vacation to Villa d’Este, if I’m in this car I’m smiling.