Inside every enthusiast, there’s a certain thrill about looking through Craigslist looking at old cars looking to be restored, clicking through sites like BringATrailer.com, or reading about some magnificent barn-find of a Ferrari Daytona sitting in Iowa that the seller didn’t know their grandfather had stashed away behind the tractor.
For me, it’s a little beige/yellow coupe. For years I’d drive by and see what I thought was a BMW 2002, or some other Bavarian creation behind the wood-inserted chain-link. Eventually my curiosity had me take a closer look, and found that regardless of the googly-eyed 1960’s style and twin headlights had a beak and snake, not the twin-kidneys and “blue propeller.” My mystery car is an Alfa Romeo Giulietta GTV.
Being a long absent company from the U.S., and having a relatively small market compared to, oh… the MGB or Datsun 240Z, these little Alfa’s command a hefty price. But that’s what makes it so much cooler of a car: it’s the less common car. Likewise, the most common Alfa’s on the road seem to be the “Graduate” Spider model, of course made famous by Dustin Hoffman’s role in “The Graduate.” Being European, and Italian in particular, I’m sure this old Alfa would give me a red face more often than white knuckles. On the bright side, the details and character are worth it, as is not having to worry about a leaky canvas as of the Spider, MG’s, or Triumph’s I lust after when seeing the convertibles drive by.
One of the interesting character details of these GTV’s is the Italian oversight of the back seat. It’s there, but it’s not a real seat for traveling. Instead, I like to think of it as Italian convenience, there for roadside make-out sessions. Some seats have been transformed to have seat belts, but I have seen the warning labels in door sills warning against passenger use (though it could simply be down to belts).
I tried contacting the owner by phone for about a week, but gave up. He seems disinterested in giving details about the car. Honestly, I have little in terms of what exactly I’m looking at. The grille would suggest it’s the ‘69 1750 GTV— the second biggest engine to the 2000 GTV, like what Pheobe was keeping company at a Sacramento EuroSunday meet last October. With all the Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, and countless other repeated rarities, there was only one non-Spider GTV. The owner told me the 2000 GTV’s engine is pretty damned bullet proof, and it wasn’t one to overheat on him, even with the A/C blowing in traffic.
Something like that Alfa shouldn’t be obscured behind slats of wood and swallowed up by vines and moss.
In my hands, it would be stripped to the metal, gutted in the interior, and be completely re-wired for the sake of trying to avoid Alfa-itis, and repainted in Pheobe’s “Electric Green Mica.” It’s a very nice color on classics, actually, as this MG GT V8 shows.
Regardless of whether it’s a ’74 1750 GTV, or a 1300 GT Junior, I’d still place it in the garage behind Pheobe so I could get it going. Even in the state it sits, however, it could cost upward of $5,000 to just pull off the property. That’s far more than I have, or will have for a long time. Money can’t buy love, but unfortunately love doesn’t earn a project build, either.
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