1997 ALFA ROMEO GTV
ENGINE 1997cc/4-cyl/DOHC POWER 150bhp@6200rpm TORQUE 137lb ft@4000rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 130mph 0-60MPH 8sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 27-32mpg TRANSMISSION FWD, five-speed manual MoT January 2018 ODOMETER 80,012 miles
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This Alfa has retained its familiar trade-off between ride comfort and engaging handling, with a lightning quick steering rack that has just a couple of turns from lock to lock. The brakes are strong – though the pedal lacks feel – while changes through the manual gearbox are positive and smooth. The two-litre Twin Spark engine starts easily with no undue smoke and delivers strong, unhesitating acceleration.
There are a few blemishes around the car, including hairline scratches on the front bumper and touched-in chips on the rear corners on both sides of the bonnet. The passenger door looks like it has been the victim of a parking incident – there’s a very shallow vertical dent to the rear with some scratches continuing to the rear wing. These may polish out but the dealer hopes to rectify this before sale. The exhaust tailpipe and back box have been painted black to cover surface rust and look much better for it. The metal appears to be strong and it doesn’t blow. The attractive 16-inch alloy wheels are all in very good condition with no scuffs on the rims, and there is plenty of tread on the 205/50R/16 tyres, three of which are high-quality Pirelli P6000s.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The sculpted leather bucket seats provide fantastic support and comfort. However, the surfaces look like they might have been treated with the wrong cleaner at some point as the black leather looks rather dry, with cracks on the squabs and some wear on the driver’s side bolster. A good feed with some decent leather food and cleaner would probably bring them back to their best. The leather steering wheel and gear knob are in very good condition, as is the light carpet, which has no marks or wear. The headlining is drooping low enough to touch the driver’s head, but the original radio/cassette player, electric windows and air conditioning appear to work fine. Twin airbags are also fitted.
UNDER THE BONNET
This Alfa has a good history with main dealer service stamps until recently, when it switches to an independent specialist. The engine bay has an honest film of dust and road grime, suggesting that it has had little attention beyond routine servicing in its life. There are no signs of leaks or accident damage but the dull, white alloy rocker cover could do with a polish. The variable timing appears to work and the car feels mechanically sound.
THE CCW VIEW
The 916-generation Alfa GTV is fast becoming a collectable modern classic thanks to its soulful engines and Pininfarina styling. This example has a few rough edges but signs of a considerate owner. A little care and attention will have it in top form. Matt Richardson
Dulled alloy rocker cover could do with a polish.
Little effort needed to rejuvenate leather seat wear.