1997 ALFA ROMEO GTV

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

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.

BODY­WORK CHECK

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.

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