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Alfa Romeo GTV6 Introduction

In my last post, written in German, I happily exclaimed that I'd bought myself a new car. Here, now, and written in English, I'm proud to introduce you to that car properly. Bought on Wednesday, April 11th 2012, the car pictured above is that car: a 1982 Alfa Romeo GTV-6.

While it may not necessarily look it, the GTV-6 is a sports car. The "V-6" at the end of the name stems from the fact that this car has a V-6. Not the biggest V-6 in the world, but the 2.5 liter displacement is certainly nothing to scoff at.

Why did I buy this car? That's quite simple- I fell in love with it. A week ago today, when I bought it, I was quite determined to be behind the wheel or handlebar of motorized transportation by the weekend. Keeping in mind my parents' bidding to not purchase another motorcycle (and by that they mean any type of two-wheeled transportation, be it motorbike, scooter or moped), I had narrowed down my options to a couple of 80's BMWs which appeared offer most of what I was looking for.

However, by accident, I stumbled across an Alfa Romeo while trawling the local craigslist at about the same time, and decided to go give it a look. Originally apprehensive of what I would find, I was won over as soon as the engine turned over on start. Clean on the inside, beater-appearance on the outside, sporty performance like a proper sleeper, this was the dream car I had labelled as a "beater sports car" in my head some time ago. I didn't make an offer on the spot, but later the same day did after another prospective buyer failed to impress the seller. He happily accepted my first offer- the offer at which I was most willing to buy. (Admittedly I should have perhaps attempted to offer less, but I'm still happy regardless.)

Pretty much every essential part of the car works in excellent condition. Brakes are great, though they do start to squeak when hot after a lot of spirited driving. The speedometer, odometer and trip-mileage instruments are all non-functional on account of a new gearbox having been installed which, from what I've read, can be hooked up to the speedometer with a bit of modification.

Other little niggles include blinker switches which occasionally like to unstick and turn themselves off, a switch on the dash which apparently doesn't do anything besides illuminate itself, (temporarily) broken power-mirrors, one burnt out brake lightbulb and a missing key to the fuel lock. All of these things should be easily fixable, I'd imagine, though they might require a bit of patience and time (and money) to be done right.

The big issues with the car are the lack of external body parts, namely the bumpers. These were sold with the car, however I've yet to go pick them up. I'll be doing that soon if only just to have them. Likely will need help getting them back up to Portland. The exterior paint is also in dire need of a sand-down and re-paint. If I should happen to keep this car for a while, then I'll likely look into this. At the moment it's a bit of a moot point. An additional big-point is the lack of a spare tire and deck in the trunk. That I plan to address this weekend with a plywood board and some tarp or fabric covering. As-is, the bare-metal bed of the trunk doesn't appear to lend the most amount of cushioning and friendliness to any cargo being transported, and that worries me slightly.

All of these physical things aside... what's it like to drive the GTV-6? For a start, fun. Since driving the Mazda RX-8, back when we had it, I haven't been able to have this much fun in a car. It's true that I've driven a VW Golf on the Autobahn and owned a motorcycle in the ever since first experiencing the RX-8, but there is something to be said about owning the car that puts the smile on your face. This is my car and it performs great.

Admittedly the brakes can be a bit difficult and require a bit more force than I might be used to when driving spiritedly, but this is a leverage thing and I've begun to get used to it. The lack of power steering is only noticeable in stop-go situations around town and the temperamental nature of the car's idle when cold doesn't actually bother me, rather adding to the charm of the thing. Noise is a bit loud but then again, that's half of why I fell in love with it.

And the attention it gets is certainly fun. Older folk love seeing the car whilst younger folk are intrigued by the fantasy of an old Italian sports car. I like it. No, I love it.

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