Mid-life crisis!

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I've been a P6 fan for as long as I can remember & as you may know, I run three on a regular basis. However, I'm in my mid 50s now & I'm wondering about having a go with something else.

I've always been an armchair fan of the Alfa 1750/2000 GTV but have never driven one; on paper they perform in a similar fashion to a V8S, but I'm sure they'll be a totally different experience.

(Apologies if this infringes copyright)

I'm just getting a little more serious in my thoughts, & I'd really like to try one. Their values creep up all the time, so I wouldn't want to delay much more. Of course, with now limited space (too many cars) I'll have to decide which P6 would go....:eek:

I would be interested to hear others' thoughts on these & also what other classics other CRF members yearn after.


Well-Known Member
Absolutely go for it. I have been a huge fan of the little GTA for a long while, but with values between £250 - 300k it is an itch I will never scratch.
Light weight, fizzy twin cam, Italian flair - what's not to like.


Well-Known Member
I passed up on a few opportunities to buy one of these in the past when they were P6 cheap as life and a P6b got in the way. Hmmm they are worth how much now!!!! Sound of own foot kicking own bum.

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I passed up on a few opportunities to buy one of these in the past when they were P6 cheap as life and a P6b got in the way. Hmmm they are worth how much now!!!! Sound of own foot kicking own bum.

Exactly! They're about £25k now, so probably 4x what an equivalent P6 would cost :oops:


Well-Known Member
The Alfas of the '60s are a totally different animal to our own Rovers, but they are also beautifully engineered (one can only admire how neat and uncluttered their engine bays look) and it is not difficult for one to be hooked on them. I think the main problem is to find a good car for a reasonable price. It seems that a significant percentage of the owners of the cars that survived have modified them beyond recognition.

As for myself, i could take any day a good Citroën CX, even for using it as an everyday car. I my opinion it complements the P6 nicely. However i don't expect this to materialise any time soon. A series 2 Land Rover to use for light farm work has the priority.


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Gorgeous. "Doooo eeeeet!"
Deciding which of your P6s to move on would be tough for you, I can well imagine.
If I were suddenly wealthy I'd like a Gordon Keeble. Similar aesthetic, V8 under the hood. I also like the look of Gilberns, which strike me as a more angular take on these Alfas.

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I'm not especially a bike fan, but that one looks "right" :)

I had a pillion ride on a Kawasaki very similar to that when I was a student in the early '80s & it was certainly a thrill!

As regards Alfas - there are several types to go for with some still at the price of an average Mondeo etc - it's the 105 GTV I've always fancied though. Mind you, that Alfetta saloon is handsome ;) & would give a 105 a run for its money!


Well-Known Member
My mid life crisis car was my Mitsubishi GTO Twin turbo, very fast and fun but too much tech to go wrong so sold it after about 7 years of fun.


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I rue the day I crashed it. I'd probably still have it, if it hadn't had a propensity for turning to red dust.
Always amazed me that the Italians had so effectively managed to perfect the technology of building cars from rust that looked so much like metal when it was new ( less than a week old) and welds that lasted so long as they didn't get wet or stress placed on them.

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I have had the chance to drive both the Alfas you are considering and the smaller 1300 GTV ( coupe body-work, I might not have the correct model number?) Both were great fun cars, but totally different to my 3500S You would need to try before buying.
One great thing about the 1300. It was huge fun, and you could drive it flat out on normal B roads having fun, without being a danger to either your licence or other road users. If that is how you want to drive, then this could be the car for you.
I did not spend much time looking under the bonnet, so cannot comment on the 'engineering,' but the Twin Cam engine looked more impressive that my V8

unstable load

Well-Known Member
Those twin cams are great little motors. My 2 liter had 112kW and I used to have great fun dicing the 3 liter Cortinas up a particular piece of road called Hospital Bend in Cape Town. Named due to it's location adjacent to Groote Schuur Hospital rather than it's danger.

As you topped the rise, the road had a dip in the surface in the left hand lane, so one'd get the Cortina guys all torqued up because this little foreign thing with a whole liter less capacity was peeing all over their 101.3kW ego trip up the hill from town and they'd inevitably go over to the left lane to get the inside line on the bend....then hit the dip and get all crossed over and sideways across 5 lanes of roadway because he'd spent all his money getting his buddy to rejet the carb to make more smoke rather than make it handle better and actually DRIVE properly.
The drive down the other side was a much more sedate affair, normally....:LOL:

Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
Incidentally John, a lot of the cars that come up for sale are from South Africa. Are they as 'rust-free' as they purport to be?

On a side topic; I've always wondered how changes from 'drive on the left' to 'drive on the right' are handled on a border. Do the neighbouring countries to South Africa drive 'on the other side'?

unstable load

Well-Known Member
It depends where the SA cars originate from. Johannesburg and anything inland will be rust free, barring the usual rust traps, coastal ones less so, depending where on the coast. Durban and vicinity will likely be rotten, and less so as you head towards Cape Town.
Durban has warm seas and hot, humid climate and everything rusts, even galvanised Land Rover chassis....
Cape cars are protected by colder seas and a more temperate climate, but there is still rust, only less.

As to the sides we drive on,
Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe all drive on the left, so it's not too bad.
There is one wrinkle, though...in SA it is not permitted to import a Left Hand Drive vehicle anymore. We could, back in the day, but now only cars already registered in the system are allowed to change hands.
We also can't freely import anything younger than 40 years old because it threaten our local industry which only survives because it is a protected monopoly.


Phil Robson

Well-Known Member
I've made a bit of progress on this idea recently. Several GTVs have come up for sale at 'reasonable' money, mostly on internet auctions & I actually placed a bid on one o_O.

The trouble with internet auctions is the ability to see a car beforehand (especially if it's a 'traditional' auction held on a day, rather than the 'maximum bid' several day auctions (akin to ebay, I suppose). Most cars seem to be in the southern UK counties, which is a long way to go from 'Up North' & even then it's not always possible to do anything but look.

Anyway, one came up on a 7-day auction in Yorkshire & I was able to go & see it shortly before the auction ended. I had already had a punt on it at what I thought was a good price if I was successful, but thought I could probably increase my offer if it was a really good car. It was a South African car with zero rust which was a good start.

First impression was 'what a small car'. I'd seen them before of course, but they're not much bigger than our old MGB of a few years back. Very pretty though! The bodywork was marvellous & the seats were great, but it needed a bit of a tidy up inside; new wood veneer, repairs to dashboard cracks etc which spoilt the overall 'feel'. There was a syncro problem as well (noted in the ad to be fair), but it would no doubt be a gearbox out job. I didn't drive it, but went for a ride. I'm sure it was not performing at its best, as again, it reminded me of what our MGB had driven & sounded like.

There were a couple of days left to decide whether to put in another bid. In the meantime I went to see a client & took 'Hazel'. It was a beautiful day admittedly, but 'what a car' :cool:. OK, a totally different animal, but the quality inside was in another league! I didn't bid again.... I'm not saying the Alfa was a poor car & I'm sure a mechanically better one would be a markedly different experience. An auto Rover V8 can't be directly compared of course, but how is one worth £5,000 & the other £30,000?

This story is probably obvious to most of you, but these events really brought home the 'collectors' car market that we have. Just like any other it is supply & demand. An Aston DB5 can't surely be 10 times the car a Jensen Interceptor is, but the supply is very small & there are enough buyers with big pockets to push prices up.

So, what next? Well I'm still very interested & will keep looking & get some more experience under my belt before I make a decision. I have also been wondering about one of these though, which may suit me better......;)

(copyright Historics website)

There were only 600+ RHD cars but one sold only last week for 1750GTV money.