What is it that draws people to a car? While some people devote themselves to one particular marque, others (like me) have deep desires to own, drive and tinker with cars from any number of manufacturers. Sure I have my favorites, anyone who knows me knows my fondness for all things Porsche and for Corvettes, but there are so many cars I would love to have in my life.
There’s not an obvious rhyme or reason for what I like either. Yes most of them are sports cars and better at going around corners than down a drag strip, but not all of them. There are beautiful sedans, convertibles, and even a few, gasp, SUVs which I would be thrilled to own and drive. I have some familiarity with most of these cars, whether it be friends who’ve owned them, times I’ve ridden in them, or just seeing them again and again at cars and coffees or discussed in any of the numerous car magazines I read.
But there is one car that is a splinter in my brain I cannot seem to free, although I admit to not trying very hard to do so. It’s a car that can be a sweet little cruiser, or a snorting little beast depending on what the owner has seen fit to do with it (I’ll take the beast please). I have never owned one, I do not know anyone with one, I have never ridden in one, or even seen very many at events, but it has fully captured my imagination anyway. For me, the influence is quite irrational, and maybe that’s one of the draws of the car. There are certainly loyal fans of the marque out there, they even have a name, Alfisti. Yes, I have a 100% irrational and really untraceable love and obsession with the Alfa Romeo GTV, both the 1750 and 2000 from the late sixties and early seventies.
Unlike my love for Corvettes and Porsche, I cannot trace a moment in my childhood where I saw an Alfa GTV and thought, I must have one. In fact, I only really became aware of them in my mid-thirties. Sure I knew about the Spider and its iconic role in The Graduate, and the polarizing 8C Competizione supercar of the late-aughts. But the GTV has somehow completely captured my imagination. I appreciate other Alfas for their presence and beauty, but I probably wouldn’t be considered a true Alfisti because I really only long for a GTV. Perhaps that will change when I get one. Maybe I will develop a love for the rest of the brand, after all, I would take a Giulia Quadrifoglio over an M3 (assuming it was under warranty of course).
Also unlike Corvette and Porsche, my knowledge for Alfa and the GTV specifically is not that strong. I couldn’t have long discussions about one-year-only options, or engine codes and changes with anyone about the Alfa, but can happily ramble on for quite some time about both if the subject is a Corvette, 911, Cayman or Boxster of almost any era. I really know very little about the car, except that I love it and I want one; and that is enough.
For me, there is an inherent coolness about the car, its shape, the style and layout of the interior, and let’s talk about the sound. I love the roar of a great V-8 LS engine and the wail of a flat six from Stuttgart. But the crazy cacophony from a GTV’s little inline four is just intoxicating, assuming it’s been properly tuned of course, like this one courtesy of Petrolicious.com.
Just like the other cars I love, I do not care one bit for originality. I care about performance, reliability, and feel above all else. I will tinker and mod the car to my liking using the “greatest-hits” from other people’s cars to create one that makes me smile and laugh every time I fire it up or rip off a glorious heel-toe downshift.
Unfortunately for me, prices of nicely done hot-rod GTVs are high and going higher. But with any luck, I’ll be able to find a solid car that’s maybe just a few tweaks here and there away from being the loud, feisty little Italian I want in my garage.
Now, can I allow myself to own one before I ever enjoy the magic of an air-cooled 911? That’s a truly difficult question as they both occupy significant portions of my imagination and lust. But since I have my glorious Cayman to give me a flat six fix on a daily basis, don’t be surprised if I am on the active end of a Bring a Trailer bidding session for a choice GTV.