Sometimes you develop this strange and unholy attraction to things that aren’t good for you. For some people that’s drugs, for others it’s livestock or midget transvestites. For me, it’s mid-80s Alfa Romeo GTV6s. I’m really not sure why; a neighbor in college owned one, and I remember thinking that it was a cool car. Still, they were overpriced, underpowered and not at all known for their reliability, so the GTV never made my “must own” list back then.
As I get older, they somehow appeal to me more. Maybe it’s the car’s unique lines, or maybe it’s the whole Alfa Romeo mystique. One of these days, if the stars align, I’ll be in the right place at the right time to snap one up. If I did something exceptionally benevolent in a past life, perhaps it will even be a Callaway GTV6, like this Craigslist example found by Bring A Trailer.
By the mid 1980s, sales of the GTV6 in the United States had fallen to disappointing levels. To make the car more appealing, Alfa Romeo USA contacted Reeves Callaway about adding a turbocharger system to boost horsepower. Callaway designed an extremely elegant twin turbo system that boosted the stock GTV6 output from 154 horsepower to 230 horsepower, and increased torque from 157 ft lb to 245 ft lb. A grand total of 35 Callaway GTV6s were sold between 1984 and 1986, so even the addition of significantly more horsepower wasn’t enough to boost sales.
The Bring A Trailer find is for sale at a used car dealership in Lodi, New Jersey, so I’d already say “buyer beware”. There are a few other red flags with this particular GTV6, starting with the mileage. The seller claims the odometer reads 18,045 miles, which is bad news no matter how you slice it. If that’s actual mileage, the car hasn’t been driven much, which means it’s been sitting for extended periods of time. If the actual mileage is 118,045, chances are good it’s going to need a considerable amount of work, up to and including new turbos. The second problem (and help me out with this, Alfistas) is the wheels: they look like stock, TRX sized wheels to me, which aren’t correct for a Callaway GTV6. Callaways featured suspension mods, and dumped the stock TRX wheels and tires for BBS, OZ or Speedline wheels fitted with conventionally sized tires. If the wheels are original to the car, it could be a dealer built Callaway GTV6 and not a “genuine” Callaway GTV6.
I’d feel a lot better about the $16,500 asking price if it were from an owner, and not just a used car lot. If the car is in as good a condition as it looks, that may be a fair price if you can get some background on it. Without a documented history, that $16,500 is likely to be the opening salvo in a long and expensive battle with repairs and maintenance costs, destined to end in heartbreak for the new owner.