Images are from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News, courtesy of Bruce Zahor.
Alfa Romeo had a truly enthusiast-focused lineup in 1983, being limited to the two-seat Spider roadster and the 2+2 GTV-6 2.5. While the traditional Spider didn’t have much in the way of competition — MG, Triumph, Datsun and other automakers having abandoned this open two-seater market to it and Fiat’s evergreen Spider 2000 — the GTV-6 2.5 still had Porsche’s 944, as well as Datsun-Nissan’s 280-ZX/Turbo, the Dodge-Chrysler Conquest/Mitsubishi Starion, Toyota Celica Supra, and even Saab’s iconic 900 Turbo, for buyers to cross-shop.
Sadly, it seemed that cross-shopping led buyers to other marques, as Alfa Romeo reported just 3,002 sales in the USA for that year. So, what did those hardy iconoclasts get with their Milanese steeds? Highly regarded engines, for one. The Spider’s aluminum DOHC, hemi-head 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was already a legend by the early 1980s, when it was considered pretty bulletproof with Bosch electronic fuel injection. Its 115 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque were ample enough to move the 2,548-pound car with some verve.
Likewise, the GTV-6 2.5 could trace its design quite a ways back, in this case to the four-cylinder Alfetta of 1975, but in proper Eighties style, it was updated with an attractive aerodynamic body kit.
This model benefitted from the sonorous “Busso” V-6 under the hood that gave this car its name. This aluminum SOHC engine displaced 2.5 liters and made a frisky 154 hp and 152 lb-ft of torque, good enough to offer a 125-mph top speed.
Of course, this engine would be turbocharged in the rare Callaway Twin Turbo model, and would eventually make a U.S.-spec 210 hp in its most beautiful DOHC form, mounted transversely in the final 164.
Have you ever owned or experienced a 1980s Alfa Romeo? If so, share your stories in the comments.
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