Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Dork
12/26/13 9:30 a.m.

Listen. No, really, listen. It’s not a Maserati or a Ferrari, but its rip tugs at you like only an angry Italian could. Every time it tears the skies as it approaches redline, your body will droop with awe. It’s serenading you, its song aimed directly at your loins.

The designer of its all-aluminum V6 is legendary. Giuseppe Busso previously worked alongside Lampredi and Colombo at Ferrari, and Busso also designed Alfa’s F1-winning engine. The GTV6 even has a rearmounted transaxle for better weight distribution. Exotic stuff indeed.

Yet somehow, the GTV6 won’t kill you. It’s relatively reliable and not exorbitantly expensive to service. It has a back seat that can fit adults, though not in incredible comfort. And though that back seat doesn’t fold down, the car still has a large, handy rear hatch for carrying groceries, camping equipment, car parts or a race helmet. Even the air conditioning works well. Despite this practicality, it’s not a dumbed-down Italian car. In many ways it’s an exotic at a bargain price: It handles well, it’s cleverly engineered, and it still has all the flair of a Milanese car–check out those Veglia gauges. If you can get used to the kooky driving position typical of older Italian cars, it’ll accommodate even the tallest and gangliest of drivers.

Contemporary reviews put it up against the Nissan 280ZX, the Porsche 924 turbo, and the (thenslow) 1980s Corvette. The Alfa was often the preferred choice–even though it was priced at slightly more than the budget Nissan and thousands less than the Porsche.

Prices today are as low as you could possibly hope for. A couple of particularly rough examples have even entered 24 Hours of LeMons endurance races for $500 cars. Solid, rust-free drivers go for $5000 to $7000, with rusty or needy cars dipping far lower. Top-quality cars seem to be appreciating, though.

The best of the breed fetch more than $15,000, and if a No. 1 condition car exists, it could trade for $20,000. That’s a bargain price for the level of aural joy you can extract from this car. Prepare for a road trip, and revel in the ecstasy whenever you romp on the gas through a tunnel. An Alfa Romeo GTV6 will get you where you’re going and excite you every mile of the way.

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