Ads on test: Alfa Romeo 147 GTA

Thoroughly refreshed and raring to go, this Alfa from the dark side is set to get you into trouble

Cost New £22,500 Price £15,995

T

hough the 911 is feted as the go-to Porsche, the 968 ClubSport is one transaxle car that's grown a sizeable cult following. It was Performance Car's car of the year in 1994 and has experienced a noticeable value spike over the past three years, with low-mileage examples now nudging £45k and beyond.

This example's gone past the 100k miles barrier, which has helpfully kept the purchase price within the realm of the vaguely sensible. You wouldn't be able to tell it's done such a distance from a quick visual. We could only find minor blemishes in the Guards Red paint, most of which were found on the nose, though the rear spoiler also has a few touched-in scrapes and marks. The unmarked alloy wheels are wrapped in Continental SportContact 2 tyres that all have plenty of tread remaining.

The interior is immaculate. It's worth pointing out that although the ClubSport was intended to be a lightweight stripped-out machine, the first of this car's two owners specified the Luxury pack, which included rear seats, twin door speakers, electric windows, electric boot release and electric mirrors, giving this car a similar spec to that of the later 968 Sport.

The large folder of paperwork contains a service book fully stamped by a mix of Porsche dealers and well recognised specialists (19 entries in all), with lots of receipts for work carried out. Its last service was in 2017.

Enough paper shuffling, time for some driving. This is a car that's all about the experience. If you've never sampled a 968 CS, then it's a revelation – the thick-rimmed, meaty steering wheel fizzes with feedback, while the 3.0-litre four-pot has excellent throttle response backed up by blissfully neutral handling that commands you to go faster still. It's easy to see why these have such a cult following. We didn't experience any peculiar vibrations or noises during our time with the car, and the brakes were typically sharp.

With low-mileage 968 ClubSports getting ever more expensive it's refreshing to see one that's still within reach. The mileage may put off investors but that's really a good thing –because it means the next lucky owner can enjoy one of the 1990s' finest chassis without worrying about future values. Just as it was built for.

Alfa Romeo 147 GTA

Year: 2005
Mileage: 69,060
On sale at: Alfa Aid

alfaid.co.uk

Specifications
Engine: 3179cc, 6-cyl, DOHC
Transmission: FWD, 6-speed man
Power: 250bhp@6200rpm
Torque: 221lb-ft@4800rpm
Weight: 1360kg

Performance
0-60mph: 6.3sec
Top speed: 153mph
Economy: 21mpg

Choose your Alfa Romeo 147/156 GTA

2001: Alfa Romeo 156 GTA launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show. It uses the largest mainstream displacement of the V6 Busso engine. Interior, doors, bootlid and bonnet shared with the standard 156 – the rest is built bespoke by Fiat Research Centre and Maserati. Gearboxes are six-speed manual or semi-auto Selespeed (few of the latter reached the UK direct from Alfa).

2002: 147 GTA launched using the same engine and gearboxes.

2005: 147/156 GTA production ends, but registrations continue due to a fire on a ship bound for the Far East returning to Europe full of RHD GTAs. Undamaged cars were then sold in the UK.