Alfa Romeo GTV Lusso TS

Rob Soar ‘I ignored the advice not to buy and am glad I did’

  • Year: 1997

  • Mileage: 100,000 exactly!

  • Acquired: 2017

  • Dream car: Porsche 911 (late 1990s)

Why the GTV?

After waiting four years for a garage I set myself a budget of £2000 to buy something I could work on. I looked at loads of options – Audi TT, early new Mini, Corrado, Octavia vRS but wasn't impressed with any. I'd always admired the GTV and couldn't believe how reasonably priced they were. I settled on a locally owned Atollo Blue Twinspark for less than £1k. It drove really well with no creaks or knocking and had a full service history. It also had a rusty sunroof, non-functioning driver window and a sticky centre console (sorted by a dose of meths).

What’s the best bit?

I've always loved the GTV look, especially in this colour combination. It drives well, sounds great, and the steering is direct. Classic car insurance with limited mileage is only £100.

What’s the worst bit?

My stepson told me it would be a mistake to buy an Alfa as they are unreliable. Shows how a bad reputation sticks. I ignored the advice and am glad I did. The cam belt needs changing every 3 years but I'm going to do it myself so that's good experience.  

Any modifications?

I really want to keep the car standard but hope to Polybush the rear suspension and get a stainless-steel exhaust.

What’s it like to run?

Parts are reasonably priced and obtainable with plenty of specialist suppliers. Cars are still getting broken up on a regular basis because of the low values. I was lucky to find a new sun roof and it was easy to fit too. There are some great online forums.

Any advice for potential owners?

Service history and oil changes are important. 

Any funny mishaps?

Driving home after picking up the car I went over a bump and hit my head on the sunroof surround and was showered with rust!