1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 / Collector Classic

Italy is well known for it’s artistic creations. The opera, listen to Pavarotti and visit the Sistine Chapel…just a few of the popular creations that came out of Italy. Another popular Italian creation is the Alfa Romeo automobile. In this article we feature the 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000. The GTV stands for ” Gran Turismo Veloce“. The car was considered a reasonably priced coupe with a style seen in more costly automobiles. These cars also had the performance to match the looks.

1974 GTV 2000

1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000

Alfa Romeo was imported to the United States by Max Hoffman beginning in the  mid-1950s. The automobile brand ceased exporting cars to the U.S. in 1995 but began selling cars in the U.S. again in 2008.

Giorgetto Giugiaro

The Alfa Romeo GTV was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who at the time was working for Bertone. The styling and coachbuilding company is also known as Gruppo Bertone. The GTV is considered by many as being one of the most beautiful cars Bertone ever designed. Bertone which as founded in 1912 has also designed cars for Fiat, Citroen, Astin Martin, Mercedes Benz, Abarth and others.

The GTV sports coupe was an elegant automobile with sporty lines. The car is a popular collector automobile with it’s Italian craftsmanship.

alfa gtv 2000

1974 GTV 2000

The Start Was 1963

The very first GTV chassis was introduced in 1963 with the Giulia Sprint GT. They were the successors to the very popular Giulietta Sprint coupé and used a shortened floorpan from the Giulia Berlina car. These sporty good looking automobiles were made in a wide variety of models over a period of 13 years.

All versions of the car’s engine fitted to the 105 series coupes featured twin carburetors. The competition models had cylinder heads with twin spark plugs.

That car delivered 92 horsepower from a 1,570cc engine. In 1965 that model then turned into the Sprint GT “Veloce” (GTV). In 1967 Alfa Romeo released the GTV 1750 with a 1,779cc engine delivering 122 horsepower.

Four years later in 1971  Alfa made small changes to the body and upgraded the engine to a 1962cc delivering 132 horsepower. This car was the GTV 2000. With its more powerful engine, few other cars could compete with it’s handling experience. The chassis was balanced and the non-powered steering made the driver one with the road.

The 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 was the last and most capable version of the popular 105 series. As mentioned above the GTV 2000 came equipped with a 2.0 liter engine with 132hp.

74 alfa romeo gtv 2000

74 GTV 2000

The GTV Sports Car

It’s been said that If ever there was an Italian cousin to the legendary BMW 2002, it would be the Alfa Romeo GTV Coupe. The GTV 2000 was introduced in 1971.

The coupe styled GTV weighed only 2,260 lbs. It was a sports car that did the zero to 60 mph in under nine seconds and had a top speed of 120 MPH. High performance and with such special styling, made the GTV 2000 an instant classic. The car was sold in the United States only from 1973 to 1974 which makes it a rare find as well.

See the AutomuseumOnline cars on the links below…

The 1971 Citroen DS-21

The 1974 MG BGT V-8

1974 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 Specifications

As mentioned above the 1974 Alfa GTV 2000 came with a twin cam 1962cc 2.0 liter engine delivering 132 horsepower. The  2.0 liter cars are distinguished by a grille that houses several horizontal bars with a recessed centerpiece.

alfa gtv 2000 interior

1974 Alfa GTV 2000 interior and dashboard

The car’s transmission was a five speed manual with an aluminum flywheel.

Brakes were four wheel disc.

The 1974 GTV 2000 had an overall length of 161.4 inches, the wheelbase 92.5 inches, the width 62.2 inches and a height of 51.8 inches.

A total of 37,459 GTV 2000′s were produced.

The Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 Collector Car

All Alfa Romeo GTV’s from the 1970′s are very collectible. They are becoming increasingly sought after. The Alfa Romeo brand has a strong following in North America. GTVs in outstanding condition can reach into the $30,000 range. All of course depends on condition, mileage and originality. You’ll likely find a few handsomely restored 1974 models.

Rust is an issue with Alfa Romeos, and every car should be carefully inspected for rust. Areas of rust can include the rocker panels although you’ll likely be able to find models for sale or at auction which are rust free.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)

 

 

I

An Early Classic / A Red 1961 Ford Thunderbird

The 1961 Ford Thunderbird represented the beginning of the third generation Thunderbirds and they were sleeker than the ones before them.

1961 ford thunderbird

1961 Ford T-Bird

Chevrolet was the first of the Detroit automakers to test the sports car market with the introduction of their Corvette. Ford of course wanted to follow suit and did so with it’s first Thunderbird. The first Ford Thunderbird was introduced at the 1954 Detroit Auto Show.

Thunderbirds were the cars from Ford which in 1955 started out competing directly against the Chevy Corvette. After several years each model went their separate ways. The Ford Thunderbird was always considered somewhat sporty but in a luxurious way. Ford called their Thunderbird a personal luxury car. Chevrolet Corvette went the sports car route and never looked back.

the bullet bird thunderbird

The 1961 “Bullet Bird”

The 1961 Ford Thunderbird

There were several designs on the drawing board for the 1961 third generation Thunderbird. As it turned out, Elwood Engel’s design proposal lost out to the winning one by Alex Tremulis. Ford President Robert McNamara saw the Thunderbird design and liked it so much he also turned it into the 1961 Lincoln. This was advantageous on a production standpoint since both the Thunderbird and Lincoln were able to share many aspects of their unibody construction and the cars were both built at Ford’s Wixom production plant. It should be noted that Engel’s design did have a lot to do with the Lincoln Continental design.

The chassis design was similar to the second generation Thunderbirds, 1958-60, but was modified slightly to provide better handling and a smoother ride.

1961 ford thunderbird dashboard

61 T-Bird interior and dashboard

In 1961 the Thunderbird went through a complete redesign. The car was lower. longer, wider and bigger. In fact the Ford Thunderbird was lower than just about any car on the road in 1961.The third generation cars came with many firsts. The body shell was all new with a prominent pointed front prow, modest fins above the Thunderbird’s large round tail lights. Many referred to the third generation Ford Thunderbirds as the “Bullet Birds“. Others referred to these automobiles as the “Projectile Birds“.

A Cutting Edge Interior

The interior design featured a dash which curved at its outboard ends to blend in with the door panels, and the first “Swing Away” steering wheel, which would swing to the side when the car was in park and the door was opened to help with entry and exit.

The new hard-top model had softer roof lines than its “Square-Bird” predecessor. On the convertible models, the forward end of the trunk lid was still rear-hinged.

Options for the 1961 Ford Thunderbird included air conditioning, power windows, power seats, AM radio, fender skirts and white wall tires. Standard features which cost extra on other models included power steering and power brakes, back up lights and bucket seats.

1961 ford thunderbird taillight

Large round Thunderbird tail light

1961 Ford Thunderbird, A Milestone Car

As an added honor the 1961 Ford Thunderbird was the pace car during the 1961 Indianapolis 500 Race. Also, President John F. Kennedy rode in a 1961 Thunderbird during his inauguration parade.

See the AutoMuseumOnline articles on the links below…

The Big 1958 Continental Mark III

The 1962 Chevy Corvette

An excellent illustrated book about the Ford Thunderbird is…Thunderbird! An Illustrated History of the Ford T-Bird (The Ford Road Series, Vol. 4) by author Ray Miller.

1961 Ford Thunderbird Specifications

The only engine available in 1961 was the 390 cubic inch V8 with a Holley four barrel carburetor which delivered 300 horsepower. As a side note, a small number of 1962 and 1963 third generation T-Birds were built with M version engines. These were comprised of 390 cubic inch six barrel carburetor V-8′s putting out 340 horsepower. The 300 horsepower engine did the Zero to 60 MPH in 8.8 seconds.

Transmission was a three speed automatic. This was Ford’s Cruise-O-Matic.

The 1961 Ford Thunderbird had a wheelbase of 113,0 inches and an overall length of 205.0 inches, width of 75.9 inches and a height of 52.5 inches on the hardtop. Weight averaged about 4,200 lbs for the hardtop and about 4,130 lbs for the convertible.

The two door hardtop 61 Thunderbird cost about $4,300 new.

Thunderbird production numbers for 1961 were 62,535 hardtops and 10,516 convertibles.

1961 t-bird rear

61 T-Bird rear

Third Generation Ford Thunderbird Collector Cars

There has been and still is a lot of interest in early generation Ford Thunderbirds. The styling of the third generation models was a big upgrade over the first “Square ‘Birds” following the conversion to a four-seater offering a sleek profile. Personal luxury was the Ford Thunderbird’s primary goal and as a collector car the early Thunderbird has a unique place.

As prices go for the early Thunderbirds, the third generation cars depending on condition, originality, mileage and degree of restoration are relatively inexpensive collector cars. In general, you should find asking prices in the $15,000 to $35,000 range with non restored cars with very high mileage being below those figures.

(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)