ALFA ROMEO ALFETTA GTS
The Alfetta GTS was a UK-only special edition, built in 1979-80. It’s estimated that between 25 and 50 were manufactured.
Of these, only two remain in the world! SWL 602T is the ONLY one still on the road. https://www.howmanyleft.co.uk/vehicle/alfa_romeo_alfetta_gts
The other car is currently on SORN and the proud owner has built his own website for the car https://alfetta-gts.wixsite.com/alfa-romeo.
These really are exceptional cars.
The GTS was produced in the last year that Alfettas were fitted with stainless steel bumpers and window trim, before the 1980 restyle featuring less attractive plastic bumpers and trim were added.
The GTS was the only Alfetta special edition using the 1.6 litre engine. Its special features included velour seats, chrome beauty rings on the wheels, rear wiper, Hella fog lights front and rear, ServoGlide electric windows, Webasto sunroof, side protection rubbers, chrome exhaust tailpipe and GTS graphics.
SWL is an original right-hand drive car, but has spent nearly all its life in Siena, Italy, with its original Italian owner, Silvio Gentile and his wife Joy. Silvio and Joy were the only owners of the car from new, using it only at weekends and always keeping it garaged, serviced and waxoyled. This helps to explain its excellent rust-free condition.
When a change in Italian law several years ago meant that Silvio would have to re-register the car in Italy to be able to use it, he decided to take it off the road to preserve its originality.
It remained in dry storage until Silvio finally decided to sell, leading to its repatriation to the UK in 2017, since when it has benefitted from detailed restoration work by an Alfa enthusiast whose father owned a GTS when he was a child.
The car now has a new MOT – despite being exempt – and is ready to be part of a collection, show or simply drive. The chances of bumping into a similar car are very slim indeed!
The following are the restorer’s notes on the work carried out:
The carpets had been bleached by the Italian sun so were removed and re-dyed. The door cards were re-coloured and the plastics refurbished, including the replacement of some vinyl and old screws. After weeks of searching, velour fabric in as close to the original Ochre colour as possible was sourced and the seats professionally re-covered.
The ServoGlide windows were professionally rebuilt by an auto-electrician. The radio has been replaced with a new digital Alpine radio/CD with a removable face.
Wheels and Brakes –
The original silver steel wheels were in good condition and had already been refurbished. New chrome beauty trims were sourced and fitted, along with Alfa Romeo chrome wheel nuts. The stainless steel centre caps were machine polished.
Tyres are as-new Pirelli 3000s.
The brakes were rebuilt with new seals, pistons and pads and two calipers have been replaced.
These were removed and sanded down with P180 and P3000 grit paper and machine polished back to a mirror finish.
The black highlighting was replaced with new tape, the backs of the bumpers were painted satin black and new rivets were used in the refitting.
The side impact rubbers had been removed from the car at some stage, so replacement items with 3M backing were sourced from the US.
Lights and glass –
The fog lights fitted to the car were non-original so have been replaced by NOS Hella items. All the glass is believed to be original.
New graphics were manufactured from Vector files produced from scans of the original sales brochure.
Bodywork and Paint –
All the panels are original and the wheel arches have nice sharp edges with no filler. It has never had issues with corrosion or been in an accident.
The only area requiring attention was an area above the rear bumper where water seems to have entered past the worn seals, sat inside the crease and rusted from the inside. The affected area has been cut out and new metal welded into place. New seals have been fitted.
The car was originally fitted with a Webasto sunroof, but wear and tear and the notorious tendency of 1970s sunroofs to leak prompted Silvio to have this professionally replaced with a bespoke panel.
As can be seen, this replicates the look of the original while making the car more useable. The work was however carried out so that it could be reversed and an original-style sunroof fitted, should a future owner desire.
Silvio explained the process in an email:
“The garage in Italy who closed the sunroof has confirmed he did not weld it. He filled it in and sealed it with special soft glue to make it easier for the replacement, then he put a larger metal plate to cover the area, leather covered with more sealing and glue finally he fixed it with nuts and bolts as we can see from inside. It is the exact measurements and shape of sun roof. It is therefore done very professional and there will be no problem to put another one in.”
Photographs of the panel removed and the dimensions of the replacement panel are on the sheet attached.
The car has now been resprayed.
The underside is very original and as the chassis and suspension have been regularly Waxoyled and the car has avoided the British winters, it is in remarkable condition.
A one-inch area in the driver’s floorwell and a 10p size area on the inner sill were the only areas that required welding for the MOT. There are no other signs of rust or previous repairs.
The engine is entirely original and with only 69,000 on the clock and needed very little work other than a full service with new oil, filter, coolant etc.
The car is fitted with a new battery and starts first time. Oil pressure is good. There is no smoking or overheating and no funny noises.