Brooklands Books

Alfa Romeo Alfetta Gold Portfolio 1972-1987

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  • Alfa Romeo Alfetta Gold Portfolio 1972-1987
  • Alfa Romeo Alfetta Gold Portfolio 1972-1987 Back
  • Alfa Romeo Alfetta Gold Portfolio 1972-1987 Cont
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Brooklands Books, Compiled by R.M.Clarke, Softbound, 172 Pages, ISBN: 9781855202153

Alfa Romeos of all kinds have always roused enthusiast interest, and with this book we have decided to cover the full story of the remarkable Alfetta range of the 1970s and 1980s. That it was remarkable was due in no small measure to its combination of striking styling with beautifully balanced handling in both its saloon and coupe derivatives, as motoring writing James Taylor argues in his brief introduction below.
Regular readers of Brooklands Books will know that we depend for our material on the generosity of the copyright holders who allow us to reproduce it. For this book, our thanks go to the managements of Autocar, Autosport, Car and Driver, Car, Car South Africa, Classic and Sportscar, Drive, Modern Motor, Motor Manual, Motor Sport, Motor Trend, R & T Specials, Road & Track, Road Test, What Car? and Wheels
R M Clarke

It must have been hard for Alfa Romeo to equal the superb handling of their 1971 front-wheel drive Alfasud in a larger car with rear-wheel drive. But match it they did, with 1972's Alfetta.
The Alfetta's secret lay in its near-perfect weight distribution, with the mass of the front-mounted engine being counterbalanced by the rear-mounted clutch and gearbox. This transaxle arrangement has been seen before in competition vehicles, but the Alfetta was the first mass-production car ever to have it.

Both the Alfetta saloons and the companion short-wheelbase GT coupes were styled by Giugiaro. Both also started life with 1.8 litre versions of Alfa's classic twin-cam four, and both were later offered in some markets in budget-priced form with 1.6 litre engines. Much more in the sporting Alfa tradition, however, were the 2 litre models introduced in the mid-1970s, which brought to the coupes the GTV designation.
Thereafter, development of the saloons and coupe diverged. The coupes were given Alfa's splendid new 2.5 litre V6 engine in 1980, but the saloons remained with 2 litre power, upgraded only by a switch to fuel injection in 1983. By the time production ended some four years later, the saloons had lost their competitive edge in the marketplace, but the coupe remained stylish and desirable to the end.
Today, really good examples of these Alfa Romeo's are quite hard to find, as rust demolished many of them very quickly. To those who enjoy the art of driving, however, the rewards of finding a sound one are manifold.
James Taylor

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