In this Market Trends we look at three ’90’s Alfa Romeos, the GTV 916, Alfa Romeo Spider Series 4 and Alfa Romeo 156…
Alfa Romeo GTV 916 (1995-2005)
Gran Turismo Veloce; in other words, Fast Grand Touring. That’s what the GTV in Alfa Romeo GTV stood for, so the objective was simple, produce a car that could travel large distances at speed. It did just that and looked very pretty while doing so. Today, though, they can be a headache to own, just like any classic Alfa, but the appeal is there.
There were a few engines to choose from; the 2.0-litre twin spark unit with 150bph and a 2.0-litre JTS engine with 165bhp, which is found in later models from 2003 as it replaced the twin spark unit. The other is a 3.0-litre V6 engine, as found across the Alfa range, which was then replaced by a 3.2-litre engine in 2003. Power stood at 220bhp and 240bhp respectively. While the V6 sound is superb, the 21mpg average fuel economy makes for a very thirsty grand tourer.
For the lesser models, examples can be had for as little as £1000, but expect to run into some reliability issues here. Higher powered V6 models hover around the £5000 mark, with the top examples with limited mileage sitting at around £8000.
Alfa Romeo Spider Series 4 (1990-1993)
When the Series 4 Spider arrived in 1990, the original design had been around for 25 years, and as a result, carried with it a classic style that was rarely seen during this period. You’d be mistaken for thinking it was a much older car, and in theory, it technically is. The resurgence of two-seater roadsters thanks to the MX-5 had played Alfa’s hand, which opted to continue production of the Spider to mop up some potential MX-5 buyers. The Series 4 was really just a facelift, but it benefited from a refreshed look over the Series 3, looking cleaner, more elegant than its predecessor.
A greater effort was paid to rust proofing too, but that’s not to say that examples today won’t suffer from rust, as there are a few on the market that have seen better days. Despite receiving an updated interior, it was just has troublesome as its predecessor and wore quickly. Re-trim kits are available today, so that shouldn’t put you off buying one.
Series 4 Spiders generally carry with them a small mark-up over the Series 3, starting at around the £10,000 mark through online classifieds. Top examples will need closer to £15,000 to secure them, while price aggregator notes that over the past four years, Series 4 Spider prices have climbed an average £6000, with the best examples selling for closer to £18,000.
Alfa Romeo 156 (1996-2007)
Fancy something different to the typical German executive car? Then look no further. I’m sure the typical salesman started off with that spiel. Truth is they’re right. The 156 offered a brilliant alternative, one that looked smart and performed well. Its driving characteristics were typically Alfa, sporty. Reviews of the day were full of how it carries soul and character, despite it later developing the same reliability issues that have plagued the brand. Despite this, it does offer something quirky over its otherwise boring German counterparts, and that alone is enough to consider one.
If ever there was a bargain Alfa Romeo, the 156 is it. With examples starting from as low as £500, you can get yourself into Alfa headache-ownership in no time. Better examples demand more money, but still, at under £2000 for an example with 12 months MoT is something of a bargain. The price varies little between engine choices of the regular models; however, should you want a V6 variant, expect to pay £5000 upwards. The 3.2 V6 GTA models range from £10,000 to £15,000, depending on condition and mileage.