Repainted in its unusual original colour, this ex-South Africa Alfa Romeo is impossible to fault, says Nick Larkin after a test drive
This was not an easy car to test because adoration could easily mar objectivity, but in truth you probably couldn’t get a better 1975 Alfa Romeo 2000GT Veloce than this. Everything is exactly as it should be – don’t even think of opening that red paint pot, because the green is correct and rare. The car is well-known in South African Alfa circles, although none of its South African service history survives.
However, since its arrival in the UK it has received plenty of documented attention. Former Weber and Ferrari engineer Vince Mezzullo carried out a full inspection and mechanical refresh when the car reached these shores, resulting in a reassuring file full of invoices for his work. After this, Mez-zullo sent the GTV to Neville Byford in Essex, who compared the car with a ‘control’ example to ensure it was exactly to factory standard. Again, a hefty stack of bills attest to this.
This car is so well sorted. Turn the key and the engine starts without hesitation; give a couple of blips to the throttle and it’s music to the ears. On the road, moving slickly through its gears, there is so much low-down torque, the car should achieve the published 0-60 figure of 9.9 seconds with ease – perhaps faster. The gear ratios are well chosen, the five-speed gearbox feels a bit notchy (as per usual), the steering is super-responsive and the handling excellent. The clutch feels light and the disc brakes are faultless.
Alfa’s reputation for rust on these cars makes us particularly wary when inspecting this one. How-ever, because it has spent almost all its days in the dry and sympathetic climes of South Africa, not a spot of rot (or even treated rot) could be found anywhere, despite our best efforts. The sills are perfectly aligned and look like they’re original, and another notoriously rot-prone area, the front crossmember, looks pristine. The doors close as they should and there are no ripples in that green paintwork – the excellent respray in this original colour is showing no signs of deterioration. The wheels and tyres are in great condition too.
The interior is as good as the exterior. Everything from the wood-rimmed steering wheel backwards is immaculate, with all the instruments working as they should. The wood effect on the dash and centre console is in extraordinarily good order and all the switches are intact. There’s not a mark on the seats and even the carpets are pristine; the same goes for the door trims and the headlining.
The underbonnet scene is pristine, from the wondrous cam cover with its Alfa Romeo script to the spark plug leads. All is exactly as it should be and there’s not a spot of rot or contamination. A great deal of work has gone into the detailing. The engine runs exactly as it should, as does the transmission.
Engine 1962cc in-line four-cylinder, dohc, two carburettors Power 131bhp @ 5500rpm Torque 134lb ft @ 3000rpm Top Speed 118mph 0-60mph 9.9sec Length 4089mm Width 1575mm