Jorge Mazlumian's 1974 Alfa Romeo GTVItalians are known to be a passionate people who thrive on emotion. Take my mother for instance. Being a red-hot-blooded Italian, she inevitably imparts a taste of her lively culture to all who have the pleasure of meeting her. From the phenomenal food she cooks (with love, of course), to the hard-accented gobbledygook she speaks at speeds surpassed only by expressively flailing arms resembling multiple Judo chops, it's obvious passion flows through her veins. Treat her right and she'll reciprocate tenfold. Rub her the wrong way and you'd think you just stepped into the UFC Octagon.
The Italian passione not only draws others to them but also to their wonderful creations. Check out the Sistine Chapel, listen to Pavarotti, have a glass of Aldo Conterno wine, or a slice of good pizza. Even better, go drive an Alfa Romeo GTV.
Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who at the time was working for Bertone, the GTV sports coupe transcends time with its elegant yet sporty lines that have made it one of the most sought-after collectibles. You sense its Italian craftsmanship upon the first glance.
The GTV chassis started life in 1963 with the Giulia Sprint GT, which delivered 92 hp from a 1,570cc engine. It later turned into the Sprint GT "Veloce" (GTV) in 1965. Two years after that, Alfa released the GTV 1750 with a 1,779cc engine sporting a heftier 122 hp.
In 1971, Alfa made subtle changes to the body and upgraded to a torquey 1,962cc engine delivering an extra 10 horsepower. The GTV 2000 was born. With its updated powerplant, few other cars could bequeath this magnitude of enjoyment. With non-assisted steering and a highly balanced chassis, you're at one with the road. Simultaneously, the unmistakable Italian exhaust notes send chills down your spine. Drive it and you instantly want one.
With just 2,260 pounds to haul, the GTV was a true sports car in its day. Zero to 60 mph times under 9 seconds and a 120-plus top speed proved this, as did disc brakes at all four corners. High performance, combined with such special styling, made the GTV 2000 an instant classic, and the fact that it was only sold Stateside from 1973 to '74 makes it a rare find.
Fred Firschein, a Southern Californian Alfisto, lucked across the lovely '73 GTV in rare, original Metallic Light Beige paint at the turn of the millennium. He's been its sole caretaker since it left the original owner's hands. After 120,000 miles the car continues to elegantly motor the streets in factory original form-save for the GTV 1750 grille that Firschein feels is a more traditional Alfa design, and a twin-pipe Ansa muffler. Under the hood, the engine is virtually untouched other than Shankle air filters in place of the original airbox. Thirst is quenched by the SPICA mechanical fuel injection fitted to U.S.-designated cars for emissions control.
It should be no surprise this GTV has seen success at local concours events. A weekend cruising up the coast in a flawless GTV on a cool, sunny day is an experience to relish-by the end you'd feel half Italian. But driving a track-prepped GTV hits you in such a way you'd think of adding an "i" to the end of your last name. Jorge Mazlumian, my dad, had racing in mind when he found this red '74 GTV on the SoCal streets.
Having sent his Alfas to Stewart Sandeman of Alfa Performance Connection since the mid '80s-I remember spending days there doing my homework when I was a kid-Mazlumian felt comfortable putting them in charge again.