How I bought an ‘74 Alfa Romeo GTV, drove 1700 miles home, and almost melted


Everyone told me I was crazy, but that’s not unusual. I’ve probably done stranger things. But as I stood on the side of the road, 40 or so miles outside of Phoenix, hunched over the engine bay with the hot sun beating down, I started to wonder if I should have listened.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/06/1974-alfa-romeo-gtv-drove-1700-miles-home-and-almost-melted


This was an outstanding read. It’s actually a slightly extreme version of my own car purchase. I bought my E30 sight-unseen over the internet. My dad and I drove up to Michigan over the 4th of July weekend to get it and drive it home. Its a/c doesn’t work either. Three and a half hours later, I pulled into my driveway and just stared at mine as well… for what seemed like hours. I didn’t have any glitches on the way like this Alfa, but the story brought back some “warm” memories.


Sound like something i wanted to do, and what i know now about the car, i would probably succeed. I bought my 1986 TVR in a small city in Cali (kind of away from major routs) and couldn’t find any reasonably priced way to get it to NYC for a few weeks, but eventually found a transporter. Great read!!! Thanks for sharing. I can definitely relate to “admiring the car for an hour in the driveway” statement


Reminds me of the time 4 years ago when I bought my '66 Ambassador site unseen. Picked it up in Michigan and actually gave the guy an extra $250 because he recently had $500 worth of brake work done (was I dumb). Drove to my brother’s in Illinois and barely made it as the brakes failed. We redid the brakes (stops on a dime) and I started back to California. Just into Iowa and the car stopped. A wire had fallen off the alternator. After a jump start all was good. Until 2 days later leaving Denver. The car would start to die like it was lacking fuel. I’d stop, replace the filter, happen again, stop, replace a gas line, stop. Each time it would get going and seem good. Then in the middle of the Utah desert it died & wouldn’t

restart. I actually took the fuel pump apart to see if it was clogged. Upon installation I noticed the rubber fuel line was kinked. It was too long so I cut off a piece and all was good. Did I mention the Summer temps were in the 90s? Apparently while it was cool the line was OK. As the ambient got hotter it would start to kink. The rest of the drive to SoCal was fine even though the Baker, CA Big Thermometer read 100°.


I’ve wanted to do the same thing for years - but early may this year I did the opposite. Had my Sunbeam Alpine S1 from 1960 for sale and a French enthusiast conatacted me as he was very interested in it. After a few emails, a couple of FaceTime calls we struck a deal and I offered to deliver the car to him. A trip of exactly 1359 kilometres - over 3 days and along B-roads, or back roads with overnight stops at cosy German Rasthauses. Trip was from northern Denmark to Alsace in France.
Best road trip ever - would do it again and the car drove better and better for every kilometre I drove.