A Performance Milestone, Design Icon, True Classic: The Tipo 105/115
Jeremy Clarkson once famously declared, “You can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo.” There’s just something about the Alfa Romeo formula of driving character and aching beauty that speaks volumes to aficionautos. Of the classic Alfa lust list, the Bertone coupe—as Alfisti tend to call it—is one of the most coveted.
Designed by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro of Bertone, the Tipo 105 featured two prominent headlights housed in a fender-to-fender wide grille. Its unbroken shoulder line wrapped from the top of the grill, around the fender, across the door, and through the length of the quarter panel—an unusual but striking line. The wraparound windshield and rear window give the greenhouse a no-blind-spot panoramic view thanks to thin pillars and upright seating position. The balance of glass, body, and overall shape presents an elegant but swept back sporting look, seamlessly fusing timeless beauty and progressive design.
With four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes, front wishbone independent and live-axle rear suspension, and a unibody lightweight chassis construction, the Tipo 105 proved to be a serious dancer in the hands of gifted wheelman. Powered by displacements ranging from 1300 to 1600 cc with a standard five-speed transmission, the early stepnose Alfas were popular GT cars that offered bargain performance for nearly any budget.
By the late 1960s, the stepnose or scalino two-headlight fascia was updated to a smooth hood four-headlight facelift and the revered rev-happy 1750 cc engine was introduced. Shortly after, the Tipo 105 was replaced with the Tipo 115. These mid-cycle refresh cars featured four-headlights, a revised grille, new overrider bumpers, larger taillights, and several mechanical upgrades to include the new 2000 cc engine, ATE brakes, and updated suspension.
The Tipo 115, such as the car offered here, was the final iteration of the original Bertone coupe, which continued to sell well until its discontinuation in 1974. The 115 model received an all-new cabin offered in an array of new color combinations to stay current with the Funk era. With more usable power than ever, more creature comforts like optional air conditioning and rear defroster, the Tipo 115 was the most modern of the Bertone coupe lineage, making it an ideal classic to drive on today’s fast-paced roadways.
Unlike it’s US counterpart, this Rosso AmarantoEuropean spec 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 sits at its intended ride height, is void of the ugly side reflectors, and breaths through a pair of beautifully singing side-draft carbs. Better yet, the odometer reads less than 80,000 kilometers since 1972 and is a solid driver in need of nothing but a new place to call home.
Although the car’s history is vague with little early paperwork on hand, the overall condition presents better than most ‘driver’ GTV. The body is rust free and straight with no sign of accident damage. The paint is an older respray that still holds good shine with some slight imperfections at the base of the body and the undercarriage still wears its factory-applied undercoating. The brightwork is in good shape given its age and the car was fitted with Alfaholics 15 inch alloy GTA style wheels—a common upgrade for better grip and more modern tire options.
Aside from fresh carpets, OE style floor mats, and an aftermarket head unit, the interior is believed to be entirely original but well preserved. The vinyl dash has two cracks around the topside vent holes but otherwise everything is in excellent order. The veneer dash and center console inserts are clean and free of peeling or cracking. The wood rim deep-dish steering wheel and matching shift knob are clean and the instrumentation and lighting equipment functions properly. The original front and rear tan leather seat covers are in exceptional condition.
Under the reverse opening hood lies a presentable engine compartment housing the car’s original 2000 cc twin-cam inline four-cylinder that’s been routinely maintained and carries a good bill of health. The engine starts, idles, and climbs through the rev-range without hiccup. The five-speed gearbox shifts smoothly with no grinds—a sign of good synchros, which are commonly in need of repair. It’s also worth noting the steering box (another typical weak point for these cars) is in great condition with no play in the wheel.
Alfaholics 15 inch aluminum GTA style wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber
Original glass, trim, bumpers, and brightwork
Quality older respray retains good shine
Paint on lower panel sections show minor imperfections
Boot lid “ 2000 ” badge was installed backwards
Original seat covers, door panels, headliner, steering wheel, and shift knob
All instrumentation and operations function properly
New carpets and floor mats
Slight patina on original seat covers and panels
Two cracks near the topside dash vent holes
Original 2000 cc side-draft carbureted engine (Euro spec) in great running order
Original five-speed gearbox shifts without grinds or unusual noises
No leaks or unusual noises
Engine bay would benefit from detailing
The only non-original equipment of note are the Alfaholics GTA style wheels, low profile modern performance tires, carpet and floor mats, and aftermarket stereo. The body panels, drivetrain, glass, and powertrain are all original to the car and in great condition. If the next owner desired to return the car back to its exact 1972 factory configuration, a set of OE wheels and stereo or block-off plate could be installed easily.
After decades of being cast aside as “unworthy” of restoration, the Alfa Romeo GTV’s charm has finally regained the attention it so deservingly received in its heyday. With so many lost to rust and deferred maintenance, sourcing a well-sorted GTV has become a game of “find-the-needle-in-the-haystack.”
Great colors, highly original, mechanically squared away, and in a clean but ‘used regularly’ condition, this 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV is the type of classic you can thoroughly enjoy without feeling guilty. Couple that with its affordable cost of entry in a rising market, and you’ve got an investment you can drive without worry. Plus, you’ll get Clarkson’s official petrolhead approval—what’ve you got to lose?