rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 16, 2010 5:15 p.m.

These cars have about nothing in common. I know this. From practical considerations this comparison makes absolutely no sense at all.

The E36 M3 could hit all of my logical points pretty darn well for an all-around, 4-door, practical, family sedan that doubles as a fun track toy.

But the Alfa fires off all of my emotional buttons, and I might be willing to live with its shortcomings just to be able to hear that sweet 6 screaming whenever I wanted. It's the anti-bimmer. And in a way, the anti-Porsche, as well.

Given Per's column about "weird cars," how many of you struggle with this conundrum?

aussiesmg SuperDork
Feb. 16, 2010 7:22 p.m.

Simple answer, buy them both, that's what I do.

nutherjrfan Reader
Feb. 16, 2010 7:33 p.m.

a CCC writer speculated that the Alfa 75 handled better than a comparable E30 3-series, 'cept for the M3, and then not out-shone by much.

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 10:36 a.m.
aussiesmg wrote: Simple answer, buy them both, that's what I do.

If I had a 3-car garage...

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 10:42 a.m.
nutherjrfan wrote: a CCC writer speculated that the Alfa 75 handled better than a comparable E30 3-series, 'cept for the M3, and then not out-shone by much.

CCC?

Milano (75) Verde struggles against E30 M3, but I'd rock it, anyway just to be different. I'd rock the E30, too, though as it's one of my favorite cars. Nice Verde wouldn't cost that much, either.

The GTV-6's may be on the rise in value. I'm a little worried that by the time I can logically live with one, most of them will be beyond hope and the few remaining will be too dear.

So many cars and only one life.

m4ff3w Dork
Feb. 17, 2010 11:02 a.m.

I'm biased, but I think the Alfa V6 tranxaxle cars are the proverbial bee's knees.

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
Feb. 17, 2010 12:43 p.m.

I had a chance to drive our Auction Editor's (Andy Reid) very nice GTV6 this summer. I loved the engine note, steering feel, and overall character of the car. But..... the gearbox/ shifter was the worst I've encountered. Well, maybe a Porsche 914 shifts worse, but not by much. Imagine a drumstick placed in a bowl of jello and you are getting close.

They are really neat, cool cars. Performance wise they aren't really comparable to an E36 M3 though, as the BMW will slaughter the Alfa in pretty much every category. The Alfa may compare better to an E30 325is, or 318is, which makes sense as these cars were it's contemporary competition.

In my dream 100 car garage, I'd save a spot for a GTV6.

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 12:55 p.m.
Joe Gearin wrote: I had a chance to drive our Auction Editor's (Andy Reid) very nice GTV6 this summer. I loved the engine note, steering feel, and overall character of the car. But..... the gearbox/ shifter was the worst I've encountered. Well, maybe a Porsche 914 shifts worse, but not by much. Imagine a drumstick placed in a bowl of jello and you are getting close. They are really neat, cool cars. Performance wise they aren't really comparable to an E36 M3 though, as the BMW will slaughter the Alfa in pretty much every category. The Alfa may compare better to an E30 325is, or 318is, which makes sense as these cars were it's contemporary competition. In my dream 100 car garage, I'd save a spot for a GTV6.

I saw Andy's car listed on the AlfaBB. :drool:

You're right in that performance is nothing like an E36 M3. It's closest contemporary would be an N/A early 944, in which case it's a more reasonable comparison.

http://www.hemmings.com/hsx/stories/2009/01/01/hmn_feature9.html

It's not really about the M3, per se, but about the fight between what it makes sense to get, and what would ignite our senses.

I test drove a craptastic GTV6 a few months back. It was total crap, shifter and all. But I loved it. I couldn't stop looking at it. I wanted to keep driving it.

m4ff3w Dork
Feb. 17, 2010 1:11 p.m.

I don't know when they changed the shifter to isostatic, but the one in my Milano isn't terrible at all.

The shifter in my XR4ti though.. that was terrible.

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 1:18 p.m.

In reply to m4ff3w:

They changed it when they went to the Milano.

I found a CL GTV-6 with a 3.0L Milano drivetrain in it. Sweet car, but he wants $10k for it. Probably worth it, but out of my range for the moment.

And, again, difficult to justify when there are faster/easier/newer/more practical cars out there for the same money.

m4ff3w Dork
Feb. 17, 2010 1:24 p.m.

Some people want faster/easier/newer/more practical and some people want unique/passion/character.

To each is own. Good luck with your decision.

Travis_K Dork
Feb. 17, 2010 3:56 p.m.

I have seen a video of a modifed milano catching and passing an e36 m3, not that it says alot, but its certainly possible to get the same performance. Id get a milano instead of a gtv6, I havent driven a gtv6, but the milano has better shifter linkage, gear ratios, etc. Its alot made a bit better. I have used my milano as a daily driver for 2.5 years and it has been fine, the only annoying things are that the hvac system is completely non functional (would require dashboard removal for repair, so no thanks), the circuit boards for the taillights are pretty poorly designed, and the ground clearance is almost unacceptable (that would also be a problem for the gtv6). My milano is stock height but with stiffer springs and torsion bars, and its just enough to rarely scrape on anything.

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 4:15 p.m.
m4ff3w wrote: Some people want faster/easier/newer/more practical and some people want unique/passion/character. To each is own. Good luck with your decision.

You have captured the essence of my OP in a nutshell.

My heart says one thing, but my head over-analyzes. I think some people are one or the other, and they're comfortable with what they are.

Per seems like a "heart" guy, but then there's that GRM article about how to calculatingly go about finding just the right car to be competitive, which is the exact opposite.

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 4:18 p.m.
Travis_K wrote: I have seen a video of a modifed milano catching and passing an e36 m3, not that it says alot, but its certainly possible to get the same performance. Id get a milano instead of a gtv6, I havent driven a gtv6, but the milano has better shifter linkage, gear ratios, etc. Its alot made a bit better. I have used my milano as a daily driver for 2.5 years and it has been fine, the only annoying things are that the hvac system is completely non functional (would require dashboard removal for repair, so no thanks), the circuit boards for the taillights are pretty poorly designed, and the ground clearance is almost unacceptable (that would also be a problem for the gtv6). My milano is stock height but with stiffer springs and torsion bars, and its just enough to rarely scrape on anything.

I have often considered a Milano, as well. It's "better" in just about every way than a GTV6. Galvanized body, better shifting, 4-doors, LSD, more power (in the Verde). Meh. Can't rule it out.

SupraWes Dork
Feb. 17, 2010 4:22 p.m.

Easy, get the Alfa. /thread

rogerbvonceg New Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 4:28 p.m.
SupraWes wrote: Easy, get the Alfa. /thread

I like the cut of your jib! (Arrrrrrrr)

Life is short...

1slowcrx Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 8:59 p.m.

The alfa has soul... But I'll finish the race in my e36 while you're in the pits broken...... /thread

motomoron Reader
Feb. 17, 2010 9:29 p.m.

I'll drive the M3 to faraway tracks and cane it mercilessly weekend after weekend. If it needs a part I'll buy it from the dealer down the street w/ my 15% club discount. Yes, there will be 5 of them at the track, and ricer kids want to "race" me. But for a track day car with a license plate it's hard to beat.

The Alfa is wicked cool though. Room for both?

Luke SuperDork
Feb. 17, 2010 9:41 p.m.

I don't know that a GTV6 is necessarily any cooler than an M3. M3's are pretty freakin' cool. Both command respect, but in different ways.

And you get used to the Alfa transaxle shifter. Eventually you develop a sort of 'double-de-clutch out of necessity' smugness .

Matt B Reader
Feb. 18, 2010 12:00 a.m.

Speaking of Milanos.

sorry couldn't help myself. I want a replica.

mtn SuperDork
Feb. 18, 2010 12:04 a.m.
Luke wrote: I don't know that a GTV6 is necessarily any cooler than an M3. M3's are pretty freakin' cool. Both command respect, but in different ways.

I'm not sure about in Aussieland, but over here we don't get too many GTV6's. I've seen 3 in my lifetime... That increases the cool factor.

Luke SuperDork
Feb. 18, 2010 12:33 a.m.

Likewise, I've only ever seen about the same number of E36 M3's . They're still quite expensive over here.

mtn SuperDork
Feb. 18, 2010 12:46 a.m.

In reply to Luke: Really? They never made it down under?

A quick craigslist search yielded 3 under 12k here. Rare is obviously quite subjective.

Travis_K Dork
Feb. 18, 2010 12:54 a.m.

Unless its a track only car, IMO a 4 door e36 m3 is the only real option for a street car, the 2 door ones have too much of the wrong image, and have probably been beat on pretty badly as well.

Luke SuperDork
Feb. 18, 2010 1:28 a.m.

In reply to mtn:

Cheapest one available to me is 22K, but they've all got fairly low mileage. Presumably most of "our" E36 M3's are coddled and garaged, as I can only remember seeing one at a hillclimb or track event.

Back on topic, here's a thread from another forum that the OP might find helpful.

Alfetta GTV6's: What are they like to live with?

1 2

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