With the last iteration of the almost mythical Busso V6 engine, this is definitely one of the most desirable Alfa Romeos of the past 30 years. Produced in only 1,678 units, the GTA was the last Alfa to wear the prestigious GTA badge before the limited-run Giulia GTA, announced in 2020. This unit, painted in Nero Metallizzato over black leather and with 178k km, can now be yours!
Designed by Walter de Silva and first introduced at the 1997 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo 156 was instantly recognized as a strong departure from the first FIAT-era Alfa Romeos of the early and mid 1990s (initially panned by critics and enthusiasts alike); besides posting strong sales figures in its first years on the market, it also won the 1998 European Car of the Year award.
Hawking back at Alfa Romeo’s racing heritage, the 156 GTA (Gran Turismo Alleggerita) was presented at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show and was positioned as the high-performance and most exclusive version of the 156 with a strong racing pedigree, continuing in the legacy of the Alfa Romeo GTA from the 1960s and leveraging on Alfa Romeo’s recent wins in the ETCC and ITCC.
The engine is definitely the defining feature of this car. Nicknamed Bussone by enthusiasts, it is the last iteration of the 60-degree V6 developed by Giuseppe Busso in the late 1970s, whose fame endures today with EVO Magazine calling it “[...] the most glorious-sounding six-cylinder road engine ever” and Classic & Sports Car describing it as “the best sounding engine this side of a Maserati V8”. In the 156 GTA the engine, a 3.2-litre V6 with 24 valves, develops 250 HP with 300 Nm of torque, making the car go all the way to 250 km/h.
As the exteriors are painted in a beautiful Metallic Black, this Italian presents with a bodywork which is in very tidy overall condition, with no record of damage from accidents, and the paint was completely restored by the current owner, a famous Italian body shop owner. The badges and the wheels show signs of age-related degradation and the seller reports that the rear right wheel and tyre pictured here are not the original ones but will be replaced before the purchase. The original 17-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels are matched to Wanli tyres, Winter-max A1, 225/45R17 for the front and rear.
This 156 GTA features black leather interiors, which are in good shape, with matching inserts in the front and rear door cards, which are reported in decent condition. There is, of course, some general wear visible on most surfaces, but this is absolutely commensurate with the car’s age and mileage.
The interior trims are in normal order, with the dashboard plastics, leather steering wheel and gear knob all appearing in decent shape. The seller states that, overall, the interiors have been completely preserved and properly used. The six-digit mechanical odometer shows 178,000 km.
Mechanically, this shiny GTA received a proper engine overhaul as requested by the current owner and proved by the documentation included in the purchase: the engine reportedly starts and runs smoothly, without stutters or failures.
Initially registered for the German market in 2002, the current owner purchased this Alfa in 2018. He is now willing to part ways with his beloved Alfa, which will be sold complete of its German documents, user and service book and its original keys. Please note that the final price will not include Italian registration fees.
A little fun fact: the first unit of the 156 GTA was sold at one of the first online car auctions in 2001, at the very Frankfurt Car Show where it was presented!