Mix-and-match solutions often don’t turn out well in the automotive industry, and here’s another case in point. Alfa Romeo’s saloon line-up in the Seventies comprised the four-cylinder Alfetta and stumpy-tailed Giulietta, but in 1979 the Milanese brand rolled out a big new flagship that scored V6 power (hence the Alfa 6 moniker) and acres of room inside.

All sounds good on paper, but the recipe was already off to a bad start as, rather than creating the new V6 saloon from a clean sheet, the Alfa brainiacs opted to chop and change the Alfetta to conjure up the Alfa 6. So, the centre section of the car was basically the Alfetta (including the doors), and to this was grafted a long nose and tail. As you can imagine, the result was a saloon with ill-resolved proportions. The front and rear overhangs were too long, while the doors were too small.

The car’s boxy styling could hardly be described as aerodynamic, but its drag coefficient was still a vaguely respectable 0.41, which wasn’t bad for the Seventies. That long snout could have been a bit shorter as nestled under it was the same compact 2.5-litre V6 that in 1980 found its way into the GTV6 coupe — an altogether more desirable car than the frumpy Alfa 6. This V6 was initially equipped with no less than six carburettors (a nightmare to tune), but these were eventually substituted with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection.

As staid as the Alfa 6 was, it came well equipped for its era, with power steering, power windows, central locking, electric wing mirrors and a limited-slip differential fitted as standard.

Also novel for the time was a shock sensor in the boot that would cut off the fuel supply in the event of a crash. Despite being a mediocre offering when new, clean examples of the Alfa 6 still command resale values of Dh50,000-plus.

 

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