Alfa Romeos—particularly those produced prior to the 2000s—are tools for the experiential. Enthusiasts who mainline spec sheets need not apply; each Alfa is a perfect example of cars that are far more than the sum of its parts—and occasionally the Motor Trend Car of the Year. To drive an Alfa is to relish the process, to recognize that the path up is usually just as important as the summit.
Well, maybe not a summit. Alfa’s aren’t exactly known for ground clearance and rugged durability. Unless you happen to cruise around in a new Stelvio or one of the few remaining 1952-1954 Alfa Romeo Matta military jeeps, your best bet is to keep that low-slung Alfa stowed in the garage and take the old Landy out when a night at the campground might give way to a weekend of overlanding.
Or, maybe not. Aether Apparel’s new Safari-ized 1985 Alfa Romeo GTV6 is proof that—with clever engineering and a metric ton of creativity—even the finest Milanese metal can handle a two-track fire road. The clothier turned to the avant-garde Oil Stain Lab design collective to bring this creation to life. Never one to adhere to traditional automotive mores, Oil Stain has a track record of penning some of the most shocking and unconventional takes on classic cars.
Aether couldn’t have picked a better partner. Most of the existing front-facing projects from Oil Stain are conceptual renderings, but founders and twins Nikita and Illya Briden already have experience WRC-ifying an old Alfa with their much-publicized Alfa Romeo 105 GTV Safari build. The lifted GTV came about after the twins’ Alfa was dropped from a tow truck, but Aether’s GTV6 presumably suffered no such ill-fate before the conversion.
The Mad Maurizio-style GTV6 is more than just a lift kit, even if the suspension is where the most significant changes are found. After a full 3D scan of the car under Oil Stain’s direction, the team added a set of bespoke front and rear coilovers to jack the fastback hatch an additional 6.5 inches. A set of beefy-ish 205/75R15 all-terrain tires wrapped around stock Alfa wheels complement the suspension upgrades. Custom front-suspension arms, linkages, and shock mounts mean the car should retain much of the regular GTV6’s charming handling characteristics.
If any of the Aether folks blow a tire while traipsing a Mojave trail, the rear hatch space is modified to carry two full-size spare tires and wheels in a new external trunk area that also hides a set of jerrycans for a combined ten gallons of spare fuel. A set of front and rear skidplates hold integrated fog lights, tow hooks, and a hidden rear exhaust. A combination roof rack and light bar sits up top ahead of a rear roof spoiler that guides airflow away from the spare tires jutting out of the rear decklid.
Keep an eye out for adventures in the so-called Alpine Alfa on Aether’s Instagram, where it’s sure to appear in plenty of rather un-Alfa locales.
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