Legendary Race Cars  

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA by Bertone

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Sold for $198,312  on September 8, 2014 

Est. 170 bhp, 1,570 cc DOHC twin-plug inline four-cylinder engine with dual Weber carburettors, five-speed manual transmission, wishbone front suspension, live rear axle suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,350 mm

Set up for vintage racing events
Pre-1966 U2TC, Nürburgring Marathon, and FIA Touring Car competition history
Fine example of Alfa Romeo’s lightweight rocket

In the early 1960s, Alfa Romeo made a concerted effort to get back to its racing roots, and they decided to do this by capitalising on its new Giulia line-up with a competition model. The Giulia was the result of a thorough evolution of the post-war sensation Giulietta, itself a remarkably sporty and accessible range of vehicles, and the sophisticated Giulia line-up was anchored on the performance end by the Bertone-designed Sprint GT Coupé.

The Sprint GT Coupé was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro and lived up to its name, as it had a five-speed manual gearbox, a high-revving inline four-cylinder engine, and four-wheel disc brakes. So sophisticated was the Sprint GT that even at the end of the model’s life more than a decade later, it was still heralded by journalists all over the world. Perhaps most telling for performance-minded drivers, the Sprint GT was underpinned by a remarkably taut chassis that begged for more than casual driving. The two-door coupé was as natural on the race track as it was on a winding Italian mountain hairpin, and it instantly seemed like the perfect starting point for Alfa Romeo’s Autodelta motorsports division.

Autodelta was conceived and run by the legendary Carlo Chiti, and it successfully brought Alfa Romeo back to the forefront of racing by the mid-1960s. Chiti himself had just returned to Alfa Romeo after a stint at Ferrari that saw the creation of the 156 sharknose that Phil Hill drove to victory in 1961. Using the Sprint GT as its base, the Giulia Sprint GTA—the “A” standing for alleggerita, or lightweight—arrived in 1965 at the Amsterdam Motor Show with significantly lighter Peralumin 25 aluminium bodywork bonded and riveted to its steel structure. Magnesium wheels, Plexiglas side windows, minimal interior décor, and aluminium suspension bits further hinted at its competition pedigree.