Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The GTA is a homologation legend, whispered reverentially in the shadowy corners of motoring folklore, and jealously guarded by the Alfisti. The 105-series coupe used a shortened Giluia Berlina floorpan, with the sumptuous bodywork spirited masterfully into existence by the inspired eye of Bertone.
Available in road (Stradale) or race (Corsa) specification, the focus of the entire car was on performance above all else; indeed, the fact that it's so achingly gorgeous is what's pushing values ever higher today - this is a phenomenally capable and successful racer that just happens to be pretty enough to make your lower lip quiver.
Power came from Alfa's sonorous, revvy 1,600cc twin-cam, fitted with a twin-plug head, a Marelli distributor pinched from a Ferrari, various magnesium casings and shrouds, and a pair of thirsty 45mm carbs. In Stradale form, this offered 113bhp; in the full-race Corsa, you'd be staring down the thick end of 170bhp.
This power was more than ample thanks to the 'A' in the GTA name, standing for 'alleggerita', Italian for 'lightweight'. The body was formed from featherweight aluminium, the wheels were a magnesium alloy, and the side windows were plastic. All of this, combined with weight savings in places like the control arms, door handles and window mechanisms, led to an overall kerb weight of just 740kg. Which is pretty astonishing. This is a car that looks gorgeous, goes like stink, and makes a fabulous noise. Motoring perfection? It is for many.

The example you see here is owned and campaigned by David Fitzsimons, and enjoys regular success - in the second part of the 2013 Revival's St. Mary's Trophy, for example, it finished in second place with Alex Furiani at the wheel, sandwiched by the mighty seven-litre Ford Galaxies in first and third. This is a GTA as GTAs should be: pure, simple, lithe, lissom, and used in anger whenever possible. Oh, and red. They look best in red, don't you think?

Spotted at the 2013 Goodwood Revival - click here for more photos.

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