1965 ALFA ROMEO GIULIA SPRINT GTA
Chassis No. AR 613886
Engine No. AR 0053613496
Alfa red with black racing interior
Engine: four cylinder, twin overhead camshaft, 1,570cc, c130bhp at 7400rpm; Gearbox: four speed manual; Suspension: independent front by coil springs and wishbones, lightweight live, rear axle with coil springs, trailing arms; Brakes: four wheel servo-assisted disc. Left hand drive.
Few can deny the fact that the sight (and sound) of an Alfa GTA at speed is one of the most evocative post-war racing images. Autodelta, the legendary tuning arm of Alfa Romeo initially devised the GTA specifically for Group 2 racing and from 1966 onwards the GTAs were a familiar and successful sight (in various guises) for the better part of a decade. The 'A' stood for 'alleggerita' which means lightened, and in order to do such, Autodelta gutted the car of all sound deadening and replaced the steel panels with aluminum items along with alloy wheels; this resulted in a 200kg weight reduction! Furthermore, the now svelte sports car was 'breathed on' by the Autodelta works engineers to produce more power, and suspension revisions were made to improve the already well-balanced handling. Right from the word go, the GTAs trounced Lotus Cortinas, BMW Tis and even the big capacity American touring cars such as Dodge Darts and Plymouth Barracudas fell victim to the Milanese rockets on tracks across the globe. The GTAs also proved to be a formidable force on the rally stages, particularly in the hands of Jean Rolland.
This handsome example we proudly offer here is documented by the factory as one of the rare GTAs to have been originally supplied to the USA, indeed they note it was built on 9 November 1965 and sold on 14 January 1966, supplied to the concessionaires in Newark, New Jersey.
A French magazine article in the history file for the car documents the history of this well-raced little beast and (though individual results have not been able to be confirmed) attests that the car was a recruit of the Roger Lewis squad that raced GTAs across the USA; this car being used in the 1969 and 1970 seasons on circuits such as Road Atlanta, Mid-Ohio, Elkhart Lake and Summit Point. It was then purchased by the period-renowned, hard-charging Alfa racer Mr. Horst Kweck who transformed the car into GTAM specification for the 1971 season and ran the car as part of the official 'Alfa Romeo USA' effort in the AARC Trans-Am series. It is also noted as being the very car that competed in the first IMSA race to be held at Bridgehampton where it led for an hour and a half before retiring with electrical problems. After the 1971 season, the car was retired and it lay dormant for ten years before it was found by Michigan-based enthusiast Mr. Robert Tucker who began a painstaking restoration to take it back to original GTA specification (a picture of the car in wide-arched form is included in the French article). A fully detailed specification sheet in the history file documents the condition the GTA was restored to and notes that following completion it was track tested at Grattan in Michigan as a shakedown.
In 1989 it was purchased by the current owner, who rightly believed the GTA to be an ideal entry for the Pirelli Classic Marathon in Europe. To ready the car for the retrospective endurance classic, he sent it to Mr. Gordon Spooner in England for a comprehensive check through and additional modification; in particular, the restorer completely seam-welded the body shell and reinforced the roll cage and skid pan. Mr. Spooner is most well-known for his engineering efforts over the years on Ford Works rally cars but he set about the Alfa with typical thoroughness to ensure fast, safe and reliable use. The GTA successfully completed the Pirelli Classic Marathon twice in both 1990 and 1991, on one occasion Bobby Unser (who was driving a D-Type Jaguar) drove the GTA briefly in between stages while his car was being repaired. En route back to England from the first Marathon, the GTA dropped a valve in Austria, and fortunately this was not too far from German Ferrari dealer and Alfa GTA racing expert, Mr. Fritz Neuser. When posed with the question of whether Mr. Neuser could fix the engine, the answer was 'how much power do you want?' - a solution was found! Following the week-long rebuild the car returned to the UK where it remained until the following year's event, in the meantime receiving a nose to tail check-through.
Since the last event, the GTA has remained garaged on the East Coast and despite not having seen any competitive use has been exceptionally well-maintained on a regular basis. Both driving and aesthetic condition is described as being perfect throughout and this well-prepared GTA is eligible and highly suited for a bevy of historic touring and race events and should not be missed.