Alfa Romeo 1300 GTA Junior Coupé 1969
Chassis no. AR 775100
* Delivered new in Italy
* In-period competition history
* Known ownership history
* Present family ownership for some 30 years
* Freshly rebuilt engine
Introduced in 1966, the GTA (the 'A' stood for Alleggerita - lightened) was the official competition version of the Giulia Sprint GT and was produced in both road and race variants. The latter, as usual, was the responsibility of the factory's Autodelta competitions department, which had been founded in 1961 as an independent company by Carlo Chiti and Ludovico Chizzola, and subsequently absorbed by Alfa Romeo.
Visually almost indistinguishable from the road-going Sprint GT, the GTA differed by virtue of its aluminium body panels, Plexiglas side and rear windows, and lightened interior fittings and trim. As a result the GTA tipped the scales at around 200 kilograms lighter than the stock steel-bodied car. Alfa's classic twin-cam 1,570cc four underwent extensive modification for the GTA, the angle between the valves being reduced from 90 to 80 degrees and the valve sizes substantially increased; there no longer being room between them for a central spark plug, a change was made to twin-plug ignition. In road trim the revised engine produced 115bhp, with up to 170 horsepower available in race tune.
The GTA made its racing debut on 20th March 1966 at Monza where Andrea de Adamich and Teodoro Zeccoli triumphed in the Jolly Club Four-Hour Race. From then on the Autodelta-prepared GTAs enjoyed outstanding success, winning the European Touring Car Championship three years running from 1966-68.
The Championship's 1,300cc class had long been the preserve of the Mini Cooper but that would all change in 1968 with the arrival of the GTA 1300 Junior, which for the next few years would enjoy dominance equal to that of the Mini in the early '60s. Unique to the model, the GTA 1300 Junior's engine combined the Giulia's 78mm bore with a 67.5mm-stroke crankshaft. Equipped with the GTA's twin-plug 'head and revving to more than 9,000rpm, this little gem of an engine produced 150bhp plus. A little over 400 GTA 1300 Juniors had been constructed when production ceased in 1975.
Finished in red with black interior, this stunning GTA was first registered as 'MI G78887' on 20th March 1969 to a private purchaser and subsequently was sold (in March 1971) to Officine Cardi in Verona, a well known manufacturer of truck trailers, with the number plate 'VR 273 688'. A period photograph of the car competing at a race meeting is on file.
Since then the car has changed owners three more times before being sold to the father of the current owner, a well known Alfa Romeo road and race specialist in Turin, some 30 years ago. He partially restored the car, which was not used for competitions anymore but only for classic events, club meetings, and shows. The Alfa's last outing was on 21st September 2013 at the 50th anniversary of Autodelta at the Monza circuit. In July 2016 the mechanicals were completely overhauled. Since rebuilding, the engine has only been run in on a test bench for approximately eight hours. It is worthwhile noting that this car features the sought after testa stretta (narrow valve) cylinder head with Spica fuel injection.
As this car's chassis number is listed in the comprehensive volume on all things Alfa Romeo GTA, but no further was information provided, Bonhams contacted the authors. Martin Uebelher very kindly replied that they have some information on the car's history in their archives, but as they were working on another publication after 'Alleggerita', they did not pursue the car further. Nevertheless, it has been confirmed that chassis number 'AR 775100' took part in some 20 races in period, first with its original owner, Domenico Cedrati, and then with the second owner, Roberto Cardi (email on file).
The car is offered with de-registered Italian documents (libretto and Certificato di Proprieta) as well as the Estratto Cronoligico listing the owners. Offered for the first time in some 30 years and with a freshly rebuilt engine, this wonderful GTA is ready to be used once more in anger.
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