First presented at the new factory in Arese and subsequently at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT was transformed into the glorious GTA in 1965. The addition of the “A”, which stands for “Alleggerita” (Italian for “lightweight”), turned the car into one of the Milanese marque’s most winning models.
A number of steel body panels were replaced with lighter aluminium, while the rear and side windows were made from plexiglass. Even the interior was stripped of all non-essential features, bringing the dry weight down from over 900 kg in the GT to 745kg in the Giulia GTA road version.
The 1570-cc engine had an upgraded head with two spark plugs per cylinder, sportier camshafts and a pair of Weber45 twin-barrel carburettors that allowed the new engine to produce 115 hp at 6000 rpm, with a top speed of 185 km/h.
Of the 500 Giulia GTAs produced between 1965 and 1969, there are few remaining examples of the road version, which was essentially created to achieve Group 2 homologation. Almost every one passed into the hands of Autodelta or expert race car preparers, who squeezed almost 170 hp at 7800 rpm and a top speed above 220 km/h out of the twin-cam engine.
In the 1966 season alone, Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAs racked up over 200 victories with official team drivers and privateers behind the wheel! The Giulia GTA became a star performer in track and uphill races, unbeatable in its class.
The innumerable successes brought the first national championship titles, including in the USA and South America. Andrea deAdamich (in 1966 and 1967) and Spartaco Dini (in 1969) won the European Touring Car Challenge three times between them, while Ignazio Giunti won the European Mountain Championship in 1967.
The upsurge in Group 2 victories led Autodelta to experiment with an even racier Group 5 version. Between 1967 and 1968, several dozen specimens were equipped with two turbochargers. These GTA-SA variants (SA standing for “sovralimentata” or supercharged) produced around 220 hp and achieved a top speed of 240 km/h. They were mainly used abroad, in Germany, Belgium and France.
The all-conquering GTA 1600 was followed in 1968 by the Giulia GTA Junior—incorporating the 1300 engine and with an injection system in place of carburettors—which was arguably even more unbeatable in its class. The specimen normally exhibited at the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese is particularly rare, as it is one of the very few Giulia GTA road version cars still in perfect condition.
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