8 September 2014

Previous Next

Lot 124

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA by Bertone

  • Chassis no. AR 105.02/A 613345
  • Engine no. AR 00526/A S0166

Sold for £123,200

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.

A twin-spark, dual-ignition cylinder head and upsized carburettors set its 1.6-litre engine apart from that used in the standard car. These modifications, combined with a Ferrari Dino-sourced Marelli distributor, bumped the GTA’s power to 113 horsepower in road configuration and 170 horsepower when amped up for track use. Putting all that power to the rear wheels was a modified five-speed manual gearbox with a magnesium casing, which had closer ratios for track use and machined gears to reduce weight and provide for faster shifts. The GTA weighed in at an astounding 200 kilograms less than the stock Giulia Sprint GT, and it proved to be a formidable track car.

For homologation purposes, approximately 500 road going stradale and race-setup corsa GTAs were built between 1965 and 1969, both in left- and right-hand-drive configurations, and many of which naturally wound up being privately used in competition. A pair of prototype GTAs even completed the Monza 1,000 KM and a hill climb in France, at Mont Dore, in 1965. Although the GTA was a forgiving car to drive on the track, it proved early on to be ferocious with the right driver behind the wheel.

The GTA’s official racing debut occurred on 20 March 1966, when Andrea de Adamich and Teodoro Zeccoli drove it to victory in the Jolly Club Four Hour Race. GTAs later went on to help Alfa Romeo and Autodelta win the European Touring Car Championship for three consecutive years, beginning in 1966. Other competition GTAs were later developed for specific uses by Autodelta, including a model for the 1300 class that took aim at the Mini Cooper and variants with larger engines that saw success over the Atlantic in America.

The car offered here, one of the first GTAs produced, was originally delivered new as a stradale version to Alfa Romeo’s Swiss operations in 1965. It was gently used on the road for nearly its first 30 years, but the GTA’s true inner competition car was unleashed in the early 1990s by Gaetano Petralia, of Auto Neuser in Nürnberg, Germany, for new owner Eberhard Stock.

After racing the GTA successfully with noted German racing driver Bernd Hahne for more than a decade, Stock eventually sold the car to Ivan Scotti, who campaigned it successfully in the U2TC series and on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife.

Today, the GTA remains in beautiful race car condition, and it is eligible for entry into numerous vintage motorsports competitions. It is finished in Alfa Romeo’s signature Rosso Corsa red and features a variety of enhancements and upgrades that have been designed to allow drivers to make the most of its track ability. Most of its major mechanical components only have a race or two under their belt, and it will be delivered to its next owner with a large number of additional parts, including a second set of Campagnolo alloy wheels, a spare gearbox with an aluminium casing, an additional cylinder head, a rear axle, and various other items. The owner also notes that with only a few minor changes, the car can be made road-legal in order to complete in such events as the Tour Auto and the Modena Cento Ore.

With its unique and recent competition history and track-prepared state, this GTA offers its next owner the ability to immediately enjoy it the way Carlo Chiti most certainly intended.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more