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Introduced in 1965 at the Amsterdam motor show, the GTA (the 'A' stood for alleggerita - lightened) was the official competition version of the Giulia Sprint GT. The model was produced in road and race variants, the latter, as usual, the responsibility of Autodelta. 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 200kgs 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, however, as there was no longer enough 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 170bhp available in race tune. The GTA made its racing debut on 20/03/1966 at Monza, Andrea de Adamich and Teodoro Zeccoli triumphing 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 following year, Alfa Romeo updated the concept in the form of the GTAm, which was based on the Giulia 1750 GT Veloce export model for the United States market. Equipped with SPICA mechanical fuel injection, the engine was enlarged to 1,985cc, bringing it closer to the 2-Litre class limit, and the GTAm made liberal use of lightweight glass fibre body panels and Plexiglas for the windows. The 'm' is commonly supposed to stand for maggiorata (enlarged) though some believe GTAm stands for GT America. Autodelta built just 19 GTAm works cars plus only 21 customer cars for Group 2 racing between 1969 and 1971.
The example presented here originally started its life as a 1976 Alfa Romeo 105 1.6-litre GT Junior Bertone Coupe, bought from a private buyer in an unrestored state, with the intention of building a race car 'in the style of' an Alfa Romeo GTAm of the early 1970s – the actual end result being a superbly executed and recently finished race/fast road-car to an impressive specification.
The car has been completely stripped back to bare metal, with all corrosion cut out and new metal welded in, the start of a three-year uncompromising project costing circa £100,000, with all mechanical parts either new or professionally rebuilt. This highly professional restoration work was carried out by Bodytech Restoration Ltd., along with the fitting of a Terry Van Der Zee (of TT Motors Racing Ltd.) 2.0-litre Nord race engine with twin 45 DCOE Weber carbs. The specification includes a new competition clutch, a high capacity radiator with bespoke catch tanks and ancillaries, reconditioned 5-speed gearbox, re-built diff, a rebuilt steering box, reinforced chassis pick-up points, uprated race brakes with servos, race springs & dampers, Alfaholics GTAm wings, Alfaholics GTAm wheels with 235/50/16 Yokohama AO48R race tyres, Alfaholics competition exhaust manifold and track-compliant exhaust system, fire system, safety cage and interior/exterior battery cut-off switches, and new Cobra Monaco race seats.
The restoration and race preparation phases of this project have been carried out with no expense spared. The result is an immaculately presented and prepared race car, with all components having zero hours. It only needs the fitting of a timing transponder before entering its first race. What fun-per-pound!