A direct evolution of the 1954 Giulietta Sprint, the Bertone-designed Giulia Sprint GT soon established a fine reputation on road and track following its introduction in 1962.

Compared to its predecessor, it was a much more refined and relaxed car to drive, reflecting the changing nature of Europe's roads as higher cruising speeds became more easily attainable. Initially, the Giulia was little more than a Giulietta powered by a 92-bhp, 1,570cc version of the Giulietta's 1,290 cc, twin-cam, all-alloy, four-cylinder engine.

At the 1963 Frankfurt Show, however, Alfa launched the Giulia Spring GT with pretty all-new Bertone coachwork which for the first time allowed practical rear seat accommodations. Power was also increased to 105 bhp, good for 112 mph and comfortable 100 mph cruising via a five-speed gearbox.

Under the steel skin, the chassis remained much as for the Giulietta: coil spring independent front suspension and a live rear axle, but now with standard four-wheel disc brakes.

For 1965 a new, limited-production convertible model, the GTC 1600, joined the line-up. Based on the Sprint GT but subtly restyled by Touring, this attractive variation featured a slightly more sloping tail, a larger trunk, wind-up rear quarter-light windows and a top which folded unobtrusively into a recess behind the rear seats; otherwise it shared the same mechanical specification as the Giulia Spring GT. When GTC production ceased in 1967, only 901 examples had been built.

Finished in red with a grey interior, the GTC 1600 pictured here is a very original car. Being one of the later ones produced, it has the benefit of extra chassis strengthening carried out by the factory. The car has been well maintained, having recently been serviced and checked over by well-known Alfa Romeo specialist Andrew Thorogood. Still running the original type Dunlop disc braking system, it also comes with a new top. This is an excellent example of a very rare car.

{analysis} This GTC crossed the block at the Coys London auction on May 11, 1995, and remained unsold at a high bid of $11,200.

We bought our first GTC, over the phone, from Tim Boerner when he had his Alfa dealership in Berkeley, CA. Ms. Banzer and I rode from Portland with Bill Daemke in his Junior Zagato, Keith McCormick in his Alfetta GT and Dave Salvador in a GT Junior that had been lowered and upgraded with a near-full-race 2.0-liter engine. We were all headed to Monterey for the Historic weekend that celebrated Alfa Romeo's 25th anniversary.

The GTC performed flawlessly, and we especially enjoyed the way the tall windshield protected the front-seat occupants from wind-buffeting.

During our time with the car, we installed a custom-built rollbar and used the car extensively in Alfa Romeo club time trials. Once we had installed Rugh suspension, lowered the car, fitted it with a breathe-on 1,750 cc engine, limited slip differential, ATE brakes and American Racing mags shod with 105x60x14 Yokohama A-008R tires, its times were quite respectable.

We sold the car to a speculator nearly eight years ago, and we understand it still sits, untouched, in his garage, surrounded by other four-wheeled dreams of wealth that now become money pits.

GTCs have a small following, and seem to trade hands in the $12,500-$18,000 price range, price being completely dependent upon condition and the motivation of the seller.

For the sophisticated low-end Alfa collector, they are a great buy. There were few built and far fewer survive; they are extremely pleasant to drive; mechanically robust, they share all mechanical parts with a host of more common Alfa models and are easily upgraded.

However, due to their GTV underpinnings they will never have huge collector potential.

Comments in italics by Keith Martin.

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