I couldn't keep away from the white GTA on the showroom floor, admiring it like it was a Playboy centerfold


This striking Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA is documented as the car in which future Ferrari and Alfa Romeo T33 sports-prototype star Andrea de Adamich won the 1967 European Touring Car Challenge Championship. Records show that chassis AR*613898 left the factory on February 15, 1967, and was registered to Autodelta on March 31, the purchase price noted as 2,995,000 Italian lira (approx. $7,000). From Autodelta the car was sold in March 1970, acquired by Mussa of Turin, and from that ownership passing directly to the current vendor.
The car's twin-plug engine was rebuilt as-new by specialist Almo Bosato some years ago, and the car has been unused since completion of that work. The bodywork and interior condition is characterized as being "original" apart from the addition of a period oil pressure gauge. The rev counter reads to a full 12,000 rpm and the engine is equipped with magnesium cam covers and sump. This GTA features 13-inch diameter wheels and is fitted with an Autodelta sliding-block rear end.
These lightweight, raucous, agile and very fast competition touring cars are extremely exciting and rewarding to drive. There is an active historic touring car scene in which they can be campaigned as they were in their heyday, and this GTA is a most attractive example for such endeavors.
The SCM analysis: This 1967 Alfa Romeo 1600 GTA Corsa sold for $92,957 at Bonhams Monaco sale, held May 16, 2005.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 Alfa Romeo 1600 GTA Corsa
Years Produced:1965-69
Number Produced:officially 1,163 but more likely 493
Original List Price:Stradale, 2,995,000 lira (about $7,000); Corsa, ab
SCM Valuation:$85,000-$100,000
Tune Up Cost:Cost per hour to race: $750
Distributor Caps:$600
Chassis Number Location:on firewall, right side
Engine Number Location:on block below front carburetor
Club Info:Alfa Romeo Owners Club of America, PO Box 12340, Kansas City, MO 64116
Alternatives:1967 Porsche 911R, 1965 Shelby GT 350 R, 1971 BRE Datsun 510
Investment Grade:A

I remember walking into the Alfa Romeo dealership in Boulder, CO, one day in early 1967. I was about to graduate from college and desperately wanted to own a new Alfa. There was a white Giulia Sprint GT on the showroom floor and I couldn’t keep away from it. After circling and admiring it like it was a Playboy centerfold, I chanced to look at the sticker and almost fell over-it was something like $7,400.
I then realized the car I had been admiring wasn’t a Giulia, even though it looked a lot like one. This car was a GTA, undoubtedly the coolest variation on Alfa’s quintessential ’60s coupe.
Alfa introduced the Giulia Sprint GT in early 1963, but did not immediately think of it as a competition car. The competition department was busy with the TZ (Tubolare Zagato) cars for the Gran Turismo class and the Giulia TI Super sedan in Touring. By late 1964 it was obvious that something far quicker than the TI Super was going to be needed to be competitive with the Lotus Cortinas, so Alfa set itself to building a really quick Sprint GT for the 1965 season.
What it came up with was the GTA (for “alleggerita,” or lightened). To be race legal Alfa would have to build 1,000 examples (or at least convince the FIA that it had), so the GTA became a full factory effort with both Stradale (street) and Corsa (competition) models produced.
To create the GTA, Alfa first pop-riveted an aluminum alloy body to the Giulia’s steel internal unibody structure, and then shaved weight everywhere else it could. The rear side windows were plastic, the seats were ultra-lightweight, there was almost no sound insulation, and the car rode on lightweight 6- by 14-inch Campagnolo wheels. Alfa even tried using alloy floor pans on some early cars, though that was found to hurt chassis stiffness too much. The result was that the GTA weighed just 1,640 pounds, about 450 less than a stock Giulia Sprint.
The 1600-cc engine underwent modification too. Alfa had developed a twin-plug head for the TZ2 that was an obvious choice for the GTA. While hemispherical combustion chambers create a notoriously long flame path from a single spark plug, using two plugs notably improved combustion performance. Moving the plug out of the center of the chamber also made room for bigger valves, which was probably at least as important in producing more horsepower.
In street trim this didn’t matter much, as the GTA was listed at just 133 hp (against 126 from the single-plug head). The difference, however, lay in what the tuners could do with the engine; a race-spec GTA made 170 hp at 7,800 rpm.
At the factory, Alfa only built Stradales. It was Autodelta, Alfa’s official but independent race car preparation firm, that built the racing Corsas. These cars were Stradale GTAs that were literally taken apart and completely rebuilt. This was not cheap, and an Autodelta Corsa cost almost twice the price of a Stradale-which was roughly what a new Ferrari 275 GTB was selling for at the time.
For the money, however, you got a very serious race car. The list of modifications and options that Autodelta offered is staggering, including virtually every important component. These ranged from the ordinary, like Plexiglas side windows, to things like close-ratio synchromesh gearboxes and even Colotti dog-shifted boxes with virtually unlimited ratios.
Probably the best known of the bits was the infamous “sliding block” axle-locating system. This was a forged aluminum tripod that bolted to the underside of the body. It had a vertical track to control a block on the back of the differential, so that it could go up or down but not sideways, thus locating the axle. This system worked well but was emphatically not something you’d want on a street car. Actually, aside from some cool graphics, nothing from Autodelta had any place on a street car.
The 1967 1600 GTA Corsa pictured here is clearly an excellent and important example, as it was not only owned and campaigned by Autodelta, but was the European champion in 1967. Further pluses include apparently never having been badly crashed and a short and known ownership history.
For me, the one bothersome thing is the car’s bodywork and wheels. As a historic race car, this GTA’s “point in history” is 1967, but the car is currently wearing the “fat” GTA Junior fenders from the 1970 season and incorrect 10- by 13-inch Campagnolos. I can’t help but wonder whether the car is actually “legal” for the more desirable vintage race events the way it sits, and my predilection would certainly be to return it to proper 1967 configuration.
As a great example of a desirable car sold at a high-profile auction, this Alfa clearly brought big money selling at nearly $93k. My informal polling suggests that prices for good GTAs are going up, and today stand anywhere between $85,000-$100,000. I don’t think there were many bargains to be had in Monaco, but this 1967 1600 GTA Corsa was fairly bought.
(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)

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