1970 Alfa GTA 1300 Junior

Photos make it clear this is no historic relic, but rather a current weapon of mass destruction

Introduced in 1966, the GTA (the “A” stood for alleggerita, or lightened) was the official competition version of the Giulia Sprint GT. The model was produced in road and race variants, the latter, as usual, being the responsibility of Autodelta. Almost indistinguishable from the road-going Sprint GT, the GTA differed by virtue of its aluminum body panels, Plexiglas side and rear windows, and lightened interior fittings and trim. As a result, the GTA tipped the scales at around 450 lb lighter than the stock steel-bodied car.

Alfa’s classic twin-cam 1,570-cc 4-cylinder underwent extensive modification for the GTA. In road trim, the revised engine produced 115 hp, with up to 170 horsepower available in race tune. The GTA made its racing debut on March 20, 1966, at Monza, with 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 to ’68.

The Championship’s 1,300-cc class had long been the preserve of the Mini Cooper, but that would all change in 1968 with the arrival of the GTA 1300 Junior, which for the next few years enjoyed dominance equal to that of the Mini in the early ’60s. Unique to the model, the GTA 1300 Junior’s engine combined the Giulia’s 78-mm bore with a 67.5-mm-stroke crankshaft. Equipped with the GTA’s twin-plug head and revving to more than 9,000 rpm, this little gem of an engine produced 150 hp-plus. Just over 400 GTA 1300 Juniors had been constructed when production ceased in 1975.

Entered by Scuderia Pegaso, the GTA 1300 offered here competed in the 1970 Targa Florio driven by its owner, Paolo de Luca, and Giuseppe Vassallo, completing four of the ten laps before retiring. This car went on to achieve numerous class victories in Italian national events in period, as recorded by its competition record on file, and is offered with its original Italian title of ownership ready for export.

De Luca owned the GTA until 1971. The vendor’s father bought the car from Fabrizio Violati in 1988, and when it was sold in 1990, the sticker from the 1970 Targa Florio (since removed) was still in place. A recent participant in the Tour of Spain (2005), the car is presented in very good condition, having been fully serviced earlier this year.