History of the 1972 - 1976 Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior
The Bertone-designed 105 series Alfa Romeo coupe was in production from 1963 until 1975. It is a front- engine, rear wheel drive, 2-door coupe, seating four adults.
Released in 1963, the Giulia Sprint GT shared some mechanical parts with its Giulietta predecessor, but the body was all new. Using a monocoque, it featured all-round disc brakes, a live rear axle and an all-aluminium DOHC engine controlled by a five speed gearbox.
The body featured a distinctive notch where the front wing met the nose, hence the nickname ‘stepfront’ or ‘stepnose’ which are now commonly used to describe early cars. This was replaced in 1967 when the GT Veloce (GTV) was released with a re-designed nose and various other small changes. Other than the Junior, which kept the stepfront nose, the new body was kept with only minor changes until 1975. A convertible, the Carozzeria Touring- bodied GTC was produced between 1964 and 1966 in small numbers.
Throughout its life, the 105 Alfa Romeo coupe was produced with 1300 and 1600 engines (‘Junior’) or 1750 and 2 litre engines (‘Veloce’ or GTV). They were naturally-aspirated and generally equipped with twin Dellorto DHLA or Weber DCOE carburettors. A limited slip differential was fitted to 2 litre cars from 1971 onwards, and can be identified with a triangular casting on the bottom of the differential. A lightened version of the coupe (the GTA, or ‘Grand Tourer Alleggerita’) was fitted with a twin-spark plug head of either 1300 or 1600cc (similar to that fitted to the Giulia TZ), and various other modifications- it was raced with great success. Later, a number of 1750 cars were modified for racing too- these became the GTAm (or GT America) version.
All Alfa Romeo Giulia 105 Coupes are delightful to drive, superbly balanced and nimble with light, effective steering. The engines all rev freely and pull well, with the 1750 commonly being considered the smoothest. Most mechanical parts are interchangeable throughout the range, and engine and drive-train parts were used in many other Alfas of the era. Parts supply is plentiful, with a huge range of high-quality remanufactured parts and upgrades being available. Engines are easy to work on and robust, with chain-driven cams and wet piston liners.
The biggest issue with any Alfa Romeo Giulia Coupe is usually rust. Sills, A and B pillars attract corrosion and valences, wheel arches, door bottoms and the spare wheel well also attract mud and water and are prone to rot. Build quality can also be an issue- interiors can be fragile and electrics can be temperamental. Some original parts, like the early step-front dash (made of a type of compressed cardboard) are extremely hard to find.
Both the GTA and GTAm are in demand for both historic racing and for private collectors and are priced accordingly. GTC drop-head coupes are rare, and command a premium over standard cars. A significant market in ‘GTA Replicas’ has evolved over recent years, and good examples can now fetch much more than the standard car if prepared by a well-regarded specialist. Giulia GT Juniors are generally considered the least collectable of the range, although in recent years even later single- headlamp models have seen a marked increase in value.
Similar cars in the 105 Series Alfa range were the Alfa Spider, Junior Zagato and the Berlina. Alternative coupes would include the Fiat Dino Coupe, the BMW 2002 and the Lancia Fulvia coupe.