Lot 275 - 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior (Ex-Rhoddy Harvey-Bailey)
|Chassis Number||AR 775774|
|Engine Number||AR 00559*05043|
|Odometer reading||19,599 km|
|Estimate||£98,000 - £110,000|
|Result||Sold - £102,000|
The Alfa Romeo GTA, or Gran Touring Alleggerita (lightened GT) was built and developed by Autodelta, the racing division of Alfa Romeo and was first introduced in 1965 at the Amsterdam Motor Show. 1,000 homologation units were built of what was clearly a spartan racing car. Surprisingly, the GTA was offered both in race and road trim, Corsa and Stradale respectively. The model featured aluminium coachwork with only the floorpan, inner shell and sills being steel. These first cars were of 1570cc capacity and featured twin-plug, cylinder heads and close-ratio gearboxes. The Junior, the little GTA came into being during 1968 to compete the 1300cc class that was being dominated by the Mini Cooper S. The over-square 1290cc unit was derived from the Giulietta and also featured a twin-plug, cylinder-head and close-ratio gearbox. In addition, some Juniors had limited slip differentials, a characteristic that no 1600cc cars featured. The GTA 1300 Junior, had a reputation for being more robust and reliable than the 1600 GTA, perhaps this robustness and reliability led to the Junior winning the European Touring Car Championship in 1972.
We are delighted to offer this genuine example of the GTA Junior. The accompanying information sheet, issued in 2006 by the Alfa Romeo Archive, confirms the build date as 28th June 1968 and was sold on 10th August 1968 in Naples. The late Piero Pesaro, who was an Alfa Romeo racing driver of some repute, imported this GTA into the UK in the mid 1980s. Piero later sold the car to Rhoddy Harvey-Bailey, the ex-Autodelta works driver and suspension specialist whose resulting suspension expertise may be found fitted to many cars and is especially of note in many uprated Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo 105 Series Bertone motorcars today. Rhoddy modified and raced this particular GTA Junior with the car still displaying many of the characteristic Harvey-Bailey modifications such as the roll cage, strengthened rear seat lower bulkhead, rear traction bar (not supplied with this car) and welded on front upright extensions. It is worthy of note that the spare wheel well is also aluminium, a feature of the early GTA Juniors such as this example, the later Juniors having steel spare wheel wells fitted. Importantly, the often missing, magnesium engine sump and gearbox housings are supplied but are not currently fitted. Other delightful features that also remain and fitted, are the five original D-slot Campagnolo magnesium wheels shod with new Vredestein Sprint Classic tyres. The vendor, an Alfa Romeo specialist and mechanical engineer with wide-ranging automotive, power generation, aerospace & motorsports experience, has maintained this Junior to a high level and has recently refreshed the twin-plug GTA engine and gearbox. The interior, as expected, is as spartan as the first cars of 1965, the seats, however, are the later 1750 GTV Mk. I items that do closely resemble the original GTA items. On the outside, the aluminium coachwork is in sound and original condition, the riveted roof being a feature of the alloy GTAs. The chassis number is evident on the engine bulkhead and the series number is matched in the boot lid rain channel confirming its originality, a detail that many re-shelled GTAs fail to pay attention to. Elsewhere, the coachwork displays some older floor repairs and strengthening with further localised body repairs, evident mainly around the offside front wing area. The current paint finish in Alfa Rosso 514, was carried out quite some years ago and was applied over the original Alfa Rosso 501. A history file accompanies the Junior and includes the UK V5 registration document as well as an MoT test certificate valid until March 2017.
This GTA Junior has a wonderful period look and feel that is not often seen in todays highly and, at times, over restored market place. This GTA, with such notable history, must therefore offer a true opportunity especially in respect of the attractive estimate in relation to the current buoyant market.