Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone, the GT 1600 Junior is the rarest of the Tipo 105 Series Coupes. Being a GT Junior these are smaller bodied than the GTVs, so are lighter and more agile, like the step front models it replaced. The specification was straightforward - a Giugiaro-designed two-door, three-box, lightweight (2,050 lbs) body powered by a front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels. The suspension was independent at the front and braking was by servo-assisted discs all-round. A slick five-speed manual gearbox ensured optimum performance and added to driver satisfaction. The Bertone-penned Alfa Romeo 105 Series Coupe has a simple grace that is as admired today as when it first appeared in 1963. When coupled with the 1.6-litre Super version twin-cam of the company's ubiquitous all-alloy, DOHC, four-cylinder engine fed by a pair of Dell’Orto carburettors, the result was a performance car capable of shaming many sporting two-seaters of the period. It's perhaps no surprise then that these delightful classics are highly collectible today and racing versions are still being campaigned with vigor on most continents. No wonder it was a classic from the moment it was unleashed on an unsuspecting world.
The GT Junior variants began with the 1300 of 1965. It was designed as an entry level model for those that wished to enjoy the cachet of an Alfa Coupe without suffering the tax penalties that often came with the bigger-engined versions. It was based on the Giulia Sprint GT but featured a simplified interior. This Junior theme was developed over some 12 years and from 1972 included the addition of a 1600cc-engined model, that was specifically created to fill the gap that had emerged between the Junior 1300 and the then 2000cc-engined GTV.
This is a car with a huge fun factor and is an essential part of any Italian classic car collection.
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY:
The Alfa Romeo 105/115 series Coupés were built from 1963 until 1977. They were the successors to the celebrated Giulietta Sprint coupé and used the shortened floor-pan from the Giulia saloon car. The basic body shape, shared by all models, was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone. It was one of his first major projects for Bertone and is often regarded as one of his finest commercial projects. It borrowed heavily from his earlier design for the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sprint/2600 Sprint. The balance of glass and metal, the influence of the shape of the front and rear glass on the shape of the cabin and the flat grille with incorporated headlamps were all considered groundbreaking styling features for the era.
The 105/115 Series Alfa Romeos were the company’s mainstay throughout the 1960s and well into the late 1970s, building on the foundations laid with the 750/101 Series Giulietta and ultimately Giulia back in the 1950s. The everyday but far from mundane 105 Giulia saloon donated its floor-pan (shortened) and running gear to the range of Coupes penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro when employed by the famous Bertone styling house. Heavily influenced by his earlier Alfa Romeo 2000 and 2600 Sprint, the family resemblance is clear with large glass houses and slim to non-existent roof pillars. From virtually any angle the Coupe is a delightful looking machine, perfectly balanced on its tip-toe relatively tall wheels, there isn’t a duff line to be seen.
Top of the range was the GT Veloce which sported 1600, 1750 or 2 litre engines depending on year with the ‘entry level’ Junior weighing in with either a 1300 engine or the 1600 from the early GTV. The all-aluminium, twin overhead camshaft engine, fed by two twin choke carburettors produced 108 very sweet BHP. All these mechanical goodies gave the sports saloon a top speed in excess of 115 mph with just 11 seconds required to reach 60; pretty impressive for the late 1960s and early 1970s. The largest capacity engines are naturally the gutsiest but the smaller displacement units spun more freely with the 1600 being allowed a full 1,000 RPM more before reaching its red line compared to the 2,000.
The Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior was introduced in 1972 and built between 1972 and 1977 to plug the gap between the GT 1300 Junior and the larger-engined 2000 GTV. The engine was substantially the same as that of the Giulia Sprint GTV discontinued four years previously and had the same engine type number. This engine has a remarkable willingness to rev and the same sweet chassis and handling abilities as its bigger brothers. Initially in two-headlamp form and later with the four-headlamp front end shared with the 2000GTV. The 1600 Junior also saw the same styling revisions, including refinements made to the nose, still with twin headlamps, improvements to the interior and the twin-binnacle dashboard as previously introduced on the 1750 Sprint.
In total 14,299 GT 1600 Juniors were built, making this one of the rarest 105 Series variants produced.
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