So you enjoy a lively sprint along deserted country lanes on an early Sunday morning? Just you and machine in perfect unison. But you also have a small family who luckily enjoy taking part in your hobby and coming along for family outings. And space, finances or other constraints dictate that there can only be one classic car in your garage. Fear not, for Alfa Romeo might just have built the perfect compromise way back in 1962.
Despite being more than just a little passionate about various BMW’s from the sixties and seventies, even I must confess that the Bavarian’s Italian counterpart at the time, Alfa Romeo, achieved true greatness when they introduced their new Giulia Tipo 105. No one else had a compact sports saloon like it in their model line-up at the time. Sure, especially the design of the saloons rear was somewhat controversial. And yes, the rest was arguably nothing but a very square-cut three-box-design. But this was 1962, and the overall package was nothing short of phenomenal. It might not have looked aerodynamic, but the drag coefficient was a very impressive Cd=0.34. Add to that Alfa Romeo’s lovely and free-revving twincam Nord engine, a five-speed gearbox and from ’63 onwards you even got disc brakes on all four corners. This was unheard of for a small saloon for the masses! The Giulia proved a proper driver’s car. But at the same time, it also offered practicalities such as four doors, a proper rear seat, a big boot and even decent comfort.
Later the Giulia model grew with the introduction of the very pretty and hugely popular Bertone coupé. But in recent years they have become more than just a little expensive. There was also the Spider introduced in 1966, but remember, we’re after a bit of family functionality as well, so today we will buck the trend and ignore these too sexy variants of the Tipo 105/115. Instead we will stick with the original incarnation – the ever so charming four-door saloon.
So what have we found for this week’s Prime Find? Well for starters, the little Alfa Romeo is for sale out of Italy. How authentic! What better excuse for escaping the onset of a blustery autumn, than traveling to Rome for an extended weekend with your wife / girlfriend, and then roadtripping it back home in style behind the wheel of your newly acquired Giulia? Is this not what classic car enthusiasm is all about?
This particular Giulia is a 1300Ti from 1968. So you get the small and ultra rev-happy 1.3-litre twincam with a single downdraught carburetor pushing out a healthy 82hp. In conjunction with that slick 5-speed transmission, relatively low weight and the beautifully balanced rear-wheel-drive chassis, it should be plenty to put a grin on your face. The smallest displacement of the Nord engine has never been about impressing on paper, but more about smiles-per-mile out on those twisty backroads. And don’t forget, there’s still all the practical and sensible aspects of owning a saloon included in the package.
The Giulia is a period-defining beige over a brown vinyl interior, and has a period wooden steering wheel and a set of Cromodora alloy wheels to add a splash of sportiness to its character. The seller claims that the Alfa is in good overall condition with a very well-preserved interior, but also admits that it needs work if you want it to present perfectly. As long as there’s not too much rust, I read that as it being a driver which you don’t have to feel guilty about thrashing on the Sunday mornings where the family chooses to stay at home. Needless to say though, I would want a thorough pre-purchase inspection before handing over any cash. It’s also worth noting that there’s a LPG system installed in the Giulia. Some may find this a good thing, but personally I would have it removed – each to his own…
Here are a few pictures we’ve borrowed from the advert:
So do you too feel tempted by this enticing combo of driver satisfaction and family practicality? Did Alfa Romeo nail it with their compact Giulia? Or can you think of any other marque which managed to outdo them? Perhaps more importantly, are you ready for a trip to Rome? Go ahead, indulge yourself – the full advert is right here: 1968 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300Ti
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org