The Alfa Romeo GTA is a sports car produced by the Italian automobile manufacturer between 1965 and 1975. GTA stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita, simplified, as a name for consistent lightweight construction. The vehicle was sold in the Giulia Sprint GTA and GTA 1300 Junior versions. Alfa Romeo produced around 1,000 copies for sporting use. The racing version of the GTA Junior from Autodelta weighed about 200 kilograms less than the standard models due to the aluminium alloys used and the Spartan interior design. The automobile manufacturer used Peraluman for both versions of the visible body panels. The GTA did not compete as Alfa Romeo but under the Autodelta label. The tuning company was also in the vehicle documents instead of the manufacturer.
The original model of the GTA Junior originated from Bertone. The ingenious designer designed the line for the Giulia Sprint in 1960. The Giulia GT was presented by Alfa Romeo in 1963 at the Arese factory site. In 1965 the Giulia Sprint GTA followed as homologation model. The first version of the GTA Junior was launched in 1968. The little brother of the Sprint GTA was equipped with a 1.3-litre engine with 96 hp. Autodelta drilled out the engine for racing to 180 hp. By 1975, Alfa Romeo from GTA Junior produced a small series of 493 vehicles, 300 of which were racing versions.
Both the Giulia GTA 1300 Junior and the racing version Giulia GTA 1300 were equipped with a four-cylinder in-line engine with two overhead camshafts. The road version produced 96 hp at 6000 rpm, while for the racing version Autodelta got 180 hp at 9300 rpm from the 1.3-litre engine. Instead of two valves per cylinder, the racing engine was fitted with four valves per cylinder. The compression was changed from 9.7:1 to 11.0:1 by the tuner, which was equipped with a modern 5-speed transmission, front and rear disc brakes, independent wheel suspension with stabilisers and coil springs on the front wishbones, and a rigid axle guided by trailing arms with coil springs at the rear. Typical for Alfa Romeo was the use of a reaction triangle to guide the rear axle and absorb the braking and acceleration forces. The 920 kilogram road version of the GTA Junior reached a top speed of 175 km/h. With its 760 kilograms, the small racing car reached 210 km/h.
The GTA Junior
The GTA Junior proved its worth in both racing and road racing. However, the small poison dwarf with its rigid rear axle was not easy to drive. In the curves, the car tended to break out. Those who bought the sports model for road traffic had to do without some of the interior fittings of the older siblings. In addition, the pedals were in close contact with each other and the transmission included a locking synchronisation according to Porsche’s patent. Autobild wrote in an article from January 8,2011 that the gearbox leads to a lesson in applied mechanical engineering. There would be no other transmission in which the functions of synchronizer rings, gears, locking bands and shift sleeves could be detected so clearly with the nerves in the wrist. In motorsport, the small machine taught the competition to be afraid. Like the entire GTA series, the GTA Junior proved in its class that Alfa Romeo produces outstanding racing cars. Until 1979, the Italian car manufacturer’s GTA series dominated the racing scene. In 1968, Damseaux-Berger won the 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps with a GTA Junior. The factory team won the European Touring Car Championships in 1972 with a GTA Junior.