1967 Alfa Romeo GTA1600 "Corsa" Autodelta
Year of manufacture1967
Mileage2 000 km / 1 243 mi
One of the supposedly 70 « Corsa » versions done by Autodelta
Very interesting and documented racing history with a 2nd place Targa Florio
Restored by Alfa Romeo expert Rotondi
« No other Alfa Romeo is that famous, that beloved, so desirable as the GTA. Just a lightweight aluminum body and an engine that was just a snip more powerful than the standard model. A simple four cylinder in line with two valves and two spark plugs per cylinder, a small difference.
Why did the GTA became a legendary car ? Why not for instance the TZ a real racing machine ? Essentially because the GTA was an evolution of a popular car : the Sprint GT. The TZ on the other hand was too sophisticated, only for the happy few.
It was in fact an everyday car that won a lot of races. Furthermore the GTA was the « Robespierre » of a new area in racing cars with its numerous wins in Europe, against drivers like Jacky Stewart and Sir John Whitmore.
The way I see it, the GTA was a car that did everything by itself. We from Autodelta only held its veil the day of her marriage, nothing else. »
It is in these beautiful and humble words that Carlo Chiti, Autodelta’s director from 1963 to 1965, described the GTA, aka GT « Alleggerita ».
The « Stradale » version was built to comply with the FIA Group 2 homologation requirements. The car was actually largely modified compared to the Sprint GT with its alloy ( Perulaman ) body and iconic rivets, extensive use of aluminium & magnesium for the mechanical components, double ignition, Webers and Dunlop brakes. In the end the car weights a remarkable 745kg, no less that 205kg lighter than the Sprint GT.
Offered at 2,995,000 lira compared to the 5,750,000 lira for a 275 GTB, it was actually pretty expensive. For almost double its value you could send it to Autodelta for a complete upgrade into Group 2 specifications. Of the 500 GTAs built, about 70 « Corsa » were modified by Autodelta for competition purposes.
In the hands of the likes of Adamich, Hezemans or Rindt, the GTAs had an amazing racing career internationally, winning for instance the ETCC and the Trans Am Championships.
This wonderful GTA 1600, chassis 613 891 AR, is one of the highly sought after « Corsa » versions that was upgraded by Autodelta to FIA Groupe 2 specifications.
The Alfa Romeo Storico records state that the car was built on the 1st of February 1967 and delivered to the Alfa Romeo dealer « SCAR Autostrada » in Firenze. Its name was basically the acronym of « Squadra Corse Alfa Romeo ». According to the Italian registration office, it was first registered on the 24th of May and bore the number plate FI399968. SCAR Autostrada was then a famous Alfa Romeo dealer and tuner. It actually acted as an Autodelta agent for the Firenze area, they also prepared several TZ1s, GTAs, 33s and Alfettas.
It was sold to its first owner named Gori Fiorella on July 25th who sold it on November 2nd to Salvatore Ferragamo. On April 4th 1968 it went to Mario Ignesti who advertised it for sale in Auto Italiana as « Preparata Autodelta, pronta per competizioni". No racing history is known at this point until it was sold on September 9th 1969 to Calogero La Monica also from Firenze.
Still carrying the plate FI399968, La Monica raced the car in hill climbs from 1969 to 1972. This period is particularly well documented with many pictures showing the car in action. From 1971 the car ran in Group 4 form with the beautiful widened body.
On March 6th 1973 it was sold to a Sicilian driver Giuseppe Vasallo who notably entered the car in the Targa Florio in 1974. It was still a very good car then and indeed among his seven participations in this highly competitive race, Vassalo scored his best finish with an amazing 14th place overall and 2nd in the Gran Turismo 1600 class.
In 1975 it was sold to a Sardinian but no racing history has been found after that date.
The car hardly saw the day of light until it was reportedly sold to Violati and later to Hans Hugenholz who sold it in 1996 to Alain Pagès from France who used the car in the Tour Auto and Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or. Back then the car had already been restored back into Group 2 specifications with its narrow body to comply with the 1965 FIA Group F regulations.
In 2003 it was sold to another French collector who had the car restored by the famous former « Conrero France » Alfa Romeo tuner Toni Rotondi. After setting up his garage in the 60s, he developed a close relationship with Conero and prepared some of the best Alfa Romeos in France such as TZ1s,GTAs, GTAMs, & Alfettas. His heart always beated for the Milanese brand and he continued maintaining then restoring some cars for collectors or for historic racing until his retirement. Rotondi used to maintain this car for Mr Pagès and when his customer told him he was looking for the best possible GTA he naturally indicated him this one.
Meticulous attention to detail was devoted to the work to ensure it matched perfectly the car as delivered to its first owner in 1967 following Autodelta's upgrades. Our very demanding customer wanted the car to be perfect in every aspect and Rotondi was instructed to make it as beautiful and as accurate as possible. Rotondi was highly motivated by such a great project, which would actually be a kind of swan song for him. Indeed he would retire after its completion.
There are about 30 points of detail which constitute the full « allestimento » Corsa and our car proudly still features all of them. Though the engine is a correct 165HP example, the car has been slightly modified for road use and a complete set of the original Autodelta Group 2 parts is included in boxes such as the rear sway bar, magnesium casings, side exhaust and airbox. Since 2003 the car has covered less than 2000km and undergoes a technical inspection every year.
It comes with a comprehensive history file including the important « Estrato Chrologico » from the Italian registration office, various registration documents, pictures and invoices. It is also very well documented in the two editions of the reference book « Alleggerita » written by Adriansens, where it is referred to as « Autodelta ».
This lovely GTA « Corsa » is one of the best preserved Autodelta models and fortunately it has never been molested during its racing years. Its perfect provenance and outstanding condition would satisfy the most demanding Alfa Romeo collector.