Car of 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT
My favourite Italian car to debut 53 years ago has to be the 105-series Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT. The challenge of superseding a car as exquisite as the Giulietta Sprint was (almost) on a par with trying to improve on Rome’s Trevi Fountain, but when the 105 coupé was launched in 1963 it proved to be a masterpiece of understated poise.
Its lines were courtesy of a youthful Giorgetto Giugiaro and complementing the bodywork was a cabin that was chic without being at all ostentatious, down to the Bakelite steering wheel with alloy spokes.
The Sprint GT was based on a shortened flfloorpan of the Giulia Berlina. The top speed was a very agreeable 112mph and 0-60mph could be achieved in a most acceptable 11.2 seconds – just right for enthusiastic Autostrada journeys. There was also an allsynchromesh fifive-speed transmission and disc brakes all-round. If the UK price tag of £1795 18s 9d placed the Alfa Romeo fifirmly in the Jaguar Mk2’s price bracket, there were those who deemed the note from the 1570cc aluminum engine worth every penny.