1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT RHD
1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT RHD
Engine: 1570cc twin-cam four cylinder
Transmission: 5 Speed Manual
Chassis #: AR*753479
Engine #: AR00502*20957
Registration: LDG 688F
Exterior colour: Alfa Red
Interior colour and material: Grey vinyl
- I acquired this Giulia Sprint GT in November 2016.
- According to the Alfa Romeo Museum archives this Giulia Sprint GT was manufactured on September 2nd 1965, and invoiced to the dealer in Nicosia, Cyprus on November 9th 1965.
- This is a very rare car being one of only 1,404 right hand drive cars manufactured by the factory in Arese, Milan, Italy, out of a total of 2,226 right hand drive examples (the others were assembled in countries such as South Africa from Complete Knocked Down kits).
- This rather special Sprint GT was purchased new in Cyprus by its only other owner towards the end of 1965 for a tax-free sum believed to have been about £1,070. Clearly a gentleman who favoured rare and special cars, the GT was a replacement for an Elva Courier. Having met in Cyprus while teaching for the RAF, the husband and wife owners of the GT decided to return to England in 1967 and drove the GT from Cyprus, via Athens, Yugoslavia, Rome, Stuttgart, and up to England.
- It was quite an eventful journey as sadly while in Rome the car was broken into and many important documents were stolen, such as the Cyprus registration papers and also photographs of the GT in Cyprus. Then on an autobahn near Stuttgart someone lightly ran into the back of the car. The small amount of damage was later repaired at a body-shop close to Hyde Park Corner in Central London (the name Ramponi Rockell was not remembered when I suggested it as having been the Alfa Romeo dealership in that area at that time).
- Once back in England the couple settled in Amersham in Buckinghamshire and registered the GT with the authorities on August 25th 1967, as LDG 688F. It was common practice until the late 1980’s for the Department of Transport to register cars using a number plate age-related to the year of importation rather than year of manufacture, hence the 1967 F suffix registration of this Sprint GT rather than a 1965 C suffix.
- The car was much enjoyed on special occasions but was never the main car, that role fell to a Volkswagen Beetle while the GT was on the road. In 1980 the couple bought a seven month old 1979 Alfetta GTV from Amersham Motors, most likely the dealerships demonstrator due to the electric window and air conditioning options fitted. The wife was not so keen on the GTV and apparently out of all the cars they owned afterwards, she remembered the Sprint GT with the most fondness.
- The tax disc of the GT expired in March 1981 and one of the last journeys the wife remembers doing in the car was to visit a pupil on work experience at Pinewood Studios, where what was to become James Bond’s For Your Eyes Only was being filmed.
- After nearly sixteen years and 84,049 miles of enjoyable motoring, the Sprint was parked in the garage. And there it was to remain until the summer of 2016 when the gentleman passed away and his wife disposed of his cars. The Alfetta GTV was also one of them.
- As well as the expired tax disc previously mentioned, also in the windscreen upon my purchase of the car was an Aston Martin Owners Club sticker. The gentleman was an enthusiastic member of the AMOC and as well as being a concours judge for the club, he was also the fortunate owner of a 1930’s International.
- The two Alfa Romeo’s were purchased by a classic Alfa Romeo specialist that I have known for many years and as soon as I realised he had the Sprint GT, I purchased it from him immediately without even seeing it first.
- This is a special car for many reasons; it is very rare with right hand drive steering (as detailed above), it has had just one owner from new, it has never been restored or received any significant repairs (other than the light autobahn damage), it has its original engine and running gear, and it retains its original seats and carpets. The only apparent deviations from factory specification are the adoption of a later Sprint GTV front grille arrangement (although the original grille is still present), and later 14” wheels with 1750 GTV wheel caps. It is unknown when these two changes occurred but it is expected that the grille was changed when the car arrived in England in 1967, possibly so the appearance of the car better represented the new Sprint GTV that would have just been launched.