• by Antonio Viotto

Alfa Romeo before Autodelta scene - Part 2

Giulietta Sprint Veloce with Giulia TZ 2 at Targa Florio race, 1966

The Giulietta

In the middle of the 50th, Alfa Romeo concentrated its production on a completely new compact’s car series : the famous “Giulietta”, which gave an important contribution to create the legend of “the Biscione marchio (the snake brand) ” due to its power, speed, safe road handling and its “state of the art ” technology.

First in 1954 entered into the market the Giulietta Sprint Coupé designed by Bertone , forerunner of so many successful models, and nearly 28,000 were sold. In 1955 appeared the open-air version, designed by Pininfarina, the Spider , one of the finest open-topped cars of all time. It was a typically Alfa blend of style, personality and mechanical sophistication that somehow managed to express all the creative enthusiasm and will to thrive that underpinned the Italian economic boom of the early Sixties.

Giulietta Sprint Veloce at Targa Florio race, 1966

The Giulietta Spider was born due to the request of Max Hoffman, its Alfa Romeo’s importer in United States from the mid-1950’s who committed n. 600 cars to get into the USA market : the overseas success was ensured.

Alfa Romeo built, in 1956 and 1957, a batch of 17 Giulietta spider Veloce of the type 750G, which were developed from the normal spider Veloce, type 750F, and were especially prepared for competition.

The first three 750G should have raced in the Sebring 12 hours of 1956, hence the nickname “Sebring”. In any case two cars, chassis 00045 and 00047, later went to the US where were heavily raced, even with top class drivers such as Carroll Shelby, and also in the Sebring 12 hours of 1957.

The third, chassis 00051, remained in Italy, where it took part, with Sanesi, in the Mille Miglia, where it crashed. Late in 1955 the passenger car “Giulietta” was finally presented to the market and in 10 years of production have been sold n. 132.000 units , a great automotive success for the time being.

All these vehicles had the classic Alfa Romeo overhead twin cam four cylinders engine. Alfa Romeo has debuted many automobile technological advances, besides the overhead twin cam, they experimented the electric injection systems, variable valve timing , all-wheel disc brakes, the 50-50 weight of the transaxle configuration, the alloy wheels. It was also the first car to use a common rail diesel engine in a passenger car.

Giulietta Spider at 12H Sebring race

Born Autodelta

The Sixties began in a rosy glow of optimism. Italy had just hosted the Olympic Games and was experiencing an economic boom. Alfa Romeo had now become a group with subsidiary companies of its own, and had outgrown the Portello headquarters, built a new plant at Arese in an area of more than 2.5 million square metres, where the production was gradually transferred.

A track was also built at Balocco (Vercelli) to test prototypes. One of the most representative cars of that period was the Giulia, presented in 1962 and, like other models, was destined to diversify into an extensive range of saloons and sporting models, specifically the GT coupé, GTC cabriolet, GTA for running major races and competitions.

Afterwards the Spider “Duetto” and the famous TZ1 and TZ2, plus many other custom made models created by Zagato, Touring, Bertone and Pininfarina, the best master car designers of the time.

the First model Giulia TZ to Officine Zagato, Ercole Spada design

The Autodelta firm was formed at Udine on March 4, 1963 created by Carlo Chiti and Lodovico Chizzola engineers with the aim of preparing the Alfa Romeo racing cars, initially independently from the parent and then as the racing Department since November 1964.

The new racing team begins to harvest many successes with various Giulia TZ (1963), TZ 2 (1965), Giulia GTA (1965) and the Type 33 on circuits around the world, to win the World Championship Producers in 1975 and the world Sport prototype Championship in 1977.

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