• Stunning Alfa saloon owned by same family for 50 years
• Freshly imported to the UK with all papers
• Refurbished but not restored
• Full service history from day one
If you’ve ever watched the film The Italian Job - and who hasn’t? – then it would be very easy to assume that the Alfa Romeo Giulia is a bit of a hopeless car. But that’s not true.
In the movie, time and time again, the Italian ‘Caribinieri’ give pursuit to Michael Caine and his team of bullion thieves in the compact saloons, and every time they fail to get close to them, breaking down, veering out of control or running out of power.
Yet in a real world situation, most Alfisti would tell you that the Giulia would have the Mini Cooper licked – and chances are they’d be right. There was a reason why the Italian military police used them, after all.
From the revvy-hungry twin cam engines to the delectable steering, light handling and way above average performance, the Giulia was one of the best Alfa sports saloons of all-time, made even better by its delicate styling. Sure, it might not be quite as grippy and nippy in the bends as the Mini, but it would more than make up for it on faster, more open roads.
The Giulia, you see, was one of the first proper ‘sports saloons’, aimed squarely at driving enjoyment. And that’s something it does incredibly well.
This one is a particularly lovely prospect – completely original, unrestored and owned by the same family from new, with a low mileage.
Ordered new in 1970 and delivered early the following year, the Giulia Super 1600 was delivered to its first owner in Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1971 and remained in his family for the next 50 years, making its way down into South Africa with subsequent family members.
It was acquired by the vendor this year. He regularly sources excellent right-hand-drive cars from the country having lived there previously himself and gained a number of contacts in the motor trade out there through his career.
It is now situated at the vendor’s business premises in Norfolk and all of the import paperwork is complete ready for the car’s next owner. It has not been UK registered, but the process will simply be a case of sending off the V55/5 form to the DVLA – the NOVA paperwork and import duties have been sorted and the car has a full UK MOT.
The seller hasn’t registered it himself as to do so would add an extra owner to the logbook as well as make it harder to export the car if the ultimate buyer lives overseas, but is happy to help the new owner do this.
While we have seen and made copies of all of the relevant import documents, the South African registration document and the UK MOT, the Alfa is also said to come with a full service history dating right back to when it was new, along with a handbook, workshop manuals and a few receipts and bills from more recent work.
We were unable to photograph these additional documents at the time of viewing the car as they were still being shipped from South Africa via secure courier, however they will be provided to the new owner as soon as they arrive which should be prior to the end of this auction.
Finished in an unusual Fawn Pearl colour, this is a refreshing difference form a more typically red Alfa Romeo and it looks absolutely fabulous in our view.
It’s totally original and unmessed with, too, right down to the simple but pretty wheel centre caps.
The paint is mostly original but has seen a lower-half respray over the years, but there are no signs of rust or corrosion, the chrome is all in good, sound order and glass and trim is all present and correct.
It has also had a brand new set of tyres fitted in readiness for its UK MOT test.
Inside, the Alfa has a smart tan leatherette upholstery with matching door cards, black carpets and a wooden dash and steering wheel.
It looks retro and wonderful for it, while everything is in fine order as you’d expect from a car with less than 30,000 miles on the clock. It has a gentle but charming patina and is very smartly presented.
The driving position is comfortable in a uniquely offset Italian way, and there’s a surprising amount of passenger space front and rear.
Although the Giulia is largely original, in recent years it has had both a full engine recommission and a suspension overhaul, so as a result it drives absolutely brilliantly.
The lively four-cylinder twin cam fires up eagerly and becomes lovely and smooth once warm, while the gearbox has a pleasant and short shift.
We were able to drive the Alfa a short distance on private land and can confirm that it drove well, feeling tight, positive and eager. It held a steady temperature while idling, with no excessive smoke.
If you want an achingly cool retro classic, but with the performance, agility and handling to hold its own among modern traffic, then this is the car for you.
It looks fabulous, is in great condition, is mechanically spot on and has an amazing history and story behind it. It’s also a beautifully preserved and extremely pretty example.
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