The Alfa Romeo GT Junior was, in any guise, an important car. It was small, light, relatively powerful and outstanding to drive. It was the perfect car for 1960s Alfa Romeo, which needed something to tempt young, cash rich buyers. And as well we all know, the GT was a huge success.
But why a 1300? Quite simply, it was a way around taxes in place in 1960's Italy. The bigger the engine, the more tax you paid. Alfa knew this was putting people off buying the GT, so it answered them by releasing this version. It had the looks, the style and most importantly, the soul of the other GT models, but without the high tax qualification. It was a hit from the off, and remained in production for over a decade.
Of course, the passage of time means things like tax are a long distant memory, and as such, this GT 1300 Junior has been fitted with a more soulful heart. Namely a 1,750cc twin-cam unit. This, combined with the simple and unfussy design of the 1300 makes for a heady combination. You have the pace, you have the handling, but it all lies behind a subtle, and we would argue more elegant, aesthetic.
This particular Alfa Romeo was ordered for the Australian market. The build was completed on the 27th of May 1971 before the car was sold and shipped to Alfa Romeo Australia the day after. It was then sold to a private buyer believed to be in the Canberra area, where it remained until the 1990s.
The car was then acquired by Ray Gulson Motors, who set about giving the car a light restoration. It was at this point that the engine was removed and replaced with the more powerful 1,750cc unit. It was then sold to a university professor who used the car daily until his work brought him back to the UK. The Alfa didn’t come with him, and instead remained in dry storage for some ten years.
On his return, the professor had the car recommissioned, after which it took him to Queensland. In 2012, he sold it to its final Australian owner. Someone who would change the already positive fortunes of the car for the better.
He ordered a full, ground up nut-and bolt restoration. And we mean that quite literally. The car was stripped down to its component parts and built back up as new, with every nut or bolt replaced or re-plated. There’s no hyperbole at play here.
The shell, thanks to the climate, was largely solid with only minor corrosion in some corners. This was repaired, and the body was painted with Glasruit paints. Every rubber and seal was replaced, every chrome part was repaired, re-plated or replaced, the interior was re-trimmed and the mechanicals were given a complete top to bottom, external and internal overhaul.
Furthermore, the little Alfa was also tastefully updated to make it a more attractive proposition for modern roads. We’ll go into the details of those modern additions later on.
Now here in the UK, the current owner had made the tough decision to sell the car. Beautiful, near perfect though it is, other cars and projects are taking his time and so the Alfa Romeo has to go. Offered with no reserve, this car presents a true once in a lifetime opportunity, as there simply isn’t another one like this out there.
As you would expect from a car that has been so extensively restored, there is a wealth of documentation to go with it. The owner has kept everything neat and in date order in a box file. Flicking through the paperwork, there are invoices for every step of the car’s restoration. Interestingly, a great many of the invoices are from Alfahaolics, based here in the UK. It’s also pleasing to know that parts were sourced from companies held in such high regard in the Alfa community.
There is further paperwork to show the importing process, as well as all the documentation pertaining to the car’s UK registration. The Alfa was on a private plate but has now been re-registered with an age appropriate plate - OEU566J.
Other documents include tests certificates and other legal paperwork relating to the car’s time in Australia, including registration letters and so on.
Finally, the car comes with three CDs, on which the new owner will find extensive, highly detailed images that chart the complete restoration of the car. On these CDs is the confirmation that truly, no nut, bolt, fixing, fastening or screw was left untouched in the pursuit of Alfa Romeo-based perfection.
Exquisite would be the word to use here. And while to describe the innards of a classic as being almost as new could be construed as taking liberties, it’s very much a fact here. The odometer may read at over 60,000 miles, but since its restoration has covered but a few thousand. As such, the interior truly is as close to being new as you can imagine. The seats have no wear, the rears look to have never been sat in. The carpets are immaculate, the dash is clean and free of damage and the dials are all bright and clear. It is astonishing. It even smells new.
The headlining is clean and completely free of any marks or staining. The door cards are all arrow straight and free from damage or signs of wear. With the doors open, you can look down into the A pillar area only to be greeted with gleaming, fresh paint. The door strikers on the doors themselves and on the B pillars are freshly re-plated and as such, near new in appearance. It’s an astounding car.
But that’s only what you can see. There is more of note hidden beneath that glorious tan and black interior. For example, the entire cabin has been lined with Dynamat sound deadening - the floors, tunnel, firewall and even the inner doors. Additionally, there is Dynaliner under the carpets and behind the had-lining. All combined, it makes the cabin a quiet, refined place to be.
The wiring is all new, as you would expect. But has been adapted to include a modern 12v socket and a period look head unit from Retromobile which has been gutted and fitted with modern internals meaning phone connectivity and so on.
All the rubbers are new and all the glass has been professionally polished so as to bring it back to being as close to original as possible. And more modern, powerful washers have been fitted to the front windscreen.
It’s a magnificent interior. One that has clearly been laboured over and only signed off when absolute perfection was achieved. If only every restoration was this detailed focused. Outstanding, truly.
The dark blue gloss hue of this car is wonderfully period, but it is also a colour that will be keen to highlight even the slightest imperfection. We have tried to capture the car from all angles, including shallow shots down the sides of the car, as we wanted to show you just how flawless this car is. There isn’t a mark, ding, scratch, run or imperfection on it. The body is astonishing. The panel gaps are the clear result of much fettling and fine tuning, as all are uniform and neat.
The paint has been applied expertly, and presents with a deep shine. Post restoration, this Alfa Romeo has never seen an unskilled hand, as there are no swirls in the paint, nothing. It’s been polished and preserved carefully.
The chrome and stainless trim has all been polished to a high shine, and while there is the faintest hint of age to them, they are still better than most show cars. And again, all the trim has been fitted carefully and as such everything lines up and fits as it should.
There is, as you would expect at this point, zero rust on the car. Nothing underneath, either. There’s a bit of road dirt, but other than that, everything is new and clean. The sills, doors and other cavities have all been filled with wax, so there is no worry of future corrosion.
Then new 15-inch Alfaholics wheels are in excellent condition, and all wear new tyres. The door handles, the trim, the badges and the grille are all original, but have been restored completely. It truly has been a ‘money no object’ restoration.
Open the forward hinged bonnet and, like us, you’ll need a moment to catch your breath. This is show-winning quality. The engine bay is immaculate from top to bottom, with inner arches and chassis rails you could eat your dinner off. The little 1,750 twin-cam engine is utterly spotless, and even the exhaust manifold looks brand new.
Of course, it’s not about how it looks. Happily, the engine is as healthy as the aesthetic would have you believe. It barks into life with a pleasing keenness and ravs quickly and with that familiar twin-carb bark. It’s a little terrier of an engine, snappy and keen to go.
As part of the mammoth 2015 no expense spared restoration, the engine has been completely rebuilt to original internal specification. However, there are some pleasant external additions. The engine breathes through a new set of Weber carbs with Pipercross filters and ram tubes and the distributor is now electronic rather than points. Finally, the exhaust manifold has been ceramic coated, just like an F1 car!
The brakes are all new, with a dual circuit balance box, the lines, cylinders and so on are all new, too. The suspension has been completely restored and powder coated, and Koni classic shocks with 40mm lowered springs have been fitted. There’s a new clutch, the five-speed transmission has been rebuilt and as we touched on earlier, the wiring harness is all new from front to back. It is as close as you can get to a brand new 1971 Alfa Romeo.
Do we need to sell you on this car? By this point, you’re more than likely already utterly besotted with it. We are, that’s for sure. So much so that we've even written about in our magazine, which you can read here. When we go out and see these cars, we have to work hard to ensure the descriptions are honest and that they include every minor issue or imperfection. Old cars have stories to tell, after all. Except in the case of this Alfa Romeo. The quality and standard of the restoration have left this car as a blank slate. It’s a clean sheet, a car that more than likely wasn’t this good when it was new. We were and still are astonished by the condition of this car and by the exceptional level of detail afforded to its restoration. This car is one of a kind. Possibly even world class.
But it’s a car that’s not only immaculate, it’s also a car with soul and heart. A car that encourages you to go out and give it a bit of a thrashing. It’s been built, with that engine, the new suspension and new brakes, to be driven. To be enjoyed and celebrated. But you can only do that if you bid, and bid you should. There won’t be another one like this.
Notice to bidders
Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.
As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.
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