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Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC in the driving report: Airy alternative

Hartmann, Achim
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC in the driving report
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D he instructions are as meticulous as they are unmistakable: Before the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC can be disclosed, the driver has to get the tarpaulin of the convertible top from the trunk. Only then do the fastening hooks on the windshield have to be opened.

This is what the operating instructions of the open Bertone want, which probably slumbered in the publisher's archive cellar for 35 years before the author used them to get in the mood for the encounter with the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC excavated. And as if to underline the seriousness of the instructions, the work steps are illustrated with photos in the booklet.

A young man with a correct haircut and white overalls folds the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC convertible top behind, like in a little photo novel the back seats together and attached the tarpaulin as a happy ending. Closing, however, is withheld from the reader. He only learns that it has to be done in reverse order, whereby 'the handle on the front cross-member is to be used.'

Not that we are already thinking of closing. After all, the fabric roof makes the decisive difference: With the black cap, the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC looks a bit clumsy, a bit like a Bertone with a sloppily glued, wrinkled vinyl roof.

Sun terrace with two armchairs and a small back seat

The folded top disappears almost completely - because it is completely unlined in the tub behind the back seats. A sun terrace with two comfortable armchairs and a small penitentiary bench is exposed. The Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC suddenly looks stretched, the side lines elegant and harmonious.

When you are out and about, you rarely get to hear the question that has driven some GTC drivers to despair: Why did he cut off the roof of the beautiful edge hood?

That was done between 1964 and 1966 by Carrozzeria Touring in Nova Milanese, which amputated the roof for around 1,000 edge hoods, welded a few reinforcements into the underbody and covered the whole thing with the clever folding construction.

For this, the famous bodywork company was allowed to rivet its trademark onto the flanks of the and bring the cars to the people via the official Alfa sales network. But there were fewer Alfa Romeo Giulia GTCs than planned. Because theThe history of the open-top Bertone is also the history of Touring, which one has to know to understand this car.

Felice Bianchi Anderloni's bodywork company became famous for its extravagant and expensive Superleggera bodies. Towards the end of the 1950s, Touring's production numbers exploded: at the beginning of the decade, it was only around 200 vehicles per year, but over 2000 touring cars were produced in 1959.

Lancia had the largest share of this with the Flaminia and the big Alfa convertibles 2000 and later 2600. But the end of production of these noble models was foreseeable, in 1965 both Flaminia and Alfa 2600 were discontinued. The Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC had to fill the gap, because Touring had meanwhile moved from the small halls in Via Ludovico de Breme to a real factory and employed over 300 people.

Alfa also needed the GTC. In 1965, in addition to the 2600 Spider, the Giulia 1600 Spider of the 101 series was phased out, and the two-seater Spider from Pininfarina was not to be presented until 1966.

Production of the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC had its price

But production in Anderloni's high-end forge had its price: when it was launched in May 1965, an Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC cost 17,450 marks. The open Bertone was almost 6,000 marks more expensive than a Giulia 1600 Spider. By way of comparison: a pagoda cost around 20,000 marks at the time, and the Duetto was available for 12,990 marks from August 1966.

So it's no wonder that the GTC did not come out as expected. The fact that there were massive quality problems with the first copies was also of little help. Despite the reinforcements in the sill area and over the rear axle, the convertibles turned out to be far too soft. But the subsequent improvements to the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC were only of modest success.

You can also see that on the GTC on these pages. The Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC shakes like a wet dog on the way from the yard of the Dortmund specialist Alfa Classic Center to the southern Münsterland. The windshield frame signals unevenness in the ground as sensitively as the divining rod of a radiesthetist's water veins. In comparison, a Duetto Spider looks solid and well-built.

Which is not nearly as bad as it reads here. You quickly get used to the lively life of the touring body. The tram tracks in the north of Dortmund are soon giving way to smooth Westphalian country roads, where only a slight tremor reminds you that this edge hood is a little different.

Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC is like a car without a windshield

Instruments and equipment correspond to the Giulia Sprint GT 1600 in every detail, including the engine with its lively 106 hp. Only the fresh air experience is completely new. Even at moderate speeds, the wind blows unhindered into the interior of the AlfaRomeo Giulia GTC, like driving a car without a windshield. The flat belt line and the low disc also give Bertone experts a completely unfamiliar driving experience.

Everything is actually set up for speeding: the high-revving engine, all the gearbox with recently overhauled synchronization and the elaborate chassis with its precisely guided wheels. But you find yourself strolling around in the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC, enjoying the airy neck massage and the view over the light blue edge of the fenders.

A light blue, which by the way is completely original, as Peter Hagemeier from the Alfa Classic Center assures. An eccentric customer ordered one of only 100 right-hand drive Alfa Romeo Giulia GTCs built in the color that was normally intended for completely different Alfa: The Azzurro Polizia was otherwise only available in the Giulia Super company car of the Italian law enforcement officers.

Perhaps more GTC should have been delivered in police blue with red synthetic leather interior. Because the color combination suits the Alfa really well. But that was the case with 900 left-hand drive and 100 right-hand drive units. The launch of the Duetto in spring 1966 and the bankruptcy of Touring put an end to the short career of the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC.

Today the GTC is a sought-after rarity

Today the touring Alfa is a sought-after rarity costs twice as much as a comparable Sprint GT. Peter Hagemeier can also confirm this: 'I have rarely had so many inquiries from potential buyers as I did with the blue Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC.'

It was not sold. A careless driver rammed the Alfa shortly after the Motor Klassik test drive on the autobahn between Düsseldorf and Essen. But the remains of the rare right-hand drive have found a new lover who wants to rebuild it as it can be seen here. If he needs tips from the operating instructions, we are happy to help, email is sufficient.

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