Once again, whilst driving on a Saturday with my family to visit my mom, I happen to (literally) catch another, well known classic. This one required a hefty shove of the gas pedal, as it was quite the runaway. I noticed it as I was descending from the slip road towards the nearby motorway, but as you’ll see, it was some time before I caught up to this rather beautiful Alfa.
That Junior was cruising at around 130kph. I wasn’t planning to drive at that speed, but what won’t you do to capture a passing CC? Off I went in hot pursuit, the faster I went the slower my Civic Tourer seemed – I’m ashamed to admit that had it not been for the menacing Gatso (see photo above), I might have only narrowly caught the Alfa .
And whad’ya know, I even managed to stumble upon an entirely different classic on the way:
Oddly enough, that MGB in GT form is not dissimilar to the 105/115 coupe. And as you saw, two more Spiders (one of which a tasty series 1) were videoed up ahead – so all this Alfa goodness was probably on the way to a meeting, or some club trip. After all, the Israeli Classic Alfa Club is very dominant in the local classic car scene, as I wrote here previously. As as per usual in a country with such a small classic car community, I’ve met and photographed the featured GT 1600 Junior before, at an Alfa meeting:
I think that color is absolutely stunning on this now iconic shape. But than, I’m biased; this is one of those cars that’s on my permanent “some day when I’ll have the money” list. I’ve always lusted after these, preferably the later ones.
Alfa Romeo is one of those manufacturers who almost always had importers in Israel – hence many of the cars are actually original imports and not new ones. And they always had enough following to keep them going, so many actually survived rather than not. Now more than ever, with the club as strong as it is.
As you’d expect, I’ve got tons of GT 1300/1600/1750/2000 Veloce photos, of which I’ll share just a few with you, starting with the classic, original fascia Sprints:
These are two examples of original imports from the mid 1960s, and you might say it shows… contrary to the immaculate GT 1300 Junior in the next photos, which is a recent import:
Popularity of the 105/115 coupes kept on going through the years, and now the later models are sought after no less than the early Sprints:
Throughout its model years, it has become increasingly difficult to recognize the cars in question, especially after 1974, when all models received the GTV 2000 grill.
Here are two such original GTV 2000. The left ocher-yellow Alfa is well known in the commune (and again, an original import into Israel back in its day). The black GTV has had a restoration done somewhat recently.
In recent years the Israeli classic car owners are (finally) opening up to the idea of slight modifications that deviate from original “from the factory” restoration. Look at the wheels of the silver GT 1600 and the red Junior reversing in the background (headlights lit) – both use period-look wheels but those are modern units, sized larger than original wheels, achieving the classic look but with much better tires available (I also think this does wonders to the Junior’s overall looks). This small change would never be considered in years past, but is now becoming more and more common.
And some owners go yet further to create a lightweight, sort of track-day cars like this Sprint. After all, those were dynamic cars, meant to be used in such manner:
Some years ago I photographed this at a track-day meeting, where the owner used his GT 1600 to the fullest. I love how the fuel flap just let go and caved-in to the G forces…
But yes, most 105/115 coupes you’ll see are at classic meetings, much like in the photo above. I will, however, finish this post off with an actual CC, a GT 1300 Junior I happen to stumble upon whilst walking in Tel-Aviv:
And would you believe that Alfa still features on Google Maps, at a street not far from where I photographed it?
This is an image captured by Google back in 2015. I’d like to think the car is still parked nearby, waiting to be rescued.