I love the Alfa Romeo 105/115 Bertone coupés. Who doesn’t? I caught a couple in quick succession around town recently, both of which will grace these pages eventually. They’re both pretty different, though they’re essentially the same car and from the same late ‘60s era: one is stock, the other is modified for racing. One is white, the other red. One has quad headlamps, the other not. Let’s start with Junior, then.
The 105/115 Alfas are a complicated bunch. There were a plethora of variants – saloons, spiders and coupés – as well as coachbuilt specials and wagons. The saloons were usually called Giulia; the spider was originally known as Duetto and then just “Spider.” The Bertone coupé, for its part, was sometimes called GTV, but had a myriad of official appellations, depending on the variant of the DOHC 4-cyl. tucked under its hood. I for one never remember what these are called – to me, they’re just the Bertone Alfa ‘60s coupés. But I guess nowadays, folks refer to these as the 105/115 coupés. So be it.
What we have here is the smallest of the bunch: the 1.3 litre, formerly used on the Giulietta. When that legendary model was pensioned off in 1965, the GT 1300 Junior was introduced to replace it. The Bertone coupé, at that point in time, consisted of the original 1600, the GTC convertible and the GT 1300 Junior.
Things started to evolve in 1968, when the 1750 arrived, ushering in a revamped front end that the GT 1300 Junior only received (albeit in dual headlight form, of course) in 1970. The 1750 begat the 2000, and this merry family carried on through to 1977 with a few changes here and there, but on the whole, the 105/115 coupé’s decade and a half of production was pretty stable.
Compared to the Spider, which had an extremely long life and therefore felt the ravages of time pretty acutely, the 105/115 coupé never had to endure the indignity of rubber bumpers or plastic grilles. Of course, in the present case, bumpers were deemed superfluous. As was the right windshield wiper, for some reason.
Most of the interior was stripped away as well, for good measure. Rollcage, Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel – about as ready for the track as any car I’ve ever seen, possibly except the Autobianchi I caught a few months ago. The only thing that seems to have escaped unscathed is the gear lever.
I’m not really a fan of these transformations from an esthetic point of view, but at least I understand the principle – peak performance. And it does mean that this little Alfa gets raced every once in a while, which is more than some classics, like the ones that lay dormant in museums or slowly rust away in their owner’s yard.
This Alfa is still alive and kicking, bringing joy to its owner and providing much-needed decibels of twin-cam awesomeness to the world. Might even show that Subaru it’s sharing its sleeping quarters with a thing or two on tarmac (but not on anything else).
Cohort Classic: 1969 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300Ti – Nice Alfa!, by Roger Carr
Dash-Cam Outtake: Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior, by Yohai71