This is one of my favourite Alfa Romeos; I personally own a 1750 GTV mark 2 which I have had since 1988. The car however was released some 8 years before my car was built. In late summer 1963, the prototype was introduced to the public at Alfa Romeo's new factory at Arese. After a second showing at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the car went into production in late 1964. It was officially known as the Giulia Sprint GT but is now almost universally known as a Bertone Coupe after the design house that styled it.
Early cars had a stepped front and are known as such. These are the rarest of models you can get now and are among the most collectable of the mass produced Bertones.
The car is a 2+2 and was based on a Giulia saloon chassis, shortened by 160mm. The design was inspired by the Alfa Romeo 2000 of 1960. It is a very clean design, stripped of all superfluous ornamentation.
The car initially came with the 1600cc engine straight out of the saloon, however, in order to keep up with the sporting image of a Coupe the GT came with twin carbs to increase the power output. The engine drive went through a very direct and easy to use 5 speed gear box, on to a live rear axle.
Braking was by disk brakes all round, and this was a very powerful set up. The suspension is by coil springs all round and to reduce the unsprung mass to a minimum, the shock absorbers were mounted upside down. This was one of the most advanced small cars of the time and would show a clean pair of heels to all but the most exotic super car of the day.
In 1965 the Giulia GTC, GTA and GTV were released. The GTV had some very minor but significant changes; the inlet valve size was increased by 2mm, taking the maximum speed up to 185 km/h. The car sported the Veloce badge between the number plate and the right hand rear light. In 1966 the little GT, the 1300, was released, presented to the press at the Balocco proving ground the 1300 weighed only 20 kgs less than the 1600 and initially came without a brake servo which made the brakes somewhat heavy. This was rectified in late 1967. Interestingly you could get hire purchase to buy a 1300 GT.
By 1967 the 1600 had lost its crown as the ultimate Giulia to the 1750 GTV. The release of the 1750 heralded the only major change to the bodywork of the Bertone coupe, the step front was smoothed out and the indicators were moved down to below the headlamps. Power was up to 122 bhp and the car got my favourite interior with the hooded central rev counter and Speedo, while the auxiliary gauges were put into the top of the centre console. The seats have a very interesting shape with cut outs between the centre of the seat and the side supports.
In 1970 the 1750 was updated and got dual circuit brakes, halogen headlamps and bumper over riders. Finally in late 1972 at Gardone Riviera, the 2000 GTV was introduced. This had a LSD in order to keep the engines 132 bhp under control. The car is easy to distinguish by having a different grill, larger rear lights and 2000 in script across the boot lid.
This was the final incarnation of the Bertone coupe and it went on until 1977 running in conjunction with the Alfetta GT for a number of years.