Alfa Romeo 105/115 Series Coupés
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The Alfa Romeo 105/115 series Coupés were a range of cars made by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1963 until 1977. They were the successors to the Giulietta Sprint coupé and used a shortened floorpan from the Giulia saloon.
The basic body shape shared by all models was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone. It was one of his first major projects for Bertone, and borrowed heavily from his earlier design for the Alfa Romeo 2000 Sprint/2600 Sprint. The balance of glass and metal, the influence of the shape of the front and rear glass on the shape of the cabin, and the flat grille with incorporated headlamps were groundbreaking styling features for the era.
A limited production (1000 units) convertible was a modification from the standard car by Touring of Milan, offered as a catalogue model by Alfa Romeo called the Giulia Sprint GTC. A small number of the GT Junior Zagato were also built with a very different, aerodynamic two-seater coupé body designed by Ercole Spada for Zagato of Milan. These too were offered by Alfa Romeo as catalogue models, as the GT 1300 Junior Zagato and later GT 1600 Junior Zagato.
All models feature the four cylinder, all-light-alloy Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine in various cubic capacities from 1290 cc to 1962 cc, all with two valves per cylinder. All versions of this engine fitted to the 105 series coupés featured twin carburettors, except for US market 1750 GTV and 2000 GTV cars which were fitted with fuel injection. Competition models featured cylinder heads with twin spark plugs. Common to all models was also a 5-speed manual transmission and disc brakes on all four wheels. The rear suspension uses a beam axle with coil springs. Air conditioning and a limited slip rear differential were optional on the later models.
The 105 series coupés featured the GT (Gran Turismo) model description, which was common to all models in one form or another. The various models in this range can be considered in two broad categories. On one hand were the various Gran Turismos (GT) and Gran Turismo Veloces (GTV), (veloce is Italian for "fast"). These were meant to be the most sporting cars in the Alfa Romeo range and sold very well to enthusiastic motorists around the world.
The first model available was the Giulia Sprint GT (1963) which evolved into the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce (1965), the 1750 GTV (1968) and the 2000 GTV (1972–1976), with engines increasing in cubic capacity from 1570 cc (Giulia Sprint GT/GTV) through 1779 cc (1750 GTV) to 1962 cc (2000 GTV). A limited production (1000 units) convertible, the Giulia Sprint GTC, was based on the Giulia Sprint GT, modified by Touring of Milan. It was only made over two years from 1964 to 1966.
On the other hand, was the GT Junior range, which featured engines with smaller cubic capacities. GT Juniors sold in great numbers to people who wanted a sporting, stylish car that handled well, but either did not require the maximum in engine power, or could not afford the taxation on larger engine capacities in some markets - most notably, Alfa Romeo's home Italian market. Junior models began with the first GT 1300 Junior in 1966.
The GT 1300 Junior continued until 1976 with the 1290 cc engine and various modifications incorporating features from the evolution of the GT's and GTV's. From 1972 a GT 1600 Junior model was also available, with the 1570 cc engine.
The 1300 Junior and 1600 Junior also became available with a very different, aerodynamic two-seater coupé body designed by Ercole Spada for Zagato of Milan. These models were the GT 1300 Junior Zagato and GT 1600 Junior Zagato.
Both categories were used to derive GTA ("Allegerita", or "lightened") models, which were specifically intended for competition homologation in their respective engine size classes. The GTA's featured extensive modifications for racing, so they were priced much higher than the standard models and sold in much smaller numbers.
Practically all GTA's made were used in competition, where they had a long and successful history in various classes and category. These models included the Giulia Sprint GTA, GTA 1300 Junior, and GTAm (a much evolved version of the GTA built by Autodelta). Although not commonly thought of as a 105 Series coupé variant, the Alfa Romeo Montreal used a strengthened and slightly modified 105 series floorpan and suspension.
GT 1300 Junior (1965–1977)
The Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior was the entry model to the Alfa Romeo coupé range. It was introduced in 1965 as the replacement for the 101 series Giulia Sprint 1300, which was the final development of the Giulietta Sprint series.
The GT 1300 Junior was fitted with the 1300 (1290 cc) twin cam engine (74 mm bore × 75 mm stroke), as fitted to the Giulietta series cars, but revised for the 105 series with reduced port sizes and other modifications. The smaller engine was introduced in order to allow buyers to choose an Alfa Romeo coupé while avoiding the higher taxes on the models with larger engine capacity, especially in Alfa Romeo's home Italian market.
The performance was low-end compared to others in its model line, with a total of 89 bhp (66 kW; 90 PS). However, the GT 1300 Junior's top speed of over 100 mph and 0-60 mph time of 12.6 seconds were very good for a fully appointed coupé with an engine of only 1300 cc displacement.
The GT 1300 Junior was in production for over a decade. Throughout this period it was updated by the factory, incorporating many of the same revisions applied to the larger-engined models.
The first GT 1300 Juniors produced were based on the Giulia Sprint GT, with a simpler interior. The major external identifying feature was the black grille with just one horizontal chrome bar. The same 9/41 final drive ratio was maintained, but with a shorter 5th gear ratio of 0.85, instead of 0.79 as on all the other 105 Series coupés.
Together with the Giulia 1300 Ti, the GT 1300 Junior pioneered the use of ATE disc brakes as later fitted throughout the 105 series, replacing the Dunlop discs on earlier cars. The first few GT 1300 Juniors lacked a brake servo, and had the low rear wheelarches of the Giulia Sprint GT and Giulia Sprint GTV. From 1967, a servo was fitted as standard, together with higher rear wheelarches as adopted later on the 1750 GTV.
In 1968, concurrently with the replacement of the Giulia Sprint GT Veloce by the 1750 GTV, the GT 1300 Junior was revised with many of the new parts from the 1750 GTV. This included the dashboard, the suspension and the new wheel size of 5½ × 14J instead of 4½ × 15J. This revised GT 1300 Junior, however, retained the early "step-front" body style, which, interestingly, makes it the most mechanically refined production "step-front" model.
Another intriguing detail is that, just as on the 1750 GTV, the remote release for the boot (trunk) lid, located on the inside of the door opening on the B-post just under the door lock striker, was moved from the right hand side of the car to the left hand side. The location of this item was always independent of whether the car was left hand drive or right hand drive. This series of GT 1300 Junior was the only model with the step-front bodyshell to have this item mounted on the left hand side. All other step-front models - Giulia Sprint GT, Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, and early GT 1300 Junior with flat dashboard - featured this item on the right hand side.
From 1968 on, Alfa Romeo models for the US market were fitted with fuel injection systems instead of carburettors to comply with emissions control legislation. The only 105 Series models in which the classic twin-cam engine was fitted with fuel injection were the US market 1750 range, and the US market 2000 range which replaced the 1750s in mid-1972. No 105/115 series coupe models with 1300 or 1600cc engines were ever made with fuel injection.
In 1970 the Junior was revised a second time, and received the same nose treatment as the 1750 GTV, without the step but with only two headlights.
For 1972, new wheels featuring smaller hubcaps with exposed wheel nuts like those on the 2000 GTV were fitted. At the same time, the GT 1600 Junior was introduced alongside the GT 1300 Junior. The GT 1300 Junior was discontinued for the right hand drive UK market but continued to be available in other right hand drive markets.
From 1974 the GT1300 Junior and GT1600 Junior were both rationalised into a common range with the 2000 GTV and were rebadged as 1.3 GT Junior and 1.6 GT Junior.