Reader Submissions: A Useless Alfa Romeo Giulia Becomes Essential

A Useless Alfa Romeo Giulia Becomes Essential

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
November 11, 2014
13 comments

Owner: Emmanuel Pont

Year, Make, and Model: 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT

Location: Saint Dizier, Champagne, France

Photographers: Emmanuel and Benjamin Pont

This Alfa was used for thirteen years (last road tax disc is 1977) and then abandoned in a garage for twenty-five years. I live in the “deep” country, and it is still not so rare to find old cars sleeping in a barn. I collected it in 2004, with another Alfa GT, as the garage it was stored in was sold. The owner was very happy to find someone to clean the place. He had sheltered both cars for friends, who had since nearly forgotten them.

I’ve enjoyed old cars since I was twenty-years-old. My grandfather had worked all his life for car factories: Cottin Desgouttes in the ‘20s, Citroen in the ‘30s, and then Zenith carburetors until he retired. Even though I didn’t see him much in my childhood, I think he might have passed on the car bug. I first had popular cars from the ‘50s and ‘60s (Citroen 2CV, Peugeot 403 and 404, Fiat 500…). Then I got a 1937 Salmson, later a Simca 5… But all these cars were really too slow! So I searched for better performance cars, and found by chance two Alfa Romeo GTs only a few miles away from my home.

The first was a 1971 1300GT Junior, that was in very good condition. I quickly put it back on the road, and after a mild tuning of the engine it entered several historical rallies (it ran the Monte Carlo Historique Rally four times finishing all of them!). The second was this Giulia Sprint GT. It is a quite rare 105.02 type, the original Giulia GT that is becoming rare nowadays. The body was very damaged, with lots of rust, and all the mechanics and electricity had to be rebuilt. Only the seats could be saved without intensive work. In fact, it needed so much work that I waited eight years before beginning (and have enough free time) the project.

To restore the body I built a rotisserie. Both side sills, and front and back floors had to be changed. All the mechanics were rebuilt, with an other “mild” engine tuning to get more HP, but keeping the original 1.6 liter capacity. I also added fast road camshafts, high CR forged pistons, electronic ignition and the color went back to its original Petrol Blue, or Bluette 506.

After two years devoting a lot of time (ask my wife!), the car was ready. It is always a great moment of joy and fear when you first drive it on the road. But all went well, and I gradually drove farther from the house. Of course, there were dozens of small adjustments, especially for carburation but now it gives all its power. I’m still missing bumpers and an original front grille in better condition (until now I’ve used a GT Junior front, that I actually prefer to the original).

The purpose of the build was not to make a Pebble Beach dream car, but to put it back on the road with maximum reliability (and performance!), but also with maximum original parts. For example: all the bushings, bearings, and wires are new, but the horns are original (and needed a complete afternoon to take them to pieces and make them sing again). The seats have lost some of the comfort but are original. I also asked the painter to “make it look older” and so he used a satiny paint that we then polished, giving the image of an old paint only “maintained”. So the car that was named “Bluette” by friends gives the sensation of a car that lived the last fifty years without any major work on it.

I love driving it on Sunday morning, on small, curvy country roads. I thought I would enter many classic rallies with it, but in fact I prefer driving it “freely”. In my mind it will remain a collectible car rather than a rally car. And after all the hours I spent on it, I would not like damaging it! So this car is now fully useless to me. And that makes it essential!

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Simon Sheldrick
Simon Sheldrick

She’s a sweet little Junior that you have there.

I have a friend who has recently completed a beautiful resto on a 1750 – Giallo Prototipo – its retina searing!

Pez
Pez

Bravo Emmanuel, and lucky too, it is almost impossible to find those cars abandoned here in Italy anymore.
I also own a 1970 Gt junior 1.3 and I remember clearly when those cars used to be part of the daily landscape of our roads! I am very happy to see that this model still have so many fans around the world!!!
Alfa Romeo GT junior la Giulia che vince le corse !
ciao a tutti

Roland

Congratulations for the resto job. I know what you are talking about, I had several early stepnoses. I still have some parts available, for example the missing bumpers, a front bumper also in the single-piece version. Several parts of the mesh style front grille are also available, not sure that they are better one then yours. Kind regards Roland

Mike Yates
Mike Yates

Don’t change the grille! Forget the bumpers! Your car in your first photo looks like it wants to leap out of the garage & scream away down the road! The step-nose GT is an absolutely timeless design to which nothing could be added or taken away.
Congratulations on the time & effort to a wonderful result.

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

You are doing us all a service restoring such nice cars. There could never be too many of the old 105. You’ve got a good recipe and the car looks stunning in blue. It’s not really “Blue de France”, but I suppose you’re not too sad it’s reminiscent of your country’s racing colour?

emmanuel pont
emmanuel pont

Hi Andreas !
The “petrol blue” is an original colour (the choice was small for Sprint GT : Alfa red, light blue, petrol blue, dark green, white, dark grey). The “Bleu de France” is lighter and was only available some years after… bad luck for me !!
But everybody knows that red cars are the fastest…;)

Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

I’m glad you kept the original colour. Out of the colours mentioned petrol blue and Alfa red are surely the strongest in my opinion. Dark green sounds a little interesting, but it’s obviously encroaching on the famous green used by another nation.

It’s been done so many times, but there’s no denying that an Alfa always looks good in red. However, as you might have guessed by now, I’ve always been a sucker for blue.

Rob
Rob

I Just love the stories of saving what I call rolling art from the scrap yard or the crusher.
Beautiful job of restoring it and just love the pictures.
Nice to see that it is not just a garage queen but it is actually driven ,used and enjoyed.
Nice job! Petrolicious
Thank you for sharing.

phyzul
phyzul

Wonderful car and a wonderful project… Congratulations from a fellow-owner of a Bertone Coupé!

John Kovlan
John Kovlan

I was just looking at a ’64 Sprint GT up for auction on Bring a Trailer! These are great cars, it’s actually hard to comprehend the line “Useless Alfa Romeo Giulia” – I thought I’d had a brief moment of dyslexia! Congrats to Monsieur Pont on his lovely resto

P. Matt
P. Matt

Awsome rebirth! Totally unuseless. Too bad the original owner forgot about it, also very good that it happened that way. Good job. Congrats for you dedication! You Alfa looks terribly good.

TJ Martin
TJ Martin

Useless ? Nahhhh. Unless its ben rolled up into a block of metal by the crushers a Giulia is never useless . Maybe on the verge of being beyond hope … in which case its still good for parts . But useless ? Never !

As to this Giulia ? Full marks for the intelligent and practical restoration … as well as the owners intent to use it as was intended rather than just ‘ owning ‘ it . Which makes it anything but … useless !

Zane Coffin
Zane Coffin

That is fantastically beautiful!
I too prefer the fascia of the junior!