Featured: This Alfa Romeo GTV 1750 Was Love At First Street-Parked Sight

This Alfa Romeo GTV 1750 Was Love At First Street-Parked Sight

By Minol Patrice
December 6, 2017
12 comments

Photography by Patrice Minol

Say it out loud, just once, whisper it if you must: “Alfa Romeo Giulia.” It conjures Italian imagery in the mind and heart-fluttering passion in the soul. It is an iconic name, having been affixed to the backs of sedans and sports cars alike, though the Bertone-designed coupes bearing the Giulia badge are the supreme embodiment of the brand’s sporting image in the 1960s and ‘70s. Introduced to the world in 1963, the Giulia Sprint GT would take on many subtle and no-so-subtle evolutions along the way through the Series 105/115’s decade-plus production run, and while many prefer the early step-nose cars, I have always been a proponent of the later GTV models too. A few months back, I visited the Bicester Heritage compound in the UK for unrelated business when I came across a sublime orange example of a GTV 1750 parked on the side of the street with nobody around. It was the perfect excuse to have an impromptu photoshoot.

It was in near-perfect condition as far as I could tell, and its searing Giallo Ocra paint job was a refreshing change from your usual reds and whites these cars so often wear. I’d driven to Bicester in a ho-hum modern car, so my recent drive provided some context to the car before me, made its purity of design and function much more apparent when contrasted with my car full of airbags and devoid of driving feel. The Bertone design is a timelessly beautiful shape, surprisingly complex while appearing clean and simple at a glance; its curves and proportions can be studied for hours, but it doesn’t require more than a second’s scrutiny to appreciate just how damn pretty it is. It leaves a great first impression, and it only has more to offer in further study.

As a designer, I am smitten with the Alfa Series 105/115 bodies, and though I see quite a few at car shows and the like, it is a rare chance to find one in such prime condition in such a scenic parking place. The kind of moment that you don’t realize the infrequency of until you find yourself living it. I reveled in the private time though, circling and flitting to and from the car trying to do justice to its form with my lens. Indeed, it is hard to take an unflattering portrait of such a car, for it is one of Bertone’s most significant achievements in design, and if not, surely one of the most recognizable.

It is comprised of simple curves and rolling surfaces throughout, and they blend and meet and diverge with the kind of natural fluidity that leaves you thinking back on the car as a whole rather than specific features of it. For instance, the belt line is one long unbroken arc, and it very nearly circles the entire car in one smooth stroke, save for a slight kink where it meets the transom. Then there are the purposeful haunches of the rear fenders, aggressive and sporty with their boxy cut and low-slung profile as they drop the body lines down low toward the rear. The front end follows the design language spoken by the rest of the car—simple shapes and lines arranged to complement each other rather than compete for attention—the four lights arranged neatly in the soft rectangular cutout running the length of the front fascia.

Even the seats in this car are a masterclass of design—say what you will about the staying power of the wooden inserts for the headrests, but these were in immaculate condition here, and the color of Marrone Cuoio for the leather was a perfect match with these inserts, and a surprisingly suitable pairing with the Ocra exterior.

I cherish these random moments of inspiration that present themselves every so often, and I think these serendipitous encounters with the cars we love provide a certain kind of excitement that we can’t capture with planning and anticipation. What have you run into on the street lately that you just couldn’t take your eyes off?

Join the Conversation
Related
0 0 votes
Article Rating
12 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
beejee
beejee
4 years ago

Nice article, beautiful car. Best colour scheme. Unfortunate that the owner made such a mess of combining elements from different series and models. Since you’re a designer I think you should know, although I don’t want to spoil your nice article. The original design of the 1750 is so nice it does not need any alterations. Here’s what’s not right with this car:
– the Giulia Sprint GT badge dows not belong, thta’s an earlier and very different model
– steering wheel is not original (the original one is actually quite nice)
– the front grille is from a later series (2-litre or later 1300 models)
– the front bumperhas been cut in two (this is blasphemy)
– the Alfa sign embossed in the seats is silly; it has no place in the original or in any of the Giulia models
– the alloy wheels belong to the GTA model (no matter how nice they look)

Let’s hope the engine and gearbox are still original!
Cheers,

Peter Inshaw
Peter Inshaw
4 years ago

My 67 has been in family since new and has been yellow since it became s race car in 96. Love the lines, love the smell, love the sound and love that it still keeps up with an M Coupe in in the hills.. bravo

T holwerda
T holwerda
4 years ago

Great colour!

Russ Wollman
Russ Wollman
4 years ago

I have read that this car was Giugiaro’s first, that he was all of 17 years when he drew it. What shows in this car is something far deeper than talent. It transcends training. I’m not sure what it is. I do know that every time I see one, I have the same reaction. It’s the quintessential fist in a velvet glove, brawn cast in deceptive subtlety. I love all of them, and this essay really does them justice. Thanks!

Michel
Michel
4 years ago

so is mine. Fell in love 46 years ago!

Kiwiboy105
Kiwiboy105
4 years ago

I have loved this design ever since I first saw it in my teens in Melbourne. I have been blessed to own 2 of them, one in my 20’s and now again in my 40’s. It always gets a second glance and it is just a joy to drive. Love the article and the way Patrice describes the timeless lines of the 105.

PDXBryan
PDXBryan
4 years ago

It absolutely does not get better than this car in this color!

Chad C.
Chad C.
4 years ago

I recently saw a Maserati Quattroporte Series III parked curbside on a city street in Eugene, Oregon. I was stricken enough to pull over & have a look at it for several minutes.

It was scruffy, but dignified, and looked great in black. I’m not really into bigger sedans, but the car had so much presence as to give me a big grin as I stared at it.

Love the Giallo Ocra color, I have it in mind for my Lancia Scorpion project….

Robert Lidstroem
Robert Lidstroem
4 years ago

That is beautiful! Own a stepnose ’66 GTV myself (yes its red!), but always had a soft spot for the more elegant 1750, prefferably series 1 with Zagatoseats and Giallo Ochra or Silver color! Great photos and good story!

Mick
Mick
4 years ago

Where are the strips on the grille?!

Olvin Janoisin
Olvin Janoisin
4 years ago
Reply to  Mick

And the bumperline is not like in 1750 GT Veloce

Michael
Michael
4 years ago

Absolutely stunning! Now I know where my Christmas present is..