1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

By: John Bowe, Photography by: Nathan Jacobs

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1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super 1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

Past Blast: Never one of the pin-up Alfa Romeos, the 1967 Giulia Super four-door remains one for the true Alfisti...

1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

 

1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

I had one of these when I was about 18. It’s a 1967 Alfa Romeo Guilia Super, the four-door family-man version of the Sprint and GTV that everyone knows and likes. Mine was white with red trim, a classic and timeless combination. They’re beautiful, but have a reputation for rust which is well-founded, and these days any of these classic Italians that remain on the road have either had an extraordinarily blessed life, or have been extensively restored.

This one belongs in the latter category and is an absolute gem of a car. I love it! It’s had some work done to it recently by HVR, who often help us with Past Blasts.

Being from the second half of the 1960s, this was built around the same time as an HR Holden or an XR Falcon but when you read the specs – or even drive it – it makes our Aussie stuff look prehistoric. Twin cams, four-wheel discs, side-draft Weber carburettors; the design and engineering were terrific.

As I mentioned, the problem with a lot of this Italian stuff – and it’s a big problem – is the fact they rust. Really, really rust. There must’ve been something in – or something missing from – the steel they used to build these cars. And the Italians certainly didn’t do much else – such as applying rust-proofing compound – to slow down the hunger of the tin worm after the car was made. Even mine in the early 1970s, when it was only five or six years old, had rust! I had mine fixed and plenty of enthusiasts since have spent lots of time and money fixing the Alfas that have survived since then.

Even before I owned one, I always regarded these cars as something of an ugly duckling. They are beautifully proportioned with a terrific, tall glasshouse and thin pillars you can see past from the driver’s seat. But somehow you can’t call the shape pretty; there’s something about them that doesn’t quite make it. It’s hard to put your finger on the reason why but maybe it’s the frown of the bonnet-line over that four-light grille.

You click open the door and slide onto one of two terrific bucket seats.

In this car, they’re covered in cream vinyl and perfectly blend comfort with support. The steering wheel is a decent size – not a little silly one – with a thin plastic rim and alloy spokes that seem so typical of Italian cars of the era, and clichéd into the styling features of some present models. That steering wheel frames a great set of gauges in a simple binnacle. As with many Italian cars, they’re gorgeous Veglia instruments and of course they include a tacho. These were serious driver’s cars. There were no wavy strip-style speedos in these!

Driving? I couldn’t believe how good it was to drive. I gave it a good go, too! When I was 18, into my motorsport – but with less experience than I have now, of course – I didn’t realise how good these things were. Now it’s clear quite how much is so right. It has reassuring, neutral handling. It has assertive four-wheel discs and a well-stacked five-speed gearbox that provides a gear for every occasion. Yep, a five-speed box on the floor when Holden had threeon- the-tree. Sure, Holdens and Falcons were built for a different purpose in a different country, but the comparison with something most of us know and love highlights how much kit these Alfas had in them. It hardly feels like it is a 50-year-old design.

The steering is by a box but it’s not far short of superb. The weighting is spot-on and easily manageable at low speeds, making the car easy to manouevre in suburbia. It’s quiet and the ride’s supple. It had a really well-located rear axle with coil springs and of course, coils up front. This one wears Cromodora wheels from a Spider.

It has a proper-type air cleaner housing so it sounds well-muffled but you still get a beautiful induction noise from those Webers. The exhaust note, too, is unmistakably Alfa. The pedals are floor-mounted so heel-and-toe downchanges are easy. They really were set up for driving, not commuting. Sure, Italy hasn’t had a world champion for a while but in the 1950s and ’60s Italy produced the world’s greatest enthusiast’s sports cars. Honestly, I had to hold myself back from buying it. I’m a sucker for a great car!

These things are twin-cams and have an alloy head and block, with sleeves in the bores – plus those two Webers – so they need to be looked after by people who know what they are doing. Many engines like this one have been destroyed over the years by people who think bore water can be used as coolant.

But despite a few easily-managed flaws, these cars are just so under-rated. They really are loveable and, yes, I know they can be heartbreakers too but as a thoroughly enjoyable classic driver’s car, for not such a lot of money, I reckon this thing is hard to beat.

No wonder the Alfisti – or the Alfaholics – love them!

 

IT'S MINE: RICHARD MILLINGTON'S GIULIA SUPER

"I was working in Tehran in the 1960s and saw one of these in a showroom," begins owner Richard Millington. "But of course, I didn’t have enough money at the time, and by the time I’d got enough money, they’d all started to rust.

"So most of them became dilapidated and disappeared."

But the motoring life-cycle being what it is, the Guilias that survived became cherished classics with Richard able to buy this one in early 2013, more than 40 years after seeing one for the first time. "About three or four years ago I took a real interest [in buying one] and this one came up for sale on the Gold Coast. I flew up to take a look at it."

Restored but lightly modified with a later, larger, engine and Alfa Spider alloys, Richard’s Guilia embarrassed itself by popping a head gasket on a Tasmanian trip soon after he’d bought it. Since then it has proved 100 per cent reliable, a testament to the two previous owners’ work (Richard Granger and Paul Young) in restoring it.   "It’s virtually a new car," says Richard. "The original engine was a 1570; this one is a 2-litre from a later model but it looks identical. I’ve done quite a few miles in it and it’s gone very well – they are quite light and lively."

SPECIFICATIONS

1967 Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

Engine: 1962cc twin-cam four-cylinder; alloy head and block.
Power: 97kW
Torque: 181Nm
Weight: 1026kg (approx)
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Wheels: 14x6-inch alloys
Brakes: Four-wheel discs
0-400m: 18.4sec (claimed )
Top speed: 177km/h (claimed)
Value: $25-30K

 

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