Thursday 7 January 2021 7:11 am

Alfa Romeo breaks auction record in a buoyant classic car market

An Alfa Romeo GT Junior has sold for £50,000, smashing the auction world record for this model. The stylish classic coupe, originally exported to Australia in 1971, attracted 261 bids during a seven-day online sale.

The record price is further evidence of a robust collector car market, which has so far resisted the creeping Covid malaise. Online auctions in particular are booming, as our interview with Car & Classic CEO Tom Wood revealed last month.

Alfa Romeo GT Junior
(Car and Classic)

Ironically, the GT Junior was conceived as a cheaper route into Alfa Romeo ownership. Launched in 1965, it traded the 109hp 1.6-litre engine of the Giulia Sprint Veloce for a 90hp 1.3 with twin carbs and twin cams. 

It was particularly popular in Italy, where the tax regime penalised larger engines (hence other ‘downsized’ classics, such as the Ferrari 208 GTB). 

Performance was steady (0-60mph in 12.6 seconds), but the GT Junior’s gutsy willingness to rev – coupled with a sweet gearshift and balanced, rear-driven chassis – made it wonderfully engaging to drive. You’ll be outgunned by a family-spec Ford Focus, but who cares? 

Alfa Romeo GT Junior
(Car and Classic)

Then there’s how the GT Junior looks: pert, pretty and brimful of Italian brio. Frankly, it could drive like a Routemaster bus and we’d still want one.

The most distinctive feature of early 105-series coupes was the scalino ‘step front’, where the leading edge of the bonnet sits 10mm proud of the bodywork. Later cars, such as this one, have a flush front end.

Flared wheelarches, a flowing roofline and a chopped Kamm tail also hint at subtle sportiness, while the period-look 15-inch Alfaholics alloys fitted here are just gorgeous. 

Alfa Romeo GT Junior
(Car and Classic)

Other modifications for this particular GT Junior include fitment of a 1,750cc engine (used in the standard GT Veloce from 1967) with new Weber carbs, Pipercross filters and electronic ignition. 

The uprated suspension uses Koni dampers and 40mm lowering springs, and the brakes have been bolstered with a dual-circuit balance box.

The car is otherwise standard, but restored to near-concours condition. Following a bare-shell respray with Glasurit paints, every chrome part has been re-plated or replaced, with every rubber seal also new. Safe to say, this Alfa Romeo is smarter than when it left the factory (and certainly less likely to rust).

Alfa Romeo GT Junior
(Car and Classic)

The GT Junior has caused a stir among Alfisti (Alfa Romeo’s fanatical fans) and far exceeded Hagerty’s market value for a similar model in perfect condition, which stands at £30,900. 

It also impressed Chris Pollitt, head of editorial at Car & Classic. “I’ve never seen a restoration that had been carried out with such care and incredible attention to detail,” he said.

“Going up and down the country to photograph cars for our auction platform means I get to see some exceptional vehicles. However, this Alfa Romeo remains firmly at the top of the list.” 

Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research

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