The Giulia Ti was presented to the public in 1962...
There are a very few cars which leave a very vivid memory throughout your whole life. One of them is the Alfa Romeo Giulia Super. My father had it as a test car in September 1970, and we drove it to the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. I fell in love with the car straight away. The beautiful round instruments and clocks, instrument panel, three spoked wood rimmed steering wheel, the styling, and last but not least of course, the engine. A classic Alfa engine with the double overhead camshafts, two double-choke Weber 40DCOE carburettors, a five speed gear box, how could one ever wish for more…
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Driving the Giulia to Monza…
We took the car over the German Autobahnen toItaly. My father and I had taken also my nephew along. He has a heart for Italian cars ever since…
We stormed with the Alfa up and down the sweeping Autobahn hills around Montabauer. 190-200 km on the speedo in descents… what else would you expect? Then driving it full throttle over the San Gottardo, accompanied by a flock of Ducati’s, Laverda’s, Moto Guzzi’s, who had also a great time going up and down the pass road with us.
Revving up the Alfa, together with the staccato of the motorcycle engines, aside, in front or behind us. And then the descent. Full throttle again out of the hairpins, even changing up to third on the short straights, and then braking fully for the next curve. Double declutching was necessary of course, as the synchro of the second gear was weak, and then again full on the brakes. These were getting white hot, but with the sound of the accompanying Laverda’s in our ears, who cared. I remember all this vividly.
The Alfa Giulia's as they were presented to the motoring press on June 27, 1963...in Monza!
At the end of the descent, my father decided to take a break and have a good lunch. I remember turning in at the end of the descent into the grounds of the albergo where we went for a good risotto. Turning into a parking place facing the side wall of the albergo, I hit the brakes. They hardly functioned. White around my nose, I just stopped one inch of the rocky wall, with the brakes smelling and smoking… but we enjoyed a good meal, with our beloved Alfa still magnificently intact!
And a Mille Miglia encounter
My next meeting with an Alfa Giulia was during the Mille Miglia now some 9 years ago, which I drove with my father behind the wheel of a works Mercedes. We were driving a 180 Diesel, very comfortable and amusing to drive.
The Alfa Giulia used by the Polizia Stradale proved to be haeven for me and my father in the Mille Miglia historic race...
But at the time control and lunch break near Sienna we were chatting too long with Mercedes team colleague Stirling Moss, (who had a much higher starting number than our 147) resulting in us starting hopelessly late.
Ordinary traffic was already coming onto the road, so in order to make up for lost time, nothing short of a miracle was needed. And believe it or not, this came in the shape of two carabinieri in their olive-green “Polizia” coloured Giulia. We waved for help, being stuck in traffic. These two valiant men jumped in their Giulia. “We will guide you” they shouted, “just stay very close to our car”.
Off they went, making a small path for us in the middle of the road, between the two opposite traffic streams. We drove at some 100 km/h on the narrow road, leaving only a few inches between us and the crawling cars in opposite directions left and right, but staying also only 2 metres behind the beautifully square rear end of the Giulia. What a magnificent sight it was, and how happy we were. We were catching up and soon we were again within the time limit…
A transparent plastic model of the Giulia shows off its beautiful construction.
Some model history
The Giulia’s remained largely unchanged during their model career. Only variations in engine output and dashboard and interior layout distinguish the different versions. The car has been produced from 1962 until 1978.
The first series were built from 1962 until 1972.
The Tipo 105.14 was the first model introduced in 1962, and was named Giulia Ti. The 1570 cc Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine with single down-draft carburettor produced 92 PS (68 kW; 91 hp) at 6500 rpm.
The Giulia was immediately also available as a station wagon...
The "Ti" nomenclature referred to a class of Italian saloon car racing known as "Turismo Internazionale", and had previously been applied to higher-performance versions of the 1900 and Giulietta saloons in the 1950s.
However, for the Giulia saloon, the Ti was at first the only version available, and later, with the introduction of the TI Super and Super, the TI became the base version for the 1600 cc engine class. The steering column gearchange (the only one in the Giulia range) was replaced with floor change in 1964 (Tipo 105.08).
The Giulia "Quadrifoglio Verde" was used in competition, here in the Swedish Midsummer Night Rally in June 1964.
The dashboard of this first series had a band speedometer with a small, very modern looking rev counter. Brakes were by drums all around at first. Discs were introduced later, first at the front, and later all around. A brake servo was not fitted at first (!), but was introduced in later cars. The steering wheel featured the only horn ring ever in the Giulia range. The Giulia TI was phased out in 1968 and re-introduced as the austerity model 1600 S.
"Panther" Alfa Giulia Super.
Giulia Ti Super: Tipo 105.16 was a special racing model introduced in 1963. Quadrofoglio Verde (green four-leaf clover) stickers on the front wings were a distinguishing feature.
Only 501 were made for homologation, which makes the car very rare indeed.
The 1570 cc engine was fitted with two double-choke horizontal Weber 45DCOE carburettors for 112 PS (82 kW; 110 hp) at 6500 rpm.
The body was lightened and a floor gearchange was fitted as standard, as were alloy wheels of very similar appearance to the standard steel ones of the TI.
The TI's instrument cluster with its strip speedometer was replaced with a three-instrument binnacle comprising speedometer, tachometer and a multi-gauge instrument (fuel, water temperature, oil temperature and pressure) - these instruments were similar to those fitted to the contemporary Giulia Sprint and Sprint Speciale coupes and Spider convertibles.
The Giulia was also present in the legendary Francorchamps 24 hour race, here on top of the "raidillon" in 1969...
The steering wheel was a three-spoke item with centre hornpush, also similar to that of the more sporting models. Braking was by discs all around from the outset, though the first cars lacked a servo which was introduced later.
The Giulia 1300 or Tipo 105.06 was an austerity model made from 1964 to 1970 with a 1290 cc single-carburettor engine for 78 PS (57 kW; 77 hp) at 6000 rpm. Four-speed gearbox with floor change fitted as standard (the 1300 was the only Giulia model not fitted with a five-speed gearbox). Though the engine was given a 105 series type number, it was basically the engine from the 101 series Giulietta Ti. This model appears not to have been exported to many markets outside Italy, if at all. Braking was by discs all around, without a servo at first, later with a servo.
The Giulia Super
The Tipo 105.26 was introduced in 1965. This was “our” Giulia which we drove toMonza. It transferred the technology from the racing TI Super to a road car, to make the most successful Giulia saloon. The famous 1570 cc engine was now fitted with two double-choke Weber 40DCOE carburettors for a milder, but torquier tune than the TI Super - 98 PS (72 kW; 97 hp) at 5500 rpm.
The Giulia as used by the Carabinieri...
The new dashboard with two large round instruments for speed and revs still keeps me dreaming. The sportier steering wheel with three aluminium spokes and centre horn push, similar to that of the Ti Super, was later changed for one with the horn pushes in the spokes, as was in “our” car. All-around disc brakes with servo were fitted as standard from the outset. The serpent crest of the Sforza family appears in a badge on the C-pillar and is a distinguishing feature of the Super.
For 1968, there was a suspension update, including revised geometry and a rear anti-roll bar. The wheels were changed in size from 5J x 15 to 5J x 14, and tires from 155/15 to 165/14. For 1970, updates included dual-circuit brakes, centre-mounted handbrake lever to replace under-dash "umbrella handle", larger external door handles, and top-hinged pedals.
What a car this was, and indeed, it is forever young and keeps also our hearts pounding right until this day…
In the coming weeks, we will also report about the 50th Anniversary event of the Giulia in Dutch Assen, just watch these columns!
Hans Knol ten Bensel