Wednesday, 6 February 2013

ME AND MY CAR/MOTORCYCLE #10

We have a very special entry this month from Giovanni Vallini from Pisa, Italy, with his restored 1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTC. Giovanni selected a copy of BSA 500 & 650 Twins - The Essential Buyer's Guide as his prize. Please keep your entries coming in, and you never know, it could be YOU in this space next month!

Vintage car meeting at Abetone (PT), Tuscan Appennine Mountains, 2010


The Giulia Gran Tourismo Cabriolet is basically a Giulia Sprint GT without the hard top. Approximately 900 GTC were built and only 80 right hand drive versions. This very rare car appeared on page 25 of Veloce's first book Alfa Romeo Giulia Coupe GT & GTA (Enlarged & revised 3rd edition coming soon) by John Tipler. It also appeared on the Veloce blog in 2010.



"I came across this Giulia GTC previously belonging to one Mr Spitzel while browsing the website of Car and Classic during the Christmas 2006 holiday. It was love at first sight! I made arrangements with the London-based seller to meet at Ascheberg in Germany, to where the car was transported by the owner. There, I loaded the Giulia GTC onto a truck, driven by myself. The car looked to be in a state far worse than the description suggested, and immediately I realized that its restoration would be very expensive. I brought the car back to Italy, but couldn't start the restoration project until spring 2008. Finally, in September 2009, the Giulia GTC was ready to 'race' again on the road. Meanwhile, all the procedures for its cancellation from the British register and new registration in Italy had been accomplished.

The restoration work was done with the intent of leaving the components in their original condition as much as possible, only intervening heavily – of course – in the reconstruction of the rotten parts. As far as the color is concerned, account was taken of the original paint still present on the floor pans under the mat, unaltered by sunlight or other types of decay.
With the car restored, I undertook my first long trip: attending the meeting for the 100th anniversary of Alfa Romeo in Milan in June 2010. In front of the Castello Sforzesco, my Giulia GTC was the subject of great attention not only from an audience of connoisseurs, but even from people who never had seen a Giulia GTC before. Nowadays I enjoy the unmistakable roar of the engine of my Giulia GTC at weekends, when the weather is nice. Seeing me at the wheel, people wonder how I can so easily drive a RHD car. Many, I’m sure, even believe that, due to the badges of the British motoring clubs (RAC and AA) on the front grille and a GB plate fixed to the back, an eccentric English gentleman is driving, descending upon the roads of the Italian peninsula to 'breathe the sun' aboard a strange Alfa Romeo convertible … or better, cabriolet (which the 'C' of 'GTC' was actually intended to mean)."

Giovanni Vallini
Pisa

2008-2009 restoration work by Paolo Bianchi (Ponsacco, PI, Italy).

Do you have an interesting car/motorcycle with a story to tell?
We want to see it! Send photos & description to prize@veloce.co.uk
We will pick one a month, and any we feature will win an Essential Buyer's Guide (worth £9.99 / $19.95) of your choice.
Click below to browse the whole series.