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The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint is automotive aristocracyCharles Morgan is back on Carfection, this time with the Alfaholics GTA-R 270, a reimagined Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint that's as fast as a modern day sports car -- but retains its classic beauty.
[MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] This is the Alpha Giulia Sprint, one of my absolutely favorite Italian coupes. Around 225,000 of these were built. When Alfa of course was independent ,independent of fear, they were built in [INAUDIBLE] And they were based on the shortened floor plan of the berline, the saloon, and it's a very elegant, short, light car, which of course has a fabulous four cylinder, double overhead cam engine, which makes a gorgeous noise. Who needs a six cylinder or a V8, when you've got one of these. [SOUND] [MUSIC] The Junior Sprint was of course designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro who is only 17 years old. When he designed this car. He just arrived at Bertone. Of course he went on to design the Volkswagen Golf mark one, Lotus Esprit, the DeLorean, but this was his very first car and I think it's fascinating because it shows such maturity and it's such a classic. And yet it had [INAUDIBLE] Real innovation. The innovation comes from the wraparound windscreen, which gives you a fabulous view, if you're the passenger or the driver of the car. And, of course, the famous step front, which goes backwards, slanted backwards, the beautiful little heart-shaped alpha grill. But of course, the full width of the car Is the front with the headlines incorporated into it. And I think that was only on concept cars before this car arrived. So it's a true classic, and in fact, although it was built in 1963 to 1977, it hasn't dated at all. It's still just as fresh now as it was when [UNKNOWN] designed it. [MUSIC] With the Alpha Romeo Giulia Sprint 105 series, Alpha Romeo Use mega range thing to promote sales. And they were incredibly successful. They won the European touring co championship in '66, '67, '69 and 1970. And, the drivers were amazing. You The Dutchman tiny hessman. Then you could lock and rent the former one driver. They used this car to get a time in the tracks. They know that because former one driver used to drive sports cars as well. And the opportunity here, of course there was really special. He wasn't fooled by Alfro Romero in balano or Port Chessy, this is Phil. By the legendary Carlo Chiti of Autodelta, famously Carlo Chiti of the sharknose formula 1 Ferrari, perhaps the most beautiful formula 1 car ever built. Autodelta took the feel [UNKNOWN] I'd say from Alfa Romeo and riveted in aluminum, to make it much, much lighter. And that's what distinguishes the GTA, because it's got these funny bumps all the way down the drain channel of the windows. Which signifies that the aluminium's been riveted to being still. Now that didn't really make the car a lot stiffer, of course. In fact, they stopped doing it on the floor pan. But with a full roll cage they have the stiffness they needed, so they had a light, stiff car. Swiftly weighing round Around about 1,600 pounds, perhaps you even like her. And that's what makes the car great, that fantastic, delicious engine. Twin cam engine, and then this lightweight chassis. And I can see why [INAUDIBLE] enjoyed driving this, perhaps [INAUDIBLE] formula one car. [MUSIC] This particular Alfa GTA is the brilliant creation of Alfaholic A great workshop near Bristol. Alfaholics is the joint chief of two brothers, Max and Andrew Banks. It's a mecca for Alfa enthusiasts and one of the best places in the world to have a 1960s Alfa refreshed and renewed. With this car, Alfaholics have decided to create their idea of the perfect version. Of the Alpha GTA. They call it the Alpha GTA R290. It is perhaps the car that auto Delta would have made if they had the benefit of modern materials and technology. Andrew explains where they begin when bringing one of these classics into the modern age. We'll start off by taking the car right back to basics. So we typically strip the car right back to a shell and we start again. And our philosophy is re-engineering where appropriate, so we're looking to bring the car into the modern age but without detracting from the wonderful character of these cars. One area is the suspension. It's quite easy to make an improvement on the way the car handles and the way the car rides, but it's very important to retain the steering feel and the general feel of the car on the road. And that's what I think we've managed to achieve Catching the maximum performance from the GTA R2 90, have seen the Banks' brothers take weight loss to extremes. This car has bonded carbon doors, bonnet, and boot lid to reduce the weight of the whole car to 830 kilograms, around 1,800 pounds. With fuel injection and a modern ECU, the engine makes 240 brake horsepower. That gives the car a whopping 290 break horsepower per tonne. And as you know, a performance car is all about power to weight. An aluminium radiator and a light weight fuel tank are fitted As well as a full roll cage made of T45 hardened and tempered carbon manganese steel allowing for thinner walls and tubes. High specs, springs, and dampers, bigger breaks, lightweight titanium wishbones on the front, and a limited slip differential complete the improved specification. With this amount of love, And attention to detail. The Alfa GTA laps the Nordschleife in under eight minutes. Max tells me what it's like chasing a modern Porsche 911 GT3 around the Nurburgring. Nurburgring. Going round the Nurburgring chasing that 911, a lot of it was frustration of not quite having the power to get past it down the straights, but then find that it was holding us up through the corners and underbraking. And it's really when you follow these modern performance cars, you see how they struggle with the weight Places the car and that struggles to make them stop. Struggles to make them turn in the corner. It's where the Alpha feels so incredibly agile and competent in those areas. And that's what we see when we follow them. [MUSIC] We brought the Alpha to experts. [UNKNOWN]. It's the home of Lorna Doone, R.D. Blackmore's Victorian novel about the Doone gang who terrorized Somerset from the badge worthy rally and export. And Lorna of course [INAUDIBLE] Was kidnapped by them. She was taken as a toddler from a very wealthy family by the gang and she grew up as one of the dudes. But, Carpenter knew she was going to inherit massive amounts of money. But, she fell in love with John Riddle, a local farmer. And, in fact, they were going to get married in Allchurch And Carbon didn't realize that this was gonna happen and came in and shot Laurna and then ran out of the church and ran into the wilds of the fogs of Exmore. In fact fell down into a bog and was suffocated, and Laurna survived. I think the Alfa Romeo [UNKNOWN] is a bit like Laurna because the Alpha's got real breeding. And just like Lona, its an aristocrat but its also got real gas. [SOUND] The altitude spend combined shooting in style. When you buy a car, passion always rolls in the heart. The heart rolls over the mind. But interesting thing about the Alpha is it's also practical. You can even fit the kids in the back. And of course, it's a real performer. They use to advertise. The champion you drive to work. I think the Banks brothers, I think Max and Andrew are absolutely right to dedicate their lives to this car, to be/b passionate, to be passionate about the Alpha. And there's a saying isn't there? There's a saying that goes With that car, car's a mere machine. [MUSIC]