Original Restoration by Richard Banks 1990-1992
Built by Alfa Romeo on 21st July 1965, supplied to Alfa Romeo GB. It was sold in August 1967 by Cambridge Alfa dealers, Maloney & Rhodes, complete with dark blue paint work and a full length sunroof!
I bought the car in 1990 from its second owner, a Polish Spitfire pilot, who had owned the car for 20 years.
Some years before, he had managed to put the car into a ditch near his holiday home in Spain and left it to fester in a damp garage with pretty dire consequences. It arrived back in England on the back of a recovery truck in desperate need of love and attention.
In addition to a period on the body jig, fibreglass sills, front and rear spoilers, damaged and corroded panels all had to be removed. The rolling frame was repaired with new outer sills and rear middle wheel arches then blasted and painted, before being delivered for the aluminium work to be carried out. All the panels that were re-usable were pop riveted back onto the frame. The sunroof hole was filled in! Both doors, boot and bonnet were re-skinned. The front and rear valances were re-made and the front and rear wings on the right hand side repaired, due to both damage and corrosion. The left side of the car that had borne the brunt of the accident required new wings. Luckily I had a rear wing, acquired some years before, and a new front one was made on the car.
The completed bodyshell was then returned to my paintshop for painting in its original colour of AR501. While all this was being carried out, I turned my attention to the interior as the car had arrived back in England with 2000GTV dashboard, a broken steering wheel, pendant pedals from an RHD Alfetta and Sud front seats. Luckily it still retained its original back seats and door panels, complete with GTA thin chrome trims! My trimmers were able to copy the front seats from my left hand drive 1600 GTA (which I was selling to finance the RHD project) and trim the interior with grey leather, pedantically doing the front seat perforations with a needle by hand.
Mechanically the car was mainly 2000GTV when I bought it – engine, LSD axle, brakes and front uprights, tho’ fortunately still retaining its original close ratio gearbox. The lightweight front uprights, unique to the 1600 GTA, I already had and I decided to retain the 2000GTV brakes, being superior to the original Dunlop ones. (I had those too). Not having a GTA engine at the time, I opted for a ’75 Twin Spark, running on 2 x 45 Webers and a GTA twin plug distributor, this must at the time have been about the very first Alfa 75 engine installation into a 105 series body, a conversion that since we have become the leading experts at! I substituted the 4.1 axle of the GTV for the slightly lower 4.3 ratio of the Berlina to give better acceleration and make a more suitable ratio for fast road and trackday use.
In 1995, I finally got around to fitting the correct GTA engine and axle and put the 2 litre Twin Spark into our first GTA Replica which Andrew used to road, race and rally and ultimately to win Top Hat and GTA Challenge races in 2002. That engine is now on mapped ignition and being used on the road in GTA Replica number 2. A development of this engine will be used by Maxim in Replica number 3, soon to be completed for road and track day use.