Autodelta was founded in 1963 by former Ferrari engineers Carlo Chiti and Ludovico Chizzola as an independent company for race-car development and preparation. At this time Alfa Romeo intended to enhance their engagement in international racing series and were therefore searching for the right external partner. Due to their reputation and Chiti’s good relations to Alfa’s decision makers, Autodelta was entrusted with the race-car development project. In 1964 Autodelta became a società per azioni – a publicly listed company in Italy. When Autodelta moved from Udine to Milan - to facilitate the logistics for Alfa Romeo - Chizzola sold his shares since he preferred to stay in his home town north of Udine. When Alfa Romeo took over all shares in the Autodelta S.p.A. in 1965, Autodelta became the official Alfa Romeo Works Racing Team with Carlo Chiti as managing director.
After the development of the Alfa Romeo TZ1 and TZ2, Alfa Romeo wanted to successfully race in the production-model based European Touring Car Series for Group 2 cars. Therefore, Autodelta started development of a lighter and more powerful variant of the Giulia Sprint GT: the Giulia Sprint Gran Turismo Alleggerita (GTA). In February 1965, at the Auto salon of Amsterdam, the Giulia Sprint GTA was presented to the public. Chiti and his team substituted a lot of parts of the Sprint GT’s full steel body with aluminium alloy parts made from Peraluman. Besides the complete outer body shell - apart from the sills - all the following parts were made from Peraluman: the outer door shell, the bonnet, the boot lid, the air deflector, the dash board support panel, the spare tire tray, the rear inner panel, the number plate bracket, the bracket for the optional oil cooler and the front floor panels upon special order and with most Autodelta prepared cars. Combined with the lightened interior trim, a dry weight of only 745 kg was achieved – 205 kg lighter than a standard Sprint GT!
The proven 1570 cc inline four-cylinder engine was used in a similar development stage as the ones installed in the Tubolare Zagatos – with dual ignition and increased compression on the Corsa GTA engines. The engine blocks were made out of aluminium; the valve cover, the front engine cover, the bell housing, the rear gearbox cover and the oil sump were made from Elektron, a magnesium alloy. The competition engines reached a maximum power output of 160 hp in the beginning – later around 175 hp. The Autodelta cars were first fully constructed at the Alfa Romeo Arese plant and then completely rebuild at Autodelta’s premises in Settimo Milanese with the following specs: balancing and polishing of all engine components, lightening of the fly wheel, installation of a special steel crankshaft with eight counter weights, installation of an oil cooler and oil catch tank, installation of a lowered oil pan, installation of a short exhaust system exiting on the left side under the driver’s door, relocation of the battery into the trunk, installation of a lightweight windshield and installation of a rear axle with ZF limited slip differential made from special steel. On specific cars the steel floor panels were substituted with Peraluman panels.
Close to 500 GTA’s were built between 1965 and 1969 with only approximately 28 original Autodelta factory team cars of which probably only half of those still exist today. These Autodelta factory team GTAs are the most important variant of a Gran Turismo Alleggerita. Our car, chassis number AR613091, was fully built up with the factory team specification, including its Peramuman floor panels, and was first registered to Autodelta S.p.A. on February 7th 1967. Its 1st race was at the 1968 ADAC Nurburgring 6 hours where it was driven by factory driver Teodore Zeccoli. It was then sold to its 1st private owner Nicolo Ortugno who raced the car at the 1968 Coppa Leopoldi Carri in Monza finishing 6th in class. In January 1972, #613091 was sold to a Sienna-based owner who sold the car in 1974 to mechanic Francesco d’Angelo (Enna, Italy). D’Angelo kept the car for 12 years until he sold it in November 1986 to German based Salvatore Angirillo who would become its next long-term owner. Angirillo raced the car locally from 1987 to 1990 (detailed race history is in the car’s accompanying ONS Wagenpass) and then sold it in 2006 to its current owner. A full restoration including engine and gearbox rebuild was done by TG Motorsport in 2014. The car was then raced sparingly in a few U2TC and German Historic Touring car races after which is was put aside in 2020. As evidenced by the pictures, this Autodelta GTA-racer – which comes with a spare set of wheels - is in excellent condition but will need a go-through with new fluids, fuel cell, belts and seat before it goes racing again.
AR613091 provides a rare opportunity to own an ex-Autodelta Alfa Romeo GTA with impeccable provenance, few owners from new which can either be enjoyed in the many historic race and rally events while also belonging in any discerning Alfa Romeo collection.