The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638
Lot 35
1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone Registration no. LWY 39D Chassis no. AR 752638
Sold for £ 180,700 (US$ 229,791) inc. premium

Lot Details
The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638 The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell,1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA  Chassis no. AR 752638
The ex-Tommy Clapham, Geoff Breakell
1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GTA
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone

Registration no. LWY 39D
Chassis no. AR 752638

* Rare factory-built Alfa Romeo competition car
* Right-hand drive
* In-period race history
* Recently overhauled and upgraded in Italy
* Valid HTP

Footnotes

  • Introduced in 1965, the GTA (the 'A' stood for Alleggerita - lightened) was the official competition version of the Giulia Sprint GT and was produced in both road and race variants. The latter, as usual, was the responsibility of the factory's Autodelta competitions department, which had been founded in 1961 as an independent company by Carlo Chiti and Ludovico Chizzola, and subsequently absorbed by Alfa Romeo.

    Visually almost indistinguishable from the road-going Sprint GT, the GTA differed by virtue of its aluminium body panels, Plexiglas side and rear windows, and lightened interior fittings and trim. As a result the GTA tipped the scales at around 200 kilograms lighter than the stock steel-bodied car. Alfa's classic twin-cam 1,570cc four underwent extensive modification for the GTA, the angle between the valves being reduced from 90 to 80 degrees and the valve sizes substantially increased; there no longer being room between them for a central spark plug, a change was made to twin-plug ignition. In road trim the revised engine produced 115bhp with up to 170 horsepower available in race tune.

    The GTA made its racing debut on 20th March 1966 at Monza where Andrea de Adamich and Teodoro Zeccoli triumphed in the Jolly Club Four-Hour Race. From then on the Autodelta-prepared GTAs enjoyed outstanding success, winning the European Touring Car Championship three years running from 1966-68. The Championship's 1,300cc class had long been the preserve of the Mini Cooper but that would all change in 1968 with the arrival of the GTA 1300 Junior, which for the next few years would enjoy dominance equal to that of the Mini in the early 1960s.

    This particular car, chassis number '752638', was delivered new to Alfa Romeo dealership owner and racing entrant, Tommy Clapham. Driven by Geoff Breakell of Keighley, Yorkshire, this car won the BRSCC Snetterton two-hour endurance event on 9th July 1967, as reported in 'Motor' magazine and 'Autosport' - including a photograph - the following week. Remarkably, the front page of the 'Daily Express' of Monday 29th May 1967 featured that day's Oulton Park meeting, under the heading 'Roses car bids to beat Italians', relating how Messrs Clapham and Breakell were taking the fight to the official Alfa team. The story shared the front page with an article headlined 'A proud welcome – well done Sir Francis', celebrating Sir Francis Chichester's completion of his single-handed around-the-world voyage.

    The immediately preceding owner – respected preparation specialist and racer Nick Smith of Swallow Engineering fame – acquired the GTA, which was in need of work, in the late 1990s. Its previous ownership list included Tommy Clapham, David Prophet, C Roberts, and Nils Peter Nielsen. Nick Smith restored the car to racing specification, retaining many of the original components including the sliding-block rear suspension and magnesium cam covers. We understand the car is effectively to Autodelta specification with some Autodelta items incorporated. With most circuits running clockwise, right-hand drive as provided here is the ideal configuration. In 2007 the engine was freshened up and 'topped and tailed', the block being replaced while retaining the original cylinder head. Nick Smith actively campaigned the GTA in the early/mid 2000s in both the UK and Continental Europe.

    The immediately preceding owner purchased '752638' at Bonhams' sale at Olympia, London in December 2007 (Lot 655). Its new owner kept the car in the UK for the following racing season and the beginning of 2009, and raced it with Nick Smith as co-driver in various events of the Masters Series in the UK and in Belgium (Spa Francorchamps). During that period a spare engine was purchased from Nick Smith and has since been rebuilt (see following Lot).
    In the late spring of 2009 the GTA was brought to Italy in time for that year's Coppa Intereuropa at Monza, and was raced regularly thereafter until 2015 in various events of the Campionato Italiano Autostoriche and Alfa Revival Cup in Italy and France (La Ronde du Ventoux). The car's most recent racing success was at Mugello during the Alfa Revival Cup in April 2014 (1st in Period F Touring Cars). It has not been raced extensively since then and holds a valid HTP for 'Competition Touring Cars – Period F', issued by the MSA in the UK on 22/8/2012.

    While in Italy, the GTA was completely overhauled and extensively upgraded mechanically by Alfa Delta, the renowned specialist of post-war racing Alfa Romeos, and its on-track performance has significantly improved. Alfa Delta completely rebuilt the engine with a new cylinder head while retaining the original twin-spark distributor, Weber 45 DCOE carburettors, magnesium oil pan and engine covers. Other works included overhauling the gearbox; installing a new competition clutch; fitting a stainless steel exhaust system; and reconditioning or replacing the suspension, brakes, steering box, and rear axle (9/43). In addition, the original Campagnolo magnesium wheels were powder coated, and a new roll cage, racing seats, and safety belts installed. The car also has a lightweight racing gel battery. Cost of the aforementioned works was circa €60,000.

    Since 2016, the Alfa has had a new owner in the UK; its most recent outing was in 2016/2017 when, following a professional check over, it completed some 10 shakedown laps at Silverstone. Presented in generally very good mechanical condition and ready for racing, the GTA comes with the majority of its original bodywork (wings have been replaced over time) and original Plexiglas side and rear windows. '752638' is offered with some special components from its 1960s racing history, which have been kept with it for almost 50 years: the Autodelta sliding block (recently disassembled in order to obtain a 'Period F' HTP); the original racing exhaust; the original large-capacity fuel tank used in long endurance races; and the original aluminium air intake. The car also comes with a UK V5 registration document and the aforementioned HTP papers.

    Surviving Alfa Romeo GTAs are rarely offered for sale and are much sought after in racing trim because of their continuing competitiveness in Historic events. An appreciating modern classic and tremendous fun to drive, '752638' represents a rare opportunity to purchase a right-hand drive GTA possessing in-period racing history.
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