1973 Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior - A sight for sore eyes
Alfa Romeos were once officially distributed by Sime Darby but that all ended in 2013. Once even the official car for the Malaysian Police Department, the brand's official presence has just faded away from Malaysia. Hence, seeing a car like this 1973 Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior is a rare occasion.
Often seen as a romantic and insensible choice for a car, one requires a certain passion for the Italian marque to truly appreciate it.
The Alfa Romeo GT is a pleasure to look at. Even with the usual quad-light design of its era, it is easily distinguished from everything else.
The curves are subtle and meet harmoniously at the edges of the body. The front fenders bulge slightly, giving the car a feint muscular appearance.
Inside, the Alfa Romeo GT 1600 Junior is a bit claustrophobic. The dash configuration is unique and there’s not much going on at the gauge cluster. You get the odometer, tachometer, and an oil pressure gauge. That’s about it. The water temperature gauge, fuel gauge, and some warning lights are spread across the length of the dashboard.
Fuel and water temperature gauge of the GT
No airbags here
The parking light and windscreen wipers are operated via flick switches
An ashtray on the driver's door.
The gear lever is way up near the dash and it is part of a 5-speed standard manual transmission, the headrests are at a fixed position, and the roof lining looks like it belongs on the inside of a suitcase.
The assist grips are spring loaded, but not in a modern car kind of manner. Being inside the car is a unique experience itself, and perhaps it’s the reason why some of us like old Alfa Romeos.
The twin cam engine
The Twin Cam by Alfa Romeo (107.5 bhp) has an aluminium alloy engine block, twin carburettors, double overhead cams, 4 cylinders, and 2 valves per cylinder.
Alfa’s twin cam 4 cylinder has a melodious sound, and the rumble is better enhanced with a proper sports exhaust. Peaking under the hood of this Italian classic is a pleasant experience.
You are first greeted by the unique front-hinged bonnet and then you see the ‘Alfa Romeo’ wordings proudly cast onto the cam cover.
If you noticed something a little off with this GT 1600 Junior, yes, the taillights are from a 2000 GTV. Some retrofitting had to be done due to lack of resources.
I like the way this Alfa Romeo GT looks – nice clean edges, simple overall design, and very, very Italian.
Although not the same model, it pleases me to see that similar profile in an absolutely proper restomod done by Alfaholics, named the Alfaholics GTA-R.
Special thanks to Michael from Chemlube for offering his car for a photoshoot