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Profiles from the October, 2004 Issue
1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI
Although collectible 1960s Alfas are known primarily as sleek spiders and elegant coupes, those in the know will tell you the blandly styled “square-rigged” sedans are the most fun to drive

As described by the seller on eBay Motors: This ’65 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI is very original and unmolested. For a 40-year-old car, it is in great condition. It idles, runs and drives well. It also looks very nice. It’s lived its whole life in California and Arizona and it is rust-free. There appears to be no large body damage or repairs. The paint is in the original color, but has been re-sprayed sometime in the past and is getting rather thin in several places. Also, the rear bumper has some pitting and should be re-chromed. It looks fine for a driver, but the paint and chrome could be improved. It has a 1,600-cc engine, single carburetor, as original. The engine had a rebuild in the last few years and is healthy. The five-speed tranny shifts smoothly with no grinding and stays in gear. The brakes are good and the engine runs cool. Tires are period correct for the car and in good condition with lots of tread left. The car is reliable enough to use as a daily driver, though the speedo does not work. I have an NOS replacement that goes with the car. Actual mileage is unknown.

  The SCM Analysis 
Details
Years Produced1962-1967
Number Produced 71,148
Original List Price$2,927
SCM Valuation $4,500-$7,500
Tune-up Cost$275
Distributor Caps$18
Chassis # Locationengine compartment on firewall
Engine # Locationstamped on boss right side near distributor
Club InfoAlfa Romeo Owners Club of America, 10 Raskin Road, Morristown, NJ 07960
Websiteclick to visit
Alternatives1963-1973 Lancia Fulvia berlina, 1962-1967 Chevrolet Nova
Investment GradeC-

This car was sold for $6,500 on eBay Motors on July 18, 2004, when the auction (#2484982020) was ended using the “Buy It Now” option. The Giulia TI berlina (TI for Tourismo International, and berlina for four-door sedan) was introduced in 1962, replacing the Giulietta-based, 101 series Giulia as the first model on Alfa Romeo’s new 105 series chassis. This platform would provide the basis of the superb line of small Alfas for the following 13 years, most notably the Duetto and the GTV. While the sleek spiders and elegant coupes of this era are undoubtedly the best known and most desirable to collectors, those in the know will tell you the blandly styled “square-rigged” sedans are the Alfas that are the most fun to drive. Why? Because you get the legendary twin-cam four and slick five-speed gearbox, but in a package that’s better balanced than either of the sportier body styles. The additional weight over the rear end of the berlina plants its live axle better during cornering, and neither the coupe nor spider can beat it for pure “tossability” on a winding road. However, looks are not a strong point of any Alfa sedan of the period, and this one is no exception. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to imagine anyone calling the Giulia TI “attractive.” The best that can be said here is that the car is brutally functional, and unlike its stablemates, the berlina does provide room for four real adults and their luggage. While it may have looked like a brick on wheels, scientific measurement of the aerodynamics told a different story. Careful attention to the shaping of the fenders, wheel openings, windows, roof, and trunk lid resulted in an impressive drag coefficient of 0.33. This was not only better than the shapelier Alfas of the period, but it wasn’t matched by a production sedan until the Audi 5000 of the late 1970s. The wind-cheating lines of the berlina contributed greatly to the success of the TI’s racing variant, the legendary TI Super. Just 501 of these factory hot rods were built between 1963-1964, with a 155-hp, dual-carb engine and four-wheel disc brakes. They were potent racing weapons and spawned the most desirable regular production variant of the Giulia sedans, the twin-carb Giulia Super of 1965-1972, a cult car if there ever was one. The car pictured here, however, is the initial and basic single-carb version, with just 104 horsepower. Its ribbon speedometer and steering wheel horn ring are dowdy compared to round instruments of the later Super. Originally built with its five-speed shifter on the column, our feature car has at least been converted to the later floor shift. As in every Italian car of this period, the amount of rust in the floor panels, trunk, suspension and rear axle mounting points are the key to its viability. Since these cars will rust anywhere that’s not a desert, and there is no economic sense in “restoring” a berlina (unless it is one of the TI Supers, and even then you’d best start with a darn nice car), it is likely that you will find either poorly executed patch panels or just the typical large holes in many cars. Mechanically, the twin-cam engine is robust, with its only bad habit a tendency toward having weak head gaskets. Pre-1967 cars are equipped with corrosion-prone Dunlop brakes, though many of these have already been converted to the better, later ATE braking system. The gearbox, while slick, can suffer from worn second-gear synchros (you quickly get used to skipping the one-two shift when the transmission is cold) and in more severe situations this can even cause the gear lever to pop out of engagement. Interior trim is difficult to obtain, with most of the reproduction kits being made for the more popular coupes and spiders. The quality of the original vinyl was quite good, and generally the weakest part of the seats is the stitching and foam padding, which dries out. (Both of these problems are easily rectified.) Alfa sedans suffer from the same dash top cracking as their more sporting siblings, and often from the indignities of extra holes cut into the doors and kick panels for aftermarket stereo speakers. This car looks to be in good condition, and the seller has specifically addressed the two biggest potential issues in the description, overheating from a blown head gasket and a worn gearbox. I would have liked to see the seller fix the speedometer before unloading the car, especially considering that he already had the part. Even so, the price paid here seems about right, with the more potent Giulia Super listed in the SCM Price Guide at $8,000-10,000 and the ultimate TI Super at $15,000-20,000. For about half the cost of a new Honda Civic sedan, this Alfa’s new owner gets a similarly practical, vintage four-door and the right to say he drives a sporting Italian automobile from a legendary automaker. Not a bad deal in my book. (Historical and descriptive information courtesy of the auction company.)-Donald Osborne


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