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First Coast Gears: Rare Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior on display at First Coast Car Council cruise-in

8:00 AM, Jan 26, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Mike Bell brought along his 1970 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior to last Saturday's First Coast Car Council cruise-in at River City Marketplace.

If you're an Alfa aficionado and thinking to yourself, I don't remember a 1970 GT 1300 Junior being sold in the U.S., you're right.  Mike, who is an air traffic controller at Naval Station Mayport, bought his during a tour of duty Naval Air Station Sigonella in Silicy. "It was my second time being over there and I always wanted to find an old Alfa to bring back," Bell said.

Bell's Alfa is part of the Giulia family.  The GT 1300 Junior was made from 1965-1977 but Bell said Afla stopped importing them to the U.S. in 1967.  The coupes came with a 1290 cc twin cam engine.

Bell's is in excellent shape with only about 56,000 kilometers showing (34,790 miles).  "It wasn't actually hard to find. I actually found it at a dealership within the neighborhood that I lived in, in Italy.  I keep it in the garage.  I just keep a car cover on it and just wipe it down and take it out to the shows."

The GT 1300 Junior was Alfa's entry level model.  Wikipedia quotes horsepower at 89 and a claimed top speed of over 100 mph.  Bell said other than having his interior redone, the car is still original, including his twin Weber carburetors, which he ads he has no problem keeping in sync.  "It's not really hard. I had a gentleman in Italy show me how to tweak it," Bell said of the carburetors.

While the Alfa-Romeo GT 1300 Junior was long ago relegated to automotive history, the future is looking brighter for U.S. Alfa fans.  In 2008 Alfa Romeo began importing a very limited run of 8C Competizione (less than 100) exotic coupes into the U.S. 

But the real news is from Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne. He announced at the Detroit Auto Show that Alfa will be returning to the U.S. market by year's end with the new 4C, which will be a lightweight two-seat mid-engine sports car that has styling cues from the 8C Competizione.  The new Dodge Dart also has Alfa-DNA.  It's based on the Alfa-Romeo Giulietta.

Alfa is also working on a next-generation Spider that is expected to be imported into the U.S. The development on the Spider is joint project between Alfa Romeo and Mazda. Mazda's version will be the next MX-5 Miata.

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