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Storie Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo
  - Giulia T.I. Super front side -
  - Giulia T.I. Super back side -
  - Giulia T.I. Super right side -
The Alfa "GiuliaTI Super" as seen by a grumbler.
by Aldo Farinelli

On 24th of May 1963 the sports version of the Giulia TI, the Giulia TI Super, was presented at the Monza racetrack. Reading through old magazines, a friend found this amusing article by Aldo Farinelli published in "Motor Italia" in the summer of 1963 and showed it to me.I couldn't help but share it with authentic Alfa enthusiasts.

The family of "Giuliettas" has been very prolific in variants, to the point that some accounting work is necessary if one wants to keep up to date with production catalogues. When the first Giulietta was launched our Magazine - enthusiastically praising the play on words for its relation with the name Romeo - expressed the wish that the romantic reference would not be spoilt by sub-distinctions and commercial acronyms which would have sounded almost sacriligious. We were not listened to: the technical success of the car suggested the exploitment of the name for further variants. The mild girl of the legend has cut her braids and has become a smart, shrewd, sporty young lady with many friends. She has practically lost her poetic association with her eternal lover, because crowds today love agility, also of the language, and to indicate the Portello Brand we stop at the first name , at Alfa, which for Romeo sounds like the Greek privative alpha. So, then we had Miss "Giulietta Alfa" who feared becoming an old maid.

-If only I had an elder sister to preserve my status of little sister! She confided to her parents one day. And so the "Giulia" was born. For the literary whim maniac, the name is pure heresy , perpetuating and commercializing a deformation and a misunderstanding. By now instead of a Miss Giulia we could have very well had a "Miss Antonietta", just as matronly. Or maybe they wanted to react to the previous romanticism with a touch of classicism: but then, why not Julia, in the Latin way, to match the Greek Alfa? Anyway, that's how things went and, as all names are nice if well borne, lets look at the substance. Not without adding that, after all, it is better to have a proper name rather than a trivial numeric acronym set to indicate the cubic displacement: evolution progresses while names remain, like some ladies that in their fifties are still called "Baby". In addition, Giulia having cottoned on, and forseen even before being born the reckless tastes of its clients, even skipped childhood and gave herself a superior nickname: Giulia TI" that is "Turismo Internazionale", on the assumption that we are all lambs within our borders and lions on the great international roads. Well, for us Italians it is the opposite but it doesn't really matter. The "T.I." used so far to indicate a car which leaves its cubic displacement mates way behind sounds well and distinctive. Somebody said "why don't we suppress the last train coach as nobody likes it? Why don't we suppress all those cars without features of excellence? No sooner said than done. All of the above is appropriate today that Alfa has launched a new variant of "Giulia" even more excellent for its features of brilliance, sportiness. That word has slipped but it is sacrosant: even if sport contrasts with that "T.I." which, although "international", is still "tourism". As Alfa Romeo could not retrace its steps, a higher grade of excellence was added to the "T.I.": the new car will be "Giulia T.I. Super". A Latin word which simply means "above".

The difficult task is yet to come, as it has already been found out that this devil of an engine of the Super still has margins for a further increase in power and speed, that is for a further third type (fourth, if we count the basic "Giulia", which does not exist). What would they call this extra-super-sprint? Are car drivers really so childish that they have to play with this inflation of epithets? This recalls the case of the Italian railways which, after having created "accelerated", "direct", "superdirect", "express", "great European express", "luxury" and "flash" trains, one day to indicate the first actually fast train they called it "rapid". The new "Giulia T.I.Super" is therefore a "rapid" of the Alfa Romeo production. It differs from the "Giulia T.I.", that our readers know very well, in many details, to the point that it results in a car substantially new for character and performance (for the latter, not always in a positive sense). Overall, it is a much lighter (15% less in weight) and more powerful (21%) car. Actual power is of 112HP DIN (129 SAE) at 6,000 rpm which, for a 910 Kg vehicle, gives a below 8 Kg per HP ratio, decidedly sportier than touristic. In fact the top speed declared by the Maker is of "over 185 Km per hour": too fast for a light car of ordinary wheelbase and height. And the acceleration is even more spectacular, to delight all young Italians, to whom the car with the "cloverleaf" on its sides, symbol of nobility noblesse, is destined. The lightening and the sportier "tone" have been obtained above all to the detriment of the body, simplified and deprived of any trimmings or superfluous accessory: with front bucket seats and the rear windows replaced by fixed plexiglass panels: in addition adopting rims in elektron alloy which allows a 30% weight saving on steel rims)., suppressing the soundproofing of the shell and supplying the gearbox with a short and direct cloche type lever.

To contrast with the spartan sobriety of the new car lay-out (also to justify the price, increased to Itl.2,525,000) there are not only the technical refinements introduced to increase the engine power output but also an unusual and convenient -albeit expensive- assortment of gear ratios available to the customers. In fact two different sets of gears are offered as an option for the five speeds of the gearbox, besides the normal ratios of the "T.I." (3.30 - 1.99 - 1.35 - 1.00 - 0.79), a closer gear ratio (2.54 -1.70 - 1.25 - 1.00 - 0.86) is available. For the hypoid final drive 5.125:1 (ratio of the ordinary "T.I.") and 3.72: hence a customized car for any use. Among the other features there are no variations in the engine size: 78mm bore by 82mm stroke, equal to 1,570cc but increased compression ratio, from 9:1 to 9.7:1. The V angle head valves are driven by two overhead cams which act upon tappets. Fed by two double barrel carburettors, with acceleration pump. Maximum torque does not seem outstanding: 13.5 kgm at 3,500 rpm but it is to be said that such output is steady, remaining around 13 Kgm (DIN) from 3,000 to 5,000 rpm. This is probably the most "touristic" feature maintained in this lively car, which, starting from the front seats, hampered by the side supports certainly does not offer the most comfortable access. But on the altar of the spirit of sport, even this ends up being only marginal.

As said, the body measures are fairly ordinary: maximum length of 4100mm, width of 1560, wheelbase of 2510, track of 1310 (front) and 1270 (rear); 155x15 tyres. Drum brakes all round, three self-braking shoes at the front and two self-braking shoes at the rear. Also conservative are the suspensions: indipendent wishbones at the front and a semi-floating rear axle, attached by rubber bushed radius arms, rubber buffers and a reaction trunnion at the rear with vertical coil springs and anti-emulsion co-axial telescopic dampers. For the steering-box the options are recirculating ball steering or worm and cam steering. The oil cooler is another option. As a whole, the car is a technical success, perfectly adhering to the programme of very brilliant, impetuous, delightful performances to satisfy the traditional Alfa customers. With a fuel consumption which is not prohibitive (at least as long as you do not ask for a permanent output close to the maximum, it can give first class enjoyment, and quick, safe overtaking which, in the hands of sensible drivers is a good feature.

al. far.
(Aldo Farinelli)

(From Motor Italia no 63 - Summer 1963)

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