Jan 15, 2018

Bought in 60 Seconds: Ole and his 1970 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior

I have to admit Hamburg is one of my favourite cities in Germany: good vibes, nice surroundings and of course A LOT OF CLASSICS CARS! During one of my visits to the city my best friend from Berlin, Martin kindly introduced me to Ole and his wonderful Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior. Maybe you‘ve already recognized the location where we shot the car – it’s one of the most famous bridges on Instagram and was captured by many famous Instagrammers and photographers. It was my first time on this bridge and also my first time shooting an Alfa Romeo.
I asked Ole some questions about the story behind this good example of the golden Bertone era. I hope you enjoy it!

Tell me about you and your Alfa

I’m Ole and I’m a journalist working as an editor, who loves classic cars, especially from the ‘60s until the ‘70s.

My Alfa is like a time capsule, It brings me not only from A to B, it’s something like a mobile room to meditate. Sometimes I go to the garage, just to worship the beauty of its shape and details created by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone. The car is much admired by whoever sees it.

After so many years, I believe I’m able to recognize the odour when the engine oil has got correct temperature. I also feel due to vibrations when it runs smoothly at its right cruising speed. My car has got a soul, to which I fell connected somehow. Alfa introduced the GT 1300 Junior in 1966, it was the year of my birth. The car was first registered in Italy on 18. 12. 1970, exactly the same day 30 years later I got my German papers.

How did you come across the Alfa Romeo?

It was bought in like 60 seconds, when I got the eagerly awaited call of my Hamburg dealer from his Italian search and shopping tour from Padua back in November 2000: “Hi Ole, I found your Alfa, neither a 1600, 1750 or 2000 or a step-front model and also not as desired in Pino Verde but in Rosso Amaranto AR 509. It looks solid and I would drive it back on own axes from northern Italy, then you’ll know it’s running. So please decide now.”

During that time, I just rescued my beloved first car, an Alfasud, also designed by Giugiaro, from a safe junkyard death by giving it away to a mechanic for free, with the condition that the car would be restored.

For the first time in my life, I had saved a little bit of money as a freelance journalist, after a long and somehow unsuccessful period of study, and trying to be a rockstar, it has just been my first year in permanent employment as an editor for Hörzu, a German television magazine, which I’m still working for them nowadays. So, finally, this 1970 Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior in that way, became, without being seen -thanks to instinct and soul – the second dream car of my youth that I had.

What condition was the car in when you bought it?

For 19,000 Deutschmark I finally got: a reasonably solid body in stock, all original condition with matching numbers engine, a neat, spartan interior – a car with only 81,000 km from new that had two previous owner, the first one for 29 years and a set of never used before original Magnesium Campagnolo rims from the GTA, which I still own today. But for everyday traffic, I replaced them with the aluminium copies last year. And I got the insight, that the rather rare Amaranto colour gives it an incredible elegance, especially in combination with the light brown artificial leather interior.

In 17 years of driving it, I upgraded my 1300 with 123 electronic ignitions, which maintained the classic appearance but increased the engine performance to better than ever, lowered it a bit and improved stance also with the GTA wheels and Bilstein gas pressure shock absorbers. Meanwhile I have completely revised the floor assembly and rear wheel arches, had to replace both sills because of rust inside and fitted all original new seat covers recently, and of course, I made some other minor improvements and repairs due to everyday use.

What do you enjoy most about the GT 1300?

A drive, with open side windows through the Elbtunnel without using the radio – that sound! What’s also great is its size. Like a tight-fitting Italian suit.

Often, I only drive to feel the mechanics, to hear the engine and to notice that you stand out of the crowd with something beautiful in motion.

What’s your favourite detail of the car?

My favorite details are the filigree c-pillar, the small Carello tail lights, and my crumbling period correct Autosonik rear speaker – I will let it fade with the driver.

The very often underrated Junior version of the 105 series coupés with minimalist single headlights grill and less chrome, for me, appears to be the purest form of Bertone’s iconic sportscar layout. 89 bhp meet 930 kg – feels more than adequate for me.

Is there any other car you would like to have?

I have a short list in mind: Renault 5 Turbo 2, Cisitalia 202, Alfa Tipo 33 Stradale and of course all 105 series GTAs for their speed and beauty and – I’ll be probably alone with that – a Reliant Scimitar GTE Shooting Brake for more space. But as a child of the Eighties, who grew up near the Volkswagen factory in Emden with practical boxes like the VW Golf/Rabbit or Passat, I always had that soft spot for Alfas, especially to the Giulia range.

Ole, having a serious conversation with his car after our interview:

I want to remind the Alfa of our agreement: Do not ever let me die in Bremen again! It is still not entirely clear whether the saintly figures assembled in the rearview mirror from all the countries I have been – hmm, Ibiza mainly – or the cleaning of the sooty spark plugs was the salvation at this year’s Christmas road disaster and the many times before. Maybe it was the Reiki energy that my girlfriend sent my little Alfa. I know you got a soul!

Follow Ole and his projects

Tumblr: Streetfightingcars

Instagram: Autolandish 

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