To race in touring car championships the world over, Alfa Romeo had their racing wing create the GTA. It was basically a lightened and more powerful version of the Giulia GT production car. Strong preparation by Autodelta helped the car eventually win two European touring car championships.
The GTA was named after the process of lightening the body, also known as alleggerita in Italian. Most of the weight savings came from a new aluminum outer body that was bonded and riveted to a standard steel shell. The side windows and rear window were also replaced with plexi-glass. Futhermore, many components used exotic materials like magnesium in the wheels and other castings. This diet brought the weight down from 2200 to 1630 lbs.
Under the hood was a new twin spark cylinder head and 45 mm carburetors. This was initially prepared in 1.6-liter form and produced close to 170 hp. A short-stroke variant of this engine was used in the GTA 1300 Junior to compete with the Mini Cooper S. It used a 1.3-liter engine that could produce 163 hp with Autodelta’s special fuel injection. Some road-going stradale versions of the Junior were made, but without many of the exceptional weight saving features.
GTAs were first produced by Autodelta in 1965 under the experienced direction of Carlo Chiti. The car was launched at the Amsterdam Motor Show, and later went on to win a successful streak of touring car races.