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.
MORE FROM FIRST COAST GEARS
Corvette has a strong following along the First Coast
Chevrolet unveils 2014 Corvette Stingray
Sweet ride: An American IronHorse from Arlington
More aggressive VW Beetle R-Line debuts for 2013
Local car shows: What's coming in 2013
December Historic Springfield Main Street Cruise
GMC celebrates 111 years of pickup trucks
Next-gen Camaro will be built in U.S., New Mustang and Barracuda also coming in 2015
GM shows off 2014 Silverado & Sierra
December Main St. cruise
Calendar Worthy Invitational Car Show
Cars & Coffee gets new home, Big George car show
Wife searches for 2 years to find the perfect Corvette for her husband
72 Corvettes kick off Turkey Run
Chevy will sell a real life Hot Wheels Camaro
A Fiero lover gets a second change to own his favorite
'Motor Trend' names Tesla Model S as Car of the Year
A whale of a convertible comes out to play at River City Marketplace
'Devilish' Dart defies Dodge's '73 name change decision
Main Street Cruise: Georgia/Florida edition
Sibling Rivalry Car Show
Exotics at Cars for out Troops Show included a Gozilla-sized showing of GT-Rs
The almost unbelievable true-story of an all original barn-find '64 Fairlane
Chevrolet announces debut of next-generation Corvette
Cadillac's electric plug-in hybrid ELR coupe to be built in Detroit
Isles of Faith UMC car show & festival
Classics on display to benefit Ronald McDonald House
2013 Beetle convertible makes its debut
Bill Ulrich's Corvair Spyder convertible is a pristine example of America's flirtation with air-cooled engines
'68 Lincoln Continental still cruises with style
Southside Businessmen's Club Car & Bike Show at Hooters
Next generation Beetle convertible makes its debut
Cadillacs don't get much rarer than these two
10th Annual Ponte Vedra Car Show | Slideshow
'Car star' from 'The Vampire Diaries' makes an appearance
The Shelby GT500 Super Snake adds more venom for 2013
Living the dream: 5 racing Porsches delivered in Jacksonville
Battle of the police cruisers
Ferraris and football
Wings 'N' Wheels
Future classics dominate Cars & Coffee
One Westside family's journey with a 1957 Bel Air
$100,000 1960 Chevy Biscayne Sedan Delivery, the ultimate "grocery getter"
New classic car festival planned for Fernandina Beach
Porsches were the stars at People's Choice Concours
Cruisers return to Main Street in Springfield
A one-off Camry wagon coupe and customized Ford Thunderbird make for an eclectic mix
Fruit Cove cruise-in