This Alfa Romeo GT Junior is one of the more recent Retropower projects to have been completed and sent off into the world, and it’s also one of the most striking, a result of its paintwork, unique interior and somewhat left field choice of power plant.
The brief underpinning the build itself was fairly open-ended in nature, with the owner instead opting to set out a number of key requirements. The Alfa had to be both willing and able to go sideways at the drop of a hat, had to be naturally aspirated, and the portion of the brief which was to prove trickiest to fulfil, he wanted it to be “faster around a track than any M-badged BMW.” Pressure? What pressure.
The need to meet these criteria saw us source and fit a Millington Diamond engine, a 2.7L NA screamer of an engine with a whisker under 300bhp and the ability to rev to high heaven, precisely the kind of attributes you want in a project of this kind. This was then paired with a Sadev six-speed gearbox and a Sierra Cosworth rear end, complete with aftermarket Limited Slip Differential – a setup intended to give owners of the aforementioned ‘M-cars’ sleepless nights.
Much of our time was spent attempting to further refine the Alfa’s already keen handling by reducing its unsprung weight and roll-centre. This is how Nat found himself in an increasingly familiar position, lying under the car working out how best to devise a custom rear suspension layout, a skill he’s also employed on our Gordon Murray Mk1 Escort. Effectively a modified De Dion tubular arrangement, this setup was selected as it represented the most effective means of reducing the Alfa’s roll centre without also diluting the live-axle derived handling which helped make this car such a hoot to drive when new.
Retropower projects have long been about more than just engine swaps though, which is why we spent just as long perfecting the Alfa’s interior and bodywork. The former saw two contrasting kinds of leather woven together before being carefully applied to select areas of the interior, including (amongst others) the Recaro Pole Position bucket seats, door cards, dash. You’ll also find custom leather work on the transmission tunnel and the rear bulkhead, both of which can be easily removed via press studs if required. Leather covered mounting boxes can also be found upon each footwell panel, home to the master cylinder and brake bias valve (drivers’ side), and the battery and fuse-box (passengers’ side) respectively.
As for the bodywork, well, that provided us with another golden opportunity to further reduce the Alfa’s overall weight through the use of composites – the boot, bonnet and doors are all rendered in carbon fibre, while the boot floor is an all alloy affair. As to the colour, that’s actually VW Phoenix Blue tweaked, a shade selected to accentuate the GT’s iconic good looks without detracting from what must be one of the prettiest shapes to have ever emerged from Milan.
Scroll down to check out some of our build pictures.