Racing and Special Uses
Most of the 200,000 Berlinas built were sold as regular everyday sedans to private owners in various countries around the world. However, a few Berlinas did get put to several different special uses, requiring special body modifications. Like their Giulia forebears, Berlinas were used as police cars, at least in Malaysia, according to David Owen in "Alfissimo," and probably also in Italy. Perhaps in other countries as well. These police cars typically had special contrasting paint, "POLICE" in large letters in the appropriate language, emergency lights, and probably special police radios and other communications equipment. It is also possible these cars had uprated electrical systems and performance modifications. Above is pictured a modern replica 2000 of an Italian Berlina Carabinieri put together by Ake Nyberg in 2001 in Sweden.
In addition, "Alfa Romeo Giulia" by Giancarlo Catarsi (G. Nada, 1995) describes a variant of the 1750 Berlina, a "1750 Giardinetta Veloce" produced by Carrozzeria Pavesi. Paraphrasing roughly from the Italian text, this is a six-window station wagon on the body of the Berlina, maintaining the original external dimensions, but with a lengthened roof, a large rear cargo area, and a tailgate in two sections that could be opened separately. "Upgraded" luxury features included special paint, electric window lifts, and an electric sunroof. "Alfa Romeo Catalogue Raisonne 1910-1982" has a picture of one on p. 104 of Volume 1 in a blurb on Carrozzeria Pavesi. This book indicates a small run of the wagons was produced in May 1968. The photograph included shows a great looking Berlina variant, with the wagon part blending in well with the original lines of the car. Presumably complete Berlinas were taken from the factory to the Pavesi facilities, where the changes for the wagon part were added. Giulia wagons similar in appearance and construction had earlier been made by Colli and others on Giulia TI and Giulia Super bodies from the mid 1960s to early 1970s. Above is a Colli Giulia wagon pictured at the 2002 Alfa Romeo Owner's Club annual meeting track event in Fontana, California.
Click here to see picture of a Berlina Giardinetti, which Rody Bal kindly sent me, from a 1969 issue of Quattroruote magazine.
A number of Berlinas have been raced, particularly outside the U.S., but not nearly as extensively as Giulia sedans were raced originally, and nowadays in vintage racing. See pictured at right a 1750 Berlina raced by Malcom van Coller in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002. Historically, a Group 5 1750 Berlinas was entered in 1967 Spa-Francorchamps 24-Hour race, getting a good final place (Patrick Italiano thinks 1st in group, 7th overall, but is not certain) with what is thought to be a first attempt at a 2000 engine. A Group 4 Berlina was also present. Fusi includes pictures of two racing 1750 Berlinas on p. 664, one the above-mentioned 1967 Spa car, and another that finished first overall in the Gran Criterium della Marsa a Tunisi in 1969. Both cars appear quite stock in outward appearance.
There are currently a few Berlinas raced in amateur club events and autocrosses. Brian Shorey owns "Mortimer II," a fairly radically prepared racing Berlina (see at right). I have seen several cars that are seriously prepared for U.S. Alfa club events, yet remain street-legal. I ran my former 1969 Berlina, a stock 1750, at informal Alfa Romeo Association time trials at Sears Point in 1997, and I have photos of another 1750 in AROSC time trials at Willow Springs Raceway in California in 1979. I've also run my stock 1973 2000 Berlina at Sears Point in 2001, and plan to run it at Thunderhill in upcoming Alfa and Lotus club events.
Thanks to Peter Steilberg, here are several FIA homologation documents for Giulia sedans.
FIA 5046 Pt. 1
FIA 5046 Pt. 2
Copyright © 1997 by Andrew D. Watry
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