How one man brought about a special South African-built Alfa Romeo Giulietta 40 years ago

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Alfa Romeo Group One
Alfa Romeo Group One
Ferdi de Vos

When one thinks of special Alfa Romeo models built in South Africa, the first that comes to mind is the iconic 3.0-litre GTV V6 of the late 1980s and the rare Giulia 1600 and 2000 TI Rallye specials, built in the early 1970s.

While the Giulia and Alfetta ranges sold well locally, the Type 116 Giulietta, introduced in 1979, stirred most interest in the country, helping Alfa lift its local market share from 4% to 7% by the early 1980s. Apparently, it was so popular here that South Africa became the leading market for Giulietta worldwide.

To maintain interest in the Giulietta and sustain sales, Roger McCleery, the then marketing manager of Alfa Romeo, in 1981 suggested developing a sportier model to celebrate the brand's local motorsport success.

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