Classic Car Sunday is always one of our most eclectic Breakfast Club collections with cars of all size, shape, purpose and nationality. The Italian cars are undoubtedly the most eye-catching so here are a few favourites from this year.
1966 Iso Grifo GL
American mechanicals with European styling was a trusted formula in the 1960s and ‘70s with De Tomaso, Jensen and Bristol among those turning out sleek coupes with monster V8s under their low bonnets. Iso was responsible for one of the lesser known iterations although the Grifo, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro at Bertone and powered by a 5.4-litre Small Block Chevrolet V8, is arguably the prettiest.
1968 Fiat Dino Spyder
Its Ferrari sibling is revered and attracts seven figure price tags today but it was the Fiat Dino which made that car possible and, to us in the GRR office at least, is the prettiest of the pair. In 1965 Enzo Ferrari needed to homologate a new 2.0-litre V6 for Formula 2 racing but lacked the production capacity to churn out the 500 examples needed. Fiat stepped in and, as part of the deal, installed the engine in its front-engined grand tourer designed by Bertone and this Spider version from Carrozzeria Pininfarina.
We wouldn’t normally put a replica on the grid at Breakfast Club but considering that this car was commissioned for the Abarth Works Museum we think it gets a pass. The original Prototipo was a one-off 1965 Bertone show car based on the then-new Fiat 850 Spider and commissioned by Abarth. Rumour has it that this original car is in a private collection in Japan so this recreation was built for Abarth on a 1966 Spider chassis.
1971 Alfa Romeo Junior ZR
We are big fans of both Alfaholics and Gordon Murray here at GRR so when we discovered that a car commissioned from the former by the latter would be appearing at Breakfast Club we had to go and grab some snaps. The original Junior Zagato was a rare car with a convoluted build process – bodies were created on a Spider chassis at the Maggiora plant in Turin before being taken to the Arese facility for prep work, then Zagato for paint and trim before returning to Area for mechanicals to be fitted.
We love chatting to owners at Breakfast Club as there is always something new to learn. A case in point being the fact that Euro and UK spec Fulvias have different headlight arrangements. This being an Italian car both inner and outer headlights are level but British cars had the outboard pair raised to meet domestic safety standards, necessitating new metalwork surrounding the zingy V4 engine.
1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider
Not as famous or as long-lived as its successor the Duetto, the Giulia Spider is unarguably the prettier of the pair. Designed by Pininfarina in 1955 and based on the earlier Giulietta platform the car was mildly restyled and renamed the Giulia Spider in 1962 to align with Alfa Romeo’s new saloon range.