Updated: May 10
The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a beloved classic and a model that represented a period of success and prosperity for the Milanese marque. Still, I bet these are five things you didn't know about the Giulia...
1 - Giulia "Saragat." In 1966, the Italian President Giuseppe Saragat made an official visit to the then-new Arese factory complex. Alfa Romeo had two Giulia Super converted into open "parade" cars by the contractor Carrozzeria Colli. Both vehicles survive to this day in excellent condition: one in the custody of the Alfa Romeo Museum, while the other found its way into private hands.
2 - Giulia 1600S Over half a million Giulia saloons were made during its fifteen years in production, but this doesn't mean there aren't some particularly rare variants, like the Giulia 1600S. Introduced in 1968 between the 1300Ti and the range-topping 1600 Super, the Giulia 1600S struggled to find buyers and was quietly discontinued in 1970, after only 2215 units were produced.
3 - Station Wagon Presented in 1965, the Giulia Promiscua was a conversion made by the Milanese coachbuilder Carrozzeria Colli. Given that wagons in Italy at the time were seen as workhorses and nothing else, this proposal wasn't successful, and it's believed that only 16 were ever made. Most importantly, these shall not be confused with the panel wagons later made for the Italian Police forces
4 - Police Wagon Between 1967 and 1976, the Italian Police utilized around 600 Giulia Super paneled wagons. These cars, known as Giulia Super Speciale, were made specifically for motorway patrol duties and carried around 200 Kg of various emergency equipment at all times. The first batches of Speciales were built by the Carrozzeria Colli, but, as that went out of business, two other coachbuilders, Giorgetti and Grazia, took over the commission, with slight differences between the various versions.
5 - Diesel Towards the end of its long career, in 1976, the Giulia had the dubious honor of becoming the first diesel-powered Alfa Romeo ever offered on sale. Rising oil prices due to the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo led to renewed interest in diesel automobiles. Unfortunately, the Giulia Diesel was a rushed, half-hearted attempt. The Perkins 1.8 liters four-cylinder engine, the same that Alfa Romeo used on its F12 panel vans, was underpowered and too unrefined even by 1970s standards, so buyers gave it a wide berth.