1968 Alfa Giulia GTA 1300 – £214,000 at Tennants.

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It drew plenty of attention – the intriguing beginning and end to its story before its arrival in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, perhaps adding to its mystique.

The GT Allegerita was Alfa Romeo’s reworking of its glorious Giulia coupé into a lightweight race car. The model won the European Touring Car Challenge (Challenge was later renamed Championship) in 1966, 1967 and 1969 in its 1600cc form and in 1971 and 1972 in 1300cc form.

Such was its success that 50 years later Alfa Romeo is still using the GTA appellation to signify the top performance variants of its current model range.

But how many were made?

In racing series that are production-based – vehicles entered in the series are based on production vehicles for sale to the public – homologation requirements often stipulate minimum levels of sales of that model to the public, to ensure that no vehicles in the competition have been designed and produced solely for racing.

Ostensibly 1000 were made but the chassis records are kept a closely guarded secret by the firm. It is likely that many chassis numbers were skipped, a pretty much universal practice among manufacturers until the FIA motor racing authority clamped down in the 1980s.

According to the auction house: “Perhaps 500 were made in total. Subtract those lost to time and racing accidents, and what you have left is a very rare car.”

What you also have here is a car initially raced in Italy before being converted to road use, whereupon it was used as a getaway car and ended up in a police pound in Rome. It was spotted there by GTA specialist Richard Banks in 1987 who acquired the car on behalf of its most recent owner – and now vendor – who restored it.

On May 14 at Tennants it got away for £214,000.