1963 Alfa Romeo - Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale
1963 Alfa Romeo
Brooklyn, NY 11221
The Giulietta is the car that took Alfa Romeo from being a relatively small production company to being an economically viable and successful firm. Prior to that, they had produced large and expensive cars, and never in very large numbers. With the Giulietta, however, Alfa Romeo produced significant numbers of these charming and capable cars. Its success was due in part to its unique placement in the market. It was neither a large hugely expensive car, nor was it very small utility car (such as the Fiat 500). Instead, the Giulietta was affordable enough so that many could buy it, yet permitted a more glamorous and useful approach to motoring that really struck a chord with buyers on both sides of the Atlantic.
The car came in a variety of trims and body styles, ranging from the standard Berlina (sedan) to the high performance Veloce models, which could be had with Pininfarina, Bertone, or Zagato coachwork. The standard Sprint Bertone coachwork was relatively common, but a small number of Sprint Speciale Bertone bodied cars were made, which drew on the radical styling of the three BAT concept cars that Bertone built on Alfa 1900 chassis from 1953-1955. The unusually aerodynamic styling was also influenced by the Touring’s 1900-based Disco Volante of 1952. In all, just 1366 Giulietta Sprint Speciales were built, all to the mechanical specifications of the Veloce, which included higher compression ratio, hotter cams, and twin Weber carburetors.
This particular car was reportedly sold new in Paris, eventually ending up walled inside of a chateau, where it sat for many years. Eventually, the wall was removed, the car unearthed, and it was exported to California, where a comprehensive restoration was undertaken. Every mechanical and cosmetic aspect of the car was in some way renewed and the restoration was completed in 2014. The car’s owner reports that it is a matching-numbers example.
Cosmetically, the car makes an excellent impression. The body was stripped to bare metal and the paint was done to high standards. Numerous photos from the body restoration indicate the level of preparation and thoroughness that went into the car’s restoration. The body is straight with very good fit throughout, though both doors site a bit proud at their trailing edges. The chrome and brightwork are excellent throughout, as are the lights and lenses. The glass is in very good condition and the Plexiglas bug screen has been reproduced as well.
The interior was beautifully restored with high quality butterscotch leather and black carpets. Both are in excellent condition, as is the headliner, which was also renewed during the restoration as well. The dashboard is also very nice, including the instruments. The steering wheel is generally excellent, though there is one crack in the rim as well as some haze to the horn button.
The engine compartment is extremely clean and well-detailed. The correct intake tracting is present, including the cross over air filter and alloy airbox, which, along with the valve cover, have been highly polished. The trunk was also nicely restored with new spare tire cover and carpet. The car runs and drives well fundamentally, but has covered few miles since the completion of the restoration and would benefit from judicious fettling by an experienced Alfa Romeo mechanic.
This is an excellent opportunity to acquire a beautifully and comprehensively restored matching numbers Sprint Speciale that makes a very strong cosmetic impression. Suitable to be casually shown or used in events and like all Giuliettas, the Sprint Speciale is considered a continuation model for events requiring 1957 or earlier cars, making it widely eligible for prestigious events. They are also genuinely rare, with production numbers comparable to the 300SL Gullwing. Their combination of performance, looks, usability, and rarity ensures that they are truly collectible. Indeed, they have appreciated markedly in recent years, yet still represent excellent value as technically sophisticated and aesthetically stunning coachbuilt Italian thoroughbreds.