1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale
Chassis no. AR 380813
Engine no. AR00121*00914
Alfa Romeo's styling exercises are often closer to production than those of other manufacturers. Alfa's sense of Italian style and its ability to work hand-in-hand with carrossiers like Zagato, Pinin Farina and Bertone often saw show car elements, and even whole show cars, quickly transition from the stand at Geneva or Paris to the showroom. This process still functioned as Alfa Romeo transitioned its manufacturing methods from body on frame to unit body. It became more difficult, but Alfa and its favored carrossiers made the extra effort in the interest of style and exploring the integration of form, function and aerodynamics.
In 1952 Touring created a series of futuristic styling exercises, quickly adapted to Alfa's sportscar racing efforts. Called the Disco Volante, the 'Flying Saucers' voluptuous curves quickly caught worldwide attention. The Disco Volantes were followed by three legendary Bertone creations, the BATs or Berlina Aerodynamic Technica, designed by Franco Scaglione. These three extravagant coupés explored a variety of aerodynamic devices to minimize aerodynamic resistance and control air flow for maximum stability.
Concurrently, 1954 saw the announcement of Alfa's new small car, which proved to be a stupendous success. The all-aluminum dual overhead camshaft 4-cylinder engine was a jewel of concept and execution, with performance that belied its small size and continued Alfa's tradition of excellence in achieving high specific output from its engines, enhanced by lightweight construction and responsive chassis. So successful, in fact, was the Giulietta that Alfa quickly began to refine it, announcing a new series of Giuliettas in 1957 which went into production in 1959.
The close collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Bertone, constructor of the Giulietta Sprint's coupé body, made it appropriate that the vehicle chosen to herald the 1957 announcement of the impending 101 Series Giulietta was a special berlinetta by Bertone. The Sprint Speciale was an artful blend of the aerodynamic principles learned in the BATs, with styling cues recalling the Disco Volantes. This was both a handsome exercise in styling and an even more impressive application of vehicle aerodynamics.
Late in 1962, Alfa Romeo debuted the Giulietta's ostensible replacement, the Giulia, although production of the earlier car continued into 1964. The Giulia, initially a Berlina, featured a 1,570 cc four rated at 92 bhp and a five-speed gearbox. Sprint coupe and Spider convertible models followed, with engines available in several stages of tune. The suspension had been revised and disc brakes were featured all around. Bertone's Sprint Speciale continued as a Giulia model, joined by a new Zagato design, the TZ.
This elegant sporting Alfa is thought to have been originally supplied in California, and in later years spent some time in Canada. The car comes to the market following a six year rebuild at the hands of its former owner, a former aircraft mechanic and accomplished engineer who specialized in the marque. As evidenced from the car's fine presentation today, it was an exacting rebuild aesthetically, but also importantly it was rebuilt mechanically, including its engine, transmission, rear end, brakes and instruments. Resplendent in Alfa Blue Posillipo, this is contrasted with its beautiful tan interior, a combination which works very well when accented by its chrome trim and is rarely seen on these cars.
With a file documenting its rebuild and having recently been freshly detailed, this Alfa Romeo has never been shown or toured, so those opportunities await its new owner.