1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114
Lot 71
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone
€ 255,000 - 295,000
US$ 310,000 - 360,000

Lot Details
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé  Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159 Engine no. AR131530114
1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce Alleggerita Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone

Chassis no. AR1493 E 02159
Engine no. AR131530114
Body no. 77*101

•Very rare early lightweight model
•One of circa 600 made
•Matching numbers and colours
•Restored in the early 1990s
•Known ownership history
•Mille Miglia eligible

'The Alfa, in a few words then, is a small car with a rev-happy DOHC engine that can carry two people from point A to point B over all types of roads quicker than most cars twice its size. It does this not with blinding speed but with a wonderful combination of roadholding, compact size and sheer willingness.' – Car & Driver on the Giulietta Sprint.

With the introduction of the Bertone-styled Giulietta Sprint Coupé, Alfa Romeo established the 'small car, big performance' formula that would characterise the Milanese marque's finest offerings from then on. First of the Giuliettas, the Sprint debuted at the Turin Motor Show in April 1954 powered by a 1.3-litre, all-alloy version of Alfa's classic twin-cam four designed by one-time Ferrari engineer Giuseppe Busso. The Sprint Coupé was soon joined by Berlina and Spider versions, the latter styled by Pinin Farina and built on a slightly shorter wheelbase.

The Giulietta family's success surprised even Alfa themselves; production targets were revised upwards and to satisfy demands for increased performance, upgraded Veloce versions of the Sprint and Spider were introduced for 1956. The combination of a rev-happy engine, fine-handling, responsive chassis and excellent brakes make the Giulietta Sprint a driver's car par excellence and explains why these stylish Alfa Romeos continue to attract the discerning enthusiast today.

Right from the start, the Giulietta Sprint Coupé was appreciated by drivers who recognised its potential for competition success. With its independent front suspension, very well-located live rear axle, and coil springs/hydraulic dampers all round, the unitary-construction Giulietta's chassis was superior to that of most sports cars. Only the handicaps of relatively low power and excess weight (64bhp/880kg) held it back. At the 1955 Mille Miglia, the Giulietta was defeated by the Porsche 356, prompting Alfa Romeo to introduce a more powerful version: the Giulietta Sprint Veloce.

For the Veloce engine, the inlet ports were enlarged and the single Solex carburettor replaced with two twin-choke Weber 40 DCO3 instruments, effectively providing each cylinder with its own carburettor. In addition, the valves were enlarged, the compression ratio increased (from 8:1 to 9:1), the camshafts changed, a more free-flowing exhaust system fitted, and the engine balanced, the result being an increase in maximum power for 64 to 89bhp at slightly higher revs. In actual fact, most engines exceeded this figure, with the best having around 99bhp on tap – 89 horsepower being in effect the minimum guaranteed. The inlet manifold and oil sump were made of magnesium.

At the same time, the Giulietta Veloce's weight was significantly reduced. Bertone used thinner steel for the non-load-bearing body panels; insulation was removed; the doors, bonnet and boot lid made of aluminium; and the side and rear window made of Plexiglas. Aluminium was also used for items such as the bumpers, 'eyebrows', 'whiskers', and headlight rims.

The side windows' heavy winding mechanisms were deleted and replaced with sliding windows with aluminium frames. The doors weighed only 7kg (with foam padded armrests) and could be ordered with nets for containing small items. There was no glove department cover, no sun visors, and no rear seat. The Veloce seats were thinner, albeit foam-padded, and mounted on a delicate tubular frame. A central gearshift was employed instead of the column-mounted gearshift.

As a result, the 770kg Veloce enjoyed a 110kg (15%) weight advantage over the standard Sprint Coupé, and that with a 65-litre fuel tank instead of the normal 53-litre tank (an 80-litre tank was available for endurance racing). With this greatly improved power-to-weight ratio, the Veloce would turn out to be a formidable competitor. Although not originally designed for competition, these cars soon proved unbeatable in their class in motor sport events worldwide despite there being no official factory entries.

The Giulietta Sprint Veloce debuted at the Turin Motor Show in April 1956, this being the first occasion that the 'Veloce' (fast) designation was used by Alfa Romeo. Advertised by its maker under the tag line 'Only the best is good enough', the Veloce competed two days later in the Coppa della Consume, securing a class win. There was more success the following week at the 23rd Mille Miglia; on this occasion the Giulietta Veloce's superiority proved overwhelming, examples filling the first six places in the 1,300cc class with a best overall position of 11th. Further class victories were achieved in the Nürburgring 1,000km, Coppa Dolimiti and Tour de France, with the Alpine Rally won outright. The following year, of the 43 cars entered in the Mille Miglia's 1,300cc category, 43 were Alfa Romeo Giuliettas.

Other notable Sprint Veloce successes were achieved in the 1957 Bavaria Rally (won by Kurt Ahrens); the 1957 Freiburg-Schauinsland and 1958 Ollon-Villars (both won by Karl Foitek); class wins in 1959 and 1960 at the Sebring 12 hours; Akropolis Rally; Mont Ventoux; Trento-Bondone; overall wins at the 1957 Alpenfahrt and 1958 Deutschland-Rally; and class wins in the 1958 (2nd overall) and 1962 Monte Carlo Rallies. A list of all the Giuliettas Sprint's race and class victories would fill a book.

These early Giulietta Sprint Veloces, with Bertone body numbers commencing '77', are now commonly known as 'alleggerita' (lightened or lightweight) cars. They differ considerably from the 'normale' Sprint and were built in limited numbers. Expert opinion differs with regard to the total, but most estimates are in the region of 600 cars built prior to the end of production in mid-1958. According to current information, 58 of these are known/registered today.

Chassis number '02159' was built on 30th June 1956 and is a matching numbers example. The car was originally finished in the colour scheme of 'French' blue with grey/dark blue interior, which it retains. On 17th July 1956 the Giulietta was delivered to Genoa, Italy and registered there on 26th July to the first owner, Mr de Sotgin. Subsequently the Alfa was registered to owners in Grosseto and Orbetello.
During its early life this car was carefully maintained and not raced, thereby ensuring that it survived in unmolested condition, unlike the many Giuliettas that were involved in accidents or destroyed in races or rallies. In 1969 the Alfa relocated to Pisa, receiving the new registration number '132313*PI'; it then stayed in that region until the early 1980s. The car then spent several years in Pistoia with Maurizio Tabucchi (Alfa archivist and historian, and author of several books on Alfa Romeos) who took meticulous care to maintain its originality.

In 1992 the Giulietta was sold and underwent a high-quality restoration, receiving an ASI certification, Gold Medal 3rd class for the best possible restoration maintaining original materials, original colours, and original mechanical elements. The car then resided for a few years in Bologna where it was driven as part of the Scuderia of the Nettuno Auto Storiche Club.

In May 1998 the Giulietta was advertised for sale and purchased by an Italian living in Switzerland. The technical approval procedures required in Switzerland were completed immediately after importation by a workshop in Riva San Vitale at Lake Lugano that specialises in Alfa Romeos and other classic makes.

At the turn of the millennium the car was purchased by a Swiss enthusiast, who drove it on selected rallies including the Wolfgangsee Classic. During this time, the Giulietta was maintained by the Swiss Alfa expert, Oliver Vetter.

In 2006 the Giulietta was sold to the last owner. A resident of southern Germany, he has mainly used the car for one-day events in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland, some internationally renowned, including the Semperit Rallye in Austria and the Vernasca Silver Flag hill climb in Italy. During the vendor's ownership this exceptional Giulietta Sprint Veloce has been well cared for and professionally maintained. In 2010 the Alfa won the award for 'Best Italian Preserved Car' at the AGIP Concours, and at the ADAC in 2013.

Accompanying documentation consists of copies of Italian registration documents, sundry service/maintenance bills, restoration records from the early 1990s, ASI homologation certificate, FIVA Identity Card (Category A/3), and confirmation from Alfa Romeo Centro Documentazione of matching numbers and colours.

Presented in the very best condition with only a light patina of use, this matching-numbers Giulietta Sprint Veloce represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of the very rare, early lightweight models possessing known history. It is, of course, eligible for participation in many of the most prestigious historic motor sports events including the Mille Miglia.
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