Throughout history, most major automakers have one vehicle that really set them down a path of ultimate success. For the little Italian automaker Alfa Romeo, it was the Giulietta that took them from a niche automotive company who dabbled in racing to a household name selling fun little cars the world around. Introduced in 1954 and remaining in production until 1965 the little 1.3-liter engined Giulietta was available in numerous body styles to suit the taste of the consumer. Although every Giulietta produced used the same 1.3-liter twin cam aluminum block engine, they were tuned slightly differently depending on their application.
The Giulietta Sprint, available from 1954 until 1962, utilized an 8.5:1 compression ratio and 1 downdraught twin-choke carburetor to produce 79 bhp at 6300 rpm. These cars could however, be order in Veloce spec which replace the single downdraught carb with 2 sidedraught twin-choke carburetors and bumped the compression to 9.1:1 for a total of 89 bhp at 6500 rpm. By 1965 more than 100,000 Giuliettas had rolled off the assembly line and the beloved little car was replaced by the restyled and slightly more powerful Giulia.
This particular Giulietta Sprint, chassis number AR149321069 and engine number AR0010602727, was built in 1959 but titled in 1960, making it a 101 interim Sprint that has since been upgraded to Veloce specifications. Due to the upgrade, the car is no longer numbers matching but the added desirability of the Veloce spec engine alleviates the worry of not having a numbers matching car. The car is currently finished in the original colors of White exterior and Blue/White interior. This Sprint spent a good portion of its life on the West Coast, leaving it in a nice dry condition. When the current owner received the car around 2014 it was said to have been half original paint, inline with its dry west coast heritage. The owner decided to complete a sympathetic restoration, being sure to leave many mark of originality with the car. The restoration entailed a thorough sorting and included many different items including but not limited too: redoing the seats and a few other interior components, a new set of stainless steel bumpers, rebuilding both the engine and trans, going through the braking system, replacing most of the rubber components and rechroming many pieces of the car. All told the restoration totaled over $20,000 and left the car in fantastic condition. The interior is essentially half original with the door cards, dash, gauges, steering wheel and much of the components remaining original. For a better idea of the undertakings of this sympathetic restoration please see the provided documentation below. This car has been well cared for throughout its life and currently sits in fantastic condition both mechanically and cosmetically with excellent bits of originality sprinkled throughout. It is immediately ready to be shown and thoroughly enjoyed.
Included with the sale of the car are the jack, a space and various documentation from the cars lifetime.
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Body And Paint
The bright White exterior paint remains in fantastic condition, smooth and even throughout. There are minimal signs of road usage throughout with the exception of some very minor stone chips in the front section of the vehicle. There is also an inch long area of chipped paint on the top of the passenger side rear fender. The body is likewise smooth and consistent. Panel fitment is excellent, with tight, consistent body gaps, including the doors hood and trunk. It should be noted that at some point in the recent past an error was made when hoisting the vehicle up which has left two small indents on the rockers on either side of the car. The paint is still good in these two issue area, and the rocker dents could more than likely easily be repaired by a knowledgeable professional.
Glass And Trim
Overall the glass is in good condition with only a few areas of note. The windshield is in good shape but appears to have been replaced since it now has an HS Laminated stamping. The side windows have some very minor scratching but appear to be original as they still contain their Securit branded stampings. The chrome throughout the car is great shape and has a good shine and is smooth and clean with no real pitting or degradation to note. The rubber trim components are also in great condition having been mostly replaced in 2014, supple and dark with no signs of wear, aging or cracking.
The wheels have a smooth and consistent finish. The chrome center caps are bright although some of them do contain some small dents from normal usage. The Alfa branded center caps are issue free.
The biggest area to note is the damage to the rocker panels. The careless jack usage has caused some creasing and a break in the edge of the rocker line on both sides. The paint remains relatively good in the issue areas, and this could more than likely be easily repaired by a reputable professional. Other than that there is a small inch long area on the rear fender where the paint has chipped. Overall though, the car was very well restored and remains in remarkable condition.
Seats And Surfaces
Much of the interior shows minimal signs of usage. The seats having been redone in 2014 are still smooth and consistent with no creasing or age present. The passenger door card shows a bit of a delaminating issue around the window winder but other than that both door cards show well. The Carrozeria Bertone kick panels appear to be in original condition and as such show some scuffing and scratching, consistent with original kit. Door jams show smooth and well finished metal with no signs of previous rust or rot issues. There is a small section of rubber trim on the passenger door that has come unstuck from its runner, an easy fix though. The carpeting retains a dark blue hue throughout, with minimal signs of usage with the exception of the driver's footwell which shows some wear and slightly off fitment. The painted dash has a smooth and consistent finish with only minor wear around the edges of some areas such as the glove box. The dash top shows no real fading or pulling but does have some small areas where stitching is coming undone. The gauge faces appear to be original with great patina, some fading but still highly legible. The chrome surround on the radio shows some pitting but appears in good original condition. The rear view mirror shows some minor delimitation around the edges but also remains in good original condition. The steering wheel appears in similar good original condition and shows some patina with the only issue being a small crack in the central horn button. The is nice and tight and largely stain free with just a bit of dirtying on some of the edges.
Functionality And Accessories
It appears that much of the interior components remain in good original and working condition. They do show some signs of age such as pitting on the radio surround and minor cracking on some of the functional pulls but nothing that detracts from the overall appeal of the car in the slightest. The gauges appear to all read their corresponding functions appropriately and move through their respected ranges of motion without issue.
The interior remains in largely original condition and as such has minor blemishes which only serve to add to the delight of the driving experience.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
Since this particular Sprint has been upgraded to Veloce specifications, it is no longer a matching numbers car. The engine bay, however, is very well done with smooth painted surfaces, clean metal components and fresh looking rubber, wire and hoses. It should be noted that a true Veloce spec car would contain all Magnetti Marelli components and this particular car has had some various Bosch items mixed in, which is not an issue in the slightest sense but is a fact worth noting. Overall though the engine bay is clean and tidy and shows no signs of leaks or problems. The underside of the hood is finished well with clean and stain free fire pad. All the correct body tags and stamping reside in their proper locations.
The trunk area is finished in a similar sense to the rest of car, clean and tidy with smooth painted surfaces and all the correct trim pieces and surface coatings. The battery is held down with a proper tie down, and the jack is tucked up behind the spare wheel, held in place with a leather tie strap. The spare wheel is correctly finished and held in place with the appropriate tie down. Under the rubber floor mat, the trunk floors show smooth and clean metal with no signs of any past metal related issues.
The underside of the car is cleanly finished and shows minimal signs of usage. It is clean and tidy, lending immensely to its dry west coast heritage. Floor pans look solid and smooth with no signs of issues past or present.
The twin cam inline four fires right to life and settles into an iconic Alfa sounding idle. Oil pressure shows good and once up to temperature the car runs smoothly with proper readings from the oil and water temp. The exhaust note is fantastic, raspy and ringing and the throttle response is excellent. The upgraded Veloce spec engine moves the car down the road at a brisk pace in the fun and playful manner these little Alfas are known for.
Once up to temperature the gearbox shifts without issue, moving easily between gears. The clutch take-up feels responsive and solid.
Brakes And Suspension
The brake pedal feels a bit hard and braking force is a bit soft, mainly due to the old nature of the braking technology of the car. The brakes however do bring the car to a smooth and controlled, albeit slightly longer, stop. The suspension feels soft but compliant with no real issues to note.
The car currently wears Pirelli Cinturatos on all four corners and they would be deemed in excellent shape with plenty of tread life left in them.
This little Alfa Sprint is just as much of a delight to drive as it is to look at standing still. Even with the upgraded Veloce spec engine, fast is never a word you would use behind the wheel. The car moves along well enough, however, and you find yourself forgetting about speed as you ring out each shift to hear more of the intoxicating exhaust note emanating from the rear of the car. The road feel is fantastic, and it seems that every little bump and split in the road is transferred through the steering wheel to your hands, a sensation all but lost in modern automobiles. Overall the car is comfortable and a blast to drive. The added benefit of have many original aspects to the vehicle is sure to set this apart from most other classic Alfas on the road. Immediately ready to be shown or enjoyed, this Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint is the perfect addition to any collection and would even make an ideal foray into the delightful world of classic Alfa Romeos for any enthusiast.