UPDATED HISTORY: (as taken from the Bonhams auction website December 19, 2016)
1958 ALFA ROMEO GIULIETTA SPIDER VELOCE
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
Chassis no. AR 1495.05389
Engine no. AR 1315.31918
1,490cc DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
2 Weber Carburetors
Approximately 105bhp at 6,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Exquisite restoration of a factory Spider Veloce
*Long-time, dry and solid California car
*One of the best driving 1950s sports cars
*One of just 2,796 Spider Veloces produced
THE ALFA ROMEO GIULIETTA
"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.
With the introduction of the Giulietta in 1954, Alfa Romeo established the 'small car, big performance' formula that would characterize its finest offerings from that point on. The Giulietta's arrival caused a sensation; demand quickly outstripped supply, causing Alfa Romeo to rethink its production strategy and become a high-volume manufacturer.
Designed by Pinin Farina on a modified Sprint Coupe chassis, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider was the company's second post-war model. The little two-seat Sports Spider was introduced in 1955 at the insistence of New York importer Max Hoffman, who saw how well small British and German sports cars were being received in America. The Giulietta Spider offered brisk performance (almost 100 mph) from its free-revving, all-alloy, 1.3-liter twin-cam four, mounted in a steel unibody chassis that weighed less than 1900lbs at the curb. The design was unmistakably Pinin Farina – very elegant, sporting and lithe.
From the time of their introduction, both the Sprint and Spider provided an exhilarating combination of character and performance, within the limits of what was possible with the well-designed twin-cam engine. However, as with pre-war Alfa Romeos, the dealers soon saw a demand for an uprated version for buyers with competition in mind. In 1956, the Giulietta Sprint and Spider Veloces duly appeared, with high-performance engines and modified bodywork. High-crown pistons raised the compression ratio to 9.1:1 which, with a pair of twin-choke Weber carburetors and more peaky camshaft profiles, raised the power by about 15%. Performance was certainly improved, with a top speed of 115mph and a more responsive engine through and through. Just 2,796 Giulietta Spider Veloces were produced, and they remain among the most collectible of the model today.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Bonhams is honored to offer this outstanding example of the rare and ultra-desirable Giulietta Spider Veloce. With just 2,796 produced, it is a rare offering indeed.
This fine example was completed at the Milanese Alfa Romeo plant in 1958, as a left-hand-drive Spider in full Veloce trim. The Alfa Romeo, which carried a high-performance twin-cam engine with dual Weber carburetors, was believed to have been delivered to the US, possibly to California, where is has spent most of its life.
In the 2000s, the Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce was found in very solid and original condition, with an odometer reading of less than 60,000 miles. The Spider Veloce was soon after treated to a comprehensive restoration, which included a full strip and bare metal repaint of the lithe Pinin Farina bodywork in the correct Graphite Grey by Custom Classics Restorations. The interior was fully restored as well, and re-trimmed in red. The original engine was retained, and rebuilt with a big-bore kit, increasing the cubic capacity to 1,490cc. The original gearbox was also retained, yet fitted with a fifth gear for high-speed touring. All mechanical work was performed by Reseda, CA based Alfa Romeo specialist Santos. Gone through from front to back, the restoration took two years to complete and no expense was spared. The car has formed part of the consignor's impressive Southern California-based collection of sports cars, and has covered less than 300 miles since restoration.
This rare, top-of-the-line Spider Veloce is eligible for exclusive driving events around the globe, and will surely provide its driver with many smile-inducing experiences. A fine example of open top motoring with excellent road holding and high-revving twin-cam performance, the Spider Veloce rightly claims the moniker "sports car" and one would be hard-pressed to find a near competitor at double the investment.
Please note this car is titled 1959 with chassis no. 1495F05389