Since the first aerodynamic body was seen on an Alfa Romeo in 1914, it comes as no surprise that the Milanese company would be interested in pursuing the benefits of wind-cheating design for its cars in the 1950s. The collaboration with Carrozzeria Touring, which resulted in the ‘Disco Volante’ competition cars of 1952, was done simultaneously with the work of Bertone’s Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica, or B.A.T., show cars, the first of which debuted in 1953.
The lessons learned from both series came to the showroom with the 1959 Giulietta Sprint Speciale. This Bertone bodied four-cylinder twin-cam Alfa Romeo was initially conceived as a privateer sports racer, a wind-cheating version of the Giulietta Sprint Veloce. When the 1,570-cubic centimetre twin-cam engine was introduced with the 101-series Giulia, the Sprint Speciale received both the powerplant and the new name, and the example offered here is from the first year of Giulia SS production. The car’s Italian registration documents track the first three owners. It was delivered new to Vincenzo Coppola, of Grossetto, who retained the Sprint Speciale for 34 years before selling it to Silvia and Roberto Iacoponi. The current vendor is only the fourth owner.
The coupé was treated to a full bare-metal restoration in Italy approximately 10 years ago, with the engine rebuilt by an Alfa Romeo specialist and careful attention paid to correct interior materials. This numbers-matching car remains visually stunning, with the notoriously difficult to align compound curves of the body panels showing excellent alignment and small, even shut lines. Some photographs of the restoration are available for viewing. Since the restoration, the Alfa is said to have covered less than 5,500 kilometres. Complete with original tools, this Sprint Speciale has seen a recent service and should be ready for enjoyable touring or casual showing.