1963 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale Coupé
Coachwork by Carrozzeria Bertone
Chassis no. AR 380106
*One of only 1,400 built
*Formerly resident in Ireland
*Recent professional restoration in Italy
By the time of the Giulia's introduction in 1962, Alfa Romeo's highly successful 'small car, big performance' formula, begun by the Giulietta in 1954, was well established. Alfa's classic twin-cam four had been downsized to 1,290ccc for the Giulietta, gaining an alloy cylinder block in the process. The original Bertone-styled Sprint Coupé was soon joined by Berlina (saloon) and Spider (open) versions, and then in 1957 came the model now recognised as the ultimate Giulietta - the Sprint Speciale – which was the first of the new 101-Series cars. Built on a slightly shorter wheelbase than the standard Sprint, and again the work of Bertone, the mouth-wateringly curvaceous 'SS' came with 100bhp on tap, a five-speed gearbox, and a top speed of 125mph. Compact, aerodynamically efficient and very powerful for its size, the SS proved highly successful in 1,300cc class racing the world over.
Outwardly almost indistinguishable from the outgoing Giulietta, the Giulia version boasted front disc brakes and a more powerful (112bhp) and much less fussy 1,570cc version of Alfa's classic twin-cam four. Other notable improvements over the Giulietta version included a redesigned dashboard with additional instrumentation. Only 1,399 of the Bertone-bodied Giulia Sprint Speciales were built up to 1965, and today this rare model is highly prized by Alfa Romeo connoisseurs.
This stunning Giulia SS was purchased in Ireland in 1990 by a family friend of the previous owner. Used only occasionally, the Alfa was stored in the garage of its owner's Dublin home when not on the road. Sadly, the owner passed away in 2008, and in 2013 his widow sold the car to the previous owner. The Alfa was then taken back to Italy.
As the car was still in solid condition, after some years off the road, refreshment was first considered before it was decided to have it comprehensively restored by Italian craftsmen. The body was fully refurbished, a bare metal re-spray carried out, the brightwork re-chromed, and the interior professionally re-trimmed in tan leather. Borrani wire wheels were fitted, and the engine freshly serviced.
The current vendor purchased the Alfa at Bonhams' Paris Sale in February 2017 (Lot 407), since when it has been serviced by his in-house mechanic. Described by the vendor as in 'restored/excellent' condition, the car comes with Irish registration documents and would be a welcome addition to any serious collection.