The stunning Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale (SS) is continually regarded among the finest production sports car designs of the twentieth century. Penned by the prolific and talented designer Franco Scaglione while working for Bertone the Sprint Speciale resulted from extensive studies during landmark aerodynamic development of the remarkable B.A.T. 5 and 7 show cars. As Scaglione approached the design of B.A.T. 9 with a more serious eye toward production the Sprint Speciale emerged from that design. Beyond the Veloce version of the Giulietta Sprint the Sprint Speciale was even more desirable. Available only with Veloce specification mechanicals the Speciale was the ultimate road-oriented Giulietta. Together with the competition-oriented Sprint Zagato the Sprint Speciale appealed to the driver seeking a more exclusive coachbuilt take on Alfa's marvelous Giulietta. Although these exceptional cars were intended to be full on production cars they were built with handmade craftsmanship and bespoke materials. Only 1 366 were built by the time production ended in 1966 making them highly desirable today and sought after by collectors. Together with the standard Giuliettas the Sprint Speciale was developed over its production run. 1961 models received the traits of the earlier cars such as the beautiful gauges while unique three-shoe brakes were another 1961 distinguishing characteristics.
Discovered in a French chateau by an astute collector who recognized this car's potential it was carefully removed and shipped to North America where restoration experts at Niederst Restorations carefully disassembled the car marking and cataloging all parts for restoration and reassembly. The bare metal body shell was properly braced for the installation of new floors and seat mounts which were carefully welded in place. At this time the rocker panels lower door skins lower front fender panels and windshield cowl sections were carefully cut correctly filled and welded and seams properly fabricated to correct specifications. The body was then mounted to a rotisserie and all panels were properly shaped with hammer and dolly carefully finishing all metal work and applying thin filler only where needed then finishing with epoxy primer and high build primer. All metal and aluminum surface areas were carefully blocked to achieve proper contours in preparation for paint.
During the primer and finish process all chrome trim and exterior body features were test fit to the body to ensure correct fitting prior to applying the finishing paint of semi-gloss black for the underside inside hood trunk and body. Finally the deep and lustrous Ferrari Nuovo Blu Pozzi #PPG 520 finish coat was applied color sanded and buffed to a show finish.
With all mechanical components removed each of the specialized pieces was disassembled and sent to expert service shops for comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration. A new wiring harness was sourced and connected to all electrical components and fully tested. The wiper assembly heater switches and original instruments were carefully restored. Window regulators and door lock assemblies were disassembled and rebuilt reinstalled tested for function and adjusted for final fit. Among the many new components sourced for this restoration include new front and rear bumpers a new fuel tank all new rubber molding new tires front and rear lights shocks and springs and multiple other detailed pieces including factory correct hardware and fittings. Quality Auto Ventura CA installed the new leather interior square weave carpeting sun visors and headliner. Interior trim and rubber were replaced new dome lamps were sourced along with a beautiful ash tray. High quality materials and colors were carefully chosen to create a beautifully finished interior one that complements the stunning blue exterior. In the trunk a correct spare tire jack and proper finishes were used to complete the comprehensive restoration.
All mechanical systems were exhaustively addressed including the rebuild of the twin cam engine factory Veloce airbox and assorted hardware. The engine was rebuilt to 1400cc specifications with new JE pistons liners cams Carrillo rods guides bearings valves valve guides water pump alternator and correct Weber carburetors. The 5-speed gearbox was disassembled with new gears and synchros installed while the casing was detailed and finished for reassembly. A new clutch differential new springs and shocks and complete new exhaust were also installed at this time. During the final reassembly all trim garnish molding and plated parts were polished straightened and refinished or new pieces sourced as required. Each part was tested to ensure accurate fit and proper alignment before final fitting and installation. All brake lines brake cylinders master cylinder fuel lines and assorted brake and fuel hardware were replaced with new and correct lines including new brake shoes for the twin shoe rear brakes and triple shoe front brakes. When all work was completed the car was road tested accumulating 300 miles under various conditions to ensure smooth operation. During this break in period the oil was changed and the valves adjusted. The completed car has logged only these test miles since the restoration was completed.
Today this exceptional Sprint Speciale exhibits a top level finish in every respect. The lustrous Blu Pozzi paintwork is beautifully applied showing exquisite reflection lines and excellent panel fit particularly challenging in such a dark and elegantly hued color. The correctly finished silver wheels are shod with new Vredestein tires and finished with beautifully polished wheel covers. The bumpers grille and assorted chrome trim have all been freshly refinished showing vivid reflections and excellent finish. All glass emblems and trim are equally nice and the unique bug deflector has been faithfully reproduced.
The interior is delightfully finished with contrasting tan leather seating accented by light-toned high quality square weave carpeting against the darker hued and brilliantly painted dashboard. The steering wheel and instruments are perfectly finished with just the right color and clarity to the instrument faces. The delicate chrome knobs switches and ashtray deliver perfect glints of jewelry further punctuating this elegant interior. The quality of the interior continues into the rear panel finishes headliner sun visors and door pocket details.
Under the hood the beautifully restored engine has been updated to 1400cc specifications with fresh components and proper hardware wiring and factory hoses. The beautifully finished cast aluminum intake plenum is properly ducted with correct satin black hoses and correct F.I.S.P.A. air cleaner housing which leads directly into the twin Weber carburetors. The crackle black finished cam cover perfectly accents the engine compartment which shows essentially no evidence of use with just 300 break in miles logged on the car since completion. The underside of the car is nearly as spectacular as the top surfaces with careful attention having been given to all suspension components beautifully finished floor pans comprehensively restored brake components and excellent finishes on the gearbox and engine casings.
The car runs and drives beautifully with a tight well-resolved feel that demonstrates that the mechanical work was performed by someone competent and fastidious. The engine starts easily and displays excellent carburetion. Power delivery is linear fuss-free and responsive and the engine makes good power. The gearbox has superb synchromesh and well-defined gates and properly adjusted linkage which makes it a pleasure to use. The clutch is positive in its actuation brakes are symmetrical and competent in their operation and the chassis has a tight snubbed down feeling that gives the driver the confidence to explore the chassis with enthusiasm. This remarkable Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale is accompanied by documents describing the restoration as well as the factory jack.
Expertly and comprehensively restored without regard to cost this fantastic Sprint Speciale would be difficult to improve. Stunning design and performance are united in perfect harmony in this car itself a historically significant beautifully designed and a unique part of Alfa Romeo's history. This exceptional car is ready for show driving or simply to admire as one of the most innovative and beautifully designed sports cars ever created.
UPDATE: BRING-A-TRAILER February 2020