The Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale was unveiled to the public during the 1957 Turin Motor Show. Its sleek, futuristic design was penned by Carrozzeria Bertone's Franco Scaglione who was also responsible for greats such as the Arnolt Bristol, 2000 Sportiva and many more. The Sprint Speciale's design inspiration is clearly rooted in the Berlinetta Aerodinamica Technica (B.A.T.) design study collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Bertone in the early 1950s. Of the three B.A.T. cars, number 7 is arguably the most famous producing a drag coefficient of just 0.19. This low drag design concept translated into the production variants of the Sprint Speciale, which, though slightly higher than the B.A.T. cars, achieved a production car drag coefficient record of only .28. A record that stood for over twenty years!
Two variations of the Sprint Speciale were produced in the seven-year production run from 1959 through 1966. A 1.3L DOHC inline four-cylinder engine mated to a 5-Speed gearbox powered the first generation Giulietta. In 1963, the Giulietta was replaced by the Giulia but its general design remained unchanged. Alfa Romeo did boost engine displacement from 1.3L to 1.6L in the Giulia and added front disc brakes. Besides badging, the only way to visually differentiate a Giulietta to its “grown up” counterpart, the Giulia, is to look at the dashboard. The Giulia has a leather glove box under the radio toward the left side of fascia and the Giulietta does not. In total, roughly 2,800 Sprint Speciale's were produced. Plagued with rust issues and careless owners at a time period when these cars were not bringing the dollar amount they are currently commanding, we would venture to say a fairly large portion of that production number does not exist today. Solid, original examples are extremely difficult to find as most of the exceptional cars are tucked away in collections worldwide. Rarely do these original, low mileage examples come to market making this an opportunity not to be missed.
The example on offer here, chassis # AR 381377 was produced on January 29th 1965 and delivered new to Auto Engineering, Inc. of Lexington, Massachusetts. It is fitted with its original, matching numbers engine # AR0012101794 and is finished in classic Italian colors of Rosso Alfa over Cuoio. From its original MSO and window sticker on file, we know the original MSRP was $4,961.00. This 800 Giulia SS is likely one of the best original examples in existence and certainly the best example available on the market. Its extreme originality can be attributed to an entire life of enthusiast owners who had the preservation mindset long before it was the trendy thing to do. Its originality is evident through the fitment of every single panel, the crispness of the interior, and the drive quality you only get from original cars with 16,575 miles from new. Factory original chalk markings, grommets, grease caps, and wire clamps can be found throughout the car. It is like a treasure hunt when looking for all of these original components and immensely satisfying when found and examined closely. Not only does the car exude originality throughout but it is also 100% complete in terms of paperwork, manuals, tools, records, and history file from day one until now. It is truly difficult to describe the amount of interesting documentation that is accompanied by this car so take a few moments (or hours) studying this section. To put the vastness of the car's completeness into perspective, enclosed in the owner's manual are the serial numbered key codes written in with pencil. All of these numbers match the physical keys currently with the car! Based on this extensive ownership history file, we have created the following timeline-
Owner Number 1: Bruce Currie of Lexington, MA
Mileage: 0 to 3,200
Time Frame: Approximately 1 year
Mr. Currie purchased the car on October 25th, 1966 from the original selling dealer, Auto Engineering in Lexington, MA as shown in the original service manual. Mr. Currie sold the car after owning it for about a year to Alfa Romeo dealer and factory racer, Gaston Andrey of Watertown, MA. Gaston Andrey then quickly wholesaled the car to Foreign Motors, Inc. of Boston, MA.
Owner Number 2: Paul Miglierina of West Roxbury, MA
Mileage: 3,200 to 11,001
Time Frame: December 22nd, 1967 to March 31st, 1978
Mr. Miglierina purchased the car from Foreign Motors, Inc. for a total of $3,000 which included his 1965 Giulietta Spider on trade. A newspaper clipping advertising the car along with the original invoice and paperwork for this transaction is present. There is even the salesman's business card still affixed to the bill of sale. Mr. Miglierina was clearly an early “Alfisti”- Within the history file, it details a letter from The Vintage Car Store in Nyack, NY dated 10/15/1968 replying to Mr. Miglierina's interest in acquiring the Juan Peron 1954 Disco Volante Coupe! At this point, he had already purchased the Sprint Speciale and ultimately passed on the tremendous offer. He also made an inquiry with Bertone expressing interest in the original B.A.T. design study cars with which Bertone remarkably answered back to his letter and even included some original pictures of the B.A.T. cars. Try getting a company like that to response to a casual letter from a genuine car enthusiast in this day-in-age!
During his ownership, he recorded all of the service history, detailing the dates and mileage. There are also a fair amount of service receipts and stampings in the original service booklet. At one point in the late 1960s, Mr. Miglierina decided to paint the car because he was unhappy with the factory's paint quality. He carried out a 400 hour, full glass-out repaint with photo documentation to show it was a solid, rust and damage-free body to begin with. His work was impeccable and it has withstood the test of time presenting in surprisingly excellent condition per the age of the paint. It was so well done, it is nearly impossible to tell from original and has aged as original paint would have. After all, it was only a few years old when the repaint was completed.
Shortly there after, it was featured at the 1969 Boston Motor Show among the Sports Car Club of America's display. He did some light rallying and thus installed seat belt harnesses (still present on the car, and documented) and fog lights. His driving must not have been too intensive as the car still had its original tires with plenty of tread life left when they were finally replaced for the first time in 2016. It was evident that Mr. Miglierina loved, cherished, and meticulously maintained his beloved Sprint Speciale during his 11-year ownership. It never saw the harsh New England winters since he would place the car in storage when cold weather arrived. He kept a detailed log of routine fluids changes, mechanical inspections, and even record the times he waxed the car.
Owner Number 3: Current
Mileage: 11,001 to 16,575 (Current)
Time Frame: March 31st, 1978 to Present
The current owner originally saw an ad placed for this car in the February 1978 issue of Road & Track magazine. Mr. Miglierina described the car as “Flawless” and “Undoubtedly one of the best in existence” in his ad. We have a few pages of written correspondences between Mr. Miglierina and the current custodian as they went through the sales process. We also have an Allegheny Airlines ticket dated March 31st1978; the day the car was purchased from Mr. Miglierina and driven home to Western Pennsylvania. Immediately after returning home, the current owner entered the car in the 1978 Alfa Congress (The Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention in Weston, VA) where it won Best of Show. A remarkable feat being that there were hundreds of participants and stiff competition from other extremely rare, special bodied Alfas. A year later, it took home a “Best of Class” award at the Sports Car Collector Society of America annual meet on June 3rd 1979.
After these two notable show outings, the car was regularly maintained and driven on sunny days. It was also shown fairly regularly at local car shows and cars & coffee meets. The current owner, much like the second owner, is a known Alfisti and true car guy. Over the years, he has owned countless interesting Alfas that ran the gamut from Berlina Sedans to Zagato Bodied coupes. At one point, there were over 15 Alfas, which accompanied the Sprint Speciale in his garage. Most of these other cars came and went but the Sprint Speciale remained there in the garage with its own little corner occupying not only the space in the garage but also a space in the owner's heart. This was always a car for special occasions or events and one of these events in particular was always on the Calendar: The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. It has been 36 years consecutive years of the this race through public roads in the center of Schenley Park and the Sprint Speciale has made an appearance at almost every single one since the race's inception. But only to spectate of course!
All great things do not come to an end, rather, in this instance; the responsibility is simply transferred to another like-minded custodian. With continuing attention to detail and care, this Alfa Romeo represents an opportunity to preserve the ideal of the Sprint Speciale in its original form. An opportunity not to be missed, and a truly special addition to any sophisticated collection or those who simply want a real car. Included with the car are its original manuals, tools, and documents from new.
Body And Paint
While not free from "defects" the body and paint are remarkable. The panels reflect that of a car that has never been hit or rusty with nice thin metal throughout. Shut-lines and gaps that have sharp edges and near perfect fitment from the factory. Spot welds are present everywhere on the rockers, rear valence etc...
The paint shows checking in various places, some chips, and a dent or two to be founded as well as some chips by the door edge. All consistent and in line with the idea of the cars originality and presentation while absolutely adding to the patina and image that should remain preserved not altered. Glass And Trim
The glass appears to all be the correct Sekurit type glass from the factory with rubber seals in surprisingly good original condition. Not free from some cracking and dryness but again, consistent with the rest of the car and the overall theme. The trim is present throughout with nothing appearing to be missing. The chrome is flawed, yes, but not in need of any replacement as it is yet again consistent with the rest of the car. The fitment is excellent and everything has a perfect amount of aging to it.
It is possible that the wheels may have been refinished once, likely in 1968 as small chips do show another layer of paint underneath. Removing the hubcap shows original plated lug nuts and black grease covers for the hubs which are all correct and original. The hub caps are excellent originals though not free from a few minor dents.
Beyond the above mentioned, the only real flaw that should be noted is on the drivers side front lower valence there is a very small area, about the size of a dime or less, of oxidation coming through the paint that upon close inspection can be found and can be noted in the photos.
Seats And Surfaces Without a doubt this is the area most impressive, worth studying, and learning from to understand not only the SS but how Alfa Romeo completed interiors in period. Beyond the documented mileage increase over the years, the interior is testament to the cars low-use and careful storage. The seats and overall interior reflect that of exactly a 16,000 mile car. The smell is overwhelmingly that of a vintage Italian car, with just a little age but otherwise supple crisp.
The dash is most notable in that it is smooth and consistent and the stitching is coarse to the touch and firm, not worn or brittle, almost new. The fitment of everything is something unrepeatable in a restoration and under the dash shows crude finish work so common of work completed in the period. Overspray and a seemingly unfinished job, though original and correct. All of the hardware, padding for the firewall, electrical junction/fuse boxes, and assembly are as delivered. The washer bag for the windshield remains untouched and likely not filled in years.
The seats are tight with no obvious flaws noted. The backs are straight and the rear "seats" are untouched as well with an inspection of the underside revealing much of the same, untouched. Upon close inspection one can see that the part of the floor where the seats mount was hand painted by the factory in a sort of dark brown/beige color to attempt to match the color to the interior so there would be a sort of unbroken visual connection to from the seat to the floor. An item that is likely overlooked in so many restorations.
All of the surfaces are correctly coated with crinkle coat, paint, leather, or carpet as initially designed. The interior is luxuriously appointed but in a spartan sort of way with only what you need, plus a little extra but not too much. Keeping with the theme of a sporting Italian car.
Functionality And Accessories
All of the knobs, pulls, and switches are undoubtedly the originals. As such they also are ALL in correct working order, pull a knob or flick a toggle and the car will respond. Lights on the dash light up according to ones action and there is nothing that does not work per our inspection and testing.
The headliner shows some light staining that is not worth addressing in fear of damaging the originality of the headliner. The driver side seat has a portion of spring that can be seen pushing on the leather on the side of the seat and the radio wiring appears to have been "fiddled" with previously but remains original otherwise. For safety/reliability new hoses and clamps were installed in the heater-box area under the dash. It also appears that the mats may be missing as metal dowels are present but no finishing mats.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
Engine Bay Original throughout but with a touch of recent updates for purposes or reliability and usability. Some hoses have been replaced, but with original style and old clamps reused for authenticity. Overall however the surfaces, finishes, equipment, wiring, and all other elements remain as delivered with signs of use, dirty, but appropriately so. Extensive detailing was not completed purposefully to show the genuine nature of how this car has always been and how it is up until this point.
Studying the hoses show heavy patina, though the grommets, and routing of various hoses and electrical show that they have never been touched or moved. Many items still have their cadmium or zinc plating from the factory and those that do not have oxidized ever so slightly. The engine block still has that unstained original aluminum finish in areas as if it was just casted and cleaned. Correct light green wires, and green fuel lines are still installed, and a correct original oil filter is still installed on the car.
Studying the structure it again is apparent that there were never any accidents or incidents that altered this cars original construction. The lines and metal are thin and sharp everywhere with factory build quality and finish work present in the hard to see areas. The body number "636" can be found on the upper right hand corner of the hood, stamped.
The trunk shows Alfa build quality of the 1960's. Lifting the original matt and studying the construction shows crude build quality finished off with thick black paint. There is a small original wooden flap still in place covering a stowage area. Studying the trunk structure reinforces the fact that the car has never been hit or rusty. The spare appears to still retain an original Pirelli Cinturato and the rim is wearing original paint, being held in place by a clamp system original to the car. The battery stay has been updated for safety, though the original rubber battery cover and stays are included in with the car. By far the most interesting item to note is on the back of the rear seats which can be seen through the trunk. There are various markings in white and yellow grease pencil, likely the body number "636".
The underside shows a preserved but used series of surfaces with original equipment with the exception of the exhaust, still in place. It is oily, but totally solid, straight and without any evidence of prior work being completed. Factory spot welds line nearly the entire perimeter of where the body meets the underside . Upon close inspection there are dozens of instances where acute points of originality begin to stare back at you. Little red caps on the grease fittings on the lower control arms. Various green and yellow markings on suspension components, yellow markings on various items. The drive trains till shows some markings as well, especially on the differential and through the underside. Overall untouched and continuous with the theme of the rest of the car.
A few clamps are not the originals, and items have been replaced with the correct or as close to correct replacements where and when possible for reliability. The air box is incorrectly finished and polished, but likely by the 2nd owner, in period, for the Boston Auto Show. Common practice for cars attending shows in this capacity. The radiator is also refinished, but again out of necessity for reliability and keeping up with maintenance items.
Engine Starting instantly with no choke this SS comes to life with ease. It immediately read strong oil pressure and holds steady temperature. It does not have any bad habits such as overheating, low oil pressure, or smoking. While running strong overall it does see little use, and as such we feel that more use would bring out more strength and power as heat cycles tend to effect the tolerances and operating capability of any engine with a positive effect.
Shifting when cold tends to be stiff for second gear as in any car from this era. Once warm the shifts are flawless with no complaints noted and proper clutch operation.
Brakes And Suspension Reflecting that of a 16K mile example with tight and quick responsive turning and firm suspension with no abnormal noises noted. The brakes were recently gone through and as such the car stops exactly as it should with fresh hydraulics. inspecting the brakes shows minimal wear and consistency with the mileage.
The tires are only a few years old and are Vredestein Sprint ST 155SR15's. Including the spare. Though the effort was made to retrieve the originals, they have been sadly discarded a few years ago.
The engine does show signs of leaks throughout and if substantial use is desired, further resealing may become a necessity. Typical for a nearly untouched car of this age. There is also a slight exhaust leak as only 2/3rds of the exhaust was replaced during the most recent service.
Driving this Sprint Speciale is reflective of the mileage but also of the time it has spent un-used. There is always a trade-off in these scenarios. This car has had the benefit of always being used, started and ran at a minimum over the years. Never languishing untouched to deteriorate. With a recent servicing to bring it back up to spec it runs better than ever. That said, it runs and drives well, but with continued use and minor servicing additional items that will come up, it has room for improvement though it ahs the potential to be one of the best SS experiences.
The driving dynamics are interesting, your comfortable with a great view out of the windshield. You just know your in something special and different with the plexi wind deflector. The dash and equipment is laid out where you need it and the cars brings in that 4-Cylinder Alfa power, meant for momentum and high-revving is nothing new, but different in that context and cockpit. The car's suspension, steering and braking are excellent, nothing should be touched. Overall it is a great and genuine experience that was exactly the same in 1965 when the first owner took deliver, again in 1968 with the second owner, and the current owner in 1978... all the same. That's the special part about it. Never apart, and always working.
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Price: $225,000 obo