“Handbuilt … and decidedly expensive” claimed the title of Alfa Romeo’s 1960’s sales brochure: “The Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale – For the man who has everything, here is the car to keep him company. … The price is £2394.13 including tax. Expensive? Naturally! What else would you expect a hand-built Alfa to be?”
The first prototype of the Giulietta SS was presented in 1957 at the Turin Motor Show with the production version officially unveiled to the press on 24 June 1959 at Monza.
Initially conceived by Bertone designer Franco Scaglione to compete against Zagato’s lightweight SVZ’s, its aerodynamic form had been extensively tested in Moto Guzzi’s wind tunnel and the Milan-Turin autostrada; it produced a 0.28 drag coefficient – a figure unsurpassed for more than twenty years.
The car used Alfa Romeo’s 1290cc twin-cam engine which produced 100bhp (75 kW), giving it a maximum speed of 124 mph (or 200 km/h).
The first 101 cars produced had a ‘low nose’ and aluminium body panels. Despite drawing heavily on the 101-series components, these early cars bore the ‘750 SS’ designation.
However, this first production run proved to be too heavy for serious competition use; so the series was re-launched as a graceful Grand Tourer. The body was now all-steel, and the nose and headlights were raised to conform to US regulations. Front and rear bumpers were added and the interior was made more luxurious through additional sound padding.
The final iteration came with the introduction of the Giulia Sprint Speciale in 1963. It was fitted with the 112 bhp 1600cc engine and the later models had disc brakes. The interior became more sumptuous still, with additional leather trim and creature-comforts such as grab-handles and ashtrays.
Production lasted until 1966. In total, only 1,366 Giulietta Sprint Speciales and 1,400 Giulia Sprint Speciales were manufactured.
This car, chassis AR 177258, was originally manufactured on the 15th December 1961 in Gardenia White with Blue/Grey interior. It was sold on the 29th January 1962 to Régie Nationale des Usines, Billancourt, France.
Italian car specialists DTR Sportscars were commissioned in 2016 by the owner’s late father to carry out a full nuts-and-bolts restoration of the car. Sadly he did not survive to see the completed car. But it has since gone on to win this year’s ‘Chairman’s Choice Award’ at the Club’s Midsummer Drive-In and was afterwards taken to France for the owner’s wedding.
Displayed courtesy of the current owner, Club member Gareth Williams, from Monday 16th September to Sunday 22nd September 2019.