Monterey | Lot 258
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta by Bertone
$165,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
16 August 2014
- B.A.T. show car-inspired styling
- Interesting early history
- Nicely restored and a delight to drive
116 hp, 1,290 cc DOHC inline four-cylinder engine with two Weber carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front and rigid rear axle with coil-spring suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 88.5 in.
The Giulietta Sprint Speciale was launched in 1957, and it was a stunning design that was clearly derived from the otherworldly Berlina Aerodinamica Tecnica, or B.A.T., show cars that had been created by Carrozzeria Bertone in the mid-1950s. Those aerodynamic studies led to what seemed a perfect solution to a competition version of the Bertone-bodied Giulietta Sprint Veloce. However, the Sprint Speciale proved to be a bit heavy for the task, and instead, it became a stylish road car, adding more than a bit of grand touring flash to the entry-level Alfa Romeo line.
According to Alfa Romeo factory files, this Giulietta Sprint Speciale left the Arese factory on November 27, 1961. The first owner purchased the car on January 29, 1962, in France, and it is recorded as being sold to the “Régie Nationale Usines, Billancourt, France,” which is, in fact, the Renault factory. Why they bought the Alfa is not known; however, it should be noted that the two companies had signed a joint-venture agreement in 1958, which, among other things, saw Alfa building a version of the Renault Dauphine and R8 in Italy. The Sprint Speciale eventually found its way to Holland, where it was restored. It was then sold to a gentleman in Spain, from whom the previous owner purchased it several years ago. He then brought it to the United States, where it was acquired by the current owner.
As with all Giulietta Sprint Speciales, this car is equipped with the potent 1.3-liter, Veloce-specification twin-cam engine, which has twin two-barrel Weber carburetors that put out 116 horsepower. It has been subjected to an excellent restoration, making the car ideal of both showing and touring. The notoriously complex body curves, finished in a rich red, align perfectly and have smooth transitions from fender-to-door-to-fender, which reveals almost perfect reflections from the front to rear. The chrome and polished alloy trim is brilliant, and the glass appears to be unmarked. Inside, the black leather seats, piped in red to match the body, appear to be barely broken-in. On the dashboard, the instruments have been beautifully restored, with no trace of yellowing or fading evident. Under the hood can be seen a show-quality level of preparation and a finish equal to that lavished on the exterior and interior.
More recently, the stunning little Alfa was driven an RM specialist, who can confirm that the car performs as good as it looks. It started without hesitation, and the 1300 engine pulled the car along with surprising power. The steering was tight and responsive, while the brakes were sufficient for a car of this size. Once the engine warmed up, the Alfa really got going and was described as a delight to drive.
The Sprint Speciale is one of the most attractive Alfa Romeos of its era. It is a car that is at home on any vintage rally, and it always stands out, even among the most elite of sports-racing cars. Presented here is an example ready to be driven with enjoyment on any twisting mountain route, open desert road, or lazy country drive. This Giulietta Sprint Speciale adds to that a level of restoration that ensures it will turn heads wherever it may show up.