Market #8: 1959 Interim 750 Sprint barn find

Sold! This car ended on 5/14/08 at $15,100. This is more than I expected, but not much, and I was not thinking of the current dollar weakness when I said $12,000. I expect this will be a sale that finalizes and the new owner will be very happy with their purchase. A couple of good showings for Sprints the last couple of months has me thinking I finally bought a car (or three) at the right time. I wonder what additional money would have been spent on this car if the original engine were included? Another win-win auction.

Sprint ‘Normale’ 750B 1493*08260, engine AR00112*01160. Another fantastic barn-find from the eBay seller out of Newport Beach area. This car is one of the Interim Sprints which were made from 1958 through 1960 and in a few cases beyond. The 750B and Tipo 10102 Sprints were made side by side with essentially whatever parts were on hand the day of the build. I suspect Bertone was told by Alfa to use up stock of old parts where they could. My 1959 Sprint is very similar to this car in most respects though it is a 10102 with a 1493 body number. The Fusi book of production Alfa’s lists the 59 750B’s starting with 07922 and ending with 10301. The 10102’s start with 20001 and end with 21487. I think that adds up to about 3500 examples made that year including Sprint Veloces, which were pulled at random from among the two series and labeled with an E between the Tipo prefix and number.

Stance looks right, body is straight as is the front brightwork. Too bad every mechanical part on a car like this will need attention before it can see the road.

The installed engine is from a 1962 Giulia 1600 Spider, not a bad thing, but the absence of the original engine detracts in the long run. A 1600 makes one of these cars a real go-getter in modern traffic, while a later 1750 makes a monster. Current thinking with these standard cars is that not having the original engine isn’t such a big deal, but when faced with a desire to do a costly restoration on a car like this it may cause the shopper to look elsewhere for a candidate if the finished product can never be ‘right’. If I were the seller I would do a few hours detective work to try and turn up the original engine. It’s out there somewhere, probably forgotten in the sellers barn under some junk and it may be the detail that turns this into a high dollar car.

Back seats were a $150 or so option when these cars were new. Only really suitable for very young children and the legless, but they apparently sold a few since the last two 59 Sprints I’ve seen for sale had them. A really tall person could probably pull the front seat out and drive from the back. I love the cute little fold down armrest.

Seller states the only rust is in this trunk corner. My 59 Sprint had a wood 2×6 wood screwed into and spanning the bits of trunk floor that were left, with the gas tank and battery strapped to it. Very classy. The two holes in the corner are the mount holes for the missing reflectors.

The rear of the car is very straight and nice. It appears to be missing the license plate mounting bits. Some say the trunk lids are fitted to the individual car, some say they are machine stamped and the body made to match the lid, I am glad I haven’t had to find out.

The usual mess these cars interior ends up in. Almost exactly how the interior of my 59 looked when it was pulled out of its barn. Seat covers run about $500-700 each now and carpet sets start at about $400. I’d probably run the door panels for a while.

Dash looks good, gauges aren’t as yellow as usual. The steering wheel needs repair ($250 or so) or replacement. Red dash top is an odd touch. Radio blanking plate is very rare original item. The original mirror glass is gone which is a shame as it is slightly convex and difficult to replace correctly.

Putting a 1600 in one of these cars is pretty easy except finding a home for the air-box. They cut a hole in the inner fender and sent the intake through, pointing toward the front of the car above the drivers side wheel, not ideal but practical.

Engine 1315*07536, where art thou?

Undersides like this, without rust are why collectors from around the world look to southern California for cars to restore. The 750 rockers are open at the bottom, a quirk of the hand-made nature of these cars.

Drive me please you can hear it say, and what fun it would be with the 1600.

Fully restoring this car would be pointless. The paint will polish up and look great, as will the bright-work. If the engine is healthy, brake and fuel system clean-ups along with some interior work and rubber body gaskets replaced would turn this into a daily driver with the perfectly patina. All of this could be done by a good shop for about $8000, a DIYer like myself could do it for a third of that. It’s a shame the California black plates are missing, but year of manufacture license plate laws allow the use of a period correct plate. I’d like to see this car sell for $12,000, which would give the buyer room to fix it up and probably make the seller very happy. It’s nice to see a neat old Alfa I’m not sad I can’t own.

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2 thoughts on “Market #8: 1959 Interim 750 Sprint barn find

  1. Pingback: Market #21: California Black plate ‘Interim’ Giulietta Sprint « giulietta sprints

  2. Pingback: Market #21: California Black plate ‘Interim’ Giulietta Sprint « giulietta sprints

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