Market 9: Original 1958 750 B barn find

Sprint ‘Normale’ 750B 1493*06329, engine 1315*05724.Sold on eBay 3/31/08 for $26,600. A nicer start for a total restoration couldn’t be found, but I don’t know if I could bring myself to erase the original patina of this machine, and it may not make any financial sense. Engine is loosely assembled to add to the pictures appeal. Mileage is a claimed 108K at which point it blew its head-gasket, in 1971. I would estimate $10,000 or more to bring this car up to a safe, reliable operating standard, and maybe another $2000 to get the interior in shape. Seller, operating out of Newport Beach California, is known for bringing well presented barn-find Alfa’s to eBay and this is in my opinion his finest offering to date.

The 750 Sprints were all hand made, with body panels hammered out on wood bucks and welded together. When you scrutinize these cars you see some very fine detail work beside some very rough welding, totally normal given the manufacturing circumstances. Any repairs to the body are hammer and dolly, or cut, shape and weld. The car is a true uni-body so there are no removable panels and this adds to the expense of restoration. Fortunately this car needs none of that.

rightfrontlow

Clean, straight, original. This car sits like a car that was driven to this spot. Grills look great as do side spears and window surround trim. The nickname ‘eyebrow’ car comes from the two simple trims surrounding he openings on either side of the grill.

rightrear

Small tail lights, no reflectors and no external seam under the bumper differentiate the rear of these early cars from the later 101 body cars.

The paint on this car would come up nicely with careful wet sanding, buffing, polishing and waxing. I think painting it would be a mistake unless it is much worse than it appears in the pictures. A thorough and proper detailing of this car would probably take a couple of weeks as the time really adds up on tasks like removing the years of road grime in the wheel wells and removing trim for polishing. Presence of the California ‘Black Plate’ probably adds more to the value of this car than anyone would care to admit.

rightrearunder

Open rockers are another feature of these cars. A more rust free 750 Sprint underside would be hard to find.

engineleft21

Engine is mocked-up and needs at least a head gasket. I’d probably measure everything and replace the minimum amount of parts to preserve the originality.

dataplate2

This build plate almost looks new. Note the Bertone body number above the plate, some Alfa historians have tried to find a correlation between the Alfa body number and the Bertone body number. There are trends, but that is likely as deep as it goes.

seats

Replace the carpet and seat covers with high quality original materials and you would have a very nice interior. A lot of these materials are available from the original Italian manufacturers, you just have to track them down.

doorjamb

This door jamb shows what you can expect from the rest of the unseen details of the car. Clean edges on the fasteners tell me it has never been taken apart for any reason. That small chrome strip above the strike plate is not used on 101 cars.

dashnwheel1

Very clean dash for a 50+ year old Sprint.

The dashes on the 750 cars had the built in defroster vents that are seen here. Later cars have a much simpler 3 vent system where the air exits in gaps between the dash edge and body under the windshield. The clear plastic script rings in the gauges have not yellowed significantly and the black steering wheel rim and horn button are uncracked so I doubt this car has sat much in the sun. The pedal rubbers look very good, expected in a low mileage, well cared for car like this, though being old and dry they will likely wear out fast when this car gets back on the road. The mirror silvering is intact which I personally find amazing because neither of my Sprints has much usable mirror left. The addition of an ammeter is not uncommon in cars from the 50’s – 60’s, I’m unsure whether this is due to poor battery technology, unstable charging system electronics or a hard-sell in the back of a Road and Track. I would probably leave it alone so as not to have to deal with a hole in the dash.

rearinterior2

The carpet back here needs replacing, but everything else looks good. The two little eyelets for the luggage straps, seen here in the upper blue vertical section are hard to find if missing. I currently need 6, 2 for each of my cars.

visors

Headliner and visors look amazing. Note presence of interior grab handle near passenger visor and the under-hood ‘blanket’ retaining strip, a $250+ item on eBay.

jacknhandle

One of these jacks sold on eBay a few days ago for $760! The jack needs to have the wooden knob, aluminum top and one of the flat style bottoms without ‘claws’, to command this kind of money. Is that a trunk light in the upper right hand corner of this picture?

I think that if this car is as good as it looks in these pictures it is a solid investment at the selling price. A trend at high end car shows is to have a preservation class and this car is perfect for showing in this arena. In the years ahead the two examples of cars that will command the most money are 100 point restorations and nice originals. While harder to find, the nice original is probably the cheaper top dollar car in the long run. I hope to have one of these ‘eyebrow’ 750 Sprints someday, but if prices keep going up, it may never happen.

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3 thoughts on “Market 9: Original 1958 750 B barn find

  1. Hi Matt,

    Restoration here would be a tragic mistake. All this car needs is a lot of careful polishing and refurbishing. Then to be driven!

    The Ferrari is in a sense in the same state, only not so much needed. After the next bit of going over, I will try to get her over to Oakland.

    Right now I am on to jobs in Reno and Minneapolis, so my days in Nor Cal may be numbered. *sigh*

    Regards,

    Randy

  2. Pingback: Market #30: Orange 750B project in Europe « giulietta sprints

  3. Pingback: Market #63: Baby Blue 10102 Sprint project « giulietta sprints

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