D&S #1: My Sprint Speciale acquisition Story

Update 11/5/2009: I am participating in the NaNoWriMo this month, a 50,000 word novel written in 30 days. I’ve written about 5000 as of writing this, I started on the afternoon of the 2nd so I have a day of catch-up to do. My participation there means I will have less words to add to Giuliettas.com. In addition to that I purchased a years supply of real honest-to-god web hosting so I have a learning curve ahead of me figuring out how to have the blog stay as it is but the pages with registers and histories and all that expand and be easier to navigate.

In light of the above, and considering I am going to be back on the SS full time once the Fiat is finished and the 69 GTV is daily driveable, both of which are days away from happening, I am going to rerun a lot of the posts about the my Sprint Speciale to remind the reader of how I got it and what I’ve done so far. I think 7 people read this post the first time around so it will be new to most of you. Enjoy!

Original post from April 2008. My first blog post ever! Why give up a perfectly doable 1972 GTV project and undertake a very challenging Giulietta SS project? There are lots of reasons that have nothing to do with common sense, among them: the persistent desire to own and drive an SS, the ever increasing value of SS’s making the prospect of buying one in the future ever more remote, the desire to accomplish a challenging long-term project; any of these is answer enough. If you ask yourself though, as I did: “What classic sports car project, that is not a pipe-dream given my financial circumstances, do I REALLY want to spend money and time on, own long term, and drive?” The answer should inform your hobby as it did mine. Life is short, too short to work on a car you are not extremely excited about. Whatever car is the answer to the question above is the car you should be after. For me it is, and has been for the last 8 years, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale.

An early SS advertising photo.Period advertising shot. I suppose I’ll have to dapper it up when I drive mine.

Once I answered the question, I started doing research. The SS is, like any hand-made Alfa of its day, quite varied from individual to individual. It is reported that every car has its Bertone serial number stamped on all body and trim parts since these pieces are all fettled to fit the specific body. The tipo 00120 engine found in Giulietta SS’s is shared with the line-topping SZ (Sprint Zagato) and as such commands big money, even for challenging basket cases. The very early SS’s, prototypes effectively, had a longer Kamm-tail and a ‘low-nose’, a few of these were made, probably less than 5 if old-timers in the Alfa community are correct, and are worth at least 2-3 times the equivalent condition standard SS if one ever made it to the common market. Following the low-nose long-tail’s were about 100 low-nose standard tails. These are probably worth as much as twice the equivalent standard SS. There are rumors of all aluminum bodied cars, one off period modified cars and period prepared race cars, whose value I won’t bother to speculate.

Low Nose SS number 10120.00001 though strangely not the first SS made. Sold winter of 2007/2008 for undisclosed amount above $100K.

While it would be nice to find one of the rare variations to take under my wing, chances were I’ll simply take what I can find.

My search turned up three candidates: a clean, running somewhat original (missing the original 00121 code 1600 Veloce motor) Giulia SS for 20K Euros in Belgium, a rusty and stripped Giulia SS complete with all parts and its original matching number engine for about 10K Canadian and an incomplete apparently not rusty but hard to quantify Giulietta SS roller with a couple of boxes of misc trim and mechanical parts for $4500 in Washington. I decided to go cheap and bought the Giulietta. The following pictures are some of what I based my decision to buy on. Yes, the floors have been cut out and are missing!

My first glimpse of the car that will likely comsume a thousand or more of my hours and probably tens of thousands of my dollars.

Steering wheel looks OK. The plates that cover the rear shock mounts are in place.

Is that one of the seats under the dash? Steering wheel looks even better from this angle.

It’s tough to tell for sure but that looks like a big dent above the wheel and I can see floor through the wheel holes so the brake is gone.

Follow this link to continue the story.


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