Market #31: Restored 1960 Giulietta SS

Update 3/13/11: More pics from Bill.

Update 3/12/11: Not your usual resale tale here.  This car sold for $140,000 + 10% at Amelia Island.  Buyer was the Malamut Auto Museum in LA.  Thanks for the tip Eric!  Anyone have pics from the auction to share?  Oh, and congrats to the seller on a big cha-ching.

A nice one from Bill Gillham, the restorer, who is no doubt proud of his work.

From the sellers own hand as the bidding passed the estimate.

Auction description:

“Formerly the property of Bill Gillham

  • Styling Inspired by the BAT Show Cars
  • Exacting Restoration by Marque Expert Bill Gillham
  • Consistent Top Concours Award Winner
  • Superb 1300 Twin-Cam Alfa Performance

Chassis No. AR 10120 000388
Engine No. AR00120.01548
1,299 CC Inline 4-Cylinder Aluminum Engine
Twin 2-Barrel Weber DCOE Carburetors
114 BHP at 6,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
Independent Coil Spring Front Suspension
Live Rear Axle Coil Spring Rear Suspension

$100,000–$130,000

The Giulietta Sprint Speciale

Built by Carrozzeria Bertone in two series from 1957 through 1965, the Giulietta and
later Giulia Sprint Speciale are the direct descendants of the three remarkable Berlina
Aerodinamica Tecnica (BAT) show cars of 1953, 1954 and 1955. Designed by Franco
Scaglione on the Alfa 1900 platform, those futuristic studies on aerodynamics explored
various solutions of airflow management through streamlining and fins, although it was
thought unlikely they would be put into production. However, when the Sprint Speciale
prototype was first shown, it was clear that Bertone had succeeded in convincing Alfa
management that their ideas had merit for a wider audience.

This Car:

A US-market car, this Sprint Speciale was delivered to its first owner in 1962 by Rambo
Motors of Portland, Oregon. It is believed to have remained in Oregon until 1983, when
it was purchased by noted Alfa aficionado, Alfa Romeo Owners Club president, concours
judge and restorer Bill Gillham. Mr. Gillham sold the car in 2005 to James and Cindy
Dyer of Houston, Texas, who commissioned a concours restoration from Mr. Gillham’s
shop, Hooligan Racing LLC in Jefferson, Oregon. The brief from his clients was to
produce a national concours-level show car – in the words of its restorer “…to make it
the finest SS on the continent” – and the results of that effort can be clearly seen today.

With its complex compound curves, the dramatic body was carefully prepared to receive
the beautiful finish in the Alfa period-color Blu Olandese paint. Extensive use of hard-
to-find NOS pieces, including what is said to have been the last Bertone factory nose
panel, were used to assure that the restoration was as authentic as possible. The level of
attention to detail extended to the fitting of the correct decals on the fuel pump, a voltage
regulator and leather jack belt hold-down strap. The original engine is stated to have been
rebuilt to “racing standards” by Dan Sommers of Veloce Motors in Gervais, Oregon,
and included correct Veloce rods and NOS pistons. Of course, only the proper Copiglia
clamps hold the hoses under the hood.

Inside, the red and gray leather interior was done by Andy Smith of Larry’s Upholstery in
Albany, Oregon, and the correct bound red wool carpeting and an original period Nardi
wood-rimmed steering wheel adds appeal to the simple but elegant appearance. Some
original components, such as the dashboard controls and shift knob, were left in place,
their light patina giving a graceful touch.

Following completion of the restoration this Sprint Speciale was shown at the 2005
Concorso Italiano in Monterey, California, where it duly won Best Alfa Romeo in a large
field of entrants! The current owner purchased the car in August 2008, and as a testament
to both the original restoration as well as the standard of care it has received, it continues
to win prizes. At the 2009 Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car Show in Saratoga Springs,
New York, the Alfa garnered Best Alfa Romeo as well as Best in Show. In 2010, at the
Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance in Pennsylvania, the SS was chosen First in Class and
went on to win a Certificato d’Oro with 100+ points at the Alfa Romeo Owners Club
National Convention in Fredrick, Maryland.

Included with the car are the original tool kit, owner’s manual and leather wallet, a file
of restoration and maintenance receipts and photographs, dismounted wiper arms (to
protect the flawless windshield,) as well as various spare parts. Please consult one of our
specialists to view the file and the detail of spares. The Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale is
the closest most of us will come to owning a show car for the street, and this is arguably
one of the best examples of this extraordinary model available on the market in the world
today.”

1960 Giulietta Sprint Speciale 00120*00388.  This car is available in Houston here right now for $69,900.  If I have my information correct this car was restored by Bill Gillham, who has been a prominent voice in Alfa enthusiast circles for years and knows his Giulietta’s (and incidentally, he welded the floor in my 59 Sprint).  No engine number is given and no pictures of it are among the pictures on their website.  I would want these and underside pictures for starters if I was seriously considering this car.

This dark blue is my favorite color for the Sprint Speciale and the red/gray interior is the perfect compliment.  If this car was originally this color combination it is rare indeed as most were red or white.

Exceptionally straight panels covered in very nice paint.  Trim all looks straight and fits the car very well.

The front bumper looks a little heavy from this angle.  Is that drip on the nice clean pavement from this car?

Car sits a little lower than stock.  Wheels are chrome which is common on later cars, I prefer the painted silver look which sets off the hubcaps nicely.  Lines of the reflection in the paint leads me to believe the body is very straight and the paint work is very nice.

I’d like to see this sticking out of my garage!  Amber lenses were used on European market cars.  From this angle the wheels almost look like they were widened.  Chrome side spears and bumper look to fit the car very well.

Lack of badging means everyone has to ask what it is.  Even given a glimpse of the ‘Giulietta Sprint Speciale’ and ‘Bertone’ badges on the sides, a look of bewilderment usually follows an attempt to pronounce its name.

Interior looks great.  I’d opt for red mats to try and calm down the color shifts but this is no big deal.  I like the Nardi wheel, but would want the correct wheel in a box on my shelf.

The red and gray material used on this car might be the exact same as used in my red Sprint.  Seats look good, not over-stuffed.  Red piping on the front edge of the lower cushions usually goes diagonally out to the corners but I could live with it this way.

Rear parcel area is nice and tidy with correct luggage securing strap eyelets intact.

The presentation on the sellers website tells me they have very little experience with vintage cars, maybe the owner of the car owns the dealership.  Whatever the case, there should be a lot more information about the car.  If I didn’t already know about the car my comments would probably be a little more skeptical, though the pictures do tell a good story.

This car is among the nicest restored Giulietta SS’s and will probably be on a cargo plane to Europe or the Middle East within a few weeks to disappear in to someone’s collection.  If I had the cash I’d spring for it, but alas it’s not for me just yet.

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3 thoughts on “Market #31: Restored 1960 Giulietta SS

  1. Just wanted to say thanks for your posting, without which I never would have known about this car. It’s in my garage now (East Coast USA).

    Your blog is really a pleasure to visit, with great organization, content and visuals. Hope you have the energy to keep going.

  2. Pingback: giuliettas dot com turns 100! « giulietta sprints

  3. I know the owner of this car and you are correct that the dealer that had the car knew little about the car/vintage cars. The car had undergone a complete restoration by Gillham and then a complete mechanical rebuilt and sorting out. In fact the car had so few miles on it that the head hadnt been re-torqued yet since the miles on the new engine was so low.
    The buyer Don really scored on this car as it is perhaps the nicest SS out there

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