Update 10/25/11: Time marches on. I read these old posts and find myself in the interesting position of not remembering what I have written so it’s fresh -like seeing yourself from an others perspective. Not many times in life when you can look at yourself this way. I’m glad I started this madness. Enjoy, and as Giulietta owners like to say -keep the rev’s up!
Update 11/10/09: Below was first posted on 6/26/08. I carry on with the projects and other pursuits. A new post is almost done. There are some Spiders (as usual) on eBay that deserve a quick mention but again, time has been precious.
Thanks for stopping by and today 5 boxes with T-shirts went out to Tom who paid first, Chris in UK, Dirk in Germany, Peter in Portland and Marco in Illinois. Send me a paypal or check and I’ll get yours in the mail too,
Update 2: Looking over all the cars I have numbers for it looks more likely that 101.02 cars have the new 001.02 engines while 101.05 cars have the 1315* series engines that are modified to accept the 101 engine series head.
Update 1: 101.02 versus 101.05 is a market difference. I read in a reputable source that 101.05 was the model number for US Market Sprints.
If you start looking carefully at the parts on your Giulietta Sprint, Sprint Veloce or Sprint Speciale you will notice there are a lot of numbers stamped, cast, engraved or written with grease pencil in Italian long-hand. These numbers tell you the year, model, and on early cars can match engine number to VIN number. The more subtle markings can shed a little light on how these cars were assembled and can be of great assistance when trying to identify what is correct for your car. I am going to focus on the vehicle identification numbers of Sprint and Sprint Veloce’s in this post and will look at the Engine numbers, Bertone numbers and Sprint Speciale specific numbers separately later.
Tipo or type and series are the fundamental identifiers. Tipo is essentially the model name and series is the model number, which changed over time and for different markets. The first picture is the build plate for one of my cars. It is a Tipo: Giulietta Sprint, Series 101.05. It doesn’t actually say Sprint on the build plate, it’s sort of implied by the car itself that it is a Sprint.
Several identifying numbers can be seen in this picture. On the build plate are the Series, Autotelaio (VIN) and Motore (Engine) numbers. Above the plate, stamped in the body is the number Bertone used to identify the car during fabrication and assembly. The Autotelaio is also stamped on the firewall just below the bundle of wires that can be seen in this picture.
The Tipo designation for the Sprints is pretty simple when looking at Alfa’s designations. A need among enthusiasts to further differentiate the cars has resulted in generally accepted but not officially promoted model names such as Allegerita, Normale and Confortevole. Within these are nicknames ‘Eyebrow’ for early hand made cars with the simple grill surrounds and ‘Egg-crate’ starting at 06611 for the later machine pressed cars with cheese-grater type grills. When Alfa changed specification or designation it didn’t happen immediately, new parts were slowly introduced as the old ones were used up. Cars that were made during this transition are ‘Interim’ cars, and they are individuals one car to the next due to this variation of build parts.
- 750B: Giulietta Sprint. Usually called ‘Normale’, considered ‘Eyebrow’ up to car number 6611, after that ‘Egg-crate’.
- 750E: Giulietta Sprint Veloce. Up to car 05833 these are called ‘Allegerita’ or ‘lightweight’ due to weight-saving modifications. From about 005834 to 06611 are called ‘Confortevole’. Note: all lightweights and Confortevoles are ‘eyebrow’ cars.
- 101.02/101.05: Giulietta Sprint ‘Normale. In 1963 101.02 became Giulietta Sprint 1300 when 101.12 came out.
- 101.06: Giulietta Sprint Veloce. Production officially ended in 1962.
- 101.12: Giulia 1600 Sprint.
In the picture below the Autotelaio number is 1493 20329 and the engine number is 1315 010669. Sprint Autotelaio numbers run basically as noted below, but to avoid error and give just the general idea of the vin ranges I have rounded Fusi’s numbers. In many cases different Tipo’s were pulled from the same body number run as can be seen by the 750B/750E numbers, in this case 750E’s were pulled at random from numbers between 00001 – 10300, except for the narrow run of 1959 cars from 11001 – 11101, which were all 750E’s.
- 750B/750E: 1493 00001 – 10300. Cars run from 1954 – 1960.
- 750E: 1493 11001 – 11101. Cars made in 1959 only.
- 101.02/101.05/101.06: 1493 20001 – 26000. Cars run from 1959 – 1960.
- 101.02/101.05/101.06: 155001 – 164100. Cars run from 1960 – 1962.
- 101.12: 350001 – 351000 or 352001 – 359100. Cars run from 1962 – 1964.
- 101.02/101.05: 384001 – 386000. Cars run from 1963 – 1965.
A couple of things to note about the numbers above. Fusi only lists 101.02 for Sprint ‘Normales’. Most of these cars are stamped 101.05 but I have seen both, so I include both. My two theories on 101.02 are that either it was used in some markets, but not the US, or that when cars are being restored, the restorer looks in Fusi and physically replicates what was initially a typo on the new blank build plate and further muddies the waters. The two cars I have pictures of with 101.02 both appear to be restored to a high standard. The Autotelaio ranges shown overlap, so car 750B 1493 09500 might be younger than 101.05 1493 20329 even though it has the earlier style designation. I have heard rumors, but seen no proof of cars that are outside of these number ranges. Last, these numbers were stamped by hand, by a person in a noisy factory and as a result, mistakes were certainly made. I have heard tales of two cars with the same numbers, stamped numbers that were over-struck, presumably when the incorrect number was stamped the first time.
A better look at the build plate. This is what the font Bertone used looks like on nearly all of the original Sprints I’ve seen. If you are looking at a car and the font is different from this you may want to do some research, you can readily buy these build plates as blanks. Basic maintenance information is written on the right half of the plate. These screws are the correct screws for mounting the plate.
What I have presented above is meant as an overview in identifying these cars. There are many more details to look at that become important when presented with a car you are thinking about buying, especially one of the rarer and more expensive Sprint variants. Next installments will be Engine numbers, Bertone build numbers and Sprint Speciale specific numbers. If you have a Sprint of any flavor and would like to help me out in my research drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with as many details about the car as you care to share.
I want to thank Greig Smith for the last picture.
Click here to proceed to part 2 of the numbers series.