Market 406: Sprint 10105 20729 -how you used to find them

Update 4/6/12: I subscribe to the idea that the price is the price -especially in the pure market forces exercise that an auction is, but I can’t help thinking that this car is under-appreciated and worth more than the sum of it’s parts.  Car is listed in the current Giuliettaletta for an asking price of $20K.  A little high in my opinion, but not massively.

Update 3/27/12: Car went unsold with a high bid of $12,100 -not meeting reserve, but has been relisted.  I wouldn’t have sold it for $12,100.

3/17/12:  Giulietta Sprint 10105 1493*20729This car is on eBay right now out of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania from a long time Alfa club guy.  Seller says it was owned by the Dupont family and under went several color changes from the original Celeste (or whatever shade of light blue).  Car is currently powered by a 1600 engine out of a 101 Spider that has a blown head gasket, but comes with the original 1300.  The usual caveats apply -it’s complete, together, and not far from the road, but needs a lot of help to be a nice car.  That said, it is one of the better Sprint projects I’ve written about.

Looking very much like my car -patina and all.  Biggest plus for this car is its potential to be a rolling restoration.  Check the brakes out, do the head gasket or whatever, tie up the loosest ends in the interior, suspension etc and drive it.  While you use it you can source parts, come up with a plan, and begin the restoration.

I am always reassured when I buy a car from a fellow enthusiast with other neat old cars.  This car has had panels replaced front and back, but it looks like a good job was done of it.  Someone on the west coast buy this and I’ll help get it together.
Hole in the tail light is unfortunate, but single lenses pop up on eBay occasionally.

This is the second Sprint I’ve seen with this exact same paint checking and surface rust.  Will need a new rear window gasket eventually.

Trunk prop and latch are missing -Alfastop carries new latches with keys.  If the trunk is as solid as the seller claims, it’s a good deal.

“1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

Here is a brief history of it:
– Car was purchased by someone in the DuPont family (the chemical company) – originally robins egg blue with blue(?) interior
– Car was sold to someone, but then repurchased by the DuPonts again; it was subsequently painted dark blue, then pininfarina red
– it also had the interior redone at some point in brown vinyl with basket weave fabric inserts – very 70’s.
– It was also conveted to a 5spd at some point.
– It’s engine was swapped out for a 1600 from a Spider. (I sold the Spider long ago for parts.). I have the original 1300 (which supposedly was rebuilt with a 1400 kit and never run). That engine goes with the car. The 1600 has a vintage Mallory distributor.
– In 2000 or 2001, the previous owner advertised the car in the local (Delaware Valley) Alfa club classifieds (I was running the club and website at the time, so handled the ad). On a whim, I called about it and purchased it along with a ’63 Spider and a bunch of parts from him. I’ve owned it since.
– After purchasing it, I needed to go over the brakes, replace the exhaust and a few other items to get it running/driving.
– I haven’t done much to it since, other than maintenance and putting on a Weber carb. I drove it from PA to NH in 2004 for the Alfa Convention and drove it regularly until about 2010 when the head gasket went. It’s sat in my garage since then.
– In December 2011, I pulled it out to get it ready to sell and got it back on the road again.

– The car is pretty well preserved, probably due to the fact that it was sprayed everywhere with cosmoline (or something like that). It’s been hit in the front – the hood, grill, bumper and both front fenders were replaced at one point. There is some rust bubbling in the front quarter panels where the new fenders were brazed in with a lap joint. On the positive, the front bumper is beautiful. It’s been hit in the rear also – the trunk lid was repaired and the rear bumper replaced. The rear bumper is perfect, but it does not have the reflectors on the fenders. Other than the front fender bubbles, there is a small bubble on the lower rear fender. Other than that, the car is rust free as far as I can tell.
– The interior is deteriorating – it is not original anyway. Both front seats are torn. The headliner has a hole in it above the driver door. The tach does not work. One of the gages has the lettering falling off. The car does, however, have a rare rear seat which is very nice. The rear seats are in good condition.
– The glass is fine.
– Bumpers are near perfect. The grill has a small ding that can be taken out. The trim is fine. The airplane is pitted. The door handles are also pitted, but not as badly. The front fenders do not have the marker lights on them. The hood does not have the spear on it. One tail light lens has a hole in it. I have the trim for the hood and rear reflectors. I don’t have the side marker lights.
– As mentioned before, the 1600 needs a head gasket. The transmission is fine. Brake MC was rebuilt a couple of years ago and some of the wheel cylinders were replaced – not all.
– The car would come with spares, most of the missing trim, the 1300 engine, and some new parts like window seals. Depending on selling price, I will also include a spare trunk lid, hood, rear glass and other Giulietta parts I have.
– Overall, it is a solid car that can be enjoyed with very little work. However, if you intend to show it, it would need a complete restoration. My plan was to take it off the road and redo it, back to its original colors. Unfortunately, I have neither the time nor the energy anymore to seriously think about restoring it. While I love the car, I need to simplify and it must go.”

First thing I would do that wasn’t a ‘requirement to run’ would be to recover the dash in black -that’s what you look at the whole time you’re driving.  Second the seats and door panels.  Steering wheel looks great.  Rear view mirror needs re-silvering.  I am going to get some mirrors re-silvered pretty soon as part of my ‘learning about the parts’ program.

As kooky and interesting as the rear seat is, I think I’d restore to standard config.  This just eats up good luggage space.  Of course, I could put a baby seat back here…

It isn’t pretty, but it will work.  I can see some original light blue paint peaking out from behind the carb.

I don’t see evidence of any rust.  Usual the spar -the piece that runs under the floor between the rockers and center frame rusts first (the top horizontal line in this picture is defined by this bit.  Exhaust looks custom, tire is flat, flexible coupling probably needs replacement.

My current theory on restorations is that taking the car all apart at once is what kills it.  Many -most? -restorations don’t get finished, and people aren’t careful with keeping track of bits, etc, so this is what I propose (note, this mainly applies to the home enthusiast restorer) take off one assembly, document and restore it, then carefully pack it away -once that part is done, take apart the next assembly, and repeat.  This way you have only one thoroughly disassembled bit to worry about at any given time besides the ready-to-assemble parts off the car.  Why do this?  If you give up, change your mind or life comes calling with unforseen changes, you wont have a garage full of boxes, tubs and coffee cans full of crusty Sprint parts and a semi-rolling shell.  This technique could be applied to a runner/driver, with the restored bits going back on the car as they are done -but then you have to remove them twice -a little inefficiency in the name of keeping it manageable.

I know -but what about the 6 months while the body is at the shop getting a few rust patches and a coat of paint?  Build the engine, transmission and ancillaries while the body is gone.

Just a thought.

l

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