Market 22: Mexico City Giulietta Sprint survivor

Update 7/1/12: 1 bid, reserve not met.  No sale.

Update 6/25/12: This car has turned up on eBay after 4 years with the same pictures and from the same seller. Sprint values have come a long way in the last 4 years. I expect it will find a buyer this time.

Original post 6/20/08: Reserve not met! $12,099 was the ending price, $1 less than the black plate car out of Cottonwood. Seller added some new pictures of the car outdoors in daylight that show it is a pretty nice car. I think either of these cars was a pretty good deal and would be a great basis for putting together very nice original driver. I think both suffered from somewhat poor presentation and the fact that they both went through eBay at the same time. There can’t be that many guys (or gals) out there looking for Sprints, so any more than 2 or 3 a month in a given area is market saturation, and we’ve been seeing 5 or 6 a month since I started this blog. Last, I suspect both these sellers, encouraged by the strong sale prices mentioned earlier for project cars, put these on the market just to kind of see what they would do, without a real necessity to sell them.

Added pictures include this nose shot, always a pleasant sight. I wonder if a yellow curb has the same meaning in Mexico.

A very straight and clean appearing example. This back drop shows the color and bodywork perfectly.

I like this picture mainly for the Mexico City skyline. It’s neat to see candid pictures fo places you’ve never been.

Giulietta Sprint ‘Normale’ 1493*08549, Engine 1315*07680. Seller states the car is a 1959 which works with the numbers on the build plate if I am reading it right. There is very little about the car in the sellers description so I’ll quote the part of the ad that talks about the car.

“You are looking a very good example , owned for the last 38 years. This Alfa Sprint has a 1600 engine bought directly to the factory in Milan and has 5 speed gearbox. I have the original 1300 engine (disabled ) and the 4 speed gearbox. It was imported from Italy to Mexico City in 1959 and can be used daily even in heavy traffic. everything work . No rust. It needs a new upholstery and carpets.”

I would normally make light of the heavy traffic comment but I drove my 58 Sprint the 29 miles each way to work the last two days in heavy traffic and will likely be driving it most of next week as well while I finish a brake job on the 1972 Fiat 124 Sedan Special.

Good looking car, especially paired with a Gulietta Spider. I can’t really tell if the car is dusty or in some sort of Sodium yellow lighting. Other than the missing windshield trim everything appears to be present and in good shape.

I’m not sure if a 1959 Sprint is supposed to have this style corner marker light, they are cool looking though. Paint looks a little less yellowed out in this picture and seems to be shiny. Drivers door mirror is early 70’s Vitaloni as found on GTV’s.

Other than a need for a good polishing the grills are nice for a car that has seen Mexico City traffic. That center grill Alfa badge looks like a plastic one froma later car to me. No big deal, the enamel original type are readily available. Where have I seen those over-riders before, they look familiar.

European style tail lights and no ‘Sprint’ cursive script, another readily available badge. No rear windscreen trim either. I’ve fussed with those bumper overriders before, BMW 2002??

The body and bright work on this car all look very nice for a survivor type car. I am not familiar with the climate of Mexico City, but if it’s anything like the areas I’ve been in Mexico the rust free statement is probably true. If the windshield trims that are missing don’t come with the car the new owner can look forward to a long expensive search for replacements, though the windows will stay in place fine without them. For anything more than about $15,000 I’d want to see underside pictures and get a comprehensive history of the work done to the car. Seller indicates he owns multiple Alfas, including the Spider in the background, so I’d be comfortable that the work done to the car over the years has been done with a respect for the well-being of the car, not always the case in Central and South America, where it is probably very hard to find parts.

Interior seems to be someones attempt at replicating the original. Steering wheel looks good but I would assume there are cracks in the rim plastic. Gauges aren’t too yellowed.

Cool vintage radio cleanly installed below all the right knobs that are in good shape. Rear view mirror is the correct item, though I can’t tell if the glass has the stock slightly parabolic shape.

In California, one of the options for getting the interior redone in your old car is a weekend trip to Tijuana Mexico for the $300 special. My dad did this for his MGB in about 1985, it was probably $100 back then. I mention this because it seems odd to me that the owner of this car would leave the interior in poor condition in an area where it could probably be competently refurbished for very little money. Then again, they have 5 Alfas and they have chosen to part ways with this one, so maybe it has never had priority status in the collection. For selling purposes I’d have been tempted to reupholster the interior.

1600 shoehorned into the Sprint engine compartment. Not sure where the valve cover breather is going. Remote oil filter is a nice touch, I’ve thought if doing that on my cars. I see some over-spray on the hood prop, so it has been at least partially repainted.

Carb has correct air-box fitted. Black in engine compartment looks pretty goopy.

Putting a 1600 in a Sprint is pretty simple and makes the car much more suitable for the day to day in modern traffic. Alfa engines tend to have very stable cooling systems if the radiators are not allowed to clog so I assume the sellers claim that this car is capable in heavy traffic is true.

There are a lot of questions that need answering about this car but I think if a buyer went into the deal expecting a good looking somewhat scrappy ‘diamond in the rough’ they would not be disappointed. The presence of the original 1300 engine and 4 speed box is a big plus. I expect this car to struggle to make $14,000 but be a good buy at that price. Without the unknown logistics of getting it out of Mexico it would probably make a bit more money. I would personally have no qualms about buying a car out of Mexico.

The two expensive projects out of Southern California in March and April have definitely brought some Sprints out of hiding and with several having come up in the last few weeks for sale I imagine the market favors the buyer somewhat. Someone with deep pockets and storage space would be wise to pick up and hold any seemingly undervalued Sprints if the dollar continues to be depressed.

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