The car for you

So you’ve read and reread my post about restorations and decided to buy a project Giulietta (or 101 Giulia).  There is a reason you have decided to do this, and you need to try and identify it to make sure you find fulfillment in your purchase.  What do I mean?  Well, you need to ask yourself why and come up with a satisfying ‘because’.

For example… I had an Iso Rivolta 300GT.  How I came to possess it is unimportant, nor is the fact that it was a rusty hulk -a fast rusty hulk, but a rusty hulk no less.  Anyway, on the 2000 California Melee I chased a 750 Giulietta Sprint on the deliciously twisty and fast road from Leggett to Fort Bragg -45 minutes of 50 mph bliss.  If it was a scene in a movie it would have gone all slow motion and a Chopin prelude would have played sweet yet dramatic.  That’s the car for me I thought.  It took me a few years to round one up and the rest is history.

You never know when that first glimpse happened.  I sold my Fulvia to a guy who had a toy of one as a kid and it was his favorite toy.  Thirty years later…

So, you have a similar story and you need to work it out.  Why?  Because you don’t want to find yourself saying ‘I really wanted a Spider’ when you’re half finished fixing up that Sprint, although it is well known that Alfa ownership is most often in the plural, usually limited by available space, and you will find yourself with several Alfa’s in most cases if space allows.  So you work it out and that blonde chick who drove a Spider Veloce to college and always seemed to park next to your Dodge Dart seems to be the genesis of your desire to have a Spider.  Or maybe it was a relative with an SS, or a neighbor whose Sprint Veloce had so earnest an exhaust note.  You see, there’s a reason you have been watching the internet for a Giulietta for sale and find yourself reading these words here.

Now you know what kind of restorer you are -or at least have deluded yourself into thinking you are, and have a pretty good idea what kind of Giulietta you want and why.  What do you do now?  Research the cars, get social and prepare your funds.  Research is fun.  You learn there are many flavors of Sprint where you initially perceived just one.  You discover the original color palettes and pick a favorite with an exotic name like Azzuro Nube.  You ponder the world of the 1950’s that gave birth to these cars.  One day you introduce yourself on the 750/101 group.  “Hi, my name is Artemis, I’m a retired deity, and I am looking for a Giulietta to be my first.  I’d like to find a Sprint project that is complete and doesn’t have much rust.”  You are welcomed, get some advice and maybe a few leads, but no car.  Your funds are in order, your heart is set, and a trap is closing in around you.

What trap?  We live in an acquisitive society.  A VERY acquisitive society, whose acquisitiveness is only matched by its impatience.  Not only do you need a Giulietta Sprint -you need it now.

Back when the itch could be scratched relatively quickly.  This must be early in the production before they modernized the facilities.

“Hey Artemis, I saw your post looking for a Giulietta Sprint.  I just put my project on eBay -not too much rust, pretty complete, blah blah blah.”  Three weeks later an incomplete rusty Sprint is lurking in your garage.  There are these boxes of parts -the kind they put fruit in with the 1″ x 8″ open slot at the bottom that have already leaked a dozen unidentified fasteners onto your garage floor.  Some boxes have parts you can’t identify even after studying the parts book late into the night that the next day your buddy informs you are 70’s Dodge truck parts.  You start telling yourself ‘the rust isn’t that bad’ once you get over the first wave of reality setting in, and hey, you got your project Sprint, it’s in your garage, and that fantasy restoration that takes about 45 minutes to play out in your imagination is calling.

Things will never be made this way again.  Note how the hoods and trunks are mounted.  Any one of these could be your car or mine -is someones!

It’s time to get to work.  I’ll talk about sizing that project up in my next ramble if I ever get to it.

Next post in this series.

Previous post in this series.


10 thoughts on “The car for you

  1. This is a worthwhile ramble. It takes me back and I can bet it will take a lot of the guys out there that this pertains to. Don’t worry about the next step….it doesn’t matter any more….you have a SPRINT….and it doesn’t matter how bad it seems….things can only get better.
    I wish some one would swap a basket case sprint for my sound Giulia. Ahhhhh, if only.

  2. I may never understand your interest in cars other than Alfas, but I understand your more psychological notes very well. Good one.

  3. Probing deep into the psyche to determine why I spend hours researching these cars that I had never heard of until my 83 year old nieghbor mentioned that he had one in his shed…Great series and some cool pictures in this one – keep up the good work Matt!

  4. I may as well add my Spider to the listing. Just transported it from my parents barn in Pennsylvania where it has rested and rusted since 1971. I parked it after high school and before college(and the draft). It now lives in Greeneville, Tennessee. It is AR149503101~AR1315*43068*. Fiat archive says it is the original engine and original Rosso Farina paint. Very rusty, will be installing a complete floor and hand forming many small patch panels. Could use some help in finding sheet metal sources at reasonable prices. This one will have to wait ’til I get my late father’s OSCA back to life. Great encouraging site, love the timeless Italian beauties.

    • Hoffman motor originally titled this as a ’59 in Rochester, NY rather than the ’57 it is. Probably lay in the dealership for for 2 years.

    • Jack,

      I’m working with a friend to bring some seriously nice sheetmetal over from Italy. It may not meet your guidance on ‘reasonable’ but it will fit without a ton of extra fettling.

      Do you have any pictures to share?

      Thanks for the comment!


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