Market 434: Winning-est Giulietta racer Spider 750 03083 ‘Sophia’

Update 8/23/12: Sold for $72,450 including premium.

Update later the same morning:

I got this picture taken at Road Atlanta circa 1983 from Michael McClure, then owner of the brown Giulietta racer and wearing the gold race suit talking to Martin Krilanovich (in green sleeves). The red car is Sophia with Phil Mason in white racing suit leaning over it talking to his crew chief Jerry.  Time flies. 

Giulietta Spider 750D 1495*03083, 1315*41849.  The late Al Leake Jr. raced Sophia to much success on the west coast.  I can remember seeing them many times at Sear’s Point and Laguna Seca -always out front or nearly so -even against cars that on paper ought to have gotten around the track faster -even if driven by lesser drivers.  I don’t remember where I heard/read it, but I seem to recall that Sophia is one of the winning-est race cars in history.  Lineage includes prior ownership by Phil Mason and connection to H. B. Luginbuhl, who some say had a lot to do with development early on.  Anyway, Sophia is being auctioned by Bonhams this coming Monterey weekend.  Estimate is $65,000 – $85,000.  It’s too bad the seller chickened out and omitted the rubber chicken that used to be seen dangling from the trunk -oh well, maybe that rubber chicken is a stuffed trophy over someones mantle now next to a 12 point buck or buffalo head.

Tasteful for a dedicated race car.  Development started in the mid-70’s and by the late 80’s Sophia was a potent machine.  Fiberglass grill and trim?

The view most other racers got.  Would be interesting to see how much quicker than stock a car like this is.  Pretty thorough roll bar set up.

Contours are hidden in this picture.  Monoposto set up allows for a smaller frontal area than racers with a windshield.  Would look really mean if the grills and headlights were black.  I’ll let someone else comment on the race number.

I have been thinking I should take my Sprint racing for years now -just to see how fast I can make it and how familiar with it I can get, and pictures like this reenforce that thought.  this looks like a serious life-sized go-cart!   Lets play guess the gauges!

Purposeful to a high degree.  I like the double breather set up -pumping air takes energy -the more freely it breathes, the less energy it wastes pumping.  Looks like 2 liter era valve cover and 1600 era intake.  What are the 2 hoses that disappear under the cool air crossover duct for?  There’s a 750F build plate in this car but the font is wrong and the chassis number is not listed in d&T as a Veloce, so I’m calling it a D.

The wistful ‘you know you want it’ shot.  I need to take this writing about cars for sale thing up a notch so I can get invited to drive some of the finer examples!

I think Sophia was the basis for the other monoposto racer Al had that sold a couple of years ago for more than the estimate here.


8 thoughts on “Market 434: Winning-est Giulietta racer Spider 750 03083 ‘Sophia’

  1. I saw this car in person several times and had long discussions with Al about it. Back then I was considering having him restore a Giulietta for me. Much of this car was fiberglass to save weight and Al had molds to make more panels. Back then, even the spare next to the driver’s seat was a fiberglass replica! Looked very real down to the molded in tire markings. Give it a knuckle rap and see! I think he had it there for style points. Sadly, it was clear to me that Al was more into the race cars, and the Giulietta he offered me as a basis for the project had been under a tarp in his yard for a long time. He assured me it would be easy to clean up on his rotisserie, but I wasn’t a believer. But if I had wanted a race car I probably would have proceeded with the project. After all, he did have those cool fiberglass molds… but I ended up getting a 66 GTV instead. Al was a great character. Godspeed!

  2. More about that spare wheel: Al had said it was required for some kind of racing to have a spare in the car… and to save weight and slip by the inspectors he made the fiberglass one. Interesting lengths a racer will go to to save weight! But I think it just became a fun thing to talk about in the paddock, and “part of the legend”. I’m sure some real racer could fill us in on the whole story…

  3. Al’s last SCCA race was at Laguna Seca in September 2007 just before he was diagnosed. Al was 69, and “Sophia” was 50! Al and “Sophia” won G Prod beating all those younger cars! A great ride! If you dream of racing . . . this is the car for you! Eligible for Monterey and the Mille Milia. You can check out “Sophia” and Al at Limerock winning by 14 seconds at General Racing’s Facebook page. . . I posted a 15 second video (thanks to Dave Pratt of New England Alfa Club). Great memories!
    Myr Leake

  4. ” What are the 2 hoses that disappear under the cool air crossover duct for?”
    Fuel supply to the … carburattori WEBER doppio corpo

  5. SO cool, if I had a race car, it’d be a “D” an not an “F” !! I always thought these cars were kinda heavy on the track, but then I realized that the guys with Giuliettas were being super careful. One day a friend let his son drive and his son didn’t “hold back”. Of course it didn’t hurt the car had a 2 liter and 4 wheel disks and 14 inch wheels but that car was fast! Only got to see him when he was passing!

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