Market 521: SVA 750E 02159 in Germany

Giulietta Sprint Veloce 750E 1493*02159, 1315*30114, *77*101*.  This car is available now out of Germany.  Price is available on request which means it’s expensive, and the seller knows what they are selling.  This car is said to have been restored in the late 1980’s in Italy with Maurizio Tabucchi (yes, the same guy who co-authored the book I quote in almost every post) giving input on originality, and / or perhaps even owning it for some time.

It’s important to realize that this is not *just* a Veloce.  It’s a Veloce when Veloce actually meant something really really (really) special – they were made to race, not give buyers a performance option they would seldom tap.  SVA’s are generally regarded as somewhat homologous through their 600 – 610 unit production, but really the evolution that resulted in the SV Confortevole started after perhaps 200 cars being produced.  Magnesium became aluminum etc.  It would be interesting to see a scholarly work analyzing car to car changes, but at this point the cars are all largely restored to the capricious tastes of rich owners, and even in the cars youth, parts were swapped around feverishly in pursuit of Targa Florio mountain climb advantages etc.  The parts book is thorough to a fault in a general way, but with the Veloce’s it just couldn’t capture the nuance of car to car production.  Even a car like this which appears to be very original, likely hides some liberties taken for performance or expedience when it was restored.

Yes, I am saying I really like this car.


This color -typically called Francia (French) Blue, seems to be quite popular for the Sprint Veloce Alleggerita – especially the early ones for some reason.  d’Amico and Tabucchi list available colors for these as: Alfa Red, Gardenia White, Iseo Blue and Black – not sure why Francia blue is not included.  Headlight trims, grill eyebrows, bumpers and other assorted trim were in aluminum on these cars, as were the hood, doors and trunk.  Overall weight savings from these and other changes was around 110 kg.  


Rear windscreen and all side windows are perspex.  I’m not sure exactly what that material would be in terms of the mid 1950’s official material names.  Lexan kits are available today and pretty reasonable!  Wheels are Borrani.

These are the second of three types of tail lights that Sprints wore over the years -two by Carello and one by Lucas.  They hadn’t produced any Veloce’s when the first Carello type were phased out at car 00550.  These were only used on Sprints, while the Lucas type were used through car 06611 and shared with the 750D and 750F Spiders through about mid 1958.  Lucas were intended for US market (and maybe others).    


Numbers.  Body type 77 means lightweight.  E after 1493 means Veloce.  Wire grommets are usually held to the firewall by cheese head screws.  Bolts holding the airbox mounting straps are usually Lobo brand.  Can’t see here if they are, but they don’t look like it to me.


Original build plate.  Engine is 30114.  Body is 77101.  114 and 101 should be close at this point in production, but it would be unusual for them to match.  They probably matched occasionally for the earliest examples, but this car was probably made around the time the Spider Veloce 750F program was starting and some of the 3XXXX series Veloce engines were being diverted to the Spider Veloce line.  Greig suggests there could also have been numbers pulled from the sequence to replace catastrophically failed units, and some of the ‘out of sequence’ fault could lie in engines that proved especially powerful in dyno testing being reserved for special cars going to well known racers.  Replacements were officially provided without numbers stamped, but one can imagine a situation were a replacement is needed on the quick and one with numbers that was built up for imminent use got redirected.


Well known Veloce touches include choke blank plug, missing side window surrounds (those are heavy!), no glove box door and more.  Good looking dash.  


Lightweights had more delicate seat frames to save weight.  Losing the window winder assemblies and slab of glass was no doubt good for at least a couple kg.  Door panels are neat in these, providing a nice arm rest I suppose.


The business end of things.  There are many many differences under the hood between the 750B and 750E besides the obvious headers, dual Weber 40DCO3’s  and associated intake system and more.  This car would most likely have shipped with a Marelli voltage regulator – item here appears to be from Bosch.  These days, a lot of guys reverse the path of the two intakes on the drivers side of the engine compartment, piping air to the cabin from the front opening and running the duct under the engine intake duct which connects to the rear opening.  Plenum appears to be an original magnesium alloy! item, probably with matching magnesium oil pan.  Plenum has a hex nut instead of a wing nut.  A few trivial non-originalities.  Who cares?  I have a spare Veloce distributor if it needs one…


Last of the numbers.  These engines made a lot of power from the factory and even more when given over to tuners such as Conrero.  Reader Steve suggests as many as 1 in 5 of the early engines self destructed during competition.  Further evidence of the rarity of “matching numbers” and a reason to not really care about it given an early Veloce.   I’ll take provenance over perfect originality.

This is a really sweet car in my opinion.  There can’t be more than a handful of SVA’s in the world that aren’t restored to better than new and look like the inside of a Philippe Patek watch.  Well, there can’t be more than a handful of these left in any condition I suppose, so if you have the funds go for it.  I sure would.  Anyone feeling generous?


13 thoughts on “Market 521: SVA 750E 02159 in Germany

  1. I know that original engine numbers are better than none matching, but the engine should be made in the same year as the car. I realize that racing engines were destroy but, you can always purchase replacement blocks and stamp the original number on it. The collectors pay more for matching number cars compared to those without matching numbers.

    • I’ve had conversations with “collectors and experts” about engine numbers many times. The more valuable the car, the more value matching numbers adds -and by matching I mean the one that came in it from new. The most valuable cars have provenance based value and originality to the provenance is more important than originality to new. Collectors will pay more for matching I agree, but if it’s a stamped with original numbers replacement blank, or shaved and re-stamped engine from another car, it’s not really matching and the collector is being deceived or deceiving themselves.

  2. Matt, This Sprint Veloce has a build plate with four fields, the fourth being something about maximum weight.
    When did Giulietta build plates begin to include this fourth field?

    Thanks. R Ball

  3. – Giulietta plates w 4 fields began from the very beginning of production, later the fields became 3 (no more Kg) and then the entire aluminum plate disappeared and black plastic stickers were used.
    – What do you mean for “provenance-based value”? If it comes from the first owner (almost
    impossible!) or what? I think the engine-chassis matching numbers is still the most desirable value for a collector.
    – You can change the engine if it brakes but is sufficient the new number was of the same period, not necessary the same year (not easy). If you clear a different number of an engine and you stamp it with the original one, is clearly detectable and they are not really considered matching numbers. In my view, in this case, is better no matching numbers!


  4. Thanks for explanation even if, on the basis of the few units until today available (at auctions and privately), it seems the provenance-based value represents a minority vs other parameters of evaluation, including matching numbers. In my very personal view, I strongly prefer the last (more concrete) respect the celebrity owned or so. I saw people trying to sell a Giulietta SVA for a judge amount of money strongly underlining that the car has been driven by Mr. XY, famous pilot. Unfortunately, the car appeared to be restored at fantasy w/o any consideration for the original A.R. specifications. Of course, no matching numbers….

    • This car is confirmed matching numbers by Alfa Romeo 2 times (Ruocco in ’93 / Fazio in ’15) even as there is a difference of 14 engine numbers between chassis 02158 / Bertone body 77*100 (with engine 30100). Differences explained in Matt’s write up and the fact that production of Spider Veloce 750F started mid June ’56 with same engine type.

      • There is a little misunderstanding, may be I wrote in the wrong place. Of course I believe that car has matching numbers! And we know also about differences in the numbers order or sequence just starting in the A.R. factory. We were discussing which parameters are giving the higher value to a classic car. I said that, in my view, matching numbers and correct restoration are much more important than the provenance of the car. Personally, I do not care too much if the car was owned or driven by Mr Abate or whoever but I care very much about the chassis/engine numbers and the maintenance of the original specifications. I would also say that even if we have just a couple of LD pictures available I am not sure if seats and upholstery (carpets) have been restored using right material and original tailoring style (always critic points!). The colour seems to be right. An impression to be confirmed or denied.

      • Rob,

        I wholeheartedly agree with you on your tastes in what should have most value, but I was just noting that with many cars, celebrity ownership seems to trump most other factors. Did Steve McQueen ever have a Sprint? It would be the most expensive one – even if it had a small block American V8 and pink pinstripes.


  5. Matt,

    one thing is (are) the taste(s) another is the reality: From this last point of view you are absolutely right! Often (always…?) you have to pay not only the car, which is already a piece of history, but also its CV if includes a celebrity ownership.

  6. Considering the American car market, matching numbers seems to be a driving factor in the value of the car at auction. This should also translate over to the European market to keep the provenance the highest it can be. Once the originality of the car is gone it is never the same. When you consider a car for ISO or FIVA matching numbers is of the utmost value. Many car buyers are out looking for unrestored cars to keep that “patina” of originality and are willing to pay for it. A car is only original once. Roberto is correct about the engine block numbers as there are blocks out there that have been restamped attempting to keep the originality the same. The blocks are not correct as evidenced by the orientation of the stars or the wrong die set. It is better to give the next owner the old bad block and put in place a block with no number. To find one that is of the period seems to be getting harder every year and a price that is going up exponentially. Just look at the cost of a set of 40DCO3’s! We used to buy cars for that price. Many of our cars are moving by the economics of collectors and availability of cars and parts. If we wait much longer, the market will surpass our bank accounts.

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