Sprint Speciale Summer

This morning I got an email from the friend of mine who bought the Giulietta Spider I sold late last year. It turns out he’s shooting for a late June sports car event to have it on the road. That car was not any nearer than my Giulietta SS to being on the road so as I was sitting in very slow traffic so I started thinking about what it would take to have the SS ready for the same event. I decided I needed to define what my minimum criteria of roadworthyness is, what remains to do to get to it, and how long each of those tasks would take.

I think this will help with my suspended disbelief. Yes, I can.

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Here is the news… general Giuliettas update

First item:  News flash! My first of two payments has been made on SS 10121*380211 after 3 months of exchanging emails and pictures and basically waiting for Spring to come.  The car is apart (has been apart for about 5 years -was a runner before that) and requires some rust repair and all, but is complete, matching numbers and comes with a lot of new parts.  It was basically one of those deals where I couldn’t not buy it knowing what I do now about these cars. 

Where does that leave me with 10120*00413?  We’ll see.  A local Alfa guy has been looking for an SS shell as the basis for a race car and now that a lot of the rust is repaired it’s probably a much more doable looking project.  No promises either way.  I did just spend a miniscule fortune on a radiator out of the UK for it…  Any interest??

This is how you find them or rather they find you.  Truth is this was the other car I was considering when I bought 00413 all those months ago.  The detail oriented in the crowed are right now trying to figure out what’s going on in the front behind the grill opening.  It’s just a repair panel laying in there.

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D&S 6: original SS color options

d’Amico and Tabucchi in their ‘Alfa Romeo Le vetture di produzione’ list the color options for the 10120 SS as follows (the English translations are their work not mine): azzuro nube (cloud blue), bianco ambra (amber white), bleu notte (midnight blue), rosso Alfa (Alfa red), bianco gardenia (gardenia white), grigio metallizzato (metallic grey), argento metallizzato (metallic silver), verde Suez (Suez green), rosso rubino (ruby red), argento auteuil (auteuil silver), verde bosco (wood green), bleu sera (night blue), grigio Inglese (British gray), grigio Fiat (Fiat grey) and for 1959 and 1960: bluette.

For the Giulia SS they opted for a more streamlined approach to color, no doubt to increase efficiency in the paint department. You could choose from: rosso Alfa (Alfa red), grigio graphite (graphite grey), bleu Bosforo (Bosphorus blue), verde muschio (moss green) and bianco gardenia (gardenia white).

I imagine that these 5 colors are available across the line up of Bertone built Alfa’s. This all goes out the window when you consider you could pay them extra to paint your SS whatever color you wanted.

Antti in Finland sent me this picture of a Bluette (if my guess is correct and this car darkens when rubbed out) Giulia SS he has that was one of three to come to Finland new, the others being red and white. All three cars survive which means 100% survivorship in the Finnish market.

I haven’t seen too many green SS’s. If anyone has pictures of any of these colors listed that they KNOW is an original car in factory paint drop me a line and I’ll add it to this post to create a palette for reference. I don’t have access to my library of pictures right now or I could add a few.

D&S 5: Looking forward

Part of the software pack we run is a program designed to give us a visceral response to the anticipation of an event or situation. The event or situation can be anywhere in the spectrum defined by the shades between agony, ennui and ecstacy. It is this anticipation of things to come that rules our actions as much or more than that which is going on around us. Just consider how often you hear the terms ‘looking forward’ ‘dreaming of’ and ‘imagining’. These are all expressions of expectation that is being shared. The software of anticipated experience, whether tinged with forboding or longing, when viewed in this light, is an important aspect of our humanness. I’m not just talking about big stuff like getting out of jail or sex, this notion applies equally to the little stuff like a first sip of coffee or taking a pee after having to hold it for a while because you’re driving.

This blog post is to help me get a handle on my anticipations surrounding my SS project. There is a lot to consider in the context of this project I’ve chosen to undertake. Simple stuff like exterior and interior color, becomes an anticipated fork in the road to plan for.  What will I do the day I am confronted with that choice and the rest of the project depends on the decision being made and undoing the decision is a matter of thousands of dollars? In light of the gravity of the decision I look forward, I anticipate what it will be like to live with and enjoy or be disappointed with the fruits of my labors.  Or: what color combo should I choose for the SS? What level of quality should I strive for in the finish? Should I run bumpers and all the trim? To what extent should I wring power out of the engine? What brake set-up should I pursue? What rear end ratio should I plan to run?

Metallic dark silvery gray with red interior is not such a bad combo, especially on BAT 5, and is the color combo I am thinking of painting the SS.  Careful with the gray and purple comments my eagle-eyed readers!  I wonder if I can get a paint code for BAT5?

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D&S #2: Receiving my new SS

Update 11/6/09:  Following yesterdays installment is this one.  I saw that some of you peeked ahead and read this by following the link at the bottom of the page.  Sorry, nothing new for you guys.  Don’t worry, there will be a few new posts this weekend if the load of new parts in the back of the Sprint is any indication.  How’s the novel coming you ask?  I think I’m at about 7000 words right now.  I plan to be a few thousand ahead by Sunday evening.

Originally posted May 1, 2008. My second blog post ever!Money was paid, promises made and in early December 2007 I was the proud owner of a 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale. Between Christmas duties and ski trips for the kids it took about a month for the seller to gather the boxes of parts, pull the car out of storage and get everything loaded up and ready to ship. I have had bad experiences shipping cars through brokers so I did some searching and found Randy of Motor Auto Express on Hemmings.com. His was the only listing I found that simply had his cell phone number and what seemed like a good sign, he works out of Washington. I called Randy on a Monday afternoon and the car was picked up the following Friday. Randy was as professional as could be asked for and I am very happy with his service and have recommended him several times.

Of course the day the car arrived at my shop it was raining. Hard. Randy’s truck rolls up and amazingly the rain stops. When the door opens and the car is revealed my heart sinks, not necessarily because the car is worse than I expected, it’s just the gravity of the project settles on me with its full weight. This car needs a lot of work, a lot of work I know how to do in theory but have never attempted. I change the one flat tire and we roll it out of the truck. OK, maybe it is worse than I thought, or was I just glossing over the rough edges. I’ll have to review the pictures again to see if it was me who misled myself.

I unpack the boxes, make a list of parts that are present to compare with what was promised and take some pictures. The parts list will also be helpful as I start searching for missing parts. My work space is a little cramped so I decide the first thing I should do is build a loft to put shelves and work tables on so I can spread out. As I drive home from the shop I am wondering what I have gotten myself into. Pictures below are from the day after the car was dropped off.

Someone had started this project. The brownish-black is some sort of rust inhibiting paint.

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D&S #1: My Sprint Speciale acquisition Story

Update 11/5/2009: I am participating in the NaNoWriMo this month, a 50,000 word novel written in 30 days. I’ve written about 5000 as of writing this, I started on the afternoon of the 2nd so I have a day of catch-up to do. My participation there means I will have less words to add to Giuliettas.com. In addition to that I purchased a years supply of real honest-to-god web hosting so I have a learning curve ahead of me figuring out how to have the blog stay as it is but the pages with registers and histories and all that expand and be easier to navigate.

In light of the above, and considering I am going to be back on the SS full time once the Fiat is finished and the 69 GTV is daily driveable, both of which are days away from happening, I am going to rerun a lot of the posts about the my Sprint Speciale to remind the reader of how I got it and what I’ve done so far. I think 7 people read this post the first time around so it will be new to most of you. Enjoy!

Original post from April 2008. My first blog post ever! Why give up a perfectly doable 1972 GTV project and undertake a very challenging Giulietta SS project? There are lots of reasons that have nothing to do with common sense, among them: the persistent desire to own and drive an SS, the ever increasing value of SS’s making the prospect of buying one in the future ever more remote, the desire to accomplish a challenging long-term project; any of these is answer enough. If you ask yourself though, as I did: “What classic sports car project, that is not a pipe-dream given my financial circumstances, do I REALLY want to spend money and time on, own long term, and drive?” The answer should inform your hobby as it did mine. Life is short, too short to work on a car you are not extremely excited about. Whatever car is the answer to the question above is the car you should be after. For me it is, and has been for the last 8 years, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale.

An early SS advertising photo.Period advertising shot. I suppose I’ll have to dapper it up when I drive mine.

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D&S #4: One piece at a time

I have been gathering parts and trying to work on the SS, an hour a day 5 days a week since I got it 4 months ago. The surprise addition of a well-bought 1958 Giulietta Sprint Veloce in the middle of February rendered any significant expenditure on the SS impossible for at least 6 months and tied up most of my hobby time for a few weeks while I made it roadworthy for the Snowball rally. In early January I had decided that professional help was required and was planning to take the SS body to the media blasters once the weather cleared then to have the rust repaired. In the meantime I rolled the body into a corner and began what I have been calling my ‘one part at a time’ strategy. Everyday I picked part after part from the pile of crusty bits and processed them.

An assortment of finished and partially finished parts.  If you keep at it it doesn’t take long to build an impressive pile.

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