Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking for an early 'eyebrow' Sprint for a while, and then last month - like London buses - two turned-up in Sweden within a short distance of each other (we can probably blame the industrious Jo Bonnier for this, as Sweden seems to be a good source of early Giuliettas, and he was the importer in the mid '50s).

One of the cars that surfaced (the earlier one #349) was advertised on giulietta.com and there's a web site featuring it (http://gillbrand.com/alfa). I don't know if it's been sold yet.

The other is much more by way of being a project... but looked to me like a good base to make into a very 'original' car, and one I would want to live with (among other problems I had with #349 is my aversion to bright red cars), so I bought it.

1493 00555 was last on the road in '67, and a restoration was started in the early '70s and soon abandoned; but fortunately few parts, well relatively few, have gone missing in the interim. Supposedly, the car was, when new, road-tested by a Swedish motoring magazine called something like Teknikvärld. It would be great if someone could point me in the direction of a dealer in old Swedish mags, or might even have a copy of the test salted away. I know we have some Swedish Giuliettisti on this forum...

Anyway, I collected the car from Tilbury docks today, and have attached a couple of pictures of the car doing its best to keep away from the salty Thames estuary water. It wasn't a great day for car transporting, as 2ins of rain fell (really) during my drive. I guess the deluge will have at least have removed any North Sea salt that had found its way on to the bodyshell.

Next step - inventory the parts I've got (have spotted some missing bits already) and decide who I'll get to 'do' the body. There's no rush. The car is going to have to wait in line behind an Aurelia B10 that's half done.

My first impression of the car is pretty positive. The only significant rust that will need attention is in the sills, and even then is localised to a couple of spots. Right rear wheelarch has been bodged and will need a proper repair panel, but the inner is all sound.

Some pictures of the car in Sweden also follow...

Cheers,
William
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Pictures of the car in Sweden.

As sent to me by the seller.

The paint on the engine will have to go!

Interior is interesting. I suspect it is the original seating, as all the door and side panel trim matches, and the cards are numbered. The piping is a rather gaudy metallic silver/gold, and the black vinyl is of a very heavy type. There is a cushion in the back, but under it the ledge is carpeted.

The original type air cleaner is present, similarly the oil filler cap, etc.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Hi William

Many congratulations on the purchase, it looks a super basis for a rebuild. You are right about early Sprints and Sweden, my car 00024 came from there as well!

What was the original colour of the car, I see red in the engine bay ledge? I'm also with you on Alfas in red and my car was a lively mid-light blue originally and will be going back to it when it gets restored.

I am envious of your original air filter, it the only bit I'm now missing so if you or anyone else has a spare then let me know, its the one for the 32mm Solex as seen in the pics above. If all else fails, perhaps I could twist your arm into letting me borrow it to do a fabricated copy!

Good luck with the rebuild when you get round to it.

Best wishes

Paul

Paul Gregory
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Paul, I knew you had #24, and that it had come from Sweden, from an earlier thread online somewhere...

I don't have a spare air cleaner, but of course you're very welcome to borrow mine if you want to. Are you going to Rusper on 5th November? It's quite local to me, and I was thinking of dropping in.

The mid / pale blue colour really suits these cars, and I'm hoping that the patches in the engine bay where the red has flaked away are this colour, and that it is original to the car. The metal trim attached below the rear windows is painted black (on top of red): would they be body colour? I will make some paint stripper powered investigative expeditions beneath the top, green layer of paint soon.

Of course if I were able to turn up a copy of the Swedish magazine from 1955 then that would probably answer the question.

Another route is to ask the Archivio in Milan, but I don't have an email address for Elvira's successor. Can anyone supply this?

Regards,
William
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,119 Posts
hey man nice car! Black looks so cool on it!! It gives an impression like the owner is part of the camora etc.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,243 Posts
Please stop showing pics of black Sprints--each time I see one I get very tempted.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
RHD/LHD etc.

I don't think Alfa made any RHD Giuliettas until the 101 series. Strange, given that Lancia had hardly made a single LHD car until the mid '50s, and all pre-war Alfas were, AFAIK, RHD.

The car isn't black, so Subtle's heart-rate can drop back... is actually dark green. I removed a patch of paint from one of the front wings last night, and found, not many layers of different colours of paint as expected, but just undercoat and a thin skim of filler (fender, and bondo to our US cousins...). Presumably the '70s partial restoration took the outer body back to bare metal. Investigation of the paint on the engine bay ledge found no colours beneath the red top-coat other than what looked like original prepping materials.

I have emailed the Archivio Storico (thanks to Jim for the email) and hope that they will solve the mystery. I'm betting the car was red - the door shuts on the 'B' post (under the Al finishing panels) are red and look original.

A couple of questions for the group:
- are there any Bertone records of build / spec
- the bonnet and boot lid are Aluminium. Is this 'factory standard'?

Cheers,
William
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
William,
Congratulations, looks like being a super project.
I have Sprint # 0871 & that too has the aluminium bonnet, the boot is steel but I am not sure if it is the original item.
I understood that cars pre-#900 had ali bonnets...
Tony Stevens
England
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
Looks good- I am very jealous!

By the way, is the floor original (I need something to copy!)

John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Floors

Hi Jonny,

I've been enjoying your thread.

Not sure if my floors are original, but you're welcome to come and have a look / measure if you'd like to. I'm between Dorking and Guildford, so not too far away.

Cheers,
William
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Floor update

Just had a proper look at the floors. I'm pretty sure that they are original and not replaced. Would they be the same as a '57 car? Perhaps one of the experts can tell us. The bulkhead/firewall on the early cars is certainly different to later cars, being a flat sheet of steel.

Latest detective work on the colour question suggests that the car was red, then black, then dark green. Still awaiting the archivist's word on this.

William
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,457 Posts
William,
Congratulations a great find. I bought my SZ from Sweden too and have names of various people there who may be able to help on the magazine front. I am in the US at the moment but will e-mail the info when I get back.
I do agree about the engine colours! It might be worth stripping back and re-coating in an aluminium colour. I use Rover Steel Grey metallic as it appears to be a clean aluminium finish but is easily cleanable and can be touched-in as necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Hi Stuart,

Thanks for your comments - it would be brilliant if you could activate your Swedish contacts to track down the road test (if the story of the car's history is true... and in any case I'd rather know one way or another).

I have (as I think you know) a 750 spider, and in a rather nerdy way enjoy the differences in the appearance and surface texture of the sand cast block compared to later, 101 series and beyond, Alfa engines. It looks more hand-made - and so forms part of the attraction the early Giuliettas have over later models in my view of things.

So it follows that painting the engine, in whatever colour, strikes me as a (minor) crime, whatever the purists might say one way or the other (and of course some engine parts were painted at the factory).

Probably everyone on this forum has at some point taken pleasure from the look - and even feel - of an Ally casting from one of 'our cars'. So given we're all aesthetes to some extent, I hope my slightly severe case can be forgiven.

All this hobbyism keeps you sane, supposedly.

Best regards,
William
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,974 Posts
William, the floors are indeed hand made as is the rest of the car. My car, #5021 has stamped floors. Could it be they didn't stamp out some of the early ones for lack of dies? Hard to say. Bertone was not very cooperative in finding color codes from my experience. You will be tempted to remove the paint only to the primer but this is almost impossible because there are many coats of filler primer and tons of very hard filler on the entire surface. The bare metal will have huge areas of surface rust like a burnt surface of a cast iron fry pan as Bertone store the bodies outside before they painted them. They must have lightly sanded the orange rust off and painted over the rest. There is much lead in the body also. FWIW, the small headlight components are very difficult to source. If you have the buckets, which are very unique, you are ahead of the game. AFRA claims to have some components but they talk with a forked tongue and the reflectors (parabolas) are pitifully junk repros. I noticed your tunnel hole is very small for the gearbox shift tower. Mine is about 6 " in diameter for the tunnel case (floor mounted shift)which had all the proper hardware and boots installed when I got it. The column shift boys in your neighborhood, including Tony Ranson and Paul Gregory can tell you more about solving this detail. I was at Rusper with Tony in 2006. sorry I missed it this year. Richard Hampton and I are both in paint and have the wiring in and dash and chrome fitted. I don't like to show progress in a broadcast until it is finished because I believe in black cats and broken mirrors. Lastly, we've met before on E-bay. Good luck and contact me off line anytime. Rick Lesniewicz (AKA Traleedog). It's going to be a beautiful car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
116 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Information from Automobilismo Storico

A letter arrived from Italy today (the environmentally conciencious amongst you will be glad to hear that Fiat Group use 'Carta Riciciata al 100%' for their envelopes). A very rapidly posted response to my email enquiry as to #555's history - the attempted email reply having bounced back to the efficient factory archivist Marco Fazio. It gave me some pleasure to think that Alfa Romeo in 2007 had spend 0.65 Euros (approx 1 USD) on postage, plus staff time cost etc.) for the sake of a car already over its half-century in age; surely a sign that management priorities in Milan/Turin do take account of the heritage we all so admire.

Text as follows:
"According to our documentation file, the chassis number AR 1493.00555 and the engine number AR 1315.00541 originally correspond to an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint, manufactured on the 4th July 1955 and sold on the 7th July 1955 to Bonniers Bilbolag from Stockholm, Sweden. The body colour is Alfa red."

It's good to have confirmation both of the sale via Bonnier's garage, and also of my conviction that the car was originally red. It strikes me that 'Alfa red' is a rather blunt description, as most of us (let alone a bona fide Alfa Archivist) know that there are several reds in the game. I wonder what the record actually says. My guess is 'red'. Anyone know any better.

Anyway, the car, in my ownership, will not end up red. I've already made clear in this thread my dislike for it as a colour for cars (though fine for blood and cricket balls etc.). It would have been helpful to the colour decision process if the car had originally been a tint I could live with, but that not being the case, I am now entirely free to stick a pin in the colour chart.
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top