I just received a new postcard. It depicts a 2000 Berlina and a 2000 Touring Spider exhibited at the Salone Internationale dell' Automobile. The 2000 Berlina stands next to a Giulietta Berlina, which in turn stands next to what seems like a Giulietta Sprint Speciale. In front of the Alfa Romeo stand is the FIAT stand with a FIAT 500, a 600 and a series of 600 Multipla's. The postcard is dated Nov 1, 1959, which was the second day of the 1959 motor show. The Giulietta Sprint Speciale was introduced in 1959. and therefore I assume that the picture is from the a picture taken on the first day of the show in 1959. Alternatively, the picture is from the 1957 show, where the Sprint Speciale was presented as a concept car from Bertone.
Yves, you deserve a special award for finding the best film of the prototype Giulietta Sprint that shows a great deal of the details of this unique Sprint that I had not seen in dozens of the best books on the Giulietta. Thanks a lot. Peter
Maybe there is a third possibilty: your pictures are not from 1957 or 1959 but from 1958.
The pictures I show here are from the ‘ Salone di Torino’ , 40th edition.
From wikipedia I learned that it took place from 5-16 novenber 1958.
Please take your time to compare the different details of these pictures with yours: the specificity of the building, the same position of the different cars on the Alfa stand.
Behind the 2000 Touring you see the rear side of the 2000 Berlina.
Look at the same position of the white Giulietta Berlina showed at the right of the SS.
And particularly, look at the floor covering that Alfa used on their stand under the cars for this show: a composition of different Italian pavement patterns .
Especially the obliquely set pavement under the 2000 Spider can be seen on your pictures too ( see that same oblique floor pattern on your enlarged picture).
All this makes me think that your pictures were taken between 5 and 16 November 1958.
As a courtesy: the pictures and the original Italian text come from " Auto Sport Italiana" from 15 and 30 november 1958, only shown here for didactical purpose.
A little detail on the second picture of the SS: I could be wrong but from comparing the rear of the two 4-doors Giuliettas, I would think that these were two different Berlina models. See the shape of the rear fenders. Maybe Greig can clarify this.
Regarding the SS, I translated a piece of the accompanying tekst to the Nov 1958 Salone di Torino.
It says that the Giulietta SS was finally ready in its final form and was expected to be produced ‘soon’. (the article is from Nov. 1958) could be correct no ?
Interesting too is that they mention the change of the wheelbase.
Here a translation:
' Alfa Romeo exposed, beside of her well-known “Giulietta” in the different versions and beside her “2000” cars ( always beautiful the “Spider” from Touring) the “ Giulietta Sprint-Speciale” which we believe has now found its definitive form and that would enter in normal production very soon.
With the 225 cm wheelbase (intended to replace also the 220 cm one of the actual spider ( nov. 1958 !)), this beautiful car, that offers an excellent internal comfort, a perfect finishing , more than sufficient passenger room , and that is functional in all the details, has received a new grill, original and classic at the same time. The body is made in steel sheet but it seems that a small series will be made in aluminium for those who want to race ( and there will not be few !…) and fight against the overwhelming ” Giulietta” with the Zagato body.'
In one word: WAUW! I could not agree more with your conclusion. Frankly, in the first draft of my post I suggested that it may have been from 1958. However, I could not find any evidence of the Giulietta SS being showcased in Torino other than in 1957 and the 'real' SS was launched in June 1959 (see e.g. wiki). Anyway, the pictures you show are obviously from the same show in 1958 as on my card. Somehow, I find it very rewarding to see the same situation depicted in two complete different sources, and the pictures you show are some of the best pictures of Alfa's showcased 'in period' that I have seen. Do you know of any more publications of Alfa Romeo 2000 Spiders exhibited at car shows at the time?
The Bertone Abarth Alfa was also shown at the 1958 Torino show. Numerous photos exist and it becomes clear that the Bertone display was just across the alley from the Alfa display, with the SS in evidence in the background.
This photo does allow a better view of the second Giulietta Berlina: clearly an earlier model. Strange for an auto show.
More pictures, ... it is getting better and better, thanks Yves.
Indeed a little strange to see an older Berlina on such a show. Maybe Alfa still had a stock of those earlier Berlinas, sold at a discount price maybe ?
On the other hand, the white Giulietta Sprint was correctly a second series yet.
Here are a few colour pictures of the Abarth Alfa from the same car show. They also show the colours of the cars on the Alfa Romeo stand: a bordeaux red Giulietta Spider, a white Giulietta Sprint, and the Giulietta SS in racing red.
I just got two new postcards with Alfa Romeo 2000 Touring Spiders.......happy days!
Here is the first one. It depicts a black European style spider parked in the shadow of a big palm tree in Pietra Ligure, a coastal town on the Italian Riviera, in the Ligura region of Northern Italy. The town is situated more or less half-way, when driving along the coast from Monaco to Genoa. The street is called Via Don Giovanni Bado. In the background, there is a red FIAT 2300 parked and further down the road a white AR Giulietta.
I am not sure when the card is from, but I assume late 1950's/beginning 1960's. The post stamp reads 1973, but I am sure that the photo is from earlier date. Fast forward to present day and both the street and the promenade have lost lots of its former glory. The elegant old palm trees have either been removed or replaced. The street work, the elegant wall, the flowers and benches that created the elegant seaside park have all gone too, but it is still possible to eat gelato in the restaurant under the balconies of the apartment building on the left side.
In continuation of my previous post, here's the second post card. Another AR 2000 Touring Spider with a number plate from the Swiss canton of Ticino (see first post in this thread) is parked in front of the Chiesa de San Francésco in Città di Castello ('city of the castle'), a small city with 2500 year old roots on the banks of the river Tiber. The city is situated in the northern region of Perugia in the middle of Italy. The church can be found on what was then called the Piazza Raffaello Sanzio, a square named after the famous painter Raphael who painted his work Sposalizio della Vergine (iMarriage of the Virgin) for this church in 1504. The work got luted by Napoleonic troops in 1798, and is now in the Pinoteca di Brera in Milano. The church building appears like a fantastic patchwork of brick repairs and improvements throughout the centuries.
The dark-coloured Spider appears brand new, considering its very shiny appearance. The Spider seems to feature the later style hardtop with the rear window much larger than the early style hardtops. The card has been sent in the fall of 1964, dating the scene most likely in between 1958 and 1964.
What I love about the card is that if you do not know any better, then it is just a tourist postcard depicting yet another Italian historic building. Under the surface, however, there is much more! The card depicts Italian drama at its best! The bronze statue on the left of the car commemorates the liberation of the city, on September 11, 1860, from the papal (i.e. Vatican) state. This liberation was part of the battles that in the end united Italy to the state that we know today. I quote here a description of the sculpture that says it all: "The symbolism is easy: the horse is the crowd, thirsty for freedom when it is about to break the secular chains and rebel against the theocratic government. The young man is the Piedmontese army that comes to liberation in the aid of the oppressed, breaks its ties, treading the abhorred emblem of the golden keys."
Dramatic as the sculpture is by itself, it is the place of the statue that makes the drama complete! It is placed just a few meters in front of the main entrance of the Catholic Church in the background, reminding the clergy every day that the days of theocratic autocracy are over.
In present day, the 'Chiesa' got a facelift and the parking place has been replaced by an elegant little garden or park. What has not changed is that the church is reminded every day that its political role has been replaced by a more rational system in the city.
I recently received some sales brochures for the 2000 Touring Spider. One is the well-known 'Roadster 2 Liter' brochure from 1959. It prominently features a read two liter Spider in front of a lake. On the front page there is an American style Spider, prominently featuring a Mississippi license plate from Hinds issued in January 1959. A young couple sits on what appears a boat landing bridge, looking in admiration at the Spider.
The scene suggests a picture taken on the banks of the Mississippi River, or on the shore of a Mississippi lake. The barely readable road sign in the picture, however, reads 'NAVIGAZIONE, Lago Maggiore, pontile servizio', referring to the beautiful lake on the border of Italy and Switzerland, approximately 75km north from the Alfa Romeo and Touring plants in the Portello district of Milan, where the car was born. The pictures were most likely taken in the Italian town of Stresa, at a platform protruding into the lake close to what was then a camping site (Lido Camping). The picture below shows the area in 1956 and shows the ferry docked at the platform (the 'yellow' land area that appears almost circular on the postcard).
The area has undergone massive changes over the years. Not least in the end of the sixties when a gondola lift station and a swimming pool were built in the area. It is now called Piazzale Lido. The ferry is still docking at the same site, yet the site now contains a ticket counter and a more modern landing bridge. Gravel has been replaced by tarmac. There is still a sign saying Navigazione Lago Magiore. Most of the platform area is now a parking place for people using the ferry and the gondola lift.
One of the pictures on the inside of the brochure shows Italy's finest posing in front of what looks like a fairy tale building in the lake (see below). That is part of the world famous garden belonging to the Palazzo Borromeo on the little island of Isola Bella, only a few hundred meters north from the platform where the photo was shot (see picture above). Apparently, Queen Caroline of Brunswick, estranged wife of King George IV of England, got so inspired when visiting the Borropalace and its phenomenal gardens, that she bought the Villa D'Este on Lake Como, and restyled the gardens around it, in which now the Concorso d'Eleganza is being held every year.
The spectacular view from the platform is still very similar in modern day
On another picture in the brochure, one can see in the background Isola Superiore with its white church tower. That view, al little north-west from the platform has not changed much either over the years.
That same cannot be said for the view to the west from the ferry landing place. The view that makes background of the front page (see above). One can recognise the same buildings as in 1959, and the shore line with its walls looks the same too, but in 1959 the hills in the background were largely naked hills with occasional trees. These days trees completely dominate the hills around Stresa.
Here some pictures from the Alfas at the same 40 th ‘ Salone di Torino’ from november 1958, coming from another source again.
This time they were shown in a Carello periodical.
The SS and the 2000 Berlina at the 1958 Turin car show
The Abarth - Alfa - Bertone 1000
The 2000 Spider Vignale
The 2000 SpiderTouring.
Notice the hidden commercial intention of Carello, showing the hand of the Via Sicura lady ( road assistance) near the light for 'highlighting' the big size of the light unit.
... and here again the same suggestive hand position ... the 7 " lights becoming standard on most of the cars in that periode.
This was the first real assymetrical glass '# 00.506.700'. It was used on most of the Italian cars, including the Alfas 101, 102, 106 ...