The standard Bertone finish was a black pebble grained under-body sealer type stuff spread all around the inside of the boot trunk, logic says that it was some kind of spray application and was reasonably fast drying on the assembly line.
Today I'd suggest that pretty much anything by 3M or one of those equally reputable companies will do the job - Truck Bed liner also seems to be a good solution. What you definitely don't want is a tar based product that will soften when warm & stick to everything .... like when you are traveling on a Tour with Beloved's Louis Viton suitcases in the tail and you stop for lunch on a hot day
I'd suggest spraying the corners etc with chassis black first and then the pebble grain afterwards, that way you are sure that the 'black' finish will cover everything
Here are some original Sprint & SS trunks for reference
Out of originality curiosity for anyone in the past whom may have stripped theirs to restore, did Bertone give the underside of the lid a satin black paint finish different from the lower trunk section? Did the trunk and lid get shot with the body color first, then have the pebble finish applied? Looks like a lot more work for the production line. Did the early Sprints have severe rust issues prompting this, or were they always built in this manner?
The inside of the boot or trunk lid was the cheapest chassis black Bertone could buy, compared to the Spider, the Sprint was in almost a constant state of flux, the differences from 750 to 101 Sprint were vast and varied, the nose and tail trim is just cosmetic, the body shells are not the same, wheel arches are different, doors are different, boot lid curvature, shape of the bonnet, sills and so it goes on and on and on...
If you look at the picture, you can see why the inside was just painted chassis black, the spray booth was able to do the top and the edges up to the frame support in colour, but the middle of the lid got a squirt of black later. Hinges were also always black.
Remember these were not Pebble Beach cars, they were regular production and Bertone was under pressure to get units out the door, he was averaging just over 18 per day around late '59/'60
Yes it seems that way, although it's really hard to get close up details on original cars, most have seen some form of restoration in the '70's & '80's when the available knowledge was rather limited. The Sprints I posted above are very original reference pieces.The red one is a '57 Lightweight and the Azzuro Nube one is a '58 Series II Interim / Transition car, while the Blu Inverno one is a '58 Series I Normale. All 6 of our Sprints have the underbody stuff in the trunks.
What you need to remember is Bertone was a tiny coach builder who landed a contact that ultimately produced 37015 Sprints & SS's in 1300 & 1600 form over 10 years, (Fusi number), which is 3701 per year or 308.5 per month and if we take a 21 day working month that's 14.7 rolling out the door every day. The Corso Pieschieri plant was overwhelmed and every spare corner was dedicated to some part of Sprint production, Bertone couldn't handle the workload alone, so he sub contracted lots of bits. At one stage virtually every Mom 'n Pop shop with a hydraulic press or a bending brake was making stuff for Bertone and or Pininfarina. But the old Factory was always the bottleneck, if you look a the production numbers and chassis numbers together with known build dates, I did the exercise a few years ago using the known info from my three '57 Sprints & '58 SV Confortevole plus quite a few other well known '57 Sprints, 05639, 05190, 05919 amongst others, the numbers worked out to an average of 200 per month, but looking a the build dates and info on known cars between our '11 Jan '60 and October '61 and extrapolating through the later Interim cars and then the 'pure' 101's, the numbers had doubled to +- 400 per month at the new Grugliasco Works (The move happened around March to May '58) and all the new Interim / Transition Sprints starting at chassis 1493*06612 were built there, while the old Series I cars were being run out at the old Corso Pieschieri plant which was de-commissioned Mid '58 after chassis 1493E*06611 - a Sprint Veloce Confortevole which was the very last Series I built and is owned by BB member Lionel Velez.
In order to simplify matters at Bertone the undersides and wheel wells were chassis black, with the centreline of the wheel wells getting a layer of that thick underbody stuff to dampen the noise of anything coming off the tyres. The floorpan also got a squirt of that underbody coating. Some cars got less than others & if foreman Giovanni shouted at Luigi that he was too slow or using too much, well that almost certainly guaranteed either a mist coat or a super heavy layer... The colour of the underbody primers also changed, there's grey, a sandy beige & a red oxide looking one close to what we know as Coast Cote out here. With the exception of the earliest '55's which were virtually hand assembled and made up as Bertone went along, for the rest, the black underbody stuff was applied to the trunks - it had 4 uses, first it gave a uniform appearance to the interior of the boot, secondly it had a seam-sealing quality and rendered the joints water proof and thirdly had excellent sound deadening properties and finally it was cheap. Same reason it was used on the underside of the floors. Add the Factory change in early '58 with 50 new employees each with new ideas in a dynamic new state of the art Factory... different people on different shifts, Bertone always looking at ways to save money, so the cheapest chassis black was what was ordered and you start to see the trend over the variations.
The US view is predominantly Spider-centric because most Spiders went to the US, whereas most Sprints styed in Europe. There's often blurring of the lines by folks, but they are 2 completely different cars built in 2 completely different Factories by completely different people, despite the common mechanicals you are looking at 2 completely different cars with no crossover between them. Spiders were body colour underneath & in the boot / trunk, Sprints were chassis black with underbody spray over part-to-most of the floor, down the middle of the wheel wells & in the boot / trunk.
There is one Caveat to this - the Lightweights, while they got a squirt of underbody stuff in the trunk...logic says that they were not as generously slathered as the Normale's and there's a quiet whisper that some might not have received anything in the quest to keep the weight down... of course there are so few left in original condition as most have lead a hard life, so this is part speculation and part urban legend. If I was restoring one today I certainly would want to undercoat the floors, wheel arches and boot - if only to act as sound deadening.
Would like to correspond with people who have rebuilt 750 and very early 101 "Kidney-shaped" steering gears.
NOTE: the "square-shaped" (2nd photo) steering gears are completely different inside, so they are not of interest.
Le prime 100 Giulietta Sprint Veloce
(telai serie AR1493 ‑ motori serie AR1315)
Numero Numero Data di Colore Primo proprietario Note
di telaio di motore produzione
01380 30001 24.04.1956 Rosso Carlo Guarneri, Brescia
01381 30002 23.04.1956 Rosso Scipione Paon, Verona
01430 30003 04.05.1956...
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