By on January 31, 2020

Though Rare Rides featured five Alfa Romeos previously, four of them coupes, none were quite as shapely and stylish as today’s teardrop-shaped subject. It’s a beautiful emerald green Giulia Sprint Speciale from 1964.

This very special coupe had its foundations in the much more pedestrian, mass-market Giulietta, which entered production in 1954. The company’s small family car offering in the Fifties, it was available in sedan, four-place coupe, and roadster varieties. Giulietta’s design heritage was all over the map, with Zagato, Pininfarina, and Bertone all contributing their designs. Production took place in three places in Italy (and also South Africa for some export market versions).

Franco Scaglione of Bertone was tabbed to design the standard Giulietta coupe, which was called Sprint. Turning up the wick later, Scaglione worked up a much sexier shape for the very special Sprint Speciale. Said design was shown for the first time at the Turin Motor Show in 1957, three years after the standard Sprint entered production. In prototype format the car had no bumpers, and was generally minimal in its appearance; Alfa Romeo built three more prototypes before debuting the production-ready version at Monza in summer 1959.

Intended as a racing competitor, the first 101 cars produced were regulation specials. Known as 750 SS, they were homologation units required by the FIA. Some were made entirely of aluminum, but most were steel-bodied with aluminum doors, trunk, and hood. Their noses were low, and they remained without bumpers like the concept. There was a purpose to the smooth minimalism, however: the reduction of drag. With a drag coefficient of .28, it was as slippery as a Corvette from 2010.

After the homologation run, full production began on the Sprint Speciale. Doors became steel, bumpers appeared, revised carburetors were fitted, and windows were glass instead of plastic. Alfa also added some sound insulation to coddle the more delicate customer. Initially the engine and transmission were the same 1.3-liter (100 hp)/five-speed manual combination used in the racing cars. After just 1,366 Giulietta SS models were made, the coupe changed identities.

Alfa Romeo fitted a larger engine — a 1.6-liter inline-four (112 hp), changed the brakes from drums to discs at the front, and slightly revised the dashboard. Given this “new” car was more grown up than its older sibling, the name changed to Giulia Sprint Speciale. It was an odd choice, as at its debut in Geneva in 1963 the actual Giulia had been in production for a year. Alfa Romeo even had a Giulia SS prototype made; they just decided not to use it. The new Giulietta-called-Giulia coupe remained in production through 1965, and a total of 1,400 larger engine examples were completed.

In restored condition and with perfect Verde Scuro Metallizzato paint, Giulia is offered at $139,900.

[Images: seller]

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15 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale...”

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Wish that I could go back in time and convince someone like Lido or DeLorean or Max Hoffman or even Bricklin to cobble together an auto manufacturing/design/distribution corporation that used Italian design(ers), Italian interiors, domestic American engines and that were manufactured/assembled in Japan using Japanese sourced parts.

    Instead we got abominations like the Allante or Chrysler TC. Or cars manufactured in Northern Ireland or New Brunswick. Or imported from Yugoslavia. Or manufactured by British Leyland.

    • 0 avatar

      You wished for Dual Ghia, close as you’d get.

    • 0 avatar

      @ Arthur – I like your idea. If we’re setting up our supply chain by nation-specific stereotypes rather than manufacturer-specific ones, I’d request that we bolt Swedish seats into the Italian interior. In my experience, both Volvo and Saab always get/got it right: enough plushness for fans (like me) of cushy American seats, enough support for fans of firm German seats.

      Donald Osborne, who owns a Zagato-bodied Lancia, extols the comfort of Zagato seats, and they do look comfortable in the picture above. If we’re cherry-picking by manufacturer rather than country, we can keep the seats Italian.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        My goodness. Next will I be making comments regarding St Patrick’s Day?

        I posted a slight revision that somehow did not get published.

        Assembly in North America but under Japanese management and management techniques could also work.

  • avatar

    Golly – I thought I was in love with British cars but these Fiats are having me change my (weak!) loyalty. That’s just gorgeous, and also interesting to look at.

    I’m reminded – at least from the A pillar back, of the Porsche 356. The front has a Mercedes SL thing going on.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I have seen these in silver and in red, but I must say that dark green color is by far the best color for this stunning historical vehicle.

  • avatar

    Hm, Monza, SS? Are you sure it is not a Chevrolet?

  • avatar

    Speciale indeed!

    And that color combination – swoon! I’m a sucker dark green.

  • avatar

    Were the interiors as well-detailed on these things from the factory? These restored examples we’ve seen here seem too good to be true, but maybe the Italians were just that far ahead?

  • avatar
    miguel gordini

    scaglione penned the giulietta sprint while wirking at bertone, not zagato as posted.
    Best regards

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