1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce 'Alleggerita' by Bertone
Documents: UK V5
- One of less than 200 built
- Originally delivered to renowned Italian hill climb champion Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi
- Frequent and recent participant in the Mille Miglia Storica
- Highly eligible for numerous historic events
The first of Alfa Romeo’s Giuliettas, the Bertone-styled Giulietta Sprint Coupé, debuted at the Turin Motor Show in April 1954 and was powered by a 1.3-litre all-alloy version of Alfa’s classic twin-cam four (designed by one-time Ferrari engineer Giuseppe Busso). As the model was an immediate success, Alfa Romeo had to revise its production targets in order to satisfy demand. There was also demand for increased performance, and as such, upgraded Veloce versions of the Sprint and spider were introduced for 1956.
Whilst the standard Giulietta Sprint and Sprint Veloce are both inspiring and very capable sports cars, the lightweight variant is a surprisingly different animal. In order to make the Veloce competitive, weight had to be removed wherever possible. In all, Alfa Romeo shaved off around 70 kilograms, with the Veloce weighing in at approximately 830 kilograms. The weight-saving was achieved by using aluminium for the bonnet, boot lid, and door skins, as well as the bumpers and headlight rims, whilst Plexiglas was used for the side windows. The reduction was not restricted to the exterior, with interior changes including the removal of the rear seats and the sound proofing materials to further trim the car down as much as possible.
This Giulietta Sprint Veloce, chassis number 03808, was manufactured on 4 February 1957 and was sold to its first owner, Edoardo Lualdi Gabardi of Busto Arsizio, Italy, on 22 February, as confirmed by Alfa Romeo Centro Documentazione, as well as the Giulietta Register. Mr Lualdi, the famous Italian hill climb champion, is known for his very impressive race record, finishing on the podium (including three 1st place finishes) at the Trieste-Opicina Hill Climb no fewer than five times.
Chassis number 03808 is believed to have been subsequently raced for a large part of its life in the hands of a number of enthusiasts. Its competitive career didn’t end in period, as the spritely Alfa has also competed in the Mille Miglia Storica in 2008, 2009, and 2011. The car has benefitted from an engine rebuild in 2001 by Monguzzi Corrado Elaborazione, and at that time, it was confirmed to deliver an impressive 124 horsepower. The axle and differential have also recently been rebuilt. The car still retains many original Sprint Veloce features, such as the ribbed boot floor and Plexiglas side and rear windows, along with its lightweight bonnet, boot lid, and doors.
Given this Sprint Voloce’s notable first owner, its period and historic racing history, and FIA papers, it has been described as “an important part of Alfa Romeo history, due to its rarity and provenance” by the chairman of the Giulietta Register and Enthusiasts’ Club. Whilst the production number of these very special Giuliettas is not formally known, less than 200 are believed to have been built, and it is certain that these cars remain very rare today. As such, when one appears on the market, it is an opportunity not to be missed.
For the discerning Alfa Romeo collector or the gentleman driver looking to participate in some of the most prestigious events on the calendar, this car is sure to thrill.
Please note that this title is in transit.
Please note that further investigation would appear to show that this car was restored using a replacement body shell.