1956 Alfa Romeo GiuliettaSprint 750B
- Year of manufacture1956
- Mileage97 000 km / 60 274 mi
- Car typeCoupé
- Interior colourRed
- Number of doors2
- Number of seats2
- Exterior colourRed
- Fuel typePetrol
Totally restored only 300 km after the restoration
* original documentation
* original registration documents
* Alfa Romeo Museum Certification
The one for the experienced connoisseurs...
If today Alfa Romeo is in everyone's mind a generalist manufacturer with a sporting connotation, the Arese firm was fighting among the most prestigious brands on the planet before the Second World War. His many victories in Grands-Prix gave a very good image to the production models that competed in luxury and sport. The Alfa Romeo 6C and 8C lineage is the best example. But after the War, in a Europe that is healing, Alfa Romeo must change its strategy. Still sport, but by democratizing its products...
Before the war, Alfa Romeo distinguished itself on the Grand Prix circuits (Formula 1 did not exist yet) throughout Europe and held its own against the leading names in the category, mainly French and German manufacturers. Its production models were then at the opposite of the current models, in an automotive market that had a different composition. Thus, Alfa Romeo's direct competitors at the time were Delage, Delahaye, Mercedes-Benz, Lancia, Bentley, Talbot, Bugatti... If we want to make a comparison with current market segments and brands, which are more significant for younger generations, Alfa Romeo was before the war the equivalent of brands such as Aston Martin, Jaguar or Bentley today! The five long years of world conflict, Italy torn apart by fascism, then destroyed at the end of the war, changed the situation. To survive, Alfa Romeo must diversify and change its strategy. It is therefore a rapid downshift in range that is taking place, with the 1900 sedan first, the first of its kind on the market since it was the first sporty family sedan. But to increase production volumes, and therefore its survival, Alfa Romeo will move further down the range by launching in 1952 the study of a cheap average car. With always in its genes, a strong sporting connotation: the famous Alfa Romeo virus.
To better understand the success of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint coupe, we have to go back to the early 1950s. At the time, some manufacturers were reluctant to abandon a classic style and give in to the sirens of the pontoon style. In addition, sports cars remain more heavy, impractical and unmanageable GTs with prohibitive prices reserved for an elite group of customers. The Cisitalia, designed by Pininfarina, will be the first sedan of its kind and will revolutionize the world of sports cars in terms of design. In this trend, the Alfa Romeo style centre and Franco Scaglione will design the line of the future Alfa Romeo coupe. These cars will be manufactured by Bertone, because Alfa Romeo has only planned to assemble a handmade series of about fifty vehicles.... In the end, after about ten years, all versions combined, nearly 36 000 car have been produced! The Giulietta Sprint coupe is characterized by a reduced wheelbase, giving it a compact design. All the stylistic musts of the time can be found in this Italian design. There are even some similarities with some contemporary Ferrari or Aston Martin, but on a smaller scale. The mustaches encasing the famous Alfa Romeo grille (the "mascarone") enhance the car's character and the chrome has been used wisely without excess. We're looking at a sports car! With 60 years of hindsight, every stylistic detail of the Giulietta Sprint coupe is a real invitation to nostalgia. It is difficult to remain marbled facing that enchanting yet so pure design. However, the Giulietta Sprint are the Alfa Romeo of purists, informed amateurs, because the notoriety of the Bertone coupe, more widespread, is much more obvious. Technically, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint is based on the principle of the self-supporting steel body. Unlike the vehicle presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1954, the Giulietta Sprint coupe gained two more seats (it is therefore a 2+2 coupé) and abandoned its transversely opening tailgate for a trunk with a more classic opening kinematics. The sashes are also made of steel. The interior has dimensions according to the standards of the time. The extremely simple dashboard retains a timeless elegance. Three large dials are in front of the driver with the tachometer in the centre, reminiscent of the Milanese coupe's sports genes. The steering wheel with the horn ring is made of bakelite and reminds you of your grandparents' black and white movies. In its centre, the Milanese biscione and coat of arms are present, as on all Alfa Romeo cars. The Giulietta Sprint coupes offer a very good driving position that allows efficient and precise handling, just like its chassis and sparkling engine.
Under the hood, we find all the strength of Alfa Romeo: its engine. Faithful to a long tradition as an engine manufacturer, Alfa Romeo has built a 1.3-litre engine that presents an astonishing modernity for the time. This in-line four-cylinder engine had alloy cylinder head and block. Covered by a chain-driven dual overhead cam timing system, its pistons were curved and its combustion chambers hemispherical, proof of the talent of the Arese firm's engine manufacturers. An APAI-G double-body inverted Solex carburetor is responsible for pouring the precious air/fuel mix. Its 65 hp DIN at 6,100 rpm may seem very timid these days, but the car was light at 880 kg and 160 km/h was allowed. A real sports car in 1954 when the Citroën 2 HP developed less than 30 hp and did not even reach 100 km/h.... A 4-speed mechanical gearbox was standard. Ultimate refinement for the time: the gears are synchronized.
The power is transmitted to the rear wheels. Alfa Romeo, like most manufacturers of the time, still relied on propulsion, a guarantee of greater efficiency for sports cars. For their new coupe, Alfa Romeo engineers used conventional but efficient suspensions: independent front wheels with coil springs, stabilizer bar and telescopic shock absorbers, rigid rear axle with coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers. The brakes are drum brakes and unassisted on all four standard wheels, which actually are 15-inch sheet metal rims with 155 HR 15 tyres. The result is a very healthy and efficient driving behavior. The steering is smooth and precise.
Our Giulietta Sprint
According to the Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo, our chassis *02586*, which is still equipped with its original AR1315*02411* block, was produced on July 12th, 1956 and delivered on the 24th of the same month to the Spanish Ambassador in Vatican. Fernando María Castiella Maíz was born on December 9th 1907 in Bilbao, Spain. He was a diplomat and politician during the Francoist era, Professor of Private International Law, Ambassador of Spain in Peru and Vatican and Minister for Foreign Affairs between 1957 and 1969. He has been seduced by this small Alfa Romeo coupe that his wife Soledad Castiella Maíz (born Quijano Secades) registered upon their return in Madrid in 1959, when her husband became Minister of Foreign Affairs. His most important battle being Gilbraltar's future. He resigned in 1977 and became a member of the Board of the Banco Hispano Americano. He sold the Alfa Romeo to Mr. Antonio Velasco Martinez in 1977, as confirmed by the documents including the sale contract in the file, after 21 years of Dolce vita. The latter will keep the car until 2015, as shown by the periodic TCs in the file. The car has then been acquired by its current owner, who commissioned a complete restoration. We are therefore in presence of a third hand car, totally restored in its original configuration (the original steering wheel being provided) and ready to take part to any rally, including the famous "Mille Miglia", where it is eligible. So? Ready for the Dolce Vita?