A photoseries for Sunday – Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint

Amidst the stolid carpark fare of Gaydon’s National Motor Museum, this little gem gleamed.

Image: Driventowrite
Image: Driventowrite

I can’t be certain about the year, but the mesh side grilles flanking the scudetto and the presence of the ornate chromed side repeaters on the front wings suggests this is a late-series Sprint. The car was pristine, looking delicate and almost fragile amidst the bloated moderns in its midst.

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Created in something of a hurry, the Sprint’s genesis is a tale in itself. The story goes that lacking the funds to complete the Giulietta berlina’s development, state-owned Alfa Romeo management instigated a share issue in the form of a lottery to raise money, the prize being one of their new cars. However, the berlina wasn’t ready in time and as investors and lottery winners alike became increasingly irate, Portello turned to carrozzeria Bertone for help. Created in a matter of weeks and originally schemed by Bertone’s Franco Scaglione to feature a hatchback, the Sprint saved the day, but created a whole new set of problems as demand for the pretty coupé soared. Bertone couldn’t initially cope with the volumes demanded; forcing them to enlarge their operations, inadvertently catapulting them into being a manufacturer in their own right. The rest, as they say…

The Giulietta Sprint predated the berlina by a year, remaining in production from 1954 until 1962. It was directly replaced by the Giugiaro-designed 105-series Sprint in 1965. Achingly beautiful is an oft-used piece of journalise, but one that could have been coined to describe the Sprint’s pert form. Personally, I’ll go with exquisite.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founding Editor. Content Provider.

7 thoughts on “A photoseries for Sunday – Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint”

  1. No panel-gaps, just door and bonnet and boot shutlines: so, let’s discuss truth to materials and “honesty” in design. Should we go back and rip open the welds? And if not there’s not much reason for a bit more untruth to materials.

  2. So handsome.
    And yes, all the panel gaps are delightfully massaged away. Surely an invisible seam between different materials is the holy grail for contemporary car manufacturing?

    1. I do think so, but none of the car makers of today agrees with us. When not even Rolls-Royce care enough to do away with the seams, who does? Have you seen a modern Rolls-Royce up close? The detailing is truly atrocious…

      Sajeev Mehta over at TTAC has a series called Vellum Venom where he makes in depth design analysis of cars. Read this one of the sad state of detailing on modern Rollers to see how truly bad it really is.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/vellum-venom-2014-rolls-royce-wraith/

    2. I politely disagree with TTAC here. It may not feature the levels of bespoke exquisiteness of RR’s most revered motorcars, but to my set of eyes, the Wraith is a very fine car indeed. The Chrysler 300 comparisons certainly appear to be a bit screaming for attention.

      If the Wraith is so atrocious, what does Mr Mehta make of any Daimler-era Maybach product?

    3. Whereas the points in the TTAC piece have some truth, the truly coachbuilt, heavily-leaded body is a thing of the past. Even Wraiths get parking dings and owners prefer their cars to be days in the spray-shop, not weeks. And at Guiletta level, certainly, hand leading and smoothing is never going to happen.

    4. The whole series is worth reading. I don’t always agree with him, but he has a way, like this site, of putting focus on overseen design details.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/editorials/vellum-venom/

      Here he does the Maybach. It fares better, but not without criticism;

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/vellum-venom-2012-maybach-57/

      Here he does a Ferrari 275 GTB, with welded seams all around, mind you.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/vellum-venom-ferrari-275-gtb/

      I’ve read all his articles on this subject, and I think they are very interesting, and should appeal to the readership on this site. It’s right up your alley…

  3. The Giulietta Sprint is one of those cars I wish that I had had the taste/funds/time/sense/foresight to acquire when they were affordable. Even more exotic I remember seeing a Scagline Sprint Speciale once for sale at a price that I could possibly have afforded – though I can console myself that it’s cheap blow-over probably hid a wealth of body repairs that I could not have afforded. Also that I probably wouldn’t have fitted into it.

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