Keith’s Blog: Four Coupes and Three Garage Spaces

I’ve got a dilemma. Due to my profligate purchasing of Alfas, I now have more cars than I have spaces at SCM World Headquarters.

Something has to go.

I was counting cars the other night (a favorite hobby of mine), and realized I have four Alfas coupes and a 4-door sedan — plus two convertibles.

Since I can only drive one car at a time, perhaps one of the coupes could go.

I have built all four to my preferred specs, and frankly, I love them all. But maybe it’s time to move one on. I’ll describe them here and let you tell me which one should find a new home.

The earliest car is a 1958 Sprint Veloce. One of less than 150 Confortevoles built, it has all the mechanical specs of the earlier lightweights — but with steel body panels. I looked for 10 years before finding this car. If you want an eyebrow Sprint Veloce without spending the $350-$450k that lightweights command, a Confortevole is your only option.

The car is on the button and event proven.

Then we have the 1961 Giulietta Sprint Special. It too is numbers- matching, with a correct 101 Veloce drivetrain, completely rebuilt with a 1,400-cc kit.

The paint and chrome are old and presentable — and much too nice to redo. I’m having a new Matt Jones leather interior installed. I love the way this car drives.

Next is my 1967 GTV that I wrote about last week. I’d rather sell it than have it parked outside in the rain. It’s got a Dave Rugh 1,750-cc engine and suspension. It’s everyone’s favorite from the SCM fleet.

And finally is the newest addition to the SCM fleet, the 1971 Junior Zagato that I purchased from Gordy Hyde.

It’s having a Classic Alfa suspension installed, and it I’ve put in a 4.1 rear end to match the pulling power of the 1750 engine. It too is a joy to drive, and I haven’t got enough time behind the wheel of it.

Four cars and space for three.

If this was your collection, which would you sell and why?

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

Posted in Blogs, Keith Martin

26 comments

  1. I’d sell the SS because I can’t sit in it. Given that it’s the best-looking, that would be a hard decision all the same. But just as I couldn’t buy one when they were new, I couldn’t keep one now. Shorter-torso persons might choose another of these.

    1. Oh by all means sell the 58 sprint. Why? Because of the terrible color combination and it’s such an old car.
      All right, it’s really because that’s the one I would most like to own.
      I’d sell the SS. As you may remember I drove that car last year and I much preferred the super that my sister and I moved into.

  2. For me, the deciding factor will always be whether I drive it a lot, or a little, or not at all. That’s why I let my Montreal go (you handed me a best 105 trophy through the window at Concorso a few years ago). The combination of my height, and the typical fragility of 105 interior parts meant a visit to the garage ended with a drive in the 102 “Tahoe Special”.

    Looking at your cars, I’d say the tossup to go would be the Speciale and the Jr. Z. If I had a Z, and it was all prepped up for rallies or track days, I’d drive the car out of it. As a street car, meh. The Speciale can create a little fear at exposing it to the road and other drivers, and, does it provide any driving pleasure that the Sprint or GTV don’t do better?

    Maybe let both the Speciale and Z go and get an Alfa coupe set up for track days, but that is road legal?

  3. Keith, you are asking the wrong question! Your problem is not too many cars it’s simply not enough storage. Put a little effort into finding adequate storage within a reasonable distance of SCM and you’ll thank me . . . even a 20′ storage container if nothing else. Life’s too short to lose one of your treasures!

  4. Keith it seems like you are getting better, I am happy for you. The perfect solution is to build a bigger garage.

  5. I’m thinking the Sprint Speciale only because I wouldn’t fit in it so well. Love the script of the emblems on these. tough decision

  6. I would buy the storage system that allows to park 2 cars on top of each other.
    I have 17 cars ( one down since beginning of the year) and short of space but when you want to fall asleep counting your cars is a much better experience with higher numbers.
    Keep as many as you can and take care
    Pierre

  7. After looking at the four photos at the bottom of the page. The choice would be easy for me…
    Sell the red ’72 Junior Zagato…
    Reason???
    It doesn’t “look at home” with the cars shown in the collection….
    While the other 3 look like they belong together!!!

  8. Keith,

    From reading some of your previous blogs it seems you talk less about the SS (working on it, driving it, etc.) then the other cars in your stable. That being said my take is that you enjoy the other cars more: move along the SS to the next owner.

  9. You will regret the day selling one of your collection
    Find a display window at a local showroom, put one of the cars in there for 2 to 3 weeks and rotate your collection for all to see
    Then sort out the storage problem, build a bigger garage or a vehicle tent in the back yard.

  10. Sell the GTV, you can always find another one. The SS, the Sprint and the Jr. Z are keepers.

  11. Sell the GTV, you can always find another one. The SS, Jr. Z and Sprint are keepers.

  12. Keith, get a lift or two. Problem solved !
    I’m the person who sold you the FIAT 2100 –
    Across America.

  13. Keith,

    You have a dilemma that most share. I would let all the four doors go, but I know you like them so…

    I would let the car go that you use the least. Which one of those cars is your last choice do a dive. You and I are drivers, the one that is driven the least must go, otherwise they serve no purpose. Good luck in your choice!

  14. Sorry, but never been a fan of the looks of the SS. Never driven one but just doesn’t look like a drivers car which I know you want and appreciate. You should never consider selling the GTV after your efforts to dial it in. Second option would be the Z but only because it isn’t as “classic” but again speaking out of ignorance. Wish I were in the same spot of choosing from a very nice harem.

  15. Keith:
    Indeed, it is a tough decision. Perhaps, only Alfa could had produced such distinctive designs by Bertone and Zagato. Each of them is so unique that none seems to be the forerunner of the other in terms of styling; the family signature is in the mechanics, and yet, performance has its own manner in every model. In fact, the most common one, the GTV, seems to be the nicest to drive. I’d rather enlarge the garage.

  16. Sell the Sprint. The Sprint Speciale and the Jr. Z are rare and beautiful and have the best chance at appreciation. The GTV is a newer drive than the Sprint, it’s a stepnose and it has the sweetest motor, the 1750. The Sprint is cute, but it has to go.

  17. In the words of Mr. Dong ( resisting bad humour) who commented earlier, sell the GTV because it’s the easiest to replace. Sadly, sometimes the best cars are the most easily replaced. And you have my empathy, having sold an Lancia a few years ago because I had to choose between storing it outside to the car’s detriment, or keep it and watch it deteriorate while I dealt with other project cars higher in the project queue. Emotionally, it’s always easier to acquire them than cut them loose. Financially, the revere applies.

  18. Keith,
    I’m interested in the Jr. Z. Do you have the original motor? It’s not necessary; the 1750 is my favorite motor anyway. (We’ve met a few times; I have a blue ’62 Giulietta spider)

  19. This may get me kicked of the site but I would sell the 1961 Sprint Speciale. We flock to one-offs and special body cars for their rarity but this car looks nose heavy. The other three are Alfas at heart and recognizable as Alfas. The Sprint Speciale is like a woman with too much make-up, trying too hard.

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