The economic depression that followed World War II decreed that Alfa Romeo could no longer afford to produce purely the bespoke motorcars that had made the marque famous on both road and track. One of the first results of this change of direction was the Bertone-designed Giulietta of 1954, a small and graceful two-door coupe. Under the steel skin of the 750 Series Giulietta the chassis employed independent front suspension with a coil-sprung live axle at the rear and drum brakes all round. The twin overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine produced 65 bhp at 6,000 rpm from just 1.3 liters - an impressive output per litre for 1954. The four-speed transmission used a column change but an improved gearbox with floor change was fitted in 1956, when power was increased to 80bhp for the new Veloce version. A special "Lightweight" version of the Veloce models benefited from alloy rather than steel for the bonnet, boot and doors, Perspex in place of the side window glasses, and a fuel tank capacity increase from 14 to 21 gallons. Further improvements appeared in 1958 when a redesigned "split-case" gearbox was introduced.

The most major changes appeared in 1959 with the 101 series. Although outwardly similar, the 1290 cc engine was substantially strengthened while the bodies received a revised radiator grille and rear number plate mounting and deeper rear lights. The wheelbase for Spider models also increased by two inches and quarter light windows became standard.

The Giulietta Sprint pictured here is a Veloce model of the 101 Series and has been a top competitor in historic rallying. A complete rebuild in 1990 by Alfa Romeo expert Benalfa included the fitting of the later front disc brakes, a modified engine, uprated cooling system and suspension (set up by Jon Dooley), and a rollcage. Among VSU 622s successes are a second in class in the 1991 Pirelli Marathon, a first in class in the 1992 Pirelli Marathon, and first in class in the Coronation Rally and overall honors on the AMOC Historic Rally. It remains eligible for HRCR and FIA sanctioned events and comes with FIA Homologation Papers, documented history and spares. It offers very affordable and competitive motorsport, in a fully fettled and race worthy vehicle.

{analysis} On November 9, 1992, this little Veloce sold at the Coys Chelsea, London auction for $10,480. Assuming that the car is ready to go, this is a great bargain, given the costs of setting a car up for rallying.

Sprints have a smaller following in the U.S. than Spiders, and, with fewer sold here new, are much harder to find in decent condition. - ED.

Comments are closed.