Alfa Romeo, Italy's oldest sporting marque, has been building cars since 1910. They produced some of the greatest machinery ever to be seen pre-war, such as the beautiful 1750 Zagato roadsters, the magnificent Monzas, and the mighty P3 Grand Prix cars. With the advent of the 1950s, Alfa Romeo was forced to rationalize its production in order to survive financially. Unable to resist the occasional indulgence, however, they still built some exceptional competition and "limited edition" high performance models. One such car was the Sprint Speciale series, appearing first in 1957 with the 1,290 cc Giulietta engine and then in 1963 with the more powerful 1,570 cc Giulia unit. The streamlined bodywork bore a marked resemblance to some of the marque's earlier competition designs, particularly the famous Disco Volante sports-racer, not to mention the BAT 9 show car. With an all-up weight of under 950 kgs, a five-speed gearbox and an output of 112 bhp (in Giulia form) they made excellent road cars and were used from time to time in competition, although the Zagato-styled SZ was the racing mount of choice in those days. Only 1,355 examples of the Sprint Speciale were built before production stopped in 1965. The example described here was purchased by the vendor in 1988, having previously belonged to Colin Earl of the Pop Group "Mungo Jerry." Since its acquisition the car has been maintained to a high standard by historic Alfa Romeo specialist Rossi Engineering of Sunbury-on-Thames, but has seen limited use as it forms part of a private collection. General condition is described as good and the car drives well, with fine road manners and healthy oil pressure. Coachwork is finished in Rosso Alfa with black upholstery. Included in the sale are a [then-current] registration certificate expiring 97-11-2, the original "Autosport" Giulia SS road test, copies of the service manual and owners handbook, and invoices for maintenance work carried out. Very reasonably priced, the car is ideal for all kinds of historic events. At the height of the market, SSs were $60,000+ cars. Affectionately called 'Baby Lussos' due to their similarity to their 12-cylinder brethren, they represent a near ideal mix of style, performance and comfort. {analysis} This car brought a mere $14,216 on 14 March [1996] at Coys. This is a fair enough market price for an average car. However, SSs at current pricing levels represent a superb opportunity to buy a car that actually has visual panache, with some upwards appreciation potential when the market awakens. - ED.{/analysis}

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