As described by the seller on eBay Motors: This rare automobile has been in the body shop for six years. The exterior has been slowly and carefully rebuilt. All the bondo has been removed and replaced with body sections taken mainly from other vintage Alfas. I purchased the 2600 Sprint in San Francisco, where the car still sits. I moved to Hawaii several years ago and have been unable to follow the project through to its completion. It was moved out of the shop last week and needs a new home as soon as possible. The interior leather is in good condition. The front seats were completely redone recently in good quality, matching black leather. Enrico Tenni at Valtellina Automobili, an Alfa Romeo specialist, rebuilt the engine. He planned to modify the manifold to fit dual Webers and can still undertake this project if desired. The original manifold and Stromberg carbs are not included. Otherwise, it is mechanically complete. All the pieces (headlights, door panels, door handles, etc.) are in storage and are included. At present all it requires is a professional coat of paint and some time to put it all back together, and it will be truly beautiful. {analysis} This 1966 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint sold for $5,402 on eBay Motors (#2449764206), December 30, 2003. The Bertone-bodied 2600 Sprint was Alfa's top-of-the-line offering in the 1960s, with 6,999 produced between 1962 and 1966. It successfully competed against the Maserati 3500 GT and Jaguar E-type 2+2. Powered by a twin-cam, 2.6-liter straight six and featuring a full leather interior and power windows in a classic Giugiaro-penned body, the 2600 was designed to be an effortless continent crosser. As the late Pat Braden wrote in the April 2002 issue of SCM, "A well turned-out 2600 Sprint is an all-day 90-mph cruiser that is easily the equal to nearly any GT car built in the same period." The factory brochure boasted that, "one may change up into top (fifth) gear at 100 mph." Reading this auction listing elicited a pair of sharply contrasting reactions. As the former owner of three 2600 Sprints, I recalled the great power, comfort and classic looks of these high-speed tourers, and the many hours of great driving I had in my 2600 Sprints. But having bought one of those three cars sight unseen, I also recalled the horror when I saw the rusty fright pig that was delivered to my house. You can probably guess from the photos which of those two memories is more relevant to this car. Any project car is a risky buy, but this one raises more red flags than a May Day parade in Beijing. The first is that the auction listing incorrectly called the car a 2600 Sprint "Speciale." No such designation exists, as that moniker was applied only to specially bodied Giulietta and Giulia coupes. No date is given for the alleged engine rebuild, while the photos show a dirty motor that's missing its manifold and carburetors. If this doesn't make us suspicious, the seller's identification of the original carbs as "Strombergs," when the 2600 used Solexes, should. And "fitting dual Webers"? That would be quite a trick, as all 2600s came with triple dual-throat carburetors. With no photographic evidence of all the missing trim pieces, great potential exists for an exhausting and wallet-depleting search for them. "Body sections taken mainly from other vintage Alfas" isn't particularly encouraging, and I wonder if those pieces might not be as rusty as this car apparently once was (or still is). The photos do not clearly show the quality of the current bodywork, missing what should be obligatory undercarriage or trunk floor close-ups. As the 2600 Sprint has supposedly been in the body shop for six years, it would be nice to know more about when and how this work was completed. Are there new body trim gaskets to go with the car? Was the glass taken out when the body was refinished? To put the car pictured here right would take considerably more than "a professional coat of paint and some time." We all fantasize about landing an easy restoration, but this isn't it. The best of my 2600 Sprints was a one-owner 35,000-mile California "black plate" example, purchased after the car had been painted by the seller and mostly re-assembled. But I still had to locate and then install all the chrome trim using new old stock or re-plated pieces, neither of which come cheap. (Nor are there any original attachment clips available.) I also sorted out the electrical system, rebuilt the steering box, replaced the clutch (a unit shared with the Ferrari 250 and priced accordingly), and completely overhauled the braking system. All of this was done to a car that I was able to drive at some speed and with some confidence before I bought it! Given that the nicest 2600 Sprint in the world can be had for $15,000, it's quite unlikely that this eBay project, even bought at only five grand, could be brought up to that standard for an additional ten. Perhaps the buyer of this car is a capable mechanic and body man who is also a holder of vast stocks of vintage Alfa parts. If so, he may have gotten a good deal. But for anyone who is not a do-it-yourselfer, and has to write checks to get things done, this was not the best way to get into a 2600 Sprint.-Donald Osborne{/analysis}

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