No Reserve Original: 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta

I never know what to make of Alfa Romeo. They have a storied past and many enthusiasts sing their praises but they are like a tale of two cars as there are pre-FCA Alfa and post-FCA Alfa examples with a large dead space of about thirteen years between the two. During that time, nary an Alfa was exported to U.S. shores. And of course, there are some significant differences between the two time frames. While the Guilietta first saw domestic roads in the mid-fifties, the Spider arrived later the ’60-’61 time frame. And found here, is one of the earliest Giulietta Spiders, a 1960 version, located in Merrimack, New Hampshire and available here on eBay for a current bid of $15,351, four bids tendered so far.

Back in the ’70s, I would hear of Alfas being referred to as “Alfa Romeros” and a gear-head good friend of mine used to claim that those were Cesar Romero’s younger brothers. Nevertheless, older or young brother, Alfas of the era got tagged for reliability issues. While a driver’s car experience would be enjoyed, owners had to decide if an Alfa’s “inconsistency” was obviated by its road manners. This Giulietta appears to be a very original example and pretty well intact as produced. The seller states that this Alfa has been repainted once but is free of crash damage. There is no mention of body rot or rust though there is surface rust that can be observed on the rocker panels and front roll pan. The repaint was performed over 50 years ago and it doesn’t have much if any, sheen left to it. It would be interesting to know why a repaint was needed at the seven-year mark. Unfortunately, there are only two pictures of the exterior included in the listing so it’s not possible to provide a clearer picture of this two-seater.

All I can say about the interior, is thankfully duct tape comes in red.  The upholstery and door card material is pretty well shot – a picture is worth a thousand words in this case. The instrument panel looks pretty good however and the seller does state that the gauges and switchgear are all present and accounted for. The floors topside, look sound and the seller states as much. There is no word or good image of the soft top but if it’s like the interior, it’s probably going to need some work and/or replacement.

Under the hood, this Alfa has a 1.3 liter, in-line four-cylinder, twin overhead cam engine good for 79 gross HP. The seller states that this Guilietta starts and runs but that’s about all of the detail included. He further adds that the engine has its original Solex carburetor, Lucas ignition coil and original air cleaner. The transmission is the standard included four-speed manual unit. Apparently this Alfa was parked for 42 years, between 1974 and 2016, so there’s no telling what this convertible may need to ensure road-worthiness.

Finally, contrary to a statement made regarding the floor pan soundness,  the passenger-side floor pan, in this image, appears to have a seam separation occurring so that’s going to warrant further investigation. There’s also quite a bit of gear lube that has been slung around the differential so that’s probably going to need to be resealed at the least. Only four bids have been tendered so far for this Guilietta but the dollar amount seems pretty strong and the seller states that he is open to any fair offer.  I would imagine that the originality and completeness of this example are helping with the bid amount. The mileage is listed as only 56K but there is no claim to that being original or documented. Considering the condition of the interior, it would seem that this Guilietta as seen more than 56K miles but that’s hardly a factual indicator of true use. I have been leery of these pre-FCA Alfas because I have always been told that they have Fiat-like reliability problems. For those that are familiar with the Guilietta Spider, is that an overreaction to the Fix It Again Tony legend or something to seriously consider when pondering such a car?

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Comments

  1. Haig Haleblian

    I have this identical car. Though my 60 has a rock solid body, crispy interior, and run likes a champ. Once set up Alfa’s are no issue

    Like 4
  2. ccrvtt

    From Wikipedia:

    “Alfa Romeo’s logo incorporates two heraldic devices traditionally associated with its birthplace, the city of Milan: a red cross, from the emblem of Milan, and the biscione, a big grass snake swallowing a child—emblem of the House of Visconti, rulers of the city in the 14th century.”

    It’s not like they didn’t warn you.

    Like 2
  3. Chas H

    Compare the Alfa to the Triumph above. I owned a Veloce model of this car for 40 years. I bought it 1965 for $850. It was in great shape and was my DD for years.

    Like 2
  4. alphil

    The company did have its problems,no denying that.But AFA the 1956-62ish Giuliettas,they’re no more problematic than any other “sports” car of that era,well built,ride and handle like a dream compared to any of those in its class,and that would include big Healeys,Jaguars,.They are “sports” cars,not cruisers,and were usually driven aggressively so needed more care,otherwise yes,unreliable.Most had Lucas electrics,that’s a buzz word for disaster,but again,the systems are fine if taken care of.Roll up windows,excellent,huge brakes with aluminum finned drums,all aluminum DOHC Hemi-Head high performance engine,fully syncronized gearbox,there’s more but I’ll end saying yes,there’s misinformation out there,so drive one. This particular spider is going to need alot,worth saving but I wouldn’t expect to make money on it.

  5. Mountainwoodie

    Caesar Romeros! Thats good! Talk about dating ourselves! :) Although a well known actor from the forties I’ll always remember him for his turn in the TV series Batman…..not to stray too far from the Alpha Romero.

    Can you imagine if a car maker today wanted to incorporate a grass snake swallowing a child in its insignia! Probably land them on a website!

    These are really quintessential Italian desinn to my ‘Merican eyes. Always thought about getting one but having had experience with numerous Fiat Spyders and 124’s thought nah……

  6. Bruce

    I drove one as a daily driver for over 20 years and the only things that failed was that damn nylon gear for the windshield wipers. Got a pair of them and the day I was driving back from the dealership I ran into a woman who was standing in the rain with another same year as mine with her wipers beating against the fenders. I had the exact same problem. 5 minute fix after I told her she was the luckiest woman on the planet. Did not even charge her for the part.
    Later I got a letter sent to my business. It contained back stage passes and tickets to the Grateful Dead concert. Ride from the hotel with them and party after. Her husband was the concert promoter for Kansas City. Was one of the best times I have every had and met with Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir for a long time talking about all kinds of things. They were still partying when I had to head for home. I guess I am a lightweight LOL.
    Amazing what doing the kind thing can get you.

    Like 7
    • Jim ODonnell

      Bruce – Fantastic story! Thx for sharing.

      Like 2
  7. MCH

    Alfa – pre-1975 – is more akin to BMW than to Fiat. I have owned several of each. Nothing inspires like a well-sorted Alfa. Drive an Alfa Spider and compare it to any other two-seater of the same vintage and condition, and it will become crystal clear why Alfas trade at 2 – 4 times the price of its British competition.

    Like 4
    • alphil

      MCH,I’ve never owned a BMW,but had several 50’s-60s’ two seat sports cars including a big Healey,and once I got a 56′ Alfa spider,never went back(and it was a rust bucket).The bad rap has everything to do with care and maintenance,as this is a sports car and not a cruiser,they were driven as such,aggressively.No more problematic than any other sports car that was driven hard and neglected.In my opinion,this particular spider is not too bad a start,at least the body appears straight,but its going to need a lot.And to Martin,I disagree AFA cost of parts,yes they’re out there,but $$.Just my 2cents

  8. t-BONE BOB

    Time left: Time left:1 day Friday, 10:30AM
    Current bid:US $15,651.00
    [ 5 bids ]

  9. Martin Horrocks

    Agree with most of the above. Well-sorted Alfas of this period are reliable and good quality. Modern electronic distributor is highly recommended. Parts supply is excellent and inexpensive, including interior trim kits. Keep original or upgrade, your money is pretty safe. But probably the way forward with this one is stock rebuild. Do it once and do it right.

    Like 1
  10. Will Owen Member

    What Martin said. These are essentially simple cars, especially this Normale, so-called because it’s got a Solex instead of twin Webers. They will rust in places you have to look hard for, but they were built like any other car of this period. The engine is one made in many sizes and states of tune, and they all fit in the same hole, so the current owner/rebuilder can pretty much pick and choose.

  11. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    “This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available.”

  12. Charles Mann

    Thought I had a 1960 Alfa Giulietta!
    Got it from an Air Force guy in Tampa, paper work said 1960.
    When doing clutch kind of things to it, found it was actually a 1959.
    By the time it got here to the dealer it was 1960 so it was titled as such.
    Thinking the story was the 1959 had a two piece transmission bolted together, the 1960 had a one piece housing. Saw one in Kalamazoo last July, :-) :-)
    Sold it to a guy in New Jersey who claimed he opened his Alfa dealership in 1959 and he wanted to restore it for his showroom.
    Red with black top and interior.
    Those Alfas were such fun.!.!.!
    Thank you for finding and writing about this one.

  13. Robbert

    Like a good red very desirable!

  14. Charles Mann

    Avery good Red.

  15. Geoff

    UGH… Same old tropes repeated again and again, really “fix it again Tony”?? Alfas of this era are exactly as reliable as any other similarly maintained make of the same era. Drove mine as a daily driver to college for years. no problem. Exquisite engineering and robust mechanicals. These are truly great driver cars. Remember, these are “sports cars” in the true sense. People in those days actually did drive them to the races, go racing, and then get groceries on the way home.

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