Rolling Start: 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

If you’re asking yourself “What is the hardest rebuild project I can take on right now, where I’ll have a hard time finding parts, have to completely redo every inch of the car, but end up with a wonderful, rare piece of automotive history?” Then I have the answer. How about a rusted, beat up, but rolling 1961 Alfa Giulietta Spider?

After recently writing about a 1973 Barn Spider, I can say I have a rekindled interest in Alfa’s – going so far as searching for an affordable series 1 1750 Spider Veloce to officially begin reliving my college years. But, like a sign from Mercury (as you know, the Roman God of travels and trickery), I keep on bookmarking marvelous Giuletta projects, like this one found here on eBay. Perhaps it’s the snubby squat pug nose fronts with the iconic Alfa grill layout, but  more likely it’s that completely rebuilt beauties easily run over $110k now a-days, as seen in these two glorious examples from 1960, and 1959.

What I’ve learned from my recent yearnings for an Alfa, is that unlike its brethren that shared the Giulietta namesake, the spider is a far more appealing, fun, and sporty version that the T.I, and Sprint models – but these more practical versions were a vast majority of the 177k Alfa’s made from 1954 to 1965. Hence, with only 14,300 Spiders produced (and most ending up in the vast junkyard in the sky), it’s no wonder perfectly preserved models fetch 6 digit prices.

This collectors item, however, is many many months (years?), and even more money away from fetching big money. Its got rust on its rust, dents over dents, and would have to be gingerly towed to its new home for fear of falling apart along the way. Still, at $15k (offers accepted) its got enough of a rolling start to be a very inspiring project, and be part of bringing back to life one of the “…most coveted shapes of all time.”

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Comments

  1. txchief

    Yikes! Is that thing even on the proper chassis?

  2. Had Two

    Shame it is not a 1959….but, about the same. Good memories. Fabulous
    driving car.

  3. Oncle Paul

    This one will break your heart! Save years and $, buy a good one now and drive it now while you can and make money on it when you sell.

  4. SAM61

    Here’s a nice little “driver” from an event in Ephraim Wisconsin in September.

  5. Dolphin Member

    Ouch! The pictures make my eyes hurt….and I like a lot of pictures when I’m looking at a vintage car ad. This would have to be from B.H.C.C.

  6. Poptheclutch

    Diffentley looks like a parts car pulled out of the junkyard. If not where are all the missing parts as the owner doesn’t say that any of the missing parts goes with it
    And txchief is right doesn’t like it’s on its
    Original chassis!

    • Brakeservo

      Oh I think it’s on it’s original chassis alright, but between all the metal lost to rust and the missing parts, this Beverly Hills Hair Club Special is just so much lighter than it used to be.

  7. Milt

    White wall and cracked cement floor can only mean one thing – BHCC.

  8. Brakeservo

    You forgot the other factors that set a Beverly Hills Hair Club offering apart – hopelessly deteriorated and overpriced!

  9. Rube Goldberg Member

    Just terrible. What in ‘tarnation makes this POS worth $15g’s? Don’t get me wrong, fantastic cars, but this, I bet they had a hard time finding a secure lift point. Sorry, pretty p.o.’d where the hobby has gone, and stuff like this doesn’t help. In the 70’s, these were $500 cars. I realize, many $500 dollar cars back then, are worth thousands today, but this, just terrible.

    • RayT Member

      Beverly Hills Cur Club makes it worth $15K, Rube. I’ll give them a little credit, though: if you ignore the written description, the overabundance of photos graphically show how little is salvageable.

      Have to agree with you about the “monetization” of the hobby. Even if the seller would deal, the price wouldn’t drop enough for this to be a viable restoration. Not sure, in fact, that if it was given away it wouldn’t be underwater from the moment it changed hands….

      They seem to manage to sell some of the hulks they put up for sale, though. I’ll never understand why.

      • Rube Goldberg Member

        I suppose different people hold different things dear. You can buy a house in the UP for this, move in. ( of course, you’d have to live in the UP, not that there’s anything wrong with the UP, love it, but it has it’s challenges) The real shame in all this, is this could be a great cheapie for someone to experience what driving an Alfa is like. It could be an Alfa “beater”, as it were, and someone could experience the sound of the twin cam and 5 speeds. Very few cars of this vintage had high revving twin cam motors and 5 speeds. I’m glad I got to experience driving a car like this. It was a cool car. Sadly, probably have at least $30g’s in restoration costs, many won’t be able to, and that’s a shame.

  10. Tony K Member

    I bought one in the early ’70s for $400, and it was in 90+% condition cosmetically. It was this time of year, and I picked it up at dusk. Cold night but you could see every star, so I put down the top, cranked up the (working) heater and drove it 17 miles to my home … and when I put it in the garage, I noticed it was smoking. A lot. The next morning, I discovered the engine had seized. Yup, guy I bought it from had failed to mention there was almost no oil in the engine. I had just one wonderful ride in it. Sold it for parts … for the same $400. Now you’re telling me they are six-figure cars …. arrrrrrgh!

    • Bruce

      The engines on these cars are amazingly easy to rebuild. The aluminum block and cast iron cylinders are a snap to replace. The crank is generally not difficult to have rebuilt and the cams sit in a bath of oil and almost never have any problems.

      All the Alfa 4 cylinders are like this. The fuel injection system on the later ones need some specialized tools and experience but that is not difficult to find the the clubs. I am sorry you only had one ride. I had mine for almost 20 years.

  11. Marco

    What is it with BHCC and all their JUNK!

    • Horse Radish

      Owner claims to be a collector car enthusiast, but just like “Gullwing Motors” he don’t mind doubling ir trippling his money on every miserable pile that goes through there

    • Horse Radish

      The way that car looks with all parts missing he is going around junk yards and buying up parted out shells.

  12. Dik S from the Netherlands

    Hello Folks,
    once I was the proud owner of a 1967 Alfa Romeo Guilia GTC Sprint. It is the successor of these Spiders.
    I bought that car, I think in 1977 and it was almost scrap. I was young (my body now counts 73 years). But I had never before this one , one other seen. And also in that time I new something about cars. I also could get it for a cheap price. It took me 5 months to get this beauty back on the road. A pitty was, that the original 1600 engine used so much oil, that I could not see anything in my backmirror. So a few weeks later it had a 1750 engine out of a Berlina. I drove it a few years, but then needed new work and as I had no time, It went to a barn.
    To make a long story short, in the time it was in several barns, it became worser. Just after I removed it from the first barn, that barn burned to the ground. Lucky me.
    The second barn was a waterfall when it rained (I live in the Netherlands, and it rains a lot here), so I decided to move it to a barn I had rented nearby, where I also had 2 Citroen DS.
    In 1984 I contacted someone who payed me unseen 5000 Dutch guilders for it. And the state was less as when I bought it.
    And lucky me as I was, half a year later that barn collapsed totally in a storm. But I had sold already the cars.
    8 months later I found an article in Football International with an interview with the most famous soccerplayer of all times, Mr Johan Cruyf.
    There was a picture with him and his car, when he was just playing at Ajax, Amsterdam. I think he then was 19 years old. And that car was my car.
    So I took contact with the buyer, who bought the car from me and told him the story and I asked him if he had finished that car already.
    And he answerd me that he had sold it without doing anything and he got 8000 guilders for it.
    And that was over 30 years ago.
    These cars do now 6 figures when in good condition.
    Now back to this car. As stated, there is an engine and transmission and I do not know how much of the trim is missing.
    But restoring the body and the technics is not a crime when that is all complete.
    When I had the money and the time, it could be mine.

    Kind regard to all of you from the Netherlands

  13. Pugsy

    It looks like the seats rolled backwards off the tracks and right out the holes in the floor.

  14. Dik S from the Netherlands

    Yes, that is normal for these cars, but nothing worse for someone who can weld

  15. Had Two

    Good story! Thanks.

  16. Bruce

    I have restored a couple of these spiders and strangely as bad as this car is it can be salvaged. The pressings on these cars are extremely simple. Many patch panels are available as are many of the other parts. This is especially true because much of the trim was also used on Ferrari’s and Maserati’s of the period.

    For all those that have not driven one of these cars the name should tell you much. Giulietta means Little Jewel in the Italian language and that is an exact description of what it is like to drive one of these cars. The transmission is like butter, The sound of the engine at speed, the fact that you can not hear the engine at idle speeds in traffic at a stop sign.

    Often times we love something because of the details and on these cars there are so many different ones. The seats going down as the go back so your eye line stays the same, Genius and the only other car I am aware of that did this was the Avanti from Studebaker which stole the design whole from this car. If Raymond Lowey steals something, that thing must truly be special.

    To fix this car and get it back on the road would take an english wheel, grinders, a mig, plasma cutter, and one hell of a lot of skill. It is worth it. It would be to me. I do not think you could make a profit but it would be like restoring an artistic masterpiece. That is almost always worth doing.

    Are they asking too much HELL YES, but that does not mean you can not barter and I am certain they have it where it is warm, dry and will not deteriorate further so sooner or later they will need the cash and the price could go down.

    You do not often get a chance to own a masterpiece. I had to sell mine, it was the first car I ever purchased. (I always go for quality) to pay for medical bills for my late wife that had MS. Last I heard it sold for over 90K and I purchased it for $300. I win the lottery I will get another one.

    As a thought, maybe you do not restore this one. You use it as a mould to make a graphic epoxy body shell that is exactly like the original. One that would not rot. Frame and all. There are many alfa 4 cylinder engines out there and you could even get an effective heater in one. To do that would make the asking price attractive. As a kit with little improvements I think you could get 30 to 50K for such a car. With a market many of the parts necessary would be able to get reproduced for both the new and old. Just a thought.

  17. David Miraglia

    Too much rust. I love Alphas but what a waste of a beauty.

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