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Saved By The Clutch: 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia SS

This Alfa listed on eBay has been sitting since a clutch failure in 1972 but apparently not in this field. It’s apparently rust free and has only about 38,000 miles. The styling by Bertone may not appeal to everyone, but it gave this little Alfa a drag coefficient of 0.28, lower than any production car for the next 50 years. After the owner’s death this Alfa was sold at Bonhams in 2014, where it was expected to sell for between $125,00 and $175,000. The BIN on eBay right now is $100,000. The original owner raced it on the SCCA circuit on the east coast. It was originally red, but was resprayed white with a black tail to make it stand out on the track. There is a plaque on the dash  showing it ran in the Area I Championship at the Lime Rock Races for the New York Region of the SCCA. At some point the owner moved to Arizona and after a clutch failure in 1972 the Alfa was parked.

The interior looks pretty nice for having set so long. It appears complete and original and complete.

The seats look rather nice after all these years. The rodents don’t know what they’ve missed.

It looks complete and original under the hood. This 112 HP 1.6 L engine with a 5 speed transmission give this Alfa a top speed of 120 mph. It doesn’t run but it will turn freely, hopefully not too freely. The new clutch is still in the trunk and is waiting to be installed.

It appears it wouldn’t take much to make this driver and preserving it as an original car. It would also be worth completely restoring it to its former red glory. For a collector with deep enough pockets, the price may actually seem reasonable. There were only 1400 of these built and very few survived in their original form. Many were either modified or lost to racing. I hope perhaps the next owner enjoys what makes this little Alfa so special.


  1. RayT Member

    The Giulia SS looks far better in person than it does in photos. Yes, the camera makes it look fat….

    But it also drives better than it looks. Every automotive enthusiast should spend a few minutes behind the wheel: once you’ve heard that little engine winding high and enjoyed the feel of the chassis and gearbox, you’ll be a fan!

    The only detriment — well, aside from the tight accommodations for anyone taller than about 5′ !0″ — is the price. It’s high enough to keep me away, doggone it.

    • Leaf36

      My dream car…had a 66 for four glorious years while I was young, thin, and able to get in and out without making noise. Then it threw a rod and I had to sell it because I was young, poor and a new Mom.

  2. Dolphin Member

    It’s hard to believe that this Giulia Sprint Speciale was an SSCA race car and probably well known, and then just sat for almost 50 years, especially in this condition. I have seen pictures of these with almost every panel damaged and bent and rusty on top of that, and then get bought for good money and fully restored. This one is in remarkably good condition, considering.

    I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t sell for the $100K asking, or close, since the median auction price paid for these recently has been $136,700. So even tho it would need work to be roadworthy it would be worth it to someone who wanted to own one for relatively cheap money.

    But having said that, there are other Alfas with basically the same chassis and drivetrain that look pretty good that I would pick ahead of this car. You would be paying a premium for this car because of its streamlined Speciale (special) body.

    Here is what the SS looks like in red, from Barn Finds from a few years ago.

    • Britcarguy

      I agree with Dolphin. There is no visible evidence inside the car of a roll bar, dash modifications or any other trappings of a period racer. As far as the dash plaque goes, I have a similar brass one that says “SCCA Nationals – July 17, 1966” that I bought at a Mid-Ohio souvenir stand. It promptly went on the dash of my MGA.

  3. Rick

    What a gorgeous little car.. and a price tag to match. Seller doesn’t have the most stellar record..

  4. jimjim

    Dear Barnfinds,

    In the future, please don’t post this beautiful Alfa right after that 77 Olds (or before it if you are scrolling down). It hurt my eyes to go from the Alfa to the Olds.

    • jimjim

      Just fyi, I own a 65 442 4-spd convertible. Peace and love, peace and love.

  5. Wayne

    A ” rust free” Alfa. Didn’t they come with rust from new? Or does the seller mean the rust is free?

  6. jake

    What a beauty!!!! Always wanted of these after driving one that was not for sale back in 1986! Love Alfas so much sold them for several years in the 80’s and had 4 spiders, 3 1600 Duettos and one 1750 boat tail back in those days. One ran when bought, sold 2 as is and swapped out the spica for webers on the other. Thought I broke the bank when sold the nicest for $5500!! Love to have it back for that!! The guy that had the SS didn’t want to trade as moving to New York and just needed cash, oh well hind sight is always 20/20, lol!

  7. Bruce Best

    Wayne these were mostly hand built with the best of materials. They did not have anything near the quality of paint we have today but you will find brass nuts used for the head light rims and much of the glass framing, good aluminum casting for the block, transmission and rear end. I suspect disk brakes or vented drum brakes that were almost as fade resistant.

    These were seriously expensive cars and you must remember that they are over 50 years old and have had no end of damage and or repairs. I totally agree with those that say you need to drive one. I also agree that these are far prettier in person then in photos. I have always liked the convertibles better but a couple of friends had one of these sitting next to his Ferrari 250LM and in talking with him he could’t decide which he liked better.

    That was in the late 70’s and as far as I am concerned that is high praise indeed.

  8. Bob A.

    Actually, I don’t think this car sold at Bonhams in 2014. It isn’t listed in the results for the auction. Perhaps it was withdrawn, since it was originally supposed to be sold at no reserve. It probably would have sold for less than $100k, as the best ones were just starting to get to $150k then. On the other hand, buyers love barn finds, so who knows? It won’t be inexpensive to bring this one up to the current standard but if the car is as described it could provide a good starting point. Still, you’ be paying $100K for a poorly stored, non-running project. Risky.

  9. CoolHluke

    Bella Bella ….perfect for one of those Seinfeld pads where you drive right into your home …its really a work of art…especially with the future onslaught of obtuse robot cars we all are so eager to own/ have no choice…if the provenance & condition are true I think it’s well bought for the buy it now…

  10. Marco

    Well, this is going to be interesting seeing what this one goes for.

  11. Rod

    Never fails to amaze me that people don’t put the effort into getting something like this running. Put the clutch in, change some oils and do whatever it takes to start it. The car would command so much more money if this was done.

  12. Bob A.

    Maybe, maybe not. It’s highly likely that the buyer of this car will plan a complete restoration, in which case being in running condition is not nearly important as the overall soundness of the vehicle. It would be a plus if the engine turns over freely, but other than that having it running isn’t important because the engine will be rebuilt anyway.

    • Rod

      True enough. Perhaps I was just thinking about what I would do not what might be best for someone doing a full restoration. I will take the thumbs down for that.

  13. Jason

    It was originally red, but was resprayed white”

    The Alfa in Day of the Jackal went from white to blue.

  14. Paul B

    My favorite Alfa. I wish I had $100K sitting around. Excellent basis for a restoration. There were several more interesting colors than red for these but I think this should go back to original.
    Regarding drag coefficient, this Alfa is slippery for sure. But the Panhard Dyna Z (shown here) & PL17, of which about 30,000 were produced annually from 1954-1965, had a Cx of 0.26. It’s only recently that mass production cars such as the Prius and upcoming Tesla Model 3 have bested that.

  15. Marco

    Following up on comment from Britcarguy- I also note that not many SS’s were raced because it was discovered they were a bit too heavy and not very competitive. So- many were not “lost to racing” as stated in the description. More likely rust took it’s toll on this model, although there are still several hundred in the ALFA SS Registry around the world including the one I’m restoring right now!

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Wow! what a surprise to see that picture with the Panhard in front, but I’m interested in the car behind it; a 1953 Packard Cavalier model 300 sedan. Only one was sent to Europe, it was placed on display at the Paris auto show, where it was bought by the Greek Royal Family. A friend in the Packard club, Mr. Brennerman, was a US military attache in Greece when the car was put up for sale in the 1960s. He bought the car and brought it back to the states. I remember the car well, and have driven it. It’s still owned by his family. I’m going to send them a copy of this photo too.

  16. Chuck Luebke

    A bit disappointing that Barn Finds is going the way of BAT….Alfa Crazy. Sure, they are old and kind of pretty, but not the best deals out there for guys that love old cars and like the availability of less expensive parts. And easier to work on yourself! Please BF, stick to American Iron and leave The European rust buckets to the rich kids.

    • Josh Staff

      Chuck, we’ve been featuring European classics since we started the site. We currently have 4 European rust buckets sharing our shop with 3 American rust buckets. We don’t discriminate here, if it’s fun to drive or to dream about driving, we are going to feature it. At the end of the day, it’s all about enjoying your classic. If you don’t have the means or just aren’t into this Alfa, that’s ok, because there are tons of other great finds out there just waiting to be found. And that’s what BF is really about. That classic, whether it be foreign or domestic, that is waiting to be found. So kick back, grab a drink and wait for the next find to go out, hopefully it will be something more to your liking!

  17. jaymes

    all cars should be welcome!

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