Featured: Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale Explores Downtown LA

Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale Explores Downtown LA

February 27, 2013

I don’t know how Nuccio Bertone or Franco Scaglione would have reacted in 1957 if someone had told them that their creation would grace the streets of Downtown Los Angeles some 50 years later.

What I do know is that Downtown LA is a perfect setting to explore the sensuous curves of the BAT-inspired Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale.  On a Sunday evening, Downtown’s rundown, industrial landscape, and desolate streets create a beautiful yet stark contrast to the soft sinuous sculptural masterpiece of Bertone.

Bertone and Scaglione produced the BAT-inspired Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale to race and compete with the Porsche 356. The 2-door coupe (1570cc) and its predecessor, the Giuletta (1300cc), saw production at Alfa Romeo between 1959 and 1966.

Though it has been 56 years since it was first presented at the Turin Motor Show, the Sprint Speciale’s beautiful shape and lines still seem of the future and not the past.

To my surprise, however, the shape of the SS is not universally loved by all Alfisti, let alone everyone.  Then again as Edgar Alan Poe said, “There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”

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8 years ago

I am one who thinks the car is beautiful, and I should know having knowledge and taste 🙂
A reason this car looks like it does is that the design is dictated by aerodynamics. The design team went to considerable lengths to make this car slippery and used many ideas they had learnt from the BAT series. Consequently it has a very low CD figure and the giulietta version with the 1.3 litre engine could do 120mph in it’s day. So it is a case of form follows function in the best modern tradition.

11 years ago


Matthew Lange
11 years ago

Fantastic photos. I love pictures of classic cars against an urban backdrop. To many pictures these days show cars such as these on a manicured concours lawn. Nothing wrong with the latter but the urban backdrop is more how it should be.

11 years ago

It is a strange looking car. From some angles it looks almost 1950’s American, from others it is very Alfa. Would love to have one though.

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