1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SVVENDU

Ex-1956 Mille Miglia Veteran, Tipo 750E "Alleggerita" Impossibly Rare, Authentic, Original, Rust and Accident Free, Completely Period Correct, Matching Numbers!!!

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Reference Number 302143

as of 4/22/2019

Caractéristiques principales
Voiture 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV
N° d'identification du véhicule AR1493E *01648* 
Small Series  18 of 252 
Couleurs - extérieur / intérieur Alfa Red / Red/Cream 
Enregistrement VR 31195 
Condition Impeccable 
Kilométrage 77.950 km 
Configuration Conduite à gauche 
Boîte de vitesses Manuelle 
Options Compétition: Barres de renfort, Toutes options course 
Autres images
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Historique connu

Background

 

The rarest and mostly highly coveted of Alfa Romeos Sprint Veloce's are the original limited run of Tipo 750E "Alleggerita" lightweight racers built from early 1956 until the Spring of 1958.

 

This particular vehicle is one of the impossibly rare, original examples built in that short time frame. More importantly, this is an ultra-early example, just the 18th ever built and it was both entered and finished the Mille Miglia in 1956!

 

These lightweight, racing variants used all alloy panels for the doors, bonnet, and rear deck lids, as well as lightweight sliding side windows, hollowed out door skins and the removal of most steel and chrome trim to make the most of the available power. The Sprint Veloce "Alleggerita" was intended for pure performance over luxury, as it also lacked sound deadening and its rear seat was complete removed in favour of a flat parcel shelf that was more suited for extra tires and spare parts than luggage or even the thought of a rear seat occupant!

 

The idea for such a vehicle was both practical, sound as well as highly successful. Just a few years later, Ferrari copied the same idea with their SWB series of Berlinettas. Originally available in all steel construction for regular road use as well as in alloy for those primarily interested in racing, an even rarer and lighter version was made available in 1961 proving that Alfa's concept was not a fluke.

 

When an order was placed by a client or a racing team for an "Alleggerita" version, a freshly stamped Bertone Sprint Veloce tub was set aside and moved to a separate sub assembly line. The special "Alleggerita" versions all used body numbers stamped into the front scuttle area that started with a "77" followed by a three digit consecutive number designating the build sequence of the vehicle. (In the case of our particular lightweight, the Bertone Body or "Job" number is "77018"" The stamped in chassis number was likewise unique to the special lightweight models and achieved by a slight modification to the chassis number by adding an extra hand stamped "E" between the type designation and the individual vehicle identification number. In the case of our particular Alleggerita the Alfa Romeo Chassis Number, "AR1493 *01648*" then became "AR1493E *01648* These small designation changes were just a start of the overall transformation from splendid and sport road-car into a flat-out racing special!

 

Mechanical modifications to these potent, lightweight racers included the use of magnesium for the oil pan and intake manifold, and a special tachometer with a 6,600rpm redline that went up to 8,000 rather than the 6,200 redline and 7,000rpm limit of the Normale. A special 220kph speedometer was used instead of the standard 180kph unit found in the Normale model. Engines were carefully hand assembled with close tolerances, lightened pistons, special cams and ignition timing. A larger 22-gallon (85-liter) fuel tank for long-distance racing was also fitted, which necessitated some modifications to the car’s handbrake cable mechanism and rear inner panel coachwork. The new fuel tank was more than 7-gallons (26.5-liter) larger and is easily distinguished from the regular "Normale" tank as it has a large cut-out in the front center area to wrap around the differential. The rear differential itself was also heavily revised with the standard 4.55:1 ratio being replaced by a significantly taller 4.1:1 unit. The "less weight means a faster vehicle approach" coupled with the revised final drive ratio and engine performance improvements gave these Alfas some very impressive performance, braking and handling figures and they were immensely competitive as such in both short and long distance races.

 

Each of these hand-assembled "Alleggerita" models was slightly different from the next and as such unique in many ways. The Tipo 750E "Alleggerita" models were notably more responsive and sharp to drive than the standard Giulietta Sprint Veloce, or Normale, and it immediately proved itself to be a serious contender wherever entered and campaigned. Because of the transitional time-frame in just a few years, these ultra-rare Alfa racers, despite initially being dominant in their class were soon rendered obsolete by newer machines and technology. Many were subsequently updated with larger engines, disc-brakes, wider wheels and continued to be pushed into racing and races they were never intended to compete in and long after they should have been retired. Because they were both fun and completely at home on public roads, many were used as regular transportation with time and the elements causing attrition in unprecedented numbers. While most experts believe that some 600 were originally completed, less than 100 are accounted for today and few of those are complete and as assembled and delivered when new.

 

Chassis No. AR1493E *01648*

This particular "Alleggerita" was the only the 18th of 252 similar vehicles completed in production/model year 1956. It was special ordered and completed new as a race car for Sig. Francesco Serenelli of Santa Maria di Zevio, Verona, Italy. Along with his father and brother, this Verona family were members of the Scuderia Cangrande driving club from which the trio scored several notable finishes in various races in the 1950s. In early 1956, Sig. Serenelli ordered up a this “Alleggerita” via Alfa Romeo Client Services for participation in that year’s Mille Miglia. A recent verification with the Alfa Romeo Factory Archivist and the Archivist at the Museo Mille Miglia confirms his ownership and additional important details, notably that the vehicle was competed on April 24th, 1956 only four days prior to the start of that year’s Mille Miglia. Sig. Serenlli was from Verona but the Alfa was delivered directly to him in Brescia already prepared, most likely by Conrero for the race with the bumpers removed as shown in the period photos. After the Mille Miglia, the family had them refitted and the car remained that way the rest of its life as the 1956 Mille Miglia is the car’s only known race. This is also very likely why this vehicle survived when almost none of the others built did.

 

Sig. Serenelli entered and raced this Alfa Romeo in the 1956 Mille Miglia wearing race number 138. His official entry was handled via his local driving club, the Scuderia Cangrande which was based in the Hotel Cangrande on nearby Largo di Garda. On March 29th, 1956, nearly a month before this Alfa was even completed, a formal request to enter a team of two new Alfa Romeo “Alleggeritas” was submitted by the Scuderia Cangrande along with a bank check totally 80,000 Lire to cover the entry fees for both vehicles. On April 5th, three weeks before this Alfa was completed, The Scuderia Cangrande and Sig. Serenelli were given an acceptance and assigned race number 138. The official acceptance documents further confirm that a provisional Verona registration number was issued. The new Registration number was “VR 31195."

 

At the Mille Miglia, Serenelli finished 68th Overall with a 14th in the up to 1,300cc GT Class and a 22nd in class in the over 1,100cc GT Class, out of 426 total entrants, This was a fairly remarkable result considering he had no mechanics, co-driver or navigator and that his new Alfa romeo had not even been properly broken in yet.

 

What happened after the Mille Miglia is currently a bit of a mystery. We are now researching the original Italian registration number to determine how long Serenelli owned this Alfa and at what point he sold it.

 

It does appear that by 1974 the car was in the States with David Howard and then in 1986 with William R. Culbertson. Both Howard and Culbertson were prominent members in the Alfa Romeo Owner’s Club and involved in a variety of club activities throughout the 1970s and into the 1980s. There is no mention of either one after 1988 and we believe the car was first road registered in Japan in 1988.

 

So far we know that mostly likely by 1974 ownership had passed to Mr. David Howard of 623 Marshal Marion, Indiana. He then agreed to a sale and the car passed on April 4th, 1986 to William R. Culbertson of 1832 Hoyle Place, Kettering, Ohio 45439. At the time of his purchase an official Ohio State title and odometer statement recored the vehicle with 51,088 original kilometers.

 

I have copies of the Ohio Title/Registration/Odometer Statement and then then this vehicle next surfaces in Japan most likely going there in 1988/1989. After more than a decade in Japan, in October of 2003, new registration documents were issued and plates “500 90-24” were assigned to this vehicle. On December 3rd, 2010 still wearing plates “500 90-24", this vehicle was officially recorded as having 72,500 kilometers on the odometer. On December 27th, 2012, the official odometer statement now recorded that the vehicle had covered 76,100 kilometers. On September 15th, 2014, total mileage was not recorded at 77,950 kilometers.

 

Today there are many Alfa Romeo Sprints that claim to be Veloce versions and many that also claim to be original “Alleggerita” versions. The differences between an original and a replica or clone are not so easy to spot unless pointed out. An important starting point is the Bertone “Body” or “Job” number stamped in the front scuttle area under the bonnet. All original Tipo 750E “Alleggerita” Alfas will have a job number that starts with “77” followed by a three digit sequential number indicating the build sequence of the vehicle. In the case of our particular Alfa, the Bertone Body/Job Number is “77018” indicating that this was just the 18th example completed. Not so coincidentally Alfa Romeo’s original Factory Records for this vehicle confirm that the original engine number assigned and currently still fitted was AR1315 *30018* which was of course the 18th sequential Tipo “AR1315” engine built for these ultra-rare racers.

 

Noted Sprint Veloce Lightweight Registrer keeper and Alfa Romeo Historian, Greig Smith wrote earlier this year that by chassis number he has records on only 11 surviving real "Alleggerita" lightweights from the 1956 production run. That means less than 5% of the 252 built that year are know to still survive!

 

This particular Sprint Veloce “Alleggerita” is one of the few known and documented matching number, original panel examples that still exists. It is also extremely important to note that this is an actual in period fully documented Mille Miglia participant as well as race finisher. Anyone wishing a highly coveted and sought after entry for next year’s Mille Miglia should give this vehicle particularly close consideration as such.

 

Complete sets of period and current inspection photos as well as detailed records and historical notes can all be accessed by clicking on this link:

 

symbolicphotos.weebly.com

 

Please contact me for additional assistance with the potential purchase of this vehicle.

 

Warm regards,

 

Bill Noon

 

Symbolic International

Symbolic Motor Car Company

7440 La Jolla Blvd.

La Jolla, California 92037 USA

 

Phone 619 840 7811

Email bnoon@symbolicmotors.com

Website symbolicphotos.weebly.com