BaT Auction Preview: Exceedingly Rare 1956 Production year 750 Spider. California Mille Veteran and Eligible for Premier Events Worldwide.
1956 Alfa Romeo Guilietta Spider 750D
Chassis No. – 1495 00228
Engine No. – 1315 40179
Exterior Color – White
Interior Color – Red
Engine – 1.3L Twin Cam four-cylinder
Transmission – 4 speed manual
Mileage – 54,841 TMU
Current owner – Purchased in 2003
Miles by current owner – 7,000 miles, 1,500 of which were added in the past five years
Highlights of This Car
Long-term family ownership as part of the Swig Family Collection
#228 of the first 250 early Spiders produced
Matching numbers engine
Multiple California Mille participant
Regularly serviced by Nor Cal Alfa Romeo experts
Known for building high-quality handcrafted cars of exquisite design and superb performance, Alfa Romeo established the post-war “small car, big performance” direction that would launch the Alfa Romeo into one of the top world car makers. The capable twin-cam inline four-cylinder 1,290 cc engine was ideal for the 750-series Giulietta, utilizing an alloy cylinder block topped with a twin-cam high revving head. The Sprint coupe arrived later, followed by the Berlina, and finally the sporty short wheelbase spider version designed by Pinin Farina.
Impressive when new, the Giulietta Spider offered fine handling, a responsive chassis, and a high-revving engine which combined to make a very attractive sports car at an affordable price. Today these stylish Italian spiders continue to attract enthusiasts who enjoy the fantastic design and driving manners perfectly aligned for vintage rallies and specialty driving events.
Current Condition and Ownership
This 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider is one of the first 250 built in the initial series of production. The 228th Giulietta Spider produced, this early short-wheelbase 750D series Spider is distinguished by several unique features, including small tail lights more appropriately scaled to the original design and “tunnel-case” four-speed floor-shift gearbox. Originally a US delivery model, it features Left Hand Drive, English lettering on the gauges, and MPH speedometer.
Having been a long-term California car, as evidenced by the 1970s issue California blue and gold license plate still with the car, this Alfa was purchased in 2003, becoming part of the Swig Family Collection. At that time, it retained its original matching numbers engine as well as its original under-hood data tag, both of which remain with the car today. Driven and enjoyed by its current owners while keeping company in a stable of vintage Alfa Romeos, this Giulietta Spider has been driven regularly on coastal oyster runs, motoring expeditions, and has completed several California Milles over the years. The current owners have driven the car more than 7,000 miles, with approximately 1,500 miles added in the past five years.
Currently displaying driver level cosmetics, the older but still glossy repaint remains is believed to be the original color, and the red upholstery has been redone using correct style materials. An older and serviceable black cloth soft top (replaced in 2004) stows behind the seats. Brightwork is presentable with typical patina in some places, though nearly all pieces present quite well. The overall body panel fit is in keeping with a car of this age, modestly varying, typical of Italian coachwork, yet exhibiting very good closure and latching for the doors, hood, and trunk. The trunk opens and closes, however, it is currently not able to lock. Some evidence of prior bodywork can be found in the left rear section of the car, yet the car drives straight and true, delighting both driver and passenger as an ideal choice for an event “driver” that can be enjoyed without the nagging worries of a pristine chariot.
The engine delivers good power from the original high-revving 1,290cc inline four-cylinder, defined by a satisfying exhaust note. An added enticement to spirited acceleration, a 4.10 ratio rear axle has been fitted as well as a single Weber downdraft carburetor. The four-speed tunnel case gearbox shifts confidently, responding best to drivers with more experience using manual gearboxes of this era.
The interior features the correct original steering wheel, shift knob, gauges, switchgear, and Pininfarina radio-delete plate. All factory trim is correct and present, and both door window glass panes are labeled with the original Securit etching. The engine bay is tidy, and an original body number tag is correctly in place, spot-welded to the hood. Upon close inspection underneath, the tunnel case gearbox bears stamping #188, while the rear differential housing bears #217, both of which could be as originally delivered given the car’s early chassis #228. The full-size spare tire and jack are stored underneath the top.
Copies of service receipts for maintenance and improvements handled by Alfa Romeo specialists are included, documenting the car since acquired by Martin Swig in 2003. Noted Alfa expert Conrad Stevenson performed important work on the car from 2003-2007, including major work to the engine, replacement of the exhaust system, the fitment of a 4.10 ratio rear axle, and an alternator and negative ground conversion. Additional sorting was also performed for event-ready use. From 2008-2011 maintenance was entrusted to Larry Buskirk’s Italian Auto Repair of Novato, California. In 2011, Buskirk removed the engine, had the crankshaft serviced and balanced along with the reconditioned rods, installed new rod bolts, new rings and chains, new engine gaskets, reseated the valves, installed new seals, and replaced fuel and water hoses. Later that same year, Buskirk replaced the rear axle bushings at the trailing arms and upper locating arm (all 6 bushings), replaced the speedometer cable and installed a new pinion seal.
In recent years, the Giulietta has been cared for by Alfaman of Novato, California. A major service was performed in 2016 (53,163 miles) with all fluids drained and replaced, the cooling system flushed, and a new brake master cylinder installed, among other items. In 2018 (53,538 and 53,819) a fresh set of Vredestein Sprint Classic tires were installed, the transmission mount was replaced, brakes were bled, a new brake light switch installed, dash lights and wiper switch repaired, and a new alternator was fitted.
Upgrades from Stock Build
-4.10 rear end gearing installed
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608