Or maybe I should say, “Abracadabra!” or “Presto-changeO?”
This weekend in Scottsdale Arizona is one of the lead off car auctions put on by RM Auctions, that attracts top bidders from all over the world both in person and on the phone, to bid on some of the top cars in the world. If you missed it, it was on Fox-TV live this afternoon and to see some of those cars cross the stage was amazing at the level of restoration is mind-boggling.
There was a 1960 Sprint Speciale (chassis number 00120.00440 Engine number 00945) that was repainted in black with a light brown leather interior. The history of the car is known as it showed up on EBay a couple of years ago as a “castle find” in France of all places. It had been put into the basement of a castle and over the years of storage, some one(s) picked off parts from the car leaving it a derelict. Here is a before photograph that I have in the SS Register for this car.
This car failed to sell on EBay as there was more work than most people wanted to take on or to expensive to go get.
Now the car shows up on the auction block at RM Auctions in Scottsdale catalog in a transformation like a butterfly. Black is nice, but it isn’t original to the car. Of course we see more resale red Alfa’s than you can imagine as everyone must believe that this is the only color they come in. All you would have to do is look at my list of paint codes to know that isn’t true.
Here are some images from the RM catalog of the car in its present trim:
The quality of restoration is very high, The seller I think wanted to get the investment back as it had a high reserve. The car failed to sell at $120,000. Some of the latest sales for Sprint Speciale’s have been seeing prices in the range of $150,000 to $180,000. Why do you suppose this didn’t make reserve? Probably I would guess is that the people who know these cars well, most likely saw some things that were not right with the car in terms of details. Another guess is that possibly the restorer isn’t that well known to the market place and that might have put the buyers at arms length not knowing what is underneath the “lipstick” or at the other end of the “dipstick.”
I am glad to see this car salvaged and not sent to the scrap yard for parts. There are projects out there that could use the parts as they are very hard to come by. It takes a great metal worker and the proper tools to restore a project like this and it comes with a hefty price tag.
We need not worry about this car, it will find a good home at a price that is fair for these early limited production cars. I just hope that whomever the buyer is will contact me and give me some history of this car since it came over from France.
You know something about this car or you find a Spider Veloce, Sprint Veloce or a Sprint Speciale that I should know about, drop me a note into the box below and I will check it out. These cars are out there!