False Positive (00118 engine blocks)

Time passes quickly, and before you know it a year has gone by.

I titled my blog spot to dispell a point that recently came up on BringATrailer.com There was a Giulia Spider Veloce for sale with all the correct numbers etc. One of the comments below the advertisement was how come the car doesn’t have the correct engine and instead have the Sprint Speciale engine?

Alfa Romeo in their infinite wisdom created a series of cars each with their own type number (10107, 10120, 10118 etc). With each type, the car was to have a special block numbering system to go with the car. In the case of the 10118 Giulia Spider Veloce, the block was to have been 00118.xxxxx series. Luigi Fusi’s book Alfa Romeo dal 1910 lists the Veloce as to having a 00118 block. We know there are errors in the listings as they have been found over the years. Even when I spoke to Cav Fusi about the book, he admitted there were mistakes. At least we had something to go on for history as there were no books until then. Imagine the monumental task of putting a book of Alfa Romeo cars from 1910 to the present in the 1960’s? In the compendium in the back it shows the models, type number, how many were made and production for each year in numbers as well as the chassis and engine number range.

Before I continue and give you the answer, we have to digress back to 1963. At that time the last of the 101 1300 spiders were coming to the end. The Sprint Speciale was also coming to an end. Max Hoffman who was the importer of Alfa Romeo’s to the US, based in NYC was wondering how he was going to sell cars. There was a network of dealers who sold cars and provided service/warranty to those cars and Max wanted to keep that going. Alfa Romeo was in the very early stages of creating the new 105 series cars with new bodies and suspensions. Those cars were not to be imported until 1966. So what was Max Hoffman going to do?  There are no actual accounts of how all of this went down with Alfa Romeo, so this is pure conjecture on my part. Max must have contacted Alfa Romeo and probably said until you can get those 105 cars over here, I need something I can sell. Alfa Romeo said we can help you with the new 1600 cc engine dropped into the Sprint Speciale, Sprint, and Spider. They would offer a Normale (single Solex) and a Veloce model (twin Webers). The new 105 was to get a 1600 block so it made sense for Alfa Romeo to just cast more 1600 blocks.

So the Sprint Speciale got the 10121.xxxxx block. The Giulia normale got its own and the Giulia Veloce “was” to have had the 00118. However, there must have been a change in plans at the factory as to why these blocks were never built. Instead, they made more of the 10121 blocks and installed those into the Giulia Veloce’s. It made sense to just make more and warehouse them until they were needed instead of creating a new series of blocks and storing those separately. Since the SS and the Giulia Veloce were going down the same assembly line, it made sense to just pick the next engine in the cue to install. The SS 1600 was built in 1963-1964. The Giulia Veloce was built in 1964-1965. These were the last of the 101 bodies from Pininfarina. They were never to be built but as I made conjecture above, it was a stop gap to sell cars.

I will say this once more, there never was a 00118 engine block made. Someone has tried to fake one but it was discovered to have been a modified stamping. Sure, someone could buy a new replacement block without a number, stamp a 00118 engine number on to it, and call it good. However, if you look at the Giulia Veloce register and the SS register you would soon be found out as those cars all have 10121 blocks.

There you have it, the facts as I know them.


About alfadoc

I have been involved in Alfa Romeo cars since 1970 when I bought my 1600 Veloce spider. It was in 1972 that I started the Veloce Register for 1600 cars. It was in 1998 that I added the Sprint Veloce, 750 Spider Veloce and Sprint Speciale registers. Currently I own 2 Alfas: a 1994 164 Quadrifoglio.and a 1991 Spider "Automatic"
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