Story Mike Spicer Photos Mike Spicer and David Abarr
The Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale is a unique part of Italian automotive history. Here’s what I learned after putting a hundred miles on this 1961 example during the Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance vineyard tour.
The Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale design is like a supermodel. So beautiful they’re ugly / so ugly they’re beautiful. Sometimes I look at the car and think it’s amazing while at other angles it can look a little quirky.
Driving an Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale is more like piloting a piece of jewelry. It has a very delicate feel and slips through the air effortlessly (due to its record setting .28 drag coefficient).
When you enter the car you can tell you’re in for a treat. The interior is simple and very comfortable. The car is small but the cabin has ample room. I quickly adjusted the dash mounted rearview mirror and everything fell into place for an enjoyable drive.
In the 1950’s Alfa Romeo enlisted Bertone to do a design study (three cars) to make the most aerodynamic car possible. This resulted in the famous BAT cars (Berlinetta Aerodinamica Technica). It’s clear to see the design influence these cars had on the Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale.
We often see concept cars and wish they had been brought to life. It is great to see the Alfa Romeo Sprint Speciale made it from design study to an actual production car. Their recent attention in the collector car market is a testament to the quality of the design.