Saturday, July 1, 2017

ALFA ROMEO TIPO 102 - testarossa bella!

ALFA ROMEO TIPO 102 - testarossa bella!
Robin of Omaha was recently walking the increasingly pleasant streets of Gowanus when he encountered one of the most beautiful cars ever produced. Just look at this sexy ride:
Dayum! This is a 1959 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider in Alfa Red. The company referred to this car as the Tipo 102 (Tipo meaning Type). This is just an insanely good looking car on par with the 007 Aston Martin DB5 in my opinion.
That shield shaped center grill is now as iconic to the brand as the kidney grill is to BMW. Alfa Romeo started producing cars in 1910 but it wasn't until 1939 that the shield debuted. This entire front end is fantastic with it's side grills inset into openings that protrude slightly. The turn signal/running lights are more complicated than first glance might suggest. That double snorkel hood feeds air to a 1,975cc inline 4 cylinder. Top speed was 110mph in stock form but Alfas are really race cars waiting to be tuned up.
This car was only built from 1958-1961 and less than 3,500 total were produced. It's always interesting how certain classic cars end up where they do. There's obviously a concentration of wealth in NYC but why should this ride be parked between 3rd Ave and the Gowanus Canal? The "Oldest Italian Restaurant in Brooklyn" is on this block (their claim) so maybe it has something to do with that?
There ought to be a soft convertible top under that boot. Most seem to have a removable hardtop as well that looks great when installed. This is a pure Grand Tourer as it's a 2 seater.
From the rear quarter angle this has more than a passing resemblance to the Ferrari GT California made famous in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Italian cars tend to be beautiful more often than not (especially in this era) and most convertibles were handbill by separate coachworks. This car was bodied by either Bertone or Touring. Bertone is also responsible for legendary models from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Maserati so we're talking first class all the way.
Take a good look at those legit and mint spoke wheels with knock off spinners.
The Giulietta was Alfa Romeo's more common and popular car in the late '50s. It was available in both hardtop and Spider versions but it was smaller than the 2000. This ride sports unibody construction which makes for a combination of rigidity and relatively light weight.
*Dig the taillights with their graduated step.
As befitting a classic Tourer the interior is perfect. The dash has a straightforward cluster of big gauges flanked by old school toggle switches. An AM radio even roosts below the dash mounted rearview mirror! The window crank is plainly visible but the door handle placement is bizarre; all the way up at the front of the door panel. I guess you have to pull the handle and kind of use your elbow to open the door from within?
Since it is so rare I could only find one listing for a '59 2000 and the European auction estimate was €90,000 - €110,000 ($102,816 - $125,664). If I had a car this nice I wouldn't park it on a street with so much loose gravel and dirt but then again I might as well decide on a color for my personal plane.
This is far and away one of the most attractive rides that's ever graced the NYCHoopties blog. In the realm of hand built exotic classics the price is very fair (considering that similar Ferraris are well into the millions these days). If I ever see the owner I will do my damnedest to score a ride in it at least once. Bellissimo!   

No comments:

Post a Comment