BEHIND THE GARAGE DOOR
TAKING A PEEK AT READERS’ ONGOING RESTORATION PROJECTS
Driving Italy’s famous Stelvio Pass as part of a convoy of Alfa Romeos, all of them producing twin-cam music on the alpine road’s 48 switchback corners, infected Nelson’s Alan Bradnock with an incurable Alfa bug.
With his brother Peter in a 1965 Giulia, Bradnock joined 30 other Alfa Romeo owners in a trip of a lifetime last June, travelling through France and Italy to Milan and back to London. He says he fell in love with the Alfa experience, and in particular with a pretty Giulietta 750 series Spider that was part of the classic Italian convoy.
“I was smitten,” Alan says, “and when I got back home I started looking for one.”
He struck the jackpot when he saw an advert in Hemmings Motor News for a 1958 ex Californian barn-find car — one that had last been driven in 1967 and had only 60,000 miles (96,560km) on the clock.
Described in the advertisement as a “time capsule”, the Giulietta Spider was near complete, original and correct — but dilapidated. Bradnock, owner of Nelson-based Plus 4 Insurance, thinks there may only be three others like it in New Zealand. He relied on a lot of photographs of the car to check it out, and got opinions from several Alfa 750 owners. “They all gave me the big nod on the car, saying it’s a beauty.”
The Pininfarina-designed Giulietta 750 debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1954 and was a top-selling sensation, its 1290cc twin-cam all-alloy engine and four-speed gearbox allowing for zesty performance and stunning handling in a car weighing only 860kg.
It was updated by the restyled 101 series in 1959, although Alan says purists think the 750 was the last ‘true’ Giulietta Spider — distinguishable by its smaller tail lights. From 1962 the car was fitted with a larger capacity, 1570cc engine.
Alan paid US$25,000 for his barn-find red convertible, and says it cost a bundle to ship it home. He’s ordered a virtual nut-and-bolt restoration, giving the job to Victory Automotive in Nelson, but says he also wants to spend time working on the car himself.
“I’m really excited about seeing it returned to its original glory. It just needs a lot of love — and quite a few dollars, too!”
Described in the advertisement as a “time capsule”, the Giulietta Spider was near complete, original and correct — but dilapidated