Willson’s top tips
Now is the time to reprise the Sixties Carabinieri and chase down a steal
Quentin notices UK prices for Alfa 2600 Sprints handily lagging behind the European market, and Mercedes SLC values being pulled up by R107s
The Alfa 2600 in its day was a real piece – 120mph, twin-cam six-cylinder, all round discs, fivespeed gearbox and swanky options like leather and power windows. One of Guigario’s first designs (along with the Gordon Keeble), it had rakish Italian glamour and was a highspeed pursuit car for the Sixties Carabinieri chasing down mafia bank robbers.
Legend has it that despite slow sales of the Sprint, Alfa kept production going purely because the top brass liked the newspaper and TV news coverage of all those dramatic Polizia chases.
The Sprint and even more glamorous Spider were also favourites of movie directors, making appearances in over twenty Italian and French art house movies of the era plus TV shows like The
Champions, The Man From Uncle and The Saint. Prices don’t yet properly reflect their rarity – only a couple of hundred 2600 Sprints survive and in July Historics sold a rare Uk-supplied rhd ’66 example (one of only 596) with only 72,000 miles for £20,720, while a private seller in York has a ’63 lhd car that’s been fully restored for £35,750. As the last of the grand touring Alfas and the final model to be powered by a twin-cam six, the 2600 Sprint is a very special and strangely underrated Sixties Italian GT.
Tatty projects start at ten grand but why bother when you can by shiny cherished or restored cars for between £20k and £35k? While European dealers price 2600 Sprints nearer £50k the UK market doesn’t value them as highly and it’s still possible to find decent cars here sitting twenty grand below Dutch, French or German money. Back in 2014 Silverstone sold a fine silver ’64 rhd Sprint for £16,675 so values have risen in three years but only modestly. The obvious comments about rust apply, but only buy restored or prized examples and any corrosion issues should have been sorted. Experts say parts aren’t easy but I looked on Italian ebay and found heaps of used engines, instruments, bumpers, window glasses and even a full interior. That right-hook Sprint sold by Historics was an epic bargain at £20k. Make sure you don’t miss another.
‘You can still find decent 2600s sitting £20k below European money’