Sotheby's Americana Week Auctions New York
Jan 14-24, 2022
Published: October 5, 2021
Review by W.A. Demers, Photos Courtesy Saratoga Motorcar Auction
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – A 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale SS led the $4.6 million parade of vehicles auctioned by Saratoga Motorcar Auctions on September 25. It sold to a private collector who plunked down $143,000 for the radically designed model. Produced from 1959 to 1966, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale was designed by Franco Scalione for the famous Bertone design studio and coachbuilder. With design cues taken from the B.A.T concept cars, also designed by Scaglione, the SS was one of Alfa Romeo’s most radical designs ever constructed. First shown in 1957, in its Giulietta form at the Turin Motor Show, the SS went into production for the model year 1959. Produced from 1963 to 1967, the Giulia model featured a larger 1.6-liter engine versus the 1.3 liter found in the Giulietta model. Roughly 1,366 examples were produced from 1963 through 1966.
The car was one of the 1,366 Giulia Sprint Speciales produced. Restored to near Concours condition, it was built on February 1, 1964, and sold on June 20 in Venice Lido. Until the auction, it had five owners since new, according to Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo (FGA) and historian Mario Fazio. It was purchased by the consignor from a well-respected and known name in the Italian automotive industry, and then commissioned to the Carrozzeria Viscardi in Varese, Italy, to conduct a full restoration. Finished in its original red 501 exterior, the interior was done in its correct original black vinyl and off-white cloth seating. Upon completion, it proceeded to Techno Classica Essen, where it was placed on the Viscardi display stand where it won many awards. In addition to the cosmetic restoration, the engine and drivetrain were rebuilt. While in the United States, the car’s consignor won many awards.
Pulling into the Alfa’s slip stream at $126,500 was a 1950 Pontiac Silverstreak convertible. Fully restored at the factory, the car won awards, including best of paint and best in show. With a black interior with all new gauges, chrome and accessories, a .454 V8 engine and nicely detailed engine bay, the car was a choice example of what can result when no expenses are spared in restoration.
Fetching $121,000 was a 2012 McLaren MP4-12C. It had 4,577 miles and was finished in Volcano Orange, an optional premium paint color. Aerodynamic features included a front splitter, rear diffuser, an airbrake and a flat underbody. Cooling in these models is handled by air inlets up front and behind the dihedral doors. The interior of this car was finished with a Carbon Black leather and Alcantara.
Jaguar aficionados chased a 1954 Jaguar XK120 to $118,800. A fine example of the British sportscar, this drop-head convertible coupe is described as not only great to drive but presents a sophisticated fashion statement as well. Following a complete restoration, this XK120 was refinished from its original black exterior paint to a stunning red. The bright red exterior was accentuated by a luscious Connolly biscuit-colored leather interior and deep walnut trim. The XK120 is powered by a 3.4L six-cylinder, tri-carburetor engine mated to a four-speed manual transmission. This Jaguar came with a khaki-fawn soft-top and wool rugs and holds an official Jaguar-Daimler Heritage Trust certificate.
Finally, for Lamborghini fans there was a 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo, number 87 of 185 built, that drove off at $115,500. It sported a 5.0 liter, 10-cylinder 512 HP engine and a six-speed e-gear transmission, and all the amenities of power steering, brakes, windows, seats and door locks and air conditioning.
The annual auction, this was the fifth, provides a unique auction experience in which patrons can enjoy picturesque Saratoga Springs and the grounds of the Saratoga Spa State Park. Presented by the Saratoga Automobile Museum, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit institution, the auction continues to be a premiere collector car auction for the northeastern United States.
Sale proceeds support the museum’s Distracted Driving Safety Initiative, a program that reaches more than 25,000 high school students across New York’s Capital Region annually. Funds raised also benefit the enhancement of the museum’s exhibits, by bringing in exciting and vastly different collections and individual automobiles for visitors to enjoy and be inspired by.
Prices given include the buyer’s premium as stated by the auction house. For more information, 518-587-1935 or www.saratogaautoauction.com.
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