Proven duo: 1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce

Having just got back into my Alfetta, and realizing what a great car it is to drive, I thought I’d look up a couple more of these. For the money, as long as you’re patient have deep pockets to get you through smog, these can be a lot of fun. Aside from the SPICA pump oil filter, which has been craftily hidden behind the oil pump, they’re fairly easy and straightforward to work on. While they don’t have the extensive US competition history the 105/115 GTVs have, they’re still attractive cars with a design that is clearly related to the Scirocco and Esprit. Changing to smaller European stainless bumpers also does a lot to clean up the look – I highly recommend this for anyone with a US-market Alfetta.

Anyway, enough waxing on about these cars – here’s our first example, a 1979 Sprint Veloce that can be found on craigslist in Bellevue, WA for $2500. This car might be a Velocissima edition Alfetta, which got the Ronal A1 wheels you see here, along with some other aerodynamic bits and pieces that would be hard to see on a black car. Seller seems to have read the manual on how to photograph cars for sale, since he’s included 2 outside pics from different angles (one from the rear would have been better), an interior shot, and an engine shot. He also claims extensive service history, including an engine service for $4K, and some performance modifications. Detail-oriented eyes will notice some rusty-looking areas on the passenger-side inner wheel well, but I believe those are just smog stickers. Get rid of the Ferrari logo on the wheel, fix the key marks in the paint, and you should be good to go!

1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce

Seems these things grew on trees back in the late 70s, because here’s another (there were more than this), again on craigslist in Carson City, NV for $800. Now, I picked up my Alfetta in running condition for $250, probably with a bit more rust than this car has, but show up with a trailer and some cash and you should be able to get a good deal on this. It actually reminds me of an Alfetta I ogled when I was a kid, and remember trying to get my parents to buy. It’s a non-running car in (rare) yellow, and appears to have headers and a missing air pump. The marker lights are of the style typically found on the earlier Alfetta GTs, so we might be looking at an earlier car titled as a 1979. This one will require a bit more work, but the owner alludes to having two Weber 40DCOE carbs, so a full-price offer might get those thrown in. Or thrown at you, who knows. Checking out the condition of the SPICA is definitely worth the effort. Smell oil in the fuel? Expect about $350 for a used pump, $700 for a new one.

1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce

I still believe these are a hidden gem – once they’re set up properly, they’re good, reliable drivers. And don’t believe the people who say they’re slow – this is a torquey engine with a good-handling chassis. If you’re purely into straight-line speed, you should probably be looking at a Camaro anyways…


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10 Responses to “Proven duo: 1979 Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce”

  1. Jeff B. Says:

    The black car is more likely a Mille Miglia edition than Velocissima, both had the fog lights, Ronals, and rear spoiler, but the Velocissima had huge flares, front spoiler, rear windscreen spoiler and boxed out rear air vents. Then again, it could just have had lights and Ronals added as there are no badges inside or on the fenders. Is the front heart shield missing or just painted out black?
    Agree they are an underappreciated and misunderstood gem, once they’re sorted out! 😉

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Yeah, I was having a hard time telling which it was, with the small pics… but I forgot about the fender flares, and those would be obvious. Good thing neither of these is near me, otherwise I’d be making another irresponsible decision!

  2. Roger Says:

    I have a ton of photos from the seller of the black car. It definitely has some rust at the bottom of the front fender on the driver’s side, and has been keyed everywhere. Interior is OK with various loose bits. I’m possibly going to take a peek at it this weekend, assuming it hasn’t sold. Kinda rough but might be an amusing winter driver.

    • Chris Keen Says:

      Non-structural rust has not really been a problem on my car, in the sense that while I keep it garaged, I drive it in the rain and have not seen the (untreated) rust progress much at all. For your climate, just treating it with, uh, that anti-rust stuff I forget the name of might be sufficient. Let me know how it goes – they have good heaters too.

  3. Leslie Wong Says:

    Before I had the rust repair done on my car prior to the respray, I used POR-15 and Eastwood Rust Encapsulator on the many rust spots on my Alfetta. It’s very effective. The POR-15 will fade in from UV, so the Rust Encapsulator is a little better if you’re lazy like me. It also helped that my car is black.

  4. Jeff B. Says:

    +1 on CK’s comment – I’ve had a bunch of these with the usual rust, and while it’s not pretty, it hasn’t progressed (I treated some areas with POR-15 – but not all). I drive all year around – though I do hate getting it wet, and will try to dry it off when I get home!

  5. Brian W Says:

    Funny! The black 79 is now mine. It is not a Velo or MM edition. It’s just a 79 Sprint Veloce that had period 15×7 Ronal A1s installed–not the 14″ Ronals that came on the MM. It also has Carello yellow fogs, Cibie H1/H4 headlights, full Ansa exhaust with european headers, Bilstiens with lowered torsion bars in the front.

    Yes, the crest was painted black–the nose has been hit a little bit which needs to be repaired. The lack of rust actually is why I pulled the trigger–as well as getting those super rare and expensive 15×7 Ronals.

    It’s getting the stupid wood dash pulled out of it and replaced with a nice non-wood dash from an earlier car. As well as the interior redone in black (has faded cloth now)….paint and the nose bodywork will come later. It will not be repainted black.

    The car runs like crap–all that $4000 spent in 2007 and the car runs terrible. The TA was completely wasted, so now just sorting all the SPICA stuff and see if I can get it running well.

    It came with a BUNCH of documentation. The car was sold originally at Grand Prix Imports (now Ferrari of Seattle) and has been in the Seattle area it’s entire life. The original keys and the original books came with the car–even showing it’s first 5 years of service life at GPI–even has the original documentation for installing the Cibie headlights, etc.

    It’s a very solid car that just needs some love. Too bad it’s a 79 with those silly side moldings. I’ll probably remove those and fill the holes under too (the early cars that got side moldings got stick-on moldings…)

    Anyway. 🙂 It’s still in the Seattle area.

  6. Brian W Says:

    Oh…and it also has a Shankle Sure-Shift in it, which is very nice.

  7. mark rokovich Says:

    I have a fantastic 1979 spider Veloce silver maroon campy wheels covered head lights. This is a 45,000 car now I bought it with 26,000 and have driven it all over nothern california and what a grand car huge trunk 100 plus all day bone stock just did a clutch and front end ready to drive and fast.

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