I don’t know about you but I always feel better when I see an old Alfa Romeo, and a 1965 2600 Sprint is close enough to amazing to deserve reporting. I was actually on an errand to a plumber’s merchant for a piece for a spa bath, and spotted what is the first Alfa Romeo 2600 I can remember ever seeing.
Paul has reviewed the 2600 Sprint previously, and described it as one of the greatest designs of the century., and I’m not going to disagree on that. Interestingly, although it was Giugiaro’s first car for Bertone, his second car was seen by the public first, as the British Gordon-Keeble.
Power came from a DOHC 2584cc straight six, Alfa’s last straight six, and could get to around 120 mph. It was a true four seater, though the interior on this car was actually containing various trim panels for some reason.
The 2600 Sprint was the basis for the 2600 Sprint Zagato,with styling by Ercole Spada, showing some links to the works Zagato were doing for Lancia. Fellow Curbivore Don Andreina shared this photo of the very rare, even by the standards of the Alfa 2600, Sprint Zagato.
The feature car was parked outside our local Alfa specialist, and in the CC skunk works there’s piece comprising of shots from a wander around their frontage area, but for now here’s a taster
Alfa Romeo 2600s are so few and far between that official statistics don’t record how many are on Britain’s roads, but it’s almost certainly in single figures. So your video is from Italy, and I don’t think that’s a problem.
As it happens, though they’re scarce, they are actually more common than spa bath spares in North Hertfordshire! Somehow, for one reason or another, I think I’ll be going back the plumber’s merchant.
Roger you are a man of excellent taste, thank you for another fine read.
There speaks a lady who hasn’t seen my record collection….
Some of us have had to listen to his record collection. He should stick to cars!
I think the GK is prettier,( the rear wheel-arch on the Alfa needs more work) but I’ve never actually seen a 2600 or a Gordon Keeble. The only straight 6 Alfa I’ve seen was a 40’s model, undergoing restoration.
Maybe you should look online for the bath spares…..
I did, but I’m going back anyway :-)))
It’s beautiful and that color is sublime! The color actually reminds me of the Ro80 for some reason. In any case, wonderful find!
+1 Colour is a knockout
Simply beautiful, lovely find
The 1st Alfa Romeo I would see “in the metal” belonged to a co-worker when I was in Sicily for a Naval deployment in the early 70s. That Alfa was also a 2600 but it was the rare 4 seat cabriolet. My co-worker tried to sell it to me and if I had known then what I know now I might have been more inclined to buy it. But what I knew about Alfas in 1972 wouldn’t make a health-sized paragraph.
I do know that even 40 years ago, parts were scarce and quite expensive.
And we weren’t enough friends that I ever got offered a ride in my co-worker’s Alfa.
what a pretty little car this the only 65 American car that’s in the running might
be a corvair!
this made me laugh “.. think the GK is prettier,( the rear wheel-arch on the Alfa needs more work) but I’ve never actually seen a 2600 or a Gordon Keeble”
All Gordon Keebles are very ordinary.
Obviously too subtle for you to see the beauty?
Do your home work , you might learn something!
Just saying that you can’t argue with the fact that it was Marcello Gandini’s design , one of the earliest works from this undisputed genius.
Later responsible for most Lamborghini.
The G-K was Giugiaro’s second shape for Bertone and his authorship of both has been thoroughly documented. Gandini arrived at Bertone FIVE YEARS after both shapes appeared. By all means disagree with the opinion of others but the level of insult you used was unacceptable. Your comment has been edited.
a guide I often “quote” and I believe to be very authoritative says the Gordon-Keeble “debuted at Geneva in 1960 as the Gordon GT. The styling was Giugiaro’s first ever, as a 21-year old trainee at Bertone.”
The Alfa would be Giugiaro’s “follow-up”.
IMHO, it COULD be said that the G-K borders on the plainer of the 2 VERY SIMILAR designs. Conversely, it COULD be said the Alfa borders on fussy.
BTW, in the late 90s (no doubt partly due to it’s rarity) the G-K was valued at 3 to 4 times the value of the Alfa for cars in similar condition.
I’d pick the Alfa if for no other reason than it’s engine/exhaust sound. An Italian straight 6 beats a Chevy V8, in most instances.
I’m quoting from the Giugiaro Catalogue Raisonné (pub. Automobilia) which states:
‘The Gordon GT is mistakenly thought to be the first car Giugiaro ever designed, while actually it was his first officially presented design. Although the Alfa Romeo 2000/2600 Sprint preceded it by a few months, the Gordon was the very first project Nuccio Bertone gave the young, newly employed designer to do.’ (Page 69)
A seeming contradiction within this para, but the Gordon is listed before the Alfa in both this catalogue and the ‘Bertone 1912 -2002 Forma e Progetto. Il Catalogo’ (pub. Giorgio Nada Editore)
I read it essentially as the two cars being overlapping projects for Bertone.
The Gordon had a long and tortured gestation, including being trumped by the suspiciously similar Iso Rivolta (also Giugiaro at Bertone) to market.
This is a car that I would be very curious about how it drove. I am sure the six has a wonderful sound and with those small early radials, there must have been a lot of info coming through the manual steering rack. Some British sports cars, MGC, GT6, when sixes were added gained some understeer and Alfa perhaps was more famous for their twin cam four. Makes you wonder.
David McCallum, Illya Kuriakin on Man from UNCLE and now Ducky on NCIS, drove one of these until he got a Corvette Stingray as he went native.
The MG C and the GT6 aren’t exactly the best choices when it comes to what happens when a 6 cylinder engine replaces a 4 cylinder engine. The big 6 in the MG was a much heavier lump than the (somewhat heavy) 4 cylinder, and the GT6 was a very light roadster barely “re-engineered” for the 6.
A much better example is the 1973 Capri which gave you a choice (in the U.S.) of the 2 liter 4 or 2.6 liter V6. The 74 Capri doesn’t work for this “demonstration” as it got an emissions strangled engine and bigger/heavier bumpers. Having driven both of those cars, the 4 cylinder is a bit more….tossable, but not hugely different from the 6 while in 74 the heavier car understeers a little more with the 6 and is verging on REALLY needing power steering.
And one of the reasons why I did not buy my co-worker’s 2600 convertible is because he let it slip (QUITE OFTEN) how scarce AND expensive Alfa parts are….even in Sicily….in the early 70s.
John, this is not a four cylinder Alfa 105/115 series coupe (Sprint, GTV, etc) that has had a six cylinder swapped in. This is a totally different car; a larger one, based on the Alfa 2600 six cylinder sedan.
What bought about my comment was that the 2600 is listed in my reference book as a continuation of the 58-62 Alfa Romeo 2000 which had a 2.0 DOHC four.
I understand. But even the 2000 was a pretty good sized car, and the 2000cc four was on older design, and not very light. The 2600 had a longer wheelbase, and the 2600 six was a new engine, and benefited from thinner-wall casting. I don’t have weights of both engines readily available, but I doubt the 2600 was all that heavier than the 2000 four. In any case, these cars were not front-heavy.
The MGC’s engine weighed a huge amount more than the MGB’s engine; there’s no comparison.
I’m not sure about the 2600, but contemporary Alfa Giuliettas and Giulias did not have steering racks. I think rack and pinion only arrived with the Alfetta (well, maybe Montreal or AlfaSud).
In 1974 I bought a 2600 Spyder while in the Navy, had my choice of that, or a 190SL roadster, either one $1500, same seller. The Spyder was just so much sexier than the Mercedes, it was no contest. Absolutely loved that car. The Mercedes probably would have been the wiser choice. The starter went out in the first month, the bushing in the nose was worn. At the time, a new starter was $295, and only available from one dealer in Los Angeles. This when a Ford starter was like $20 anywhere. Fortunately the Lt. in charge of the shop was a car guy, and had the machinists rebush the starter. They put in a titanium bushing, which would outlive the car. Something like $400 in materials, lol, some stupid #. THEN the guido in the driveshaft went, I don’t even remember what that cost. Finally, the head gasket blew. When we pulled the head, it looked like worms had eaten thru the head,. from the hard water in that locality. A set of pistons and liners cost $600 (including airfreight, I don’t know what the shop’s hurry was). Nothing on that car was cheap, but like a beautiful woman, worth every penny. Bought a Sprint parts car for $500, a real beater, but running. Sadly I sold the pair before I ever got the Spyder running. Needed the money at the time. Had the opportunity to buy them back a few years later. Had a verbal agreement with the ‘friend’ who bought them from me. The week my brother and I were going to pick them up, he called to tell me he’d sold them to a stranger, for $100 more than we’d agreed on. I would have topped that offer! I no longer speak to him. Some things are deal breakers for a friendship, even 20+ year ones. A car I adored in the brief time I was able to drive it. Incredible sound, it felt alive in my hands. I surely do miss it to this day. It was silver, with red interior.
” THEN the guido in the driveshaft went, I don’t even remember what that cost.’
Thank you for this morning smiler ! =8-) .
A _Guibo_ is the rubber flex disc in the driveshaft .
A _Gudio_ is the Mechanic down to Tony’s Italian Car Shop who keeps an Alfa running sweetly as it should so those repair bill$ are easier to swallow .
I really liked the video , I wish the windows had been closed to better hear the engine going through it’s paces .
Running this car through my favorite Desert back roads would be sweet indeed .
Did the Jaguar XJS take some styling cues form this car?
Lovely car ! .
Don’t get your knickers in a twist about differing likes , in matter of taste , everyone else is _wrong_ .
Beautiful car, and the Zagato Sprint does look very much like it should be a Lancia, but then scrolling further down the page I saw what first struck me as a very pretty verson of a Hillman Minx (the white saloon of course), but truly, what a lovely four-door saloon for that era!
Shoot me down in flames, by all means . . .
No need for flames, but I do disagree on the Giulietta saloon. I’ve made my case here…
One car that didn’t make the cut in my narrative was the OSI 2600 saloon. I still can’t figure out whether it was an Alfa commission though.
Shoot you down ?! .
NO WAY ! Let’s take that beauty for a day drive , I’ll pay the gas or food , depending on who gets to drive =8-) .
I liked that one better my own self.
A truly beautiful car (and the Zagato version crosses over into the sublime). I’ve never seen one in person, but perhaps if I’m lucky, one day…
I used to see one of these regularly parked in an underground carpark, used as a daily driver. Almost 20 years ago actually, but with maintenance there is every reason it could still be there!
If it was a flat dark red in colour, it’s still around.
Hmm now you are stretching my memory. I really am struggling but I think it was a cream/light green rather than a darker colour.