Deze Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint uit 1956 werd onlangs op een veiling in Parijs verkocht. De auto deed  in 1956 mee aan de Tulpenrallye van dat jaar, stratend vanuit Noordwijk en met aan het stuur ene Lyal D.G. Collen. Het ding werd kort daarvoor  teruggevonden op een landgoed nabij Dublin. Het werd ter veiling aangebonden in deze ‘barn find state’ en vergde dus nogal wat restauratieve bezigheden. Maar de koper vond dat blijkbaar geen probleem en kocht de auto voor de somma van 45.296 euro. Op het dashnoard van de auto zat nog de officiële deelnemersplaat aan de ralley.

In het veilingaanbod werd de volgende toelichting gegeven op deze aanbieding:

According to the manufacturer’s records, the car we are offering rolled out of the factory on January 21, 1956 and was sold on February 17 of the same year in Ireland through the company Thompson & Taylor, the same one that used to import the fabulous prewar 8C 2300 and 2900. The car was red originally and its first registration (11K 27) is dated March 10, 1956. Two months later, the owner entered the car into the Tulip Rally (Tulpenrallye), which took place from May 6 to 12, 1956. The program mentions the car’s participation in class 2, stock cars, in the name of “Lyal D G Collen – Mrs. E A Collen”, both Irish, departing from Noordwijk, on the coast of The Netherlands. Of this rally, the car retains a plaque screwed on to the top of the instrument panel, which also includes a map reading lamp at the end of a hose. The car is also equipped with a radio.

Lyal Collen was heir to one of the richest families of Ireland, at the head of a large construction company. This car was discovered in 2013 in a mansion near Dublin while it was with the family of its second owner, still registered with its original registration plates, such as the ones that we can see in photos taken during its participation in the Tulip Rally of 1956. This coupe Sprint is today in a “barn find” state, with its old paint. Complete and still equipped with its original mechanicals (matching numbers) this little coupe has still has under its black faux covers, the seats in red and gray, which are apparently well preserved.

Particularly sought in this first version when it was still handmade in the workshops of the great Nuccio Bertone, this Sprint coupe combines the charm of the original with its rich history of having participated in one of the most competitive of rallies of its time.