Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
*Please note that the chassis number is 149500348, not 1495003480 as stated in the catalogue. Please also note that it has come to our attention that all history before Mr. Leake's ownership has been called into question and cannot be confirmed.
This 1956 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider is believed to be the Class G5 (under 1.3- liter) winner at the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race. Prior conversations between the Alfa Romeo’s current owner and the highly respected late Alfa Romeo racer and expert Al Leake connect this car to the win at Sebring. According to recent conversations with Paul Rainville, his father Charlie Rainville owned and raced three successive Giuliettas – a 1957, 1958, and 1959 – that were sponsored by Rhode Island import dealer Jake Kaplan. Shipped to Mr. Kaplan’s Rhode Island import dealership after race preparation in Italy by Autotecnica Conrero, the Spider was entered under the Kaplan banner into the 12 Hours of Sebring, where Charlie wheeled the Alfa Romeo to the 1.3-liter GT class victory and a remarkable 20th overall on March 23, 1957. Wonderful color images in Paul Rainville’s memorabilia collection show Charlie Rainville at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo, and its aggressively snarling exhaust note was recorded for the “Sounds of Sebring” LP recording of the race.
￼After 1957, Charlie Rainville sold the Giulietta to David Lawton, before it passed to the ownership of Mike Snitzer in the early 1960s. The Giulietta Spider fell from sight after the 1970s until it was eventually discovered in period-racing form in Southern California by Al Leake. As found during the 1990s, the car retained its lightweight aluminum body panels, early-style roll hoops, and period-original Minilite racing wheels mounting Goodyear Blue Streak racing tires. After Mr. Leake acquired the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, dubbed “Maria,” and it was rotisserie-restored by him; and a later-series rebuilt engine was installed with twin Weber carburetors. A modern roll bar was fitted, with a removable unit for the passenger area, allowing the fitment of a hard half-tonneau for racing. The Giulietta also sports a competition fuel cell. Following restoration, Mr. Leake raced Maria at several vintage events including the Wine Country Classic. The consignor purchased the Giulietta from Mr. Leake in 2007.
As offered, Maria remains excellent and, while a vintage racing car, it is currently registered for street use in Florida. An original tool kit and logbook, plus the “as-found” Minilite racing wheels and Goodyear Blue Streak tires, an Al Leake racing helmet, photographs, and other documents accompany the sale of the car. A definite crowd-pleaser, this Giulietta Spider promises a thrilling drive and entry into the most desirable classic rallies, tours, and racing events. The Giulietta Spider
The smaller Giulietta arrived for 1954 to great acclaim as Alfa Romeo’s first monocoque body design and new twin-cam engine. The Pinin Farina-designed Giulietta Spider remains a quintessential Italian sporting car of the era and many were raced with gusto on both sides of the Atlantic, with the lightweight and uprated Spider being particularly successful.