How it came to be.
After the Second World War Alfa Romeo was being administered by the Finmeccanica a sub wing of the IRI-the industrial reconstruction agency of the Italian state and it was in dire straights as usual. The firm was under the guidance of Hruschka, a former Porsche engineer with Ing. Quarino as managing director, by the early 1950’s Alfa Romeo had made the decision to go down the mass production route. The new car was to be a basic four seater and was to be powered by Orazio Satta’s beautiful new 1290cc engine. The name chosen was to be “Giulietta” Juliet, in English-perhaps they were thinking of a character as much as an obvious play on names. Shakespeare’s Juliet was a tender child whose passionate nature belied her demure specifications.
The tooling for its production demanded large amounts of new finance. To raise the finance Alfa Romeo decided to sell bonds with only a low interest rate and in order make the bonds more attractive they offered a number of cars as prizes and this bought in the necessary finance.
However Alfa Romeo had up until this time been the producer of low volume super cars and had little experience of mass production and things soon got behind schedule with the mechanical components coming off the production lines a year before the body was likely to be produced. This caused a problem as the winners of the competition were by now very irate and so Alfa Romeo had to come up with a solution and the directors went to the small Carrozzeria Bertone with whom they had been working on the Disco Volante (flying saucer).
But it was well into 1954 before Bertone managed to get on with the production of the first prototype and it was only twenty days before the 21st of April 1954 deadline when the body shell was delivered to Ghia for finishing. This caused consternation at Ghia and there was a major disagreement between the salesman, Gigi Segre at Ghia and his director Sig. Boano. This led to Sig. Boano being thrown out of his own establishment. Eventually it was agreed that the body could go back to Bertone for finishing and the Giulietta Sprint made the Turin show to the acclaim of the public.
By Spring of 1955 the Giulietta Ti was available, this was an amazing car in its time with a top speed of over 95 mph using the de-tuned 1290 cc engine. Then in 1956 the Spider was introduced and this has to be one of the prettiest cars that have ever been produced.
Related Links: Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Review