Reader Non-Restoration: Phil Knudsen’s ’58 Alfa Giuletta Veloce Spider


“I am not restoring this car, its a REAL time capsule race car from the 50’s and 60’s. Restoring this car would be like erasing and restoring a Monet… it wouldn’t be the same. It will not be modified with new parts. It will find its way back to the track but not to compete. I’ll let other the guys destroy 750F’s… this one will stay a barn fresh nostalgic racer.

A car can only look its age and experience once.”

And with those words, I turned from casual browser of Phil Knudsen’s AlfaBB thread on his ’58 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce Spider Race car into an enthusiastic fan.

It started commonly enough, Phil had sourced this retired racer from the John Murphy collection in Atlanta. The engine was out of her and he was looking for more stories and photos of her time as a frequent racer up and down the East Coast.

Naturally, I assumed he was trying to establish provenance while he tore the body down and started restoration. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that he’s decided to keep her bodywork and even paint as she was when she went into storage. Only newly painted (but beautifully aged looking) new numbers were added to bring her back to her old racing livery.

Of course, there were those that disagreed. Suggesting that not fixing the paint was tantamount to neglect. Keep the rust away, sure, but no top-shelf restoration can possibly make her any more beautiful than she is today.

Keep fighting the good fight, Phil. That patina is priceless and she’s only original once.

Click on over to Phil’s build thread on AlfaBB for more.

DISCUSS (4 Comments)

  1. Robert E. Richer

    Bravo!

  2. Mike Jacobsen

    Swell. Keep the old patina–but of course, if you race it, it must be sound. Certainly it would be best to keep matching numbers if they exist as is. But engines do need to be replaced in race cars at some point. Suspensions must be replaced, etc. You won’t win a race following this philosophy, but vintage racing is not about winning except for the few whose cars are the most period incorrect. Once again, I would like to see some races for cars that are completely period correct. Including horsepower.

  3. Edmund

    Haha, kinda make me wanna strip down my MX5, cut off the windshield and paint it red. Something to tide me over till I can afford a legit vintage European roadster. I’m 6’5 so the old Miata fits me the way I imagine vintage roadsters fit men of normal height.

  4. david

    Hi I think this was my uncles car. He raced a #88

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