Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto' - Classic Alfa Romeos

The 'Boat-Tail' Duetto

One of the all time classic Alfas is the Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto'. It was launched at the 1966 Turin Motor Show with Pininfarina styline, the last car Battista Pininfarina styled before he died that year.

Perhaps not unsurprisingly it didn't sell well initially as its unusual boat-tail styling at the rear put people off. Of course, it is precisely that styling which now puts it in such demand. Well, that and the range of engines and transmissions which combined to make it such a delight to drive. The Spider originally came with a 1.6-litre engine, but the model considered most desirable is the 1750 engined version.

All the engines were classic Alfa twin-cams and had a great 5-speed gearbox that made them such fun to drive. The last versions had revised styling, loosing the boat-tail back-end and going up to a 2-litre version of the Alfa twin-cam engine. This improved flexibility, but many feel it isn't as soulful as the earlier 1750 version (which was actually 1779cc with 122bhp).

An Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto' showing the 'boat-tail' rear end - a public domain image
An Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto' showing the 'boat-tail' rear end - a public domain image | Source

Spiders In The Movies

The last versions were built in the early nineties, but the back end was restyled in 1969. The Alfa Romeo Spider also had a great roof mechanism making it easy to put the convertible rag-top up or down with one hand. And if you want to see one have a look at the old movie 'The Graduate' with Dustin Hoffman, who drives one in the film.

Lovers of sweet-driving twin-cam classics but with a saloon/coupe body style should take a look at the Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV, another classic Alfa. Unless you have money to burn then you could look for one of the old V8 Montreals - if your willing to suffer the ride quality.

Technical Specifications: Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto'

Engine: Four-cylinder, 1962cc

Power: 131bhp @ 5,500rpm

Brakes: Disc all around

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Suspension: Independent front, live rear axle

Top speed: 124mph

Acceleration: 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds

No. Built: 82,500

An Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto' on You Tube

An Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto'

An Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto' - a public domain image
An Alfa Romeo Spider 'Duetto' - a public domain image | Source

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