This version is the Series 1 version which was first unveiled at the 36th Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. At that time, Alfa Romeo held a write-in competition to name their Spider model and offered a new Spider as the grand prize. They received over 104,000 submissions, and the winning submission was the name “Duetto”, proposed by Guidobaldo Trionfi. “Duetto” stands for duet in Italian, which perfectly resonates with the car’s features: two-seats for two people, and a twin-cam engine. The official car name, however, is the Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 due to copyright issues surrounding the winning submission.
It shares the same mechanicals as the Giulia, but is 225mm shorter and more streamlined. There were three types of engines used in the Series 1, this example has the 1.8-litre twin-cam engine. The 1.8-litre model replaced the 1.6-litre engine from the earlier model and was labelled as the “1750 Spider Veloce”, producing 116 horsepower at 5,500 RPM, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox with a top speed of 190 km/h. The name “1750” wasn’t based on a displacement, unlike the first two models, but as a tribute to the 6C 1750 race car. The 1750 Spider Veloce was in line with other models that bear the “1750” badging, such as the 1750 Berlina and the 1750 GT Veloce.
The Spider was designed by Giovanni Battista “Pinin” Farina, the last project penned by the designer himself. The Series 1 has a streamlined and round body that led to several nicknames such as “Osso di Seppia”, Italian for cuttlefish bone, and “boat-tail”, after its rear trunk. The design of the Series 1 Spider wasn’t loved by all at the time, some described it as a more feminine and odd version compared to other Alfa models like the Giulia. Road & Track even described the Spider’s styling as “a contrived design with meaningless styling gimmicks that would not last for long.” However, with its key appearance in the 1967 film “The Graduate”, the Spider solidified its status among the most iconic Alfa Romeos. Ironically, it has the longest production run of any Alfa model, which lasted until 1993. The Series 1 Spider had a production run from 1966 to 1970. Its unique design is now a classic.
This example is the 1969 model year, chassis no. AR1482215 with a mileage of around 94,000km. This 1750 Spider Veloce’s body sports an Ivory White exterior, complemented by a black leather interior, including the three-spoke steering wheel. This car was owned by the Snodgrass family for over 45 years, which became famous for racing Brumos Porsche. It was then part of the Brumos Collection in Jacksonville, Florida, where it had undergone restoration to a concours-standard. The Spider Veloce made its appearance at the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and later won First in Class at the Alfa Romeo Owners Club National Convention in 2019.
Year/Make/Model: Spider Veloce