Alfa Romeo Spider
1966 saw the introduction of the new Spider to replace the then ageing Giulietta Spider. Designed and built by Pininfarina and based on the Giulia 105 series chassis (with a shorter wheelbase than the Coupé), it was powered by the same 109bhp 1570cc dohc engine as in the GTV coupé. Unnamed at launch, 'Duetto' was chosen as the name after a write-in competition in Italy. It featured a relatively sparse interior, with two bucket style seats, a manual soft top and rubber floor mats (albeit with Alfa Romeo logos!) together with a typically 'Italian' driving position. Two large circular dials in front of the driver were complemented by three smaller angled guages on the central dashboard. The price was 2,195,000 lire.
1967 witnessed the introduction of the 1750 Spider Veloce, powered by a 1779cc dohc with 118bhp. In Europe this was fitted with two twin carburettors, models sold in the US had mechanical fuel injection by Spica. Modifications were also made to the suspension, brakes, electrics and wheels and tyres. Visible differences were limited to a slightly different grille and the front repeaters which moved ahead of the wheelarches. The official title was 1750 Spider Veloce, the name 'Duetto' being dropped from this point onwards.
1967 also saw the 1600 Spider cease production, whilst a new Spider 1300 Junior, with a 1290cc engine and 89bhp, was introduced in 1968. This lacked various features, including the plastic headlight fairings, the brake servo, the hub caps, opening quarterlight etc.
In 1969 the first significant change to the styling was introduced on the 1750 Spider Veloce. The round tail was changed to a Kamm style cut-off tail, which arguably made the car look more modern, and certainly improved the luggage space. Numerous other small changes both inside and out, such as new doorhandles, a more inclined windscreen, top-hinged pedals and improved interior trim were also made.
A new engine, the 1962cc engine producing 132bhp as in the coupé, arrived in 1971 to make the 2000 Spider Veloce. Visually this remained unchanged from the 1750, apart from the name badge. The 1750 car was gradually withdrawn from production, the final examples emerging in 1972.
The 1600 Spider restarted production in 1972 as the Spider 1600 Junior, visually identical to the 1300 car.
In 1974 the 1300 car gained two 'occasional use' seats behind the front seats, becoming a two plus two. The same modification was made to the 2000 in the following year.
The 1300 car ceased production in 1977, with the 1600 and 2000 cars continuing.
The next major restyling arrived in 1983. Not universally praised, it saw the introduction of black rubber bumpers front and rear, with the former incorporating the new (black rubber) grille and the latter blending into a wrap-around rear spoiler, still the same black rubber. Various minor modifications were made at the same time. These changes were made to both the 1600 and 2000 cars which continued mechanically unchanged, the 1600 car dropping the 'Junior' tag.
In 1986 the Spider 2.0 Quadrifolgio Verde (Green Cloverleaf) was introduced, with aesthetic tweaks including sideskirts, mirrors and new front and rear spoilers. The original cars remained in production alongside this new entry. For the US market, this new car became the standard, and sole, version.
The final major change came in 1990 with another significant facelift. Mechanically little changed, but visually the car got another tail, this time with a lighting unit stetching across the entire tail (matching that of the 164) and colour coded plastic bumpers. Inside various improvements were made at the same time.
Approximate production figures were :
1600 Spider Duetto : 6,325 1750 Spider 8,723 2000 Spider 88,240 1300 Junior 7,237 1600 Junior 13,465
The 100,000th example rolled off the Arese production line in the summer of 1988.
Driveline longitudinal engine at front with rear wheel drive Engines 1570cc (78x82mm) dohc 4 cylinder with 109bhp @ 6,000rpm Suspension front : double wishbone with coil springs and telescopic dampers plus anti-roll bar
rear : independent with coil springs and telescopic dampers (anti-roll bar from 1750)
wheelbase : 2250mm
front track : Duetto : 1310mm; 1750, Junior & 2000 : 1324mm
rear track : Duetto : 1270mm; 1750, Junior & 2000 : 1274mm
Brakes front : discs
rear : discs
handbrake operating the rear callipers via cable
dual hydraulic circuit (with servo assistance, not including Duetto)
Gearbox 5 speed manual
Single dry plate clutch
Steering worm and sector with hydraulic assistance on some versions Dimensions click here
model max speed 0-62mph standing km 1600 Duetto 185 kph 10.6 sec 31.78 sec 1750 118 mph 9.2 sec 2000 119 mph 9.8 sec
Some of the numerous versions made are detailed below.
Model No. Details Engine No. Details Variants launched 105.03 Duetto, original spider AR00536 1570cc, 109bhp 1966 105.57 1750 Spider Veloce AR00548 1779cc, 118bhp 105.62 injection for US, 105.58 rhd 1967 105.91 Spider 1300 Junior AR00530 1290cc, 89bhp 105.92 rhd 1967 105.24 2000 Spider Veloce AR00512 1962cc, 132bhp 115.02 injection for US, 105.27 rhd 1971 115.07 Spider 1600 Junior AR00536 1570cc, 109bhp 1972 105.91S Spider 1300 Junior AR00530*S 1290cc, 89bhp 1974 115.38 2000 Spider Veloce AR00515 1962cc, 132bhp 115.41 injection for US 1975 115.35 1600 Spider Veloce AR00526A*S 1570cc, 102bhp 1980 115.60 2000 QV AR00515 1962cc, 132bhp 1985 115.62 1600 AR00526A*S 1570cc, 102bhp 1986 115.66 2000 AR00515 1962cc, 132bhp 1986
There is also a list of all our picture galleries (including museums, motorshows and various events).
Wallpapers/Desktop Backgrounds of numerous Alfa Romeo's also available to download.
There are also various statistics regarding production and sales.
Buying / Selling
Some things to check before paying are :
- Corrosion, especially in the sills, the rear part of the front wings, the front and rear floorpans, the seat mounts and the spare wheel well. Also check the front crossmember and its mounting points, and the rear of a roundtail (if you manage to find one).
- Roof, check the condition of the fabric, and check the front rail for rust.
- Dashboard, check the op for cracking due to excessive exposure to sunlight.
- Mechanicals, check all the 'normal' things such as knocks when on full lock (forward and reverse), smoke from the exhaust, water in the oil, straight tracking on a flat road, tyre wear for indications of bent chassis', etc...
Alfa Romeo Spider books : buy them online here(in association with Amazon)
Alfa Romeo Road Test Book : Alfa Romeo Spider Gold Portfolio 1966-91
43 articles on the Spider including over 300 illustrations. Covers 1600 Duetto, 1750 and 2000 versions.
edited by R.M.Clarke, 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider 1955 - 1986 Walter Zeichner, 1989 Alfa Romeo Spider : The complete story John Tipler, 1998 Original Alfa Romeo Spider C.Rees & J.Mann, 2001
For more books on Alfa Romeo, see our Online Bookstore
Spider comment form
I have no better memories than racing about Paris in a Spider. Great handling, perfect for the smaller streets and for parking. Not to mention, it's one of the chicest and best looking cars on the road. (TJM, New York / Paris)
My 1990 Graduate represents possibly the best purchase I have ever made based on pure fun for the dollar! I get more attention in my $5,000 Alfa than friends get in a $45,000 BMW. They hate it, but I'm not complaining. (Macon, GA)
Hi , my name is Miguel G, from Portugal , and i have just bought a 1989 1.6 "Rubber Tail" . It is a very pleasing sports car and i am enjoing it to the full . It's powersliding everywhere whilst enjoying the sun !
I own a 1987 Spider Quadrifoglio(4 leaf clover) with 24K miles and have enjoyed every moment. As another has said here in the comments, I get more stares and questions(especially when the fantastic hard-top is on) than others in cars costing literally 10 times as much money. Pininferina(sp) outdid himself on the wonderfully sensuous body of the Spider. The rounded shoulders, scalloped side panels,Kamm-style rear end, and that outrageous hard-top....wonderful even by today's standards.
How's it perform? You're not going to win any light-to-light sprints, but if the guy in the car behind you doesn't understand that "Spider" was a well-chosen moniker, you will smoke him in the corners...especially early apex corners.....no brakes, rev to meet the next lower gear, downshift, and accelerate right through the corner....this is where the Spider shines...
With all the interest in convertible 2 seater sportscars, you can't go wrong with this car and you'll save so much money that you may even consider "his and hers" editions! (JML, USA)
Got my Spider 2000 model 1989 for 2 years now and I truly believe its even more exclusive than a boring Porsche 911. Not that expensive and a real eyecatcher. Have to admit I spend a lot of money on repairs but hell,its an Alfa Romeo so all the driving pleasure you get in return is worth it. Greetings to all you alfisti out there from an alfist in Belgium. (John V.)
Alfa spider is not just one of the most beautiful cars ever produced, it must be one of the most beautiful cars to drive too... To all alfisti: I¨ve been all over Europe in my spider, and I can promise: visit Norway in your spider... and you'll never regret it... :)
I purchased a 1988 Spider Veloce one month ago and its been the best investment in enjoyment I've ever made! More smiles per mile than any car I've owned before. There's something absolutely intoxicating about its styling and the way it drives. I'm hooked! My friends all drive Miatas and other rice burning two eaters. They're nice but so bland when compared to a real work of art like an Alfa. (Ter, USA)
Of the 100+ autos I've owned, the Duetto is at the top of my list for fun, styling and absolute driveability. Mine had mini-lite mags, blue with silver paint in the side indentation and a less than perfect interior of black something or other. I still want another duetto. (John M, Hawaii)
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