Gorgeous Italian sports car - red/black convertible.
While other European marques such as Triumph, MG, Jaguar, etc were enjoying relative showroom sales success here in the US, Alfa went largely unnoticed by automotive enthusiasts. This, despite their early racing successes that included drivers by the now-familiar names of Nuvolari, Fangio, and Ferrari….yes, Enzo himself drove for Alfa before leaving the marquee to find his own little niche in automotive history. The Alfa racing successes and their civilian offerings went largely unnoticed here. That all changed in the mid to late 1960s. There was love in the air, and Dustin Hoffman’s “The Graduate” was playing on the big screen. Worlds collided when the little Alfa Romeo rolled across the big screen. Suddenly everyone knew what an Alfa Romeo Duetto Spyder was. Even though sales figures did not improve much, the little car company from Portello, Italy was no longer a secret to those that followed automotive design.
The 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto originally left the factory with its 1600cc engine which offered a more powerful version than its previous Veloce. Horsepower was about 109, which was plenty to propel the relatively light car. But somewhere along the way, this car lost its virginity; the original “1600cc” engine was removed and replaced with a more powerful and desirable 1750cc engine from a 1969 model. The horsepower increased to 118 with this engine which was completely rebuilt before being nestled between the frame rails. Mated to the original 5-speed transmission, the drivetrain is smooth and quiet and easily keeps up with today’s traffic. The entire drivetrain looks, sounds and runs excellently, there are no outward signs of any issues, nor any fluid leaks.
The spyder body design was entrusted to the Pinin Farina studios. Say what you will, but nobody designs cars like the Italians. With a sharp piercing nose, lexan-covered headlights, a now-familiar and classic scallop running down the side….a design feature which eventually found its way into the Ferrari Daytona…..and a boat-tail taper at the rear, the Alfa looks elegant, sleek, sexy and Italian in every way and from every angle. It’s a timeless design that puts others in its class far in its rear view mirror. Having been restored many years ago and sparingly driven, this car’s body does exhibit signs of use; there are a few nicks, scratches and stone chips and a few faint parking lot dings to be expected of a car that is used, but not abused. There are a few very small paint bubbles/blemishes at the lower rocker panels, perhaps yielding to some minor rust. Otherwise the body is in outstanding condition having been bare-metal stripped and restored in its recent past. The body is very straight and the shut lines are superb. The convertible top is like new, even the rear window is crystal clear. There are no tears or cuts anywhere.
The interior is pure European sports car; luxurious enough to keep the driver and single passenger comfortable, yet Spartan in its simplicity. Instrumentation showing all vitals is excellent for the day, and the overall handling of the car is superb. Driving it is pure fun, due to its small size, low weight, nimbleness and ease of control. The seats are still very soft and comfortable, the full-loop carpet appears to have been replaced at some point in its past and in beautiful condition. All weatherstripping is intact and pliable; and is in great condition. This car also includes a nice aftermarket stereo - no cuts in the dash as it slots into the original position with great sounding speakers - front and rear - a bonus!!
Wheels and brakes:
Four-wheel disc brakes and rack-and-pinion steering make this car handle and stop exceptionally well. Steering is taught and responsive and topped off with a period-correct and classic Nardi steering wheel. The new tires are aggressive sport types with plenty of remaining tread and are wrapped around new Panasport alloy wheels.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with this Alfa Romeo nor is there any reason not to own one if you are looking for a relative bargain European sports car. Our expert Alfa mechanic (Auto Turismo of New Milford, Ct) recently gave this car a full checkup, he was told to replace anything that needed replacing or repair. His words were: “this car needs nothing, go drive it." He is available to discuss his findings if you so desire. Overall, we rate this car a very very solid #2. It runs out and drives straight and true, shifts crisply, brakes straight as an arrow and is an overall excellent driver quality “show and go” type of car. It is equally at home on the big lawn at the Greenwich Concours as it is on the picturesque backroads on Martha’s Vineyard. Pack your wicker picnic basket, a blanket and your favorite Italian chianti and have the time of your life with that special someone!
Back to reality: this is an extremely clean car checking off all of the right boxes. Having owned competitors’ offerings such as MG, Triumph, and the more expensive Jaguars, it is our humble opinion that the Alfa is a MUCH more reliable and fun car to drive than any of the aforementioned cars. These Alfas are also much simpler cars to own and maintain, and unlike those British marques, the Alfa is not plagued by the dastardly Prince of Darkness; Lucas electrics. This alone should have been their advertising motto!
Lately, Alfa Romeos have become highly collectible because automotive enthusiasts have come to know their relative value when compared to other cars in the same category. The typical Alfa of a given model year sells for approximately 1.5 times what an MG or Triumph does, but the Alfa cars offer a far better overall ownership experience. The time to buy one is now, before these too skyrocket in price like many other European / Italian sports cars have over the past few years. Try one out; we think you’ll like it!
Extensive photos have been provided for your review. If interested, feel free to call us to discuss this little Italian gem
Contact Anthony / Anthony@emotionmotorclassics.com / Westchester, NY.