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Motoring: Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider - 1966

1966 saw the introduction of a new Alfa Romeo Spider (convertible) to replace the then ageing Giulietta Spider and it became an instant classic. Designed and built by Pininfarina and based on the Giulia 105 series chassis (with a shortened wheelbase), it was powered by a 1570cc dohc engine (109bhp). 'Duetto' was chosen as the name after a write-in competition. 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.

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. It was accompanied by the introduction of a 1300 Spider Junior with a 1290cc engine and 89bhp. The name Duetto was dropped from these models.

The round tail was changed to a Kamm style cut-off tail in 1970 as well as numerous other small changes both inside and out, such as new doorhandles and improved interior trim. In the following year the 2000 Spider Veloce was intoduced with a 1962cc engine producing 132bhp together with a limited slip diff. This continued in production until 1994, albeit with many changes along the way. These included new bumpers in 1975 and again in 1983, variable valve timing in 1980, air conditioning in 1982, rear spoiler in 1983 and finally in 1990 another facelift which resulted in yet another new tail and colour coded plastic bumpers (photo below left). By now, the pure lines and delicate look of the original design had almost disappeared. Over time the fitment had become more luxurious, including such items as electric windows, electric mirrors etc. A 1600 Spider Junior had been introduced in 1972, which continued in producton until 1992, whilst the 1300 Spider Junior ceased production in 1978. All models are collectors items these days, but the Series 1s are the cars that everybody wants in their collection.

1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider

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

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