1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spyder
s/n 1481482, Engine no. AR000551*03054*
Rosso Corsa with Black Leather
Prized for their beauty and performance, Alfa Romeos were known for decades as well-appointed, beautifully finished, and capable at the race track. By the late 1950’s Alfa had developed the Guilietta to the fullest extent, but it was time to introduce a new design to the lineup. Alfa answered the call for an all-new design with help of Pininfarina, releasing the first series spider at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. Originally named through a novel customer competition, the winning entrant “Duetto” had to be delayed due to trademark issues, releasing it officially as the Spider 1600.
The series I cars (1966-1969) were delivered with 1570cc twim cam engines and dual Weber two-barrel side draft carburetors, producing 108hp, through a 5 speed manual transmission and disc brakes. But by 1969 the engine was updated to the 1750 adding SPICA mechanical fuel injection to all cars destined for North America. Among the most unique features of the series 1 is the beautifully tapered rear “boat tail” or “round tail”, directly carried over from the Alfa Romeo S3000 Superflow show car. This distinctive feature was later changed in series II and later cars to the shorter Kamm tail. The basic design of the Duetto Spider would continue largely unchanged for three decades – a tribute to the astonishing yet pure and flowing design of these capable cars.
Visually, this car presents very nicely with all components and materials reflective of much recent restoration work. The beautifully finished round tail is nicely accented by tail lights and rear trim in very nice condition overall. The grille and fascia features handsome plexiglass headlight covers that give the car a fitting touch, reminiscent of the Superflow show car design. This handsome example appears to have been properly cared for since new, having had ownership in dry climate for most of its life. Under recent ownership this Alfa has received very careful mechanical and cosmetic improvements as part of the restoration. Recently repainted using delicate European side marker lights, the paint is suitable for local shows and driving enjoyment. Doors, hood and trunk lid have acceptable panel fit overall, while the general finish of the trim and various chrome parts are well done and properly fitted.
The interior has been very nicely prepared showing a combination of original components with correct high quality materials and finishes. A very nice array of instruments and very nice wood rimmed steering wheel complete the look. The dash pad is nicely preserved and contrasts elegantly with the red metal dash fascia. The black canvas top fits snugly when up and easily stows. The black carpeting and proper rubber trunk floor mat finish of the interior and luggage area per original specifications. The original steel wheels have been correctly painted silver metallic with chrome plated center caps. Tires are in excellent condition, showing only minor wear.
Under the hood reveals the exceptional 1750 engine with the original specification Fuel Injection. The engine and gearbox were removed from the car, comprehensively serviced to bring the car to a high standard of finish. Alfa SPICA specialist Wes Ingram prepared the motor and injection properly to make sure performance and reliability were achieved. All finishes were done to factory standards for the period with proper material upgrades as needed for safety and improved durability including Pertronics Distributor conversion with new coil and updated ignition module. Whenever possible original components such as Taylor ignition wires, various clamps and fittings, and hardware were all used throughout the engine and engine bay. The driveshaft, center bearing, Guibo and u-joints were all properly rebuilt or replaced as needed. All engine components were properly rebuilt including the Fuel Injection pump, calibrated for A-16 cams, including SPICA rod ends. During the restoration, the oil pump was upgraded, radiator and top tank were properly cleaned, tested and repaired as needed. The Bonaldi brake booster, front and rear disc brakes, and calipers were rebuilt along with various suspension components as needed. The end result when looking under the hood is not only beautiful but mechanically reliable with wonderful Italian sounds even at idle.
On the road, the Duetto shines as one might expect. The SPICA injection has been tested and dialed in offering easy starts and smooth idle. The rebuilt engine delivers excellent power in all ranges owing to the properly specified Wes Ingram cams and engine rebuild. The shifter and clutch operate well making starts, up and downshifts smooth through the 5-speed synchromesh transmission. Although the current owner has not been able to drive the car as often as he would like, the car exhibits a readiness consistent for enjoyable road use. Ride is quite nice through traffic with excellent power and of course a bright and full Italian growl at high revs when the cams come on. Underneath the car is further evidence this Duetto has been well-cared for though sparsely driven while being properly serviced over the years. There is no damage repair evident when inspecting the floor pan, inner fenders, or structural areas underneath the car.
Beautifully finished and ready to enjoy as intended, this 1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto awaits a new buyer and fortunate passenger to complete the “Italian Duet” so aptly named 50 years ago when the stunning spider appeared on the show circuit.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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