BaT Auction Preview: Adorable, Restored Boattail Spider Upgraded with 2000cc Alfa Engine
1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto
Chassis No. – AR*1480191*
Engine No. – AR01500*11368*
Exterior Color – White
Interior Color – Black
Engine – 2.0L Twin Cam four-cylinder
Transmission – 5 speed manual
Mileage – 90,792
Current owner – Purchased in 2018
Highlights of This Car
Desirable Series 1 Duetto with great driving manners
Recent refurbishment 2017-2018 with updates in 2020
2.0Liter SPICA injected engine upgrade
With so much growing success in the new line of Alfa Romeo cars into the 1960s, the next offering was sure to excite sporting enthusiasts. With the help of Pininfarina, Alfa released the first series spider at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. Originally named via customer competition, the winning entrant “Duetto” had to be delayed due to trademark issues, releasing it officially as the Spider 1600. Well-appointed, beautifully finished, and capable at the racetrack even when new, Duettos have since become more and more sought after by astute collectors seeking exciting motoring experiences at nominal cost.
The series 1 cars (1966-1969) outfitted with 1570cc twin-cam engines, featured disc brakes and a 5-speed manual transmission. 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 “round tail”, directly carried over from the Alfa Romeo S3000 Superflow show car. This distinctive feature was later changed in series 2 cars, making series 1 cars even desirable today. The basic design of the Duetto Spider would continue largely unchanged for three decades, including fame in the critically acclaimed movie “The Graduate”.
Current Condition and Ownership
This example was purchased by the restorer/owner of the car in 2017. An expert at Alfa Romeo restoration and winner of multiple awards, the owner had the car delivered from Dallas, TX to California, where the restoration was performed. Work began on the body to prepare it for paint. Finished in white, believed to be the original color based on the paint found on various inner panels during disassembly and prep, the floor panels were removed, and new correctly contoured panels installed and properly seam sealed, along with new drain plugs. The body was sanded, minor areas of corrosion were properly addressed, and the car was primed, painted, and new trunk and door weatherstripping were installed. New correct type round-tail rubber mats were installed, and various trim was polished and reassembled back on the car. During the restoration, the owner sought out correct trim and mechanical parts to restore the car to a high driver standard.
For the mechanical restoration, the engine and transmission were comprehensively tended to with an upgrade to a 2.0 Liter engine outfitted with the desirable SPICA fuel injection. The engine rebuild included 11mm lift cams, ideally balanced for good mid-range power and street use, valve guides and seals, pistons and liner set, new rod bearings, new main bearings, new cam followers, intake manifold, new fuel pump, new upper and lower chain, and work on the oil pump, head, polish and balancing for the crank, and a new clutch and pressure plate. The gearbox was also overhauled with new synchros, 1st and 2nd gear rings, new front and rear seals, a new transmission mount, and a new main shaft bearing.
With the paint complete and engine and gearbox assembly installed in the car, other items were addressed including gauge operation, lighting, and electrical wiring, various switches, and interior details. New exhaust was installed including a new muffler, as well as a new fuel gauge and fuel sender, and the installation of a new black interior. Under new ownership in 2018, additional work was performed including a front suspension rebuild including new ball joints, bushings, and front bumper trim work.
Recent Mechanical Work Performed
In 2020, the current owner commissioned a complete engine tune up, new fluids, had the brakes redone including new disc sets, new wheel bearings, and rotors turned, front and rear shocks installed, new fuel hoses, a Therm Actuator installed along with electronic ignition and the car was tested, timing set, and the engine tuned for proper operation.
In November 2020, a new Sachs clutch was installed, fuel injection adjusted, and other adjustments performed during road test and fine tuning. A window crank was also repaired at this time.
In May 2021, a new wiring harness was fabricated for the altrentator, new battery cables were also fabricated, and new throttle cable and a new hood release cable were also installed.
Cosmetic and Mechanical Condition
Today this Duetto presents very nicely with all components and materials reflective of high driver level restoration. The beautifully finished round tail design is particularly refined in white, emphasizing the lines of the car. The paint is glossy, and coverage is consistent throughout all areas, while the doors, hood, and trunk exhibit very good panel fit and smooth operation opening or closing. The general finish of the trim, emblems, and various chrome parts is quite well done, enhanced by new rubber and tidy detailing. The Cromodora cast “star” wheels were restored with a painted silver metallic finish with chrome lug nuts and correct emblems. The Pirelli P4 tires are in excellent condition, showing only minor wear.
The interior has been very nicely prepared, retaining a cohesive presentation overall. The seats have been correctly reupholstered, however the driver’s seat bottom foam has compressed over time and a 1” area on the left seat bolster has opened up at the seam piping. A very nice array of instruments and a handsome steering wheel deliver a satisfying visual presence. The black canvas top fits snugly when up and stows easily behind the seats. Correct type black carpeting and Alfa logo floor mats finish off the interior. A rubber trunk floor mat finishes off the luggage area per original specifications.
Under the hood reveals a nicely finished Spica Injected 2000 series engine. As noted, the engine was rebuilt with 11mm cams and the injection properly tuned in harmony with the new cams. All finishes were prepared to generally high standards during restoration and continue to present well. The correctly finished satin black dual overhead cam head is a visual contrast to the Spica Injection plenum and airbox.
On the road, this Duetto delivers on the original promise of enjoyable open-air motoring. The engine fires quickly, delivering excellent power in all ranges, waking up in the higher revs as the cams come on. The gearbox and clutch operate well delivering smooth starts and confident gear action as you move through the 5-speed synchromesh transmission. Ride is quite nice through traffic with very capable cornering even driving at a more leisurely pace. Underneath, the car is tidy and clean, though not detailed for show. The floor pan installation is very well done, and the seam sealer application is in keeping with factory standards. There is no visual evidence of rust to the floor pan, inner fenders, and other structural areas underneath the car.
Beautifully finished and ready to enjoy as intended, this 1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider awaits a new buyer and fortunate passenger to be the perfect “Duet” for exciting future road adventures.
Upgrades from Stock Build
-2.0 Liter engine with SPICA fuel injection
Included with the car
Copies of receipts from the restoration 2017-2020
Full size spare tire with stamped steel wheel
Tire jack (appears to be original)
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608