Lot 037: Alfa Romeo Spider 1750
Alfa Romeo has been producing pretty little roadsters endowed with the 'Spider' name since the launch of the Giulietta in 1955. The most famous is probably the model that was launched at the Geneva Salon in 1966: the Duetto. Beautifully styled by Pininfarina and overflowing with Italian brio, the car was a huge success from the outset but was immortalised by its starring role in The Graduate in 1967, sharing the limelight with Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft.
The original 'boat-tail' design of the Duetto was dropped in the late sixties in favour of a more aerodynamically efficient Kamm tail which also greatly improved luggage space. The underpinnings were effectively the same as the superb Giulia saloon, so beloved of the Italian Carabinieri, comprising independent front suspension, coil-suspended live rear axle, servo-assisted disc brakes all round and the most communicative steering you could ever wish to experience.
Initially only available with a 1.6-litre double-overhead-cam four, from 1967 it was fitted with the legendary 1750 unit, widely considered to be one of the finest engines ever fitted to any Alfa Romeo, surpassing even the 2-litre unit with its intoxicating eagerness to rev. It is difficult to put into words the sheer charm of this open sports Alfa Romeo, wrote Autocar's John Bolster of the 1750 in 1969. It is the kind of car that even an experienced test driver will take out for the sheer fun of handling it& yet it is just as easy to drive as the most unexciting family hack.
First registered in October 1971, this original UK market right-hand drive 1750 was first acquired by the current vendor in 1977 but was then sold on about three years later a decision that he was always to regret. It then passed through several other owners before being acquired by the head of Alfa GB in the late 1980s. He treated it to a total nut-and-bolt rebuild at Alfa GB in 1990, replacing virtually every part as necessary in a �13,000 labour of love which is fully documented by photographs and bills in the history file.
The car was very little used once the rebuild was completed, but was finally tracked down once again by the current vendor in 1997. He succeeded in buying the car back for a second time and it has remained in his care ever since. Still said to be in excellent condition throughout, it certainly fired up instantly and ran beautifully during our short test drive to take these pictures. It is now only reluctantly being sold due to lack of use and because the vendor's grown up children inexplicably don't share his love affair with the model! Snap it up now before he changes his mind yet again&
Classic Car, Motorcycle & Automobilia|
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Leominster
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||-|
|Registration number||HMH 6K|
|Engine capacity (cc)||1779|
|Engine - cylinders|
|Number of doors|