The Alfa Romeo Spider: Three Decades in Style

An original, first-generation Alfa Romeo Spider
Photo: Alfa Romeo

We all know that in its history of more than 100 years, Alfa Romeo has made a lot of beautiful cars. But perhaps not everyone knows that one of them was in production for almost three decades without any major changes. And those three decades seem even more impressive when you know that it was a two-door, two-seat roadster – there were certainly not many cars of this type that managed to stay on the conveyor belt with the original body from the 1960s to the 1990s.

In the 1960s, Alfa did well with the Giulietta and Giulia series, and their top-of-the-range model was the open two-seat Giulietta Spider, which was designed and made by Carozzeria Pininfarina. It was a sales hit, and even with constantly increasing production capacity, Pininfarina just barely managed to meet demand. However, the lines of the Giulietta were already a bit outdated, so Alfa Romeo sat down with Pininfarina at the drawing board and created what we now know as one of the best affordable Italian cult cars around.

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The new fruit of their cooperation was shown at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, and a competition to name the car was also announced. Having received more than 140,000 entries with suggestions like Lollobrigida, Bardot, Nuvolari, Al Capone and even Stalin, they selected “Duetto”, and the person who proposed the name got the car that he had named as a prize.

“Duetto” reflected the philosophy behind Alfa Romeo’s new model perfectly – after all, the entire pleasure was designed for two. The first versions were named Duetto, but the Italians didn’t do their homework – it turned out that the right to this name belonged to an Italian cookie manufacturer as well as to Volvo in other countries. They therefore had to go back to the old name of Spider, which in Italian means a car without a roof.

Alfa Romeo Spider

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