1977 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spyder
|Engine||In-line 4-cylinder, 1962cc|
Forever associated with Dustin Hoffman in the classic film The Graduate, Alfa Romeo’s Spider was first unveiled at the 1966 Geneva Salon and proved a huge success for the Milanese concern, remaining in production for the next 28 years. Originally dubbed the Duetto following a contest held to come up with a suitable name, the Spider’s sensuous styling was penned by the renowned design studio Pininfarina and drew heavily on a series of styling prototypes dating back to the late 1950s. Boasting an advanced mechanical specification, the new Spider employed Alfa’s classic twin-cam 1600cc engine mated to a five-speed gearbox. With a great ride, sharp handling and disc brakes all round the Alfa was a fine performer and remains a superbly satisfying car to drive today. The original 1600 model was later joined by 1300 and 1750 versions and in 1971 the engine was enlarged to a full two litres to give a useful increase in power and torque. The 1962cc engine had a 9:1 compression ratio and two twin-choke Weber carburettors, boosting the power output to 133 horsepower at 5500 rpm. The hefty asking price - the Spider was more expensive than Jaguar’s E-type in Britain - meant the Alfa Romeo was destined for the fortunate few in most export markets, including Australia. Although Pininfarina’s original shape survived largely unchanged until production ceased in 1994, numerous detail changes were made - most notably the adoption of the Kamm tail section in 1969. With its torquier engine and limited-slip diff, the 2000 Spider is a classic Italian sports car in a class of its own, serving up a fabulous recipe of stunning looks, lively performance and loads of charm.