1966 Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint Coupe
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2584cc|
Alfa Romeo’s 2000/2600 family of saloons, spiders and coupes have never quite captured the imagination the way the smaller 101 and 105-series Giulias and Giuliettas have, but are now finally being recognised as serious classics in their own right. The 2000 replaced the 1900 series as Alfa Romeo’s flagship model in 1958 and utilized a 2-litre, four-cylinder engine coupled with a five-speed gearbox and built on a longer wheelbase platform for additional legroom. The Berlina was joined at the outset by a lovely Spider version styled by Carrozzeria Touring, which received a twin carburettors to boost power to 115 bhp. In 1960, the range was further expanded to include an elegant 2+2 coupe by the talented young designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, then employed as chief stylist by Bertone. The Sprint, as the coupe version was known, managed to convey a refined, sporting air that still looks fabulous more than five decades on. Answering criticism that the 2000 lacked power, Alfa’s engineers developed a new six-cylinder engine; a reworking of the big four, the oversquare motor had a total capacity of 2584cc with twin overhead camshaft, raised compression of 9:1 and triple carburetors. With a healthy 145 bhp on tap, the new motor was capable of propelling the 2600 Sprint to a top speed of 200 km/h. The styling of the Sprint was little altered, only the air scoop on the bonnet and ‘2600’ badging setting it apart from the four-cylinder version. The 2600 Sprint, although built in small numbers, was actually the most successful of the 2000/2600 family and in total 6,999 were built. Of these just 597 were equipped with right-hand drive, a further indication of the success the model enjoyed both in Great Britain and export markets like Australia. The 2600 Sprint is a wonderful ‘60s Italian GT car and represents superb value when compared with contemporary exotics from Maserati and Ferrari.