Of all the Alfa Romeo cars that I have owned, my favorite is the Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider. There is something about the styling of the Duetto that is just perfect. The way the front end and rear end mirror each other, reminiscent of the Disco Volante concept car, make it one of the very finest Pininfarina designs ever.
A surprising fact is that when it was new, many automotive journalists did not like the design. I remember reading old Road & Track magazines when I was young and wondering how they were missing what I saw in the car, which to my 15-year-old self was nothing short of breathtaking. An interesting data point about the Duetto design is that it was the last car designed by the company while Battista Pininfarina was still at the helm.
The Duetto is a usable and comfortable Italian roadster, having a top that is easy to raise and lower, rollup windows and plenty of interior room for two. The cavernous trunk, for a small roadster at least, can easily swallow a week’s worth of luggage for two, making the Duetto a perfect vintage rally car.
The performance of the Alfa Duetto is also respectable for the era. The 1,579cc engine develops 125 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque, allowing the Duetto to reach 60 mph from rest in around 11 seconds with a respectable top speed of 113 mph. This engine is perfectly mated to a wonderful 5-speed gearbox that allows for low revs at highway cruising speeds.
The best thing about the drivetrain is the wonderful sounds the engine makes, like a sonorous Italian song that lets you know that this is a real sports car while on its way to a 6,300-rpm redline.
The biggest worry with an Alfa Duetto is not mechanical but rust. Rust is the absolute sworn enemy of any Duetto and many have fallen victim to the tin worm, or even worse, shoddy repairs done by amateurs in an attempt to fix that rust. There are more Duettos with bad body repairs out there than good ones, but a good example is a car well worth having.
This listing is a good one, having a thorough description and many pictures, some of which show flaws, which I always appreciate. The seller describes the Alfa Duetto as a good example that has been in California for virtually its entire life, accident free and under the same ownership for the past 35 years.
The car is mechanically superb, the seller says, with a gearbox that has perfect syncros, which is a known weak spot on these cars, especially for 2nd gear. The car has an extensive history file which is a serious plus.
The seller calls the Alfa a 9 out of 10 both mechanically and visually. In viewing the pictures in detail I could detect a few issues, most notably a slight bend on the right side rocker panel near the jacking point. This is again quite common and I would not worry about it. More importantly, the floors look to be in excellent shape with no evidence of any rust.
The asking price for this Duetto is a fair $31,750.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.