Pick of the Day: 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider, an affordable Italian roadster

The sports car is known unofficially as Duetto even though the name was lost due to a trademark issue

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The Alfa Romeo Spider was styled by Batista 'Pinin' Farina

Italian sports cars are usually three things: beautiful, fun to drive and expensive. The first two are the good parts while the third is what keeps so many of us away from the glorious machines of Italy.

One sports car available at an affordable price yet offering all of the beauty and fun-to-drive parts of the Italian car equation is the Pick of the Day, a 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider advertised by a Beverly Hills, California, dealer on ClassicCars.com.  

The first version of the 105 series Alfa spider was introduced in 1966 at the Geneva Motor Show, at which time it received its brand name via a mail-in contest. The winning name was entered by Guidobaldo Trionfi, whose winning entry was Duetto.  Trionfi was presented with a new Spider as his award.

But then the name was nixed due to trademark issues. The sports car wound up being sold under the simple moniker of 1600 Spider, but all of these early round-tail spiders are still referred to by enthusiasts as Duettos.

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The Alfa Duetto is interesting as it is the last Pininfarina design that had input by founder Batista ‘Pinin’ Farina. When new, the styling derived from the Alfa Disco Volante show car was thought to be a bit off, but most people have come to regard the Duetto as a design masterpiece. And these are the final Alfa Romeos with classic 1960s styling.

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This Duetto, or more properly 1750 Spider, is described as being in the beautiful color combination of Ivory with a Burgundy interior. The car still features its Spica fuel injection, which is rare as many were converted to carburetion because of owners unable to maintain the injection system.

The car is described as a clean and presentable vehicle that is mechanically sound.

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The pictures with the ad tell the same story. It is not a show car, but the photos depict what looks to be a nice driver-quality example with no evidence of rust issues, a problem area for Alfas of this era. The interior photos show seats and door panels that look to be in great condition, although the rugs are missing.

I once owned a 1969 Alfa 1750 Spider and it was a wonderful-driving car. The performance of these roadsters is more than adequate for modern roads, the interiors are comfortable and they make for excellent vintage-rally entries.

Power is provided by a 1,750cc twin-cam inline-4 engine

This Alfa is offered for $27,500 and if it is half as clean as it looks, represents a strong deal for one of these iconic sports cars.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

1 COMMENT

  1. A definite charmer. And didn’t mention that compared to so many others Alpha of the era had easy operating functional convertible.

    I wonder if the FI issues have become easier to resolve or worse over time?

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