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Alfa Romeo Spider – All you need to know

November 23, 2022

“You are not a true car enthusiast until you have owned an Alfa Romeo,” you sometimes hear. The same goes for the Spider. Yet some view this sporty model as an old-fashioned, not particularly fast roadster overtaken by our modern times. However, incorrigible car enthusiasts see such an Alfa Romeo as a classic, unadulterated example of a simple, lightweight and enjoyable to drive sporty convertible. Those who want to know everything about the Alfa Romeo Spider are often classic car enthusiasts.


During the development of the Spider, Alfa Romeo revealed several study models. The Italians saw this as inspiration for the final design of the new sports convertible. You can see strong references in the Alfa Romeo Superflow (1956) and Superflow II coupe (1956), the Spider Super Sport (1959) and especially the Giulietta SS Spider Aerodinamica (1961).

Alfa Romeo Superflow (1956)

Giuliette SS Spider Aerodinamica (1961)

The final design for the first Spider was completed by 1961. A faltering Italian economy delayed the start of production; it did not get underway until late 1965.

1966-1969: Series 1 – ‘Duetto’

In 1966, Alfa Romeo showed the first Spider 1600 at the Geneva Motor Show. As you suspect, this Spider got a 1,600cc four-cylinder, with 109 horsepower. After a competition, the Duetto model was christened. This car had the chassis of the Giulia 105, but with a body designed by Pininfarina. It was the last time Battista Pininfarina himself would draw a car.

1970-1983: Series 2 – ‘Coda Tronca’

After four years, in 1970, Alfa Romeo thought it was time for the second model series. That one got a sportier and more modern-looking straight stern. Among Alfa drivers, this generation is known as the coda tronca.

1983-1990: Series 3 – ‘Spoiler Spider’

In 1983, Alfa Romeo fitted the third generation with a large rubber spoiler and rear bumpers. Not all enthusiasts were equally enthusiastic about these design choices. This version is also called spoiler Spider.

1990-1993: Series 4

The key development at the introduction of the fourth series of Spiders was electronic fuel injection. In terms of design, the Spider was tightened and smoothed out. It received fresh taillights, color-painted bumpers and standard air conditioning. A five-speed manual transmission was still standard; new was the option of an automatic transmission.

In total, Alfa Romeo produced some 124,000 units of the Spider between 1966 and 1993.


When introduced in 1966, the Spider was only available with 109-hp 1,600cc engine. A year later models were fitted with a more powerful 1750 with 113 hp. The Spider 1300 Junior was the new entry-level model; it had a 1.3-liter four-cylinder with 89 horsepower. All models received a five-speed manual transmission, rear-wheel drive and disc brakes all around.

With the second model generation in 1970, the Spider received more powerful engines. The 2000 Spider Veloce with a 131-hp four-cylinder was the strongest. In the process, the 1750 was dropped. A year later, the 1300 Junior was also traded in for a 1,600cc four-cylinder with 110 horsepower.

Alfa Romeo Spider 1750 Duetto

Alfa Romeo Spider

The third model series Spider (1982-1989) was fitted with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 104 hp or a more powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 128 hp (later as Quadrifoglio Verde even 132 hp).

Famous riders

Needless to say, Alfa Romeo Spiders could not fail to be seen in films as well. In the 1967 film The Graduate, Dustin Hoffman drives around in a Spider Duetto. This had a positive effect on Alfa Romeo’s popularity in the United States.

Boxer Muhammad Ali and actress Bo Derek also once had a Spider. Harry Styles chose a Spider for Golden’s music video. Former Formula One driver Eddy Irvine bought this Alfa Romeo Spider after discovering that singer Lady Gaga was allegedly the previous owner.

In 1978, Formula One driver Niki Lauda signed a contract with the Brabham Alfa Romeo team. To add to the revelry, Alfa decided to release 350 Spiders as a special Niki Lauda edition. Lauda himself sent the very first one around the track prior to the 1978 Long Beach (USA) Grand Prix.

Alfa Romeo Spider as an occasion

Buying a used Alfa Romeo Spider is what many a car enthusiast dreams of. They are pleasantly steering, beautifully lined and sporty-sounding cars that are quite accessible and affordable for many people. Those who keep a good one in neat condition will find that a classic Spider has been a fairly value-efficient investment.

Such an Italian adventure does take some courage, guts and determination. Not all Italian cars of the ’70s and ’80s were equally solid. Also, some Spiders have trouble staying rust free. Fortunately, spare parts are widely available. There are also plenty of specialists at home and abroad.

Points of interest Alfa Romeo Spider

If you want to know everything about Alfa Romeo Spider, pay close attention to the following points of interest when buying:


The classic Alfa Romeo Spider was succeeded by open versions of the GTV Coupe (916) in 1996. Later came convertible versions of the Brera and the 4C. But those are other cars; you can read more about them in separate articles.

GTV Spider ('95-'04)

Brera Spider ('06-'10)