1966 Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 Spider
• Classic Pininfarina styling
• Rare last year model
• Original paint and drivetrain
• Sympathetically restored to run well
Although the 1900 had been its first successful post-war model, it was Alfa Romeo’s next offering, the 1.3-litre Giulietta, which established the ‘small car, big performance’ formula that would characterize the Milanese marque’s finest offerings from then on. The Giulietta’s arrival in 1954 caused a sensation; demand outstripped supply at first, causing Alfa to rethink its production strategy and become, for the first time, a high-volume manufacturer. The original Giulietta Sprint Coupé of 1954 was soon joined by Berlina and Spider versions. Sporting elegant coachwork designed and built by Pininfarina, the Giulietta Spider was a huge success and continued virtually unchanged in 1.6-litre Giulia guise when the latter joined the Alfa line-up in 1962. A bonnet air scoop, necessary to clear the larger engine’s taller block, readily identified the new model. The capacity increase boosted maximum power of Alfa’s classic twin-cam four from 80 to 92bhp and the car’s top speed to 109mph. Reliability was likewise enhanced, and the larger engine was noticeably smoother and less fussy. A five-speed gearbox was standard on the Giulia 1600 Spider, which remained in production until replaced by the Duetto in 1966. Described by Cars Illustrated as ‘probably one of the most delightful small sports cars which will ever be produced,’ the Giulia Spider is certainly one of the most attractive Alfa Romeos of its day and remains highly regarded now.
The car offered was liberated from long-term dry storage a couple of years ago. Found to be in remarkably good condition, having no accident damage of any kind, and excellent panel fit, the very nearly rust-free car was deemed too good to pull apart for restoration, but a simple and sympathetic mechanical restoration was more appropriate.
Light rust in the floorpans and underneath the battery was remedied with replacement metal. Mechanically, the car was fully “gone through” as was appropriate. A recommissioning found the original engine to be in excellent condition and without need of rebuild. Same for the transmission. New water and fuel pumps were installed with the usual plugs and points, while a carburetor rebuild was an obvious necessity. The radiator was fully refurbished, as was the gas tank and a new exhaust system was fitted. Now running, and running well, the other mechanical systems were addressed. Braking system flushed and refurbished, new pads were installed to the existing calipers, which, with discs were in great condition. Suspension was in need of a little more help and new shocks and springs were fitted and fresh bushings were installed. And of course, new rubber adorns the original wheels.
The interior was a bit lacking, particularly in the driver’s seat area. A pair of rather comfy 1991 Alfa Spyder seats were sourced and reupholstered in vibrant red and installed with a new dash top. The original passenger seat accompanies the car. All gauges work as they should, as do all electrical systems, lights, etc. Even the heater works!
This car ticks numerous boxes for the discerning collector: a barn-find in good, essentially rust-free condition, still sporting its original paint and drivetrain, and is a rather rare example hailing from the ultimate year of manufacture of this icon of Italian sports motoring. An opportunity not to be missed.