Collectible Classic: 1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider

Collectible Classic: 1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider
1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider - Collectible Classic - Automobile Magazine
La dolce roadster.

Alfa Romeo’s popular and accessible sports car, the Spider, was sold in the United States from 1966 until 1994, its long run divided into four series. The early cars, with their distinctive boattail styling, were immortalized as Dustin Hoffman’s ride in The Graduate. Generally regarded as the most beautiful iteration of Pininfarina’s design, these Spiders also are the most basic in spec, the rarest, and the most expensive. After skipping U.S. exports in 1970 (as it had in ’68), Alfa brought back the Spider for 1971, beginning the second series, with a chopped tail and fussy Spica fuel injection for its enlarged 2.0-liter four-cylinder; heavy rubber bumpers arrived for 1975. The next iteration, the ’83 to ’90 Series 3 models, got a controversial black rubber ducktail rear spoiler, better-integrated bumpers, and (in ’86) interior revisions. They enjoy more reliable Bosch fuel injection and available air-conditioning (both of which actually came on board in ’82). For the final cars, the 1991-’94 models, the styling was smoothed out, power steering and a driver’s air bag were added, and an automatic transmission (!) was optional; they’re a bit more powerful but also slightly heavier.

Photo Gallery: 1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider – Collectible Classic – Automobile Magazine

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By Design: Alfa Romeo Giulia Super

By Design: Alfa Romeo Giulia Super
Alfa Romeo Giulia Super - By Design - Automobile Magazine
Alfa’s fabulous flying four-door phone booth.

Yes, it’s tall, narrow, boxy, and not particularly nicely detailed, but it was an enormously successful and influential design. When the Alfa Romeo Giulia body shape was introduced in 1962, the only cars in production with lower aerodynamic drag were the Porsche 356 coupe and the Citroën DS four-door, as listed by Britain’s MIRA (Motor Industry Research Association) in a little technical paper on aerodynamics. Maybe Panhard’s 24 CT was better. But not by much.

Photo Gallery: Alfa Romeo Giulia Super – By Design – Automobile Magazine

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