Fun Driver: 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider

I don’t know where the Alfa Romeo Spider fits in the hierarchy of Italian roadster desirability, but I’ll guess it’s near the top of recognizability. This 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider was sent in by a Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in San Francisco, California. After 30 bids the current high bid is $29,100, but the reserve has not been met.

Alfa Romeo introduced the Spider for the 1966 model year with production lasting through the 1969 model year. This first generation is referred to as the Series 1 and is recognizably different from the Series 2, 3, and 4 that superseded it. The most notable difference is the rounded tail versus the more squared tail of its younger siblings. Production of all series ended after the 1993 model year.

This Spider was repainted its current color under previous ownership. The seller says the current color is Ferrari Rosso Corso but it was “originally that orangy red that Alfas had in the 60’s.” That original color is still present under the hood. The body looks straight and I don’t see any signs of rust. The black convertible top appears to be in good shape too. The paint still looks nice despite it being an older repaint. The seller says “the paint has rock chips from being enjoyed but polishes up nicely.”

The interior shows this Spider has seen light and caring use. It’s not show quality, but more than adequate for driver duty. The black high-back bucket seats are in great shape. The rubber mats have kept the carpet clean and free of wear marks. The dash looks great, save for some leftover sticky spots from removed stickers. That shifter looks to be a mile long, but perhaps that’s a function of its forward placement.

Under the hood is a 1779cc twin-cam inline 4-cylinder. A 5-speed manual transmission sends power to the rear wheels. The seller has included a lengthy list of mechanical work performed under their ownership and says they have “basically rebuilt the car from a mechanical standpoint.” They say: “The car has been very reliable and I would not hesitate to drive it across the country. It’s fun and fast.”

I had no idea Series 1 Alfa Romeo Spiders commanded this kind of money. While too rich for my blood, I’d think if you’re looking for a high driver quality Spider, this one would be near the top of your list.

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Comments

  1. CJinSD

    Beautiful car. I wonder what the point of using euro cams with Spica injection is though. This engine is like the Jaguar XK engine, in that you realize it has more in common with prewar designs than postwar twin-cams like the Lampredi FIAT based on characteristics like a 5,700 RPM redline. Ever wonder the difference between a 16 valve Stutz Bearcat and a 16 valve Toyota Corolla FX16? Alfas and Jaguars roughly split the difference.

    Like 5
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    California car would have the injection but the Euro cams do make a difference over the smog gear. Agree, great looking car and nice to see an early car in that condition.

    Like 1
  3. Howard A Member

    I know, sick of hearing it, but,,,”Mrs. Robinson”. Bothers me slightly, movies or TV shows that featured certain cars, doesn’t get mentioned, like nothing said about Ward Cleavers Plymouths either. It’s how most of us have any connection to many cars. My dislike of Italian cars spans almost the whole lot, EXCEPT Alfas. Alfas have always been the exception, mostly for the motor, but like a Fiat with lockwashers,( old GMC/Chevy joke) they were just better built cars. I’d never know this had it not been for my brother’s ’63 Spider. THAT was a fun car.

  4. gerardfrederick

    In 1974 I owned this type of Alfa in british racing green, along with a 1974 Alfa Berlina for my wife. Whereas the Berlina was an unmitigated disaster, the Spider was ¨better¨. Frankly, that isn´t saying much. The driving characteristics were absolutely superb, that 5 speed shifted like butter, the engine revved freely and wanted to go, go, go. Unfortunately the old buggaboo, Italian workmanship – or rather the lack thereof made me part with it in 1976, well, I parted with both really to concentrate on my Maserati 3500GT, but THAT disaster is another story.. Frankly I was cured forever of Italian cars, thoroughly cured.

    Like 4
  5. ArchitectureOnWheels

    This year, is referred to as a “Duetto”. The pre 1975 Spiders, Guilietta’s and Guilia’s have been and commanding top dollar over the last decade and are wonderful cars, still affordable in contrast to other marques such as Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati, etc. Make no mistake about it, they are investment grade vehicles, not to be ignored. Watch for rust when buying, however mechanically, they are strong and reliable contenders fitted with 1300, 1600, 1750 and 2000 liter four cylinder twin cam engines.

    Like 1
  6. OlyOop

    I owned a white ’69 boat-tailed Spider (technically, ’69s are not Duettos, although most–me included–refer to them as such) for six years in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Mine had been converted to twin Webers and had a few ‘backdated’ details like the pretty ’67 script logo on the trunklid. It was a magnificent car, probably my favorite of the 30 or so interesting cars I’ve owned. The balance, engine, gearbox were all wonderful, it was comfortable and roomy, and of course it was gorgeous. A friend and I used to fit our track bikes in the back “seat” when we raced at the local velodrome. The club scene was really fun. The only thing that mitigated its practicality was my terror of leaving it parallel-parked with those very fragile front and rear ends vulnerable to lunkheads in SUVs. While I bought it for $6500 on a secretary’s salary (and sold it for the same amount), I can’t afford as good a one now as a management consultant! Still, if mine came up for sale again, I’d move heaven and earth to buy it back.

    Like 1
  7. Jerry

    Nice looking car, but when I think of all the muscle cars I could buy with 30K its not that nice anymore!

    Like 1
    • arizman2

      Driving one might actually cause to reconsider. It sure did me, I dumped my muscle car for one (’69 firebird 400)

      • Jerry

        You’re kidding me? Just for some handling? I would have kept the Firebird and bought a turbo Solstice or a Miata for some cheaper handling fun!

        Like 1
    • Andy

      Agreed because who doesn’t want a muscle car that is rusty and everyone else that has attended a BJ auction has. LOL! If you are looking for ‘Merican muscle then typically this isn’t for you.

      I have a Euro 72 Giulia Super 1300 and my first car was a 69 Charger so I might have some insight into the phenomena.

  8. Jaker76

    This year is a spider, duetto was dropped with the 1750 engines! Great looker and load of handling as some obviously don’t know from lack of driving these. and who wrote this copy up that “Didn’t know these brought this kind of money” Simple research would answered that! Or maybe back checks on what some here brought in the past!~ Fun car and cheers to next owner!

  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Didn’t meet reserve at $29,100.

  10. Tirefriar

    Round tail, not boat tail – if you need to understand the difference look up Cord. Duetto was dropped after 1967 model year due to complaints on name infringement by Italian biscuit company. 1968 model was the first for the 1750 engine but was not imported into US. 1969 m.y. was officially imported into US but was the swan song for the Series 1. Kamm tail Series 2 appeared in the US in 1971. The 1750 Nord mill is considered to be the most desirable DOHC engine due to its higher revving than a 2 Liter.

    Running euro cam in Spica cars has nothing to do with emissions and was done from a performance standpoint. tOptimal set up was a euro intake cam from a 1600 and US exhaust cam from 2 L.

    Out of 9 Alfas I owned, 8 were 105/115 chassis. I owned 2 1969 Berlinas, both bought with 2L/Spica under the hood. One had the Euro intake/US exhaust cams set up.

    None of the 105/115 chassis gave me a bit of trouble and never left me stranded anywhere. The Alfa I had some issues with was a 164L, but that was my fault for not sorting the car out when I got it.

    My last AR was a 1969 Spider: https://bringatrailer.com/2014/12/31/1969-alfa-romeo1750-spider-veloce/

    Like 1
  11. t-bone BOB

    nice

  12. Araknid78

    Ended:Sep 02, 2020 , 9:41PM
    Current bid:
    US $29,100.00
    Reserve not met
    [ 30 bids ]

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