The 1955 Alfa Romeo Spider
Before WWII Alfa Romeo was a smaller manufacturer of fast, expensive luxury and racing cars, but after the war, they began focusing on higher volume mid-range automobiles. The Giulietta boasted a 1300 cc engine with aluminum castings, had a double overhead cam head just like the racing Alfas of the past. Other features such a modernized brakes and a unitized body was a favorite of Alfa enthusiasts.
By 1955 the Giulietta Spider was introduced. From the 50’s into the 70’s many European manufacturers competed in the small 2 door convertible markets; MG, Triumph, Fiat, Aston and others, but the Giulietta Spider was Alfa’s first post-war convertible which remained in producion until 1965. The convertible bodywork was by PininFarina and they were given the task to convert a sedan into the 2-door convertible. In 1957, a more powerful Berlina version, called Giulietta T.I., was presented with minor cosmetic changes to the hood, the dial lights and rear lamps.
Demand remains stronger in Europe for vintage Alfas, which is understandable, but there is a growing number of American enthusiasts.
The trunk section was extended and the cabin was minimized. Instead of a solid front bumper, the Spider was given individual smaller bumpers.
In January of 2017, a 1962 Alfa Giulietta Spider Veloce brought $125,000.00 in New York. The car had 72k miles. In contrast to many of the other small 2 door convertibles, these Alfas have become a must for collectors. These vehicles were built like the old airplanes, wherein the pilot only needed oil pressure and groundspeed, because they flew by sight and sound. In an older sports car, your only worries were oil temperature, water temperature and fuel level. That’s just what the Alfa Spider supplied to the driver, other than a speedometer and RPM’s or this case Rev’s x1000.
Top speed was 101 mph at 13.3 seconds 0-62. They included a 1290cm3 4 cylinder and were a manual 4 speed tranny. True Veloce models are verified by an “F” designation stamped above the serial number on the firewall. They had front and rear drum brakes and the car weighed 1892 lbs.
After driving one of these 1955 works of art, I have to say that it by no means gave me the feeling of being in a car that was over 50 years old. Truly impressive.
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