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Alfa Romeo Spider

Feb 5, 2008
The Alfa Romeo Spider first was introduced back in 1966 at the Geneva Motor show, where it was hailed as an instant classic by the auto-public. But at the presentation it was still an unnamed masterpiece, but that was about to change when the results of a competition in Italy produced the name "Duetto", and since it first name, history would show that with every change and new series it was re-christened by another alias. But the first Spiders now are referred to as the 105 series Spider/ "Classic" Spider and it was created using the body style of the classic 2-seat roadster.

The original design of the car was done by Pininfarina, who also played a big part in the car's manufacturing, due to the car's unique monocoque creation; which is the incorporation of "crumple zones" at both the front and the rear. The Alfa Romeo Spider have gone through a lot of changes over its almost 3 decade history, both mechanically and aesthetically; with these changes occurring every couple of years, it kept the Spider appealing to all audiences, and it made the Spider stay constantly unique when compared to even itself.

The Spider's basic proportional blueprint consisted of a length of 4255mm (167.5in) Duetto; a curb weight of 996 kgs (21906 lbs) Duetto; a wheelbase of 2250mm (88.6in) Duetto; a height of 1295mm (51in) Duetto; and a width of 1626mm (64in) Duetto. The Spider also came outfitted with a five-speed transmission, disc brakes, and independent front suspension. The engine of the Duetto was a form of the 1570cc Alfa Romeo Twin Cam, 4-cylinder engine, and outputted just about 109hp (81kW). The original Spider Duetto ran from 1966-1967.

The 1750 Spider Veloce replaced the Duetto in the latter part of 1967 with a 1779cc engine outputting 118PS (116hp or 87kW), and a torque of just 186Nm (137 ftlbf). A new, smaller engine Spider was introduced in 1968; the 1300 Junior with a 1290cc engine with a max power of 89hp (66kW), but it was devoid of most of the first features of 1750 Veloce e.g. plastic headlight fairings, hubcaps, the brake servo, and the opening quarter-light. The 1st Series of the Spider, which included the original Duetto ran from 1966-1969, and became known by its alias of "Ossa di Sepia" or "Cuttlebone fish".

The 2nd Series of the Spider ran from 1970-1983, and was also known as "Fastback" or "Coda Tronca". The first major change was to the exterior of the 1750 Veloce, with the typical elongated round tail being remade into an ordinary cut-off tail know as the "Kamm Tail". The other appearance changes came from top hinged pedals; new door handles; a more raked windscreen; refined interior trim; a slightly different grille; and more luggage space. In 1971, the 2000 Spider Veloce was born with a new engine replacing the 1750 with a 1962cc, 132hp (98kW). The 1600 Junior was also given life also replacing the Junior 1300 with 1570cc engine outputting 110PS (108hp or 81kW).

The Series 3 Spider ran from 1983-1990 and was dubbed the "Aerodinamica". In 1982 was the launch of the new "2.0 litre Bosch fuel injection", which replaced the "SPICA mechanical injection". Also in that same year the Aerodinamica 2000 was born with a 1962cc engine with a max power of 128PS (126hp or 94kW) and a torque of 178Nm (131 ftlbf). Alfa also introduced the "Green Four-leaf Clover" or "Quadrifoglio Verde" model in 1986, with many aesthetic changes to the exterior, but with the exact same engine of the regular 2000 Spider Veloce.

From 1990-1993 the 4th Series and its first important mechanical change was introduced with the "Bosch Motronic electronic fuel injection with an electric fan". Other appearance changes occurred, also on the Type 4 Spider but the entire production of the Alfa Romeo Spider came to a sad end in 1993. However, a "Limited Edition Spider Commemorative Edition" was made for the North American market in May 1993 and was identified as a 1994 model.
About the Author
Sam Carson has done a lot of writing for a car website called supercars. Please visit supercars.dk if you want to read even more about the Alfa Romeo Spider.
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