In the world of classic cars, the Alfa Romeo experience is one quite unlike any other. Alfa Romeos possess a particular joie de vivre that creates an infectious excitement among owners. Classic Alfas are above all approachable, but they also happen to wear bodies built by the greatest Italian Carrozzeria, have exotic and gutsy twin-cam engines and have exciting road manners. From the base model sedans to the coachbuilt racers, the classic Alfa is the quintessential driver’s car.
The Duetto two-seat spyder made its debut in 1966. It was based on the highly successful 105-series chassis that formed the basis of the Giulia and Giulietta coupes and sedans, though the Duetto was unique in that it had completely different styling, penned by Pininfarina, from its siblings. Initially offered with a 1600cc version of the famous twin cam, it was later updated to the delectable 1750 engine; regarded as the best Alfa Romeo engine of the period. While fairly conventional, the chassis was very well sorted thanks to the well-located rear axle and independent front suspension. The Duetto was built on a strong unibody platform and came standard with disc brakes and a sweet shifting 5-speed manual transmission. The beautiful bodywork was penned at Pininfarina and represented a drastic departure from the Bertone-bodied coupes and sedans. The Duetto was the last project that the company’s founder, Battista “Pinin” Farina had a personal hand in. The beautiful design is characterized by minimal chrome, distinctly sculptured body sides and that signature tapering, rounded tail. This is the original expression of the long-running Alfa Spider, and is considered by many to be the purest and most desirable of all models in the 27 year production run.
The 1969 model year was the last for the beautiful “round-tail” Duetto. This 1969 example features the highly desirable Spica-fuel injected 1750 engine and of course a 5-speed manual gearbox. It is presented in a wonderful, distinctive shade of Farina Red and has been sensitively restored to a very high standard. The paint quality is excellent with a deep gloss and laser straight reflections. Though the restoration was comprehensive, it is clear that this was a very nice car before the refurbishment, and therefore retains a “good bones” feel of a car that’s not been completely apart. It sits on correct painted steel wheels with blackwall radial tires and original dog-dish hubcaps. Exterior trim and bright work are very nicely restored and the stylish Perspex headlight covers offer a bit of an exotic touch. A lovely black interior features new carpets as well as original molded rubber mats, and a period correct Becker Europa resides in the dash. A new black canvas convertible top has been fitted to seal out the weather should you get caught out by a rain cloud.
The injected 1750 is beautifully presented within a thoroughly detailed engine bay, displaying correct finishes on the engine and ancillaries. It is very correctly restored, with a polished cam cover, and correct accessories and fittings. Clearly this Duetto has been lavishly cared for, and the performance lives up to the excellent cosmetics. Upon firing up the engine you are rewarded with a throaty exhaust note, the Spica fuel injection lending a slightly different character from the carbureted cars. That injection system has been properly tuned and the little Alfa pulls strongly through all of the gears. The 5-speed transmission shifts cleanly through the gates via the signature angled shift lever sprouting from the center console. Steering and suspension are perfectly dialed in and proper radial tires make for lively handling. This Alfa Duetto is a gorgeous driver that is ready to be fully enjoyed on the road or at local level concours and shows. Honest and attractive, this is truly one of the nicest examples we’ve had in our possession, and we are confident it will be a pure delight to experience.
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