Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pininfarina
The Series I Spider was first introduced in 1961 at the Turin Motor Show, but, due to Italy’s struggling economy, the Pininfarina Spider was not officially launched until 1966. Based on the Giulia 105 series chassis, the unnamed car debuted at the 36th Geneva Motor Show and was later christened the “Duetto” in a write-in competition in Italy. This monocoque design, with its innovative new built-in “crumple zones,” its boattail rear end, and classic Plexiglas-sealed headlamps, was the last automobile Battista “Pinin” Farina personally helped develop. Although the Duetto was only manufactured for three years, its rakish styling remained in vogue for decades, and revised forms of the car were produced through the 1990s. The sporty demeanor of the Duetto made it the chosen ride of Dustin Hoffman’s character Ben Braddock in the iconic 1967 movie The Graduate.
This Car An excellent example of Pininfarina styling, this charming Duetto is by all accounts an original California black-plate car. According to the Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo, it was manufactured on April 26,1967, and invoiced three days later to Alfa Romeo USA in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Documentation of this timeline is included in the sale.
The subsequent owner kept it for almost 30 years, painted it red, and put around 124,000 miles on the odometer. In 1996, the Duetto went to an Alfa Romeo enthusiast who drove it to the local Cars and Coffee Irvine in California, on the weekend – adding only 1,000 miles to the clock in 16 years. During this time, the owner guided the car through a sympathetic restoration that included returning the Duetto to its original white exterior, and the interior was redressed in this stunning red and black combination we see today. Prior to its sale to the current owner in 2012, the car was fitted with a premium Haartz cloth top and selected components were upgraded, including the brakes, headers, exhaust, and distributor. The original black plastic steering wheel was replaced with a superb Hellebore wood-rimmed wheel, which is period correct and infinitely sportier. Apart from these improvements, the car is largely original. Remarkably, the significant maintenance history of this Duetto has been painstakingly documented and is available to the new owner along with a logbook that details not only oil changes and maintenance, but actually documents visits to the gas station and calculates miles per gallon – testament to the meticulous care that was bestowed upon this Duetto for many years. Also included in the sale are the original tool kit and the original owner’s manual. The consignor has also installed new wheels and tires correct to the model.
Between 1966 and 1969, only 6,324 of these lovely little 1600 Duettos were produced and the consignor attests that this example is “a well-sorted driver” in great condition. The sporty Duetto encapsulates the iconic Pininfarina design and should be a delightful entrant in local concours and enthusiast events.