There are a few things that can set a car apart from another. The most noticeable of all, even in the eyes of non-car enthusiasts, is the appearance of the vehicle.
Chances are you’ve seen a Alfa Romeo Spider.
Well, it’s beautiful, it was mass made, and many years after it’s initial launch in the 1960’s – it’s one of the most recognizable cars from the iconic Italian brand.
A Short History Lesson
The Alfa Romeo Guilia Spider 1600 and the Guilia Spider Veloce were first introduced in the 1960s. A derivative of the Giulia, it was fitted with a 1.6L engine. As the years passed, it received a few upgrades until it was finally fitted with a 2000 L engine. The spider is a well-loved vehicle and has been in production from the 1960s until the 1990s.
The basic shape of the Spider is inspired by the Alfa Romeo Superflow. It’s aerodynamic and futuristic shape was truly unique for its time. The design was finalized in 1961 but the Spider wasn’t launched to the public until 1965 due to the brand’s economic issues. Following the first release of the first series, 3 more series were released.
- Series 1 – In production from 1966-1969, this series had a twin cam engine and was almost named “Duetto”, if only not for trademark issues. This series also had a long rounded tail, which is why it received the nickname “Osso di seppia” or cuttlebone in Italian.
- Series 2 – Produced in the 1970 to 1983, the series 2 features a Kamm tail. This offers more room for luggage at the back. It also had a new grille, door handles, interior trim, and pedals. A Porsche style Spider was also released during this time.
- Series 3 – Launched and produced through 1982 to 1990, this series was previewed in the US with an electronic fuel injection rather than a mechanical one. This Quadrifoglio Verde model also received lots of aesthetic tweaks.
- Series 4 – In 1990-1993, the final Spider series was produced and released. Power steering, an airbag and knee bolsters were all added in the North American models. There is also a Commemorative Edition released in 1994.
The Spider is a remarkable classic car produced by the Italian brand Alfa Romeo. If you have a thing for the classic vehicles they’ve produced, then check out our top 5 picks of Alfa Romeo classics.
The Alfa Romeo Spider In The Limelight
The Alfa Romeo Spider is really an iconic car. That’s why it isn’t surprising that it has been in production for years. A spike in sales was also observed in the ’90s and it may or may not be due to its appearance in the film “The Graduate”.
In the film, a Spider 1600 of the Series 1 was featured. Dustin Hofmann, in his younger years, drives this vehicle desperately drives the car across the Golden Gate bridge towards the end of the film.
The Spider was also used in the 1973 film, The Day of the Jackal. The assassin rents out this vehicle and uses it to travel from Italy to France in the movie.
In a more recent 2003 film called Under the Tuscan Sun, the lead character also drives a black Series 3 Alfa Romeo Spider. Apart from its cameo on films, there are also celebrities and well-known people that have also owned and driven an Alfa Romeo Spider. These are only a few included in the long list:
- Muhammad Ali – One of the most famous professional boxers of his time, Muhammad Ali once owned a Spider Veloce Series II by accident. He was really planning to buy a Rolls-Royce with Shanahan while in Chicago. Apparently, their vehicle of choice is not available from the dealership so they were offered the Spider as an alternative. They bought it but it’s on manual transition so it didn’t get used that much. It was then gifted to Shanahan who owned it until it was put on sale.
- Sophia Loren -This Italian singer-actress is also known to own a classic Alfa Romeo Spider. There are also some pictures of the actress and Daniel Day-Lewis driving the vehicle while doing a movie.
- Beyonce and Jay Z – Power couple Beyonce Knowles and Jay Z were spotted riding a Series 2 Spider while in Italy.
The Modern Alfa Romeo 4C Spider
The classic Alfa Romeo Spider is a well-loved vehicle and we’re glad that they’ve released a modern version of it in the 21st century. In 2014, a prototype of the Spider 4C was previewed. It has a cloth Targa top, a 237 hp engine.
In 2020, the limited edition 4C Spider Italia is to be released. The vehicle isn’t a permanent model and is only available at a limited time. It would only be sold in 2020, at most 2021.