An Alfa Romeo Perfect For Spring Break In 1961
Photography Courtesy of Auctions America
Spring is just around the corner and if you happen to live where seasons exist—unlike here in Southern California—and many are looking forward to warmer days ahead. I grew up in the Midwest and South, and although I have some fond childhood memories, I’m certain I don’t miss the uncertain, often brutal weather. I’m all too familiar with being bundled up for months on end… dreaming of sunshine and dry, unsalted roadways.
I get it: you’re close to spring and, hopefully, the end of frigid pain. So, why not treat yourself with a vintage roadster—after all, if you acquire one now, you’ll get at least two if not three back-to-back seasons of use: spring, summer, and fall! What better way to enjoy some sunny open-top motoring than in this 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider Normale?
First, it’s not red. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with Rossa Corsa, but it’s refreshing to see such a different color—especially one that works so well on the Pininfarina-penned lines and with vibrant red upholstery, it’s the perfect juxtaposition! It appears to be Grigio Grafite, a nice nonmetallic medium-grey reminiscent of the monochromatic hue that select Mercedes-Benz 300SLs wear—my personal favorite on the Gullwing.
Based on the Giulietta coupe platform, this early short wheelbase Spider is powered by a 1.3-liter twin-cam four-cylinder conducted by a four-speed manual transmission. Good for around 74 horsepower, this Italian drop-top won’t shear off your retinas with savage propulsion, but it will allow you to savor the drive—and that’s what you really want in such a straightforward sportscar.
These Giulietta Spiders weigh less than 1,900 pounds, which is ~120 pounds lighter than their coupe counterparts—something modern convertibles never manage to accomplish. Thanks to a trim figure and peppy engine, these Giulietta Spiders can reach triple digit speeds—with a tailwind.
The Floridian owner purchased the car in California, and notes the chassis and bodywork were all original with the proper numbers-matching mechanicals, making the Alfa a prime restoration candidate. A full ground-up rotisserie renovation to factory specifications was summoned, and is now said to run well.
Praised for its handling, overall performance, and elegance, the Giulietta Spider might be one of the best post-war Pininfarina values on the market. Iconic looks, great colors, and a meticulous restoration make this example choice. The accompanying Alfa Romeo Letter of Authenticity should only add to buyer confidence.
Just one question: If this was the pre-Hoffman-made-famous model, does that make the Giulietta Spider The Undergraduate? If so, it’s all the more appropriate to pick this one up for Spring Break—the car is in Florida, after all.
~74 hp, 1.3-liter inline DOHC four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, hydraulic drum brakes, independent control-arm coil spring front suspension and solid axle coil spring rear suspension. Wheelbase: 88.6 in.
Chassis No.: AR1315-45488
Engine No.: 45486
Letter of Authenticity from Alfa Romeo
Auction house: Auctions America
Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000
Price realized: Auction on April 2