Choose Your Green ’69 Roadster
Continuing last week’s approach-of-summer theme, we present another pair of open-top sports cars for your consideration. Though one is British, it fits neither of our previous featured cars super-trad mold. Its roadster counterpart comes from Italy, and however similar in concept, goes about its business in a very distinct way.
Maintaining that order, we’ll start with the Lotus. A beautiful ’69 Elan finished in obligatory British Racing Green, these little fiberglass fliers are universally regarded as one of the greatest driving cars of all-time—Gordon Murray was largely motivated to build the McLaren F1 by a desire to embody the Elan’s spirit as a modern supercar. Known for magic steering feel, superb ride quality and roadholding, and a free-revving twincam, the Elan is the driver’s choice of these two.
Though maybe not as a precise a drive, the gorgeous boattail Alfa Duetto Spider presented here is by no means a sloppy handling car, but majors on style and elegance where the Lotus concentrates on dynamics. These early round tail cars are infinitely better-looking than later Kamm rear examples, among the prettiest roadsters of the day in our opinion. With Alfa’s lovely, vocal and eager twincam fitted between delicately shaped fenders and one of the best interiors ever, the Alfa is the heart’s choice.
Where are your priorities?
1969 Lotus Elan
1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider