Reader Submissions: This Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Is A Family Jewel

This Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Is A Family Jewel

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
December 10, 2014
17 comments

Owner: Pete Hughes

Year, Make, and Model: 1971 Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Veloce

Location: Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Photographer: Harald Atkinson

My father was a decent rally car driver in his day, pedaling a variety of Hillman Imps, Hunters and BMC products, but it was his everyday road car, a 1968 Alfa Romeo GTV that really got me interested in cars.

Interest soon turned into a childhood obsession when my father dragged home a ‘71 1750 Spider as a salvaged wreck. I was overwhelmed with this roofless, [bent], red bullet. It was 1978, I was eleven years old and instant Alfa nut. I poured over the shinny Spider brochure on the coffee table and dreamed of one day owning an Alfa Romeo.

Two decades of owning Alfasuds and Alfettas mixed with years of pleading and hounding, dad finally handed over the responsibly to get the Spider back on the road, as it sat for too many years under a tarp as an unfinished project.

In 1997 it was back on the road, and in 1999 I got married in it. It had a shattered, worn out suspension, the Webers had seen better days, blistered paint, but it was still so much fun and was fast accumulating many fond memories. By the new millennium however, I was seriously into fast Italian Superbikes, so the Spider once again took a spell in storage.

Fast forward to 2013 and the love affair of this family jewel was reborn. This time full bare metal repairs were undertaken along with a full suspension overhaul and Weber rebuild. A host of other improvements were applied that are too long to mention. The results are so satisfying, seeing the red bullet finally how it should be.

Most weekend mornings are spent in the local mountains, enjoying the precise steering, delicate 105 gearbox hooked up to legendary free revving 1750cc twin cam, and wind in the hair of course. My ten-year-old daughter loves to doze off with the top down on longer journeys. Alfa designed and built exciting affordable sports cars in the ’60s and ’70s, no question.

In November 2014, I visited my father who retired to the country, and he drove the Spider for the first time since he’d brought it home thirty-six years ago. He took off like a scalded cat with a big smile. Alfa Romeos do that.

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Michael Morena
Michael Morena

Beautiful Spider and pictures, however the story is what gets to me. It really is amazing to see the passion that these cars spark! Keep enjoying your Spider as I do mine!

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt

The other morning, shortly after reading this wonderful article and drooling over the amazing photos, I set off for work in the wife’s Alfa Brera and to my utter amazement, just a few yards from home, dropped in behind a bright yellow 1750 Spider. Spooky or what! Can’t remember the last time I saw one on the roads of the UK Midlands. I exchanged waves with the driver and my day was truly made. Thank you, whoever you are!

Peter Hughes
Peter Hughes

That happens a lot I reckon !!! I’ve tried waving to busy people in a rush in modern Gulliettas and Mitos and they look at me weird. I remember in the 70’s and 80’s , every Alfa waved at EVERY Alfa ! Nowdays it seems to take an older or rare Alfa like your Brera to get a wave..

Gary Crutchley
Gary Crutchley

An excellent story and some excellent photos, great to read something from a Melbourne contributor. Can I ask where the photos were taken please? Next time I’m out and about (usually early on Sunday mornings around the Yarra Valley) in my 230SL Mercedes with my 15 year old son I’ll keep my eyes open for your sensational looking Alfa.

Peter Hughes
Peter Hughes

Thanks: Photos were taken on Wildwoord Rd, just Nth East of Melbourne Airport near Bulla. I’ll look out for the Merc next time I’m in the Yarra Valley

Kuroneko
Kuroneko

Always loved those wheels, and a Spider in red is always a lovely sight. More so here with the nice snaps in neat locations. The one where you are hooking into it past the Armco looks like your poor Spider is about to birth a cow though…

Peter Hughes
Peter Hughes

Haha…Yeah, all standard 105’s squat hard in the rear when really on it, Spiders are no exception:-)
Maybe a bit of distortion in the lens too, as it’s a capture from go-pro movie.
Spiders in red, of course…..but don’t mind them in white either

JB21
JB21

I had one of those. During the ownership, I rode buses more often than I drove the Spider, but I didn’t care, because when it did work fine, it was simply glorious. Alfa can do that. I consider the Alfa Spiders to be the most romantic car ever made. I miss that car so much.

Michael Southgate
Michael Southgate

About to road trip my father’s Spider like this one from Adelaide to Melbourne via the coast with my younger brother, sister (whose daily drive is a Lancia Flavia coupe) and nephew, swapping between a second car. Should be fun, will try and post some worthy photos.

Peter Hughes
Peter Hughes

Yes, Factory RHD Series 2 were made from 1970/71 until 1978 { I think }. UK, South Africa and Australia were main markets. Sold in Australia from 1971 until 1976…maybe till 78, not sure.

Anything after that was converted LHD

Competizione
Competizione

Hey Peter, could you tell me what the ring that covers the screws which fixate the steering wheel on the steeringcolumn is called? (second picture) Because I have a Nardisteeringwheel (probably fake :D) an I think the bare screwheads look a bit tacky while the silver ring covering them is a rather classy solution. Sounds funny but I really can’t find out what this ring is called or where one can get one. And how the hell do you fix that thing on the wheel anyways? Additionally: I love your videos of the spider. Probably watched them 3-4 times for… Read more »

Peter Hughes
Peter Hughes

Hi Comp, thanks for the comments on the videos of the alfa… The ring cover on the Nardi Classico comes with every genuine Nardi Classico wheel i think.. It just has two rubber grommets underneath that push over two of the screws holding the wheel in place….simple push fit, nothing overly complicated. My attachment seen in the above pix is a little different, as I’ve used the existing 1980’s MOMO boss and re-tapped it to take the new Nardi….this allows me to use the momo “Milano’ horn button in the Nardi wheel and still use the nice Nardi ring cover… Read more »

Competizione
Competizione

Finally found it. Nardi calls it a trim ring. It’s on their website in the sparepartssection, don’t know how I missed that…
Got to ask them for a quote, interestingly only ebay US has some from ~50$ and couldn’t find a single one in europe for sale.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

wonderful.
did these leave the factory in right hand drive ?

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

AFAIK yes the later Series 3 and 4 versions were LHD only though. The S3 was never officially sold in the UK, but quite a few were imported by Bell & Colvill and converted to RHD. The S4 was offered officially sold but LHD only.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

thanks !

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Great looking Spider.