This Alfa Romeo 1750 Spider Is A Family Jewel
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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