2 Alfa spiders from the early 60s

Dino Eisele
Alfa 2600 Spider and Giulia Spider
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It is by no means a concours model, the red A lfa Romeo 2600 Spider. But he was already able to see a lot of the world, was at an Alfa meeting in Scandinavia and of course in Italy, plus the many kilometers of countless weekend trips and the regular trips from his Overath location to Cologne, about 30 km away. 'I move this car as often as possible,' explains owner Dr. Michael Cramer. What does the man particularly like about the big Spider? 'It is this dignity that emanates from this former Alfa flagship.'

Only 2,255 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spiders were built by Touring

However, many who encounter this model presented in 1962 today , seem not to know it at all - or have simply forgotten its existence between all the Giuliettas, Giulias and Bertones. One reason for this could be the small number of Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider with the elegant and partly hand-made body: After 2,255 copies, production ends again in 1965 because the body supplier Touring is bankrupt overnight after a large order from the English Roots group and the Gates must finally close.

'Today there are hardly more than 40 or 50 examples of this elegant convertible to be found in Germany,' estimates Alfa specialist Hartmut Stöppel from Bonn, who is behind the wheel of the green Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider sits.

Alfa Giulia follows Giulietta

Giulia. Sure, a name chiseled in stone that everyone should know who has anything to do with (old) cars or who did not take part in traffic in the 1960s and 1970s without a thought. In 1962, Alfa made the transition from the Giulietta to the Giulia, without, however, significantly changing the exterior of the models. You have to look very carefully to distinguish the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider from its predecessor, the Giulietta series (series 101).

'The new Spider has a bulge in the bonnet that corresponds to the front edge simulates an air inlet ', explains Stöppel the most obvious change in the timeless at first glancePininfarina dress with the exciting hip bend in the rear fenders. This measure was necessary to accommodate the higher 1.6-liter engine in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider, according to the specialist. Of course, Alfa could not escape the call for more power: With 92 instead of the previous 80 hp from 1.3 liters, they were up to date for the time being.

A new six-cylinder

Also the big Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider by Dr. At first glance, Michael Cramer can only be distinguished from his predecessor Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider, which was presented in 1957, in detail. He lacks the shark gills in the front fenders, and the two small air scoops in the hood are fused into one large one. As with the Giulia, the decisive change is also under the bonnet - but in this case it is not just an increase in displacement, but a completely new machine.

According to Alfa boss Dottore Giuseppe Luraghi urgently needed because the 115 hp 1.975 cm3 four-cylinder unit from the 1900 Berlina, which had been built into the Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider up to that point, now seemed overwhelmed for the brand's declared top model. In order to be able to take on the competition in the prestige duel, more displacement and, above all, a six-cylinder are required.

3 double carburettors provide 145 powerful horsepower

Chief designer Orazio Satta Puliga could use a three-liter six-cylinder for the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider that he had designed in the early 1950s which was not considered for series production for cost reasons. This engine was only allowed to prove what it is capable of once: as a power source for the 6 C 3000 CM 'Disco Volante', which was piloted by Juan Manuel Fangio during the Mille Miglia in 1953 and took second place.

But now Puliga takes the opportunity to design a completely new engine, which is based heavily on its ingenious Giulietta construction with two overhead camshafts. The new 2.6-liter engine also has a block made of light metal with wet liners and a crankshaft with seven bearings and, thanks to three Solex double carburettors in the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider and in the Sprint of the 2600 series, produces 145 hp. Only the Berlina version has to be satisfied with two downdraft twin carburettors and 15 HP less power.

The newly strengthened Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider - unlike its 2000 predecessor - has servo-assisted disc brakes on the front axle for the first time, while the rear still remains with drum brakes in the first year of production. In October 1963, Alfa finally equips the noble convertiblecompletely to disc brakes.

Dino Eisele
The two spiders ran parallel from 1962 to 1965 from the assembly line, 2,255 units of the 2600 Spider were built, the Giulia Spider more than four times as many: 9,250 units.

Plenty of space and comfort in the 2600 Spider

Departure in the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider, the actual Lich should be a 2 + 2-seater, but in truth in the second row there is at best space for additional luggage. At the front, on the other hand, there is a really generous amount of space, so that even tall pilots can easily get in and take a seat in the wide, comfortable seats. The eye immediately falls on four round instruments, of which the two larger ones in the middle show speed and engine speed and the smaller ones on the right and left provide information about water and oil temperature, oil pressure and fuel level. The radio is on the far right and, due to the large width of the vehicle, almost out of reach of the driver.

The feet automatically sort themselves on the wide standing pedals, the right hand grabs the ignition key to the right of the steering column. The six-cylinder of the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider doesn't need much persuasion to start working, but when cold it does require a soulful accelerator.

From idle speed, the in-line six turns evenly up

The next moment the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider starts moving confidently while the driver looks over a huge bonnet at the road. So much sheet metal over the bow almost automatically signals sufficient power for every situation in life, which in this case also applies: This six-cylinder develops its power from 1,000 tours evenly and with an almost turbine-like smoothness through the entire usable speed range.

From around 4,000 revolutions, a lot of temperament comes into play, and only at 7,000 revs does this engine gradually run out of air. 'This car is floating todaystill easy through the traffic, 'says owner Michael Cramer enthusiastically about the driving characteristics of his Alfa 2600.

But this four and a half meter long convertible is less suitable for really sporty maneuvers on narrow country roads, and it was made for it with its soft, In its essence, the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider remains a fast touring car, an open tourer in the best sense of the word. 'Thanks to the large boot, this car is perfect for long trips for two,' adds Cramer.

A sporty being

In direct comparison, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider from 1962 looks like a complete one It's another car. It's 60 centimeters shorter and eleven centimeters narrower, the interior is correspondingly narrower - you could also say sportier, because the seats are built flat and you as the driver are wedged between the door and the S. shoulder of the neighbor, can look forward to noticeably more lateral support than is the case in the 2600.

Even the arrangement of the three large round instruments seems to come from motorsport: The 1600 Giulia has its rev counter in the middle , the speedometer, however, sits to the right of it, while the displays for the tank content, water and oil temperature and the oil pressure are on the left. In the best motorsport tradition, the ignition lock on the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider is also to the left of the steering column (we briefly recall the starting procedure of the 24-hour classic at Le Mans: the left hand starts the engine while the right hand simultaneously engages the gear) .

Giulia with a century engine

As in the 2600, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider also has a well-graded five-speed gearbox , which this exceptionally elastic century engine with its two overhead camshafts would actually not have at all because it has enough power in every position. The fun starts at 1,500 tours, and beyond the 6,000 mark, this splendid 1600 four-cylinder also sounds like a real racing engine. How far Alfa was ahead of automotive development in the 50s and 60s is surprising every time.

With its direct steering, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider can be played with the small and even smaller ones Moving roads in the Bergisches Land between Troisdorf and Overath. A cornering artist who at first doesn't even notice that she only has drum brakes all around. It wasn't until model year 1964 that the small Spider was fitted with disc brakes at the front. It doesn't matter, what counts anyway is what is remembered in the end - in this case a thoroughly honest driving experience.

But even the open Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider is obviously an unknown car for many, despite its big name. WithoutLogo and the typical, deeply drawn down radiator grille, the Scudetto, would probably not have been recognized by some as an Alfa.

Dino Eisele
The design of the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider comes from Carrozzeria Touring.

This is how much the Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider and Giulia Spider cost

The market watcher Classic-Analytics listed an Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider in condition 2 at 63,000 euros, in moderate condition 4 it costs around 23,000 euros. The Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider is significantly lower at 42,000 euros for a well-kept example in condition 2. State 4 copies are traded for around 16,000 euros.

Dino Eisele
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider was drawn by Pininfarina.

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