Alfa Romeo Spider
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The Alfa Romeo Spider (105/115 series) is a roadster produced by the Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1966 to 1993—with small run of 1994 models for the North American market. The Spider remained in production for almost three decades with only minor aesthetic and mechanical changes. The first three series were assembled by Pininfarina in Grugliasco and the fourth series in San Giorgio Canavese. The last Spider was produced in April 1993—the last rear wheel drive Alfa Romeo before the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione of 2007.
In May 2012, Fiat announced an agreement with Mazda to co-develop a new Spider for 2015 based on the Mazda MX-5 platform. The agreement was finalized in January 2013. However, this was later changed and the car itself would be sold instead as a modern interpretation of the Fiat 124 Sport Spider instead. The Spider nameplate originates from the English word "speeder", a two-person open horse-carriage.
Background and development
In 1962 Alfa Romeo introduced the new 105-series Giulia, which first complemented and then replaced the 101-series Giulietta. The sport variants of the Giulietta remained on sale for several more years, upgraded to the Giulia's 1.6-litre engine and rebadged Giulia, until analogous variants of the new models were ready.
Thus the Giulietta-based Giulia Spider 1600 and Giulia Spider Veloce were produced from 1962 to 1965 and from 1963 to 1965 respectively.The Alfa Romeo Spider was based on Giulia mechanicals, including its Alfa Romeo twin cam inline-four, independent front and solid axle rear suspension, and unibody construction, incorporating the relatively new principles of crumple zones into the front and rear.
Following the evolution the other Giulia sport variants, the Spider was powered by a 1.6 L engine, later received the 1.3 L 1300, 1.8 L 1750 and finally 2.0 L 2000 engines. Unlike any other Giulia derivative, it was upgraded and continued to sell through four decades, into the 1990s.
As for its predecessor the Giulietta Spider, the Italian firm of Pininfarina was responsible for the design, manufacturing of the body, as well as final assembly. The Duetto was the last project in which founder Battista Pininfarina was involved. Design director of Pininfarina at that time was Franco Martinengo.
Rear three-quarters view of the 1960 Alfa Romeo Superflow IV, already resembling the 1966 Spider.The original 1966 Spider shape was the result of a number of Pininfarina design studies, concept cars showing traits incorporated in the final production design.
The first one was the Alfa Romeo Superflow, a concept car built upon the chassis of a retired 6C 3000 CM racing car and first show at the 1956 Turin Motor Show. Despite being an aerodynamic coupé with prominent fins on the rear, and a futuristic all-plexiglas greenhouse and front wings, the Superflow already shown the overall body shape of the future Spider and the scallops on the sides.
In the following years the Superflow was updated three times into three more different concept cars, namely a Superflow II coupé, then an open-top spider and finally another Superflow IV coupé. The most significant in the Spider's design history was the second, the open-top Alfa Romeo Spider Super Sport, shown at the 1959 Geneva Motor Show.
It did without the rear fins of the Sperflow and Superflow II, showing for the first time the rounded cuttlebone-shaped tail and tail light configuration of the Spider. Last of the Spider's forerunner was the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Spider Aerodinamica, which premiered at the 1961 Turin Motor Show, and was based on the Giulietta Sprint Speciale. Very close to the shape of the production car, its main design differences were at the front, due to hideaway headlamps.
Despite the almost final design being ready in 1961, the continuing success of existing models and the economic challenges facing Italy at the time meant that the first pre-launch production Spiders began to emerge from the Pininfarina production line only at the end of 1965.
Series 2 Spider (1970–1982/83)
In 1970 the first significant change to the exterior styling was introduced on the 1750 Spider Veloce, with the original's distinctive elongated round tail changed to a more conventional cut-off tail, called the "Kamm tail", as well as improving the luggage space. Numerous other small changes took place both inside and out, such as a slightly different grille, new doorhandles, a more raked windscreen, top-hinged pedals and improved interior trim.
1971 saw the Spider Veloce get a new, larger powerplant—a 1962 cc, 132 hp (98 kW) unit—and consequently the name was changed from 1750 Spider Veloce to 2000 Spider Veloce. The 1600 Spider restarted production a year later as the Spider 1600 Junior, and was visually identical to the 1300.
1974 saw the introduction of the rare, factory request, Spider-Targa. Based upon the Spider, it featured a Porsche style solid rear window and lift out roof panels, all made out of black GRP type material. Less than 2,000 models of such type were ever made and was the only part solid roof Spider until the introduction of the factory crafted hard top.
The 1300 and 2000 cars were modified in 1974 and 1975 respectively to include two small seats behind the front seats, becoming a "two plus two" four seater. The 1300 model was discontinued in 1977. Also, between 1974 and 1976, the early-style stainless-steel bumpers were discontinued and replaced with black, rubber-clad units to meet increasingly stringent North American crash requirements.
4,557 of 1300 Junior were made and 4,848 of 1600 Junior. 16,320 of 2000 Spider Veloce were made and 22,059 of 2000 Spider Veloce US version. 4,027 1750 Spider Veloce were made.