Was unveiled at Geneva in 1961 gave an even stronger clue as to how the forthcoming sports car would look. It would, however, be another five years until the first osso garage door remote 24 volt or cuttlefish, as the Italians nicknamed the Spider would roll off the assembly line at Pininfarina’s Grugliasco factory. The final project in which Battista Farina himself played a hand, it was a fitting epitaph to the great man’s talent.
That first incarnation the Duetto is the most sought-after and priciest variant today, but it was replaced in 1970 by what would go on to become the best-selling and longest-lived version of the classic Spider the Series Largely similar from the front, the most obvious difference was the neat squared-off Kamm tail with its more substantial garage door remote 24 volt bumper and larger lights. A host of other modifications included an altered windscreen as well as smaller-diameter wheels and tyres. The update may have robbed the Spider of some of its feminine delicacy, but in the forward-thinking 1970s it looked more modern as well as offering significantly increased luggage space. It also provided better protection from the knocks of the ham-fisted idiots who plague the world’s car parks. To me, this is the definitive Alfa Spider.
Inside, the Duetto’s painted metal garage door remote 24 volt was replaced by swathes of black plastic, but it was still a delightful place in which to sit. Cast your gaze over the cockpit and every last detail appears to have come under the closest of scrutiny, the designers seemingly intent on creating an environment so bereft of anonymity that nothing escaped their tinkering. From the supplementary gauges angled towards you, plus the heavily hooded speedo and rev counter to the deeply dished wheel, the ambience approaches the baroque in its level of unabashed detailing. Even the unusual circular pattern of the pedal rubbers transforms them into objects of beauty. Alongside such exuberance, the 124 Spider is almost apologetically understated, although it doesn’t lack finesse or appeal.