The History of the Alfa Romeo Duetto
A genuine triumph of Italian auto making, the Alfa Romeo Duetto remains a celebrated sports car nearly half a century after its creation. Although Alfa Romeo was a fairly well-known brand prior to the vehicle’s unveiling, the Duetto, also known as the Spider Duetto, is what truly put this Italian auto manufacturer on the map. Popular with casual motorists and racing aficionados, the Duetto has a compelling history behind it.
When the Alfa Romeo Duetto was unveiled in 1966, convertibles were all the rage. Frequently found on both sports cars and some family vehicles, this sleek body type would also be used for the Duetto. However, unlike traditional convertibles, the Duetto sported an angular backside, ultimately increasing the vehicle’s speed by cutting back on wind resistance. Coupled with its powerful four-cylinder engine, the vehicle’s angular rear made it a force to be reckoned with on the road. This unique design choice went over so well with motorists that it became a staple of Alfa Romeo vehicles until the early 1980s.
With all the vehicle had to offer, it wasn’t long before the Duetto rose to prominence in the U.S. In addition to being among the top-selling foreign vehicles of 1966-67, the Duetto made a splash across popular media. This surge in the car’s popularity peaked when Dustin Hoffman’s character was seen driving an Alfa Romeo Duetto in “The Graduate.” Not only did this help build awareness of Alfa Romeo, it gave way to an increase in Duetto sales stateside.
Although Alfa Romeo ceased production of the Spider Duetto in 1967, it continued to manufacture vehicles in the Spider series until the mid-1990s. Many of these cars drew heavy inspiration from the Duetto, both aesthetically and mechanically. As of 2015, famed auto maker Fiat is planning to reestablish the Alfa Romeo brand.
Automotive enthusiasts looking for a classic sports car that won’t disappoint in the speed department should consider investing in an Alfa Romeo Duetto. Sleek, eye-catching and incredibly powerful, the Duetto can easily hold its own next to any modern-day sports car.