Is there a more disappointing automotive brand than Alfa Romeo? We’re going to say no, and the disappointment started with this car.
Launched in 1966, the pretty Pininfarina-designed Alfa Romeo Spider was at the cutting edge of sports car engineering. A twin-cam engine, 5-speed gearbox, and disc brakes all featured, and whilst the Alfa cost nearly as much as an E-Type Jaguar, it found plenty of buyers willing to spend a bit to drive something so gorgeous.
And then Alfa Romeo just kept making it. And making it. And making it. The final Series 4 version of the car (pictured here) was released in 1990, thirty-six years after the Series 1 debuted, wearing a stupid 1990s bodykit and featuring tail-lights robbed from the 164 sedan.
The striking GTV finally replaced the Spider in 1995, but it was a flash in the pan moment for a brand that had traded on the past glories of its badge for far too long. Years of automotive drivel followed, mostly re-badged Fiats in pretty dresses – which wasn’t a good starting point, and Alfa Romeo seemed on the verge of disappearing altogether.
But now something remarkable has happened. Alfa Romeo are back. And not just with a Fiat in a pretty dress. The new Guilia sedan and Stelvio (whisper it)… SUV are receiving properly good reviews, and could finally be the saviours of the brand that we’ve been awaiting for so long. So cross your fingers, and your toes, and try to forget about cars like the Series 4 Spider.
Oh, we nearly forgot! This excellent Model Team recreation of the Series 4 comes from previous bloggee Andre Pinto, and there’s more to see at his photostream by clicking here.