The original 105 Series Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider, known to some as the boat tail Spider, is one of the prettiest and most iconic designs to emerge from the design house of Pininfarina. This example comes to us from our reader Ping in the Los Angeles area. It has had a host of work done to it and has been used reliably on a semi-regular basis. Now all it needs is a new owner to look after it and enjoy it.
The car is in great condition and is extremely reliable (for a 43 year old car). I purchased the car in 2002 from a car collector in Wisconsin and drive it to work on average once a week, weather permitting. In the last ten years that I have owned it, the car has never been driven in the rain and has always been garaged (day and night). I don’t think it has been outside for more than an hour and a half at a time. It had 72k miles on the car when I bought it and it now has 103k. I have receipts totaling over $12k for maintenance done over the past 10 years, the major items which are listed below.
Just prior purchasing the car, the prior owner replaced both brake boosters with OEM ones (which he said he paid $600 for the pair). He also had the fuel injection pump, 2 lower ball joints, center bearing and support, 3 tie rod ends, front brake calipers, rear transmission mount bushing replaced along with other odds and ends.
Feb ’03 – I had the drive shaft u-joints replaced and the gas tank cleaned and refinished.
April ’03 – Replaced clutch master cylinder
Nov ’03 – purchased new convertible boot cover, replaced rear shocks and front and rear emblems.
Aug ’05 – Replaced heater valve membrane, replaced left and right motor mounts
Aug ’06 – replaced front brakes and rotors, replaced left tie rod end, replaced belts
Sep’ 06 – replaced battery
Oct’ 07 – New 14”x7” wheels, new tires (original 14”x5.5” wheels are included in the sale)
Nov ’07 – replaced rear proportion brake valve, rebuilt brake master cylinder, replaced front arm ball joint bushing
April ’08 – Installed new exhaust heat shield, installed new speedo cable (melted due to missing heat shield)
Oct ’08 – Rebuilt differential
May ’09 – replaced head gasket, replaced gas tank sending unit, replaced trunk cable
Jan ’10 – replaced convertible top, refinished convertible top frame
Oct ’10 – reupholstered seats
Sep ’10 – Replaced front brakes
Aug ’11 – Replaced center muffler, Tune up and oil change
The car was repainted in 1980 and still shines like new, but there a few small flaws here and there. I tried to take pics to show what I can but most of it is so minor that it does not show up in the pics. The bottom side of the hood is also pealing in a few spots. The engine compartment was not painted with the rest of the car and is some very light surface rust on the side by the battery. There is not other rust that I am aware of. Everything works on the car except for the cigarette lighter and the day/night toggle switch on the rear view mirror. The 2nd gear synchros were weak when I purchased the car but shifts smoothly if you just pause for a moment between 1st and 2nd gear. I was planning on replacing them when it got a little worse, but after a while I just got use to it.
There is a minor oil leak coming from the transmission and the car burns about a quart of motor oil every 1,500 miles (I believe this is typical of Alfas, at least all that I have owned). The car was manufactured in 1969, but due to the strike in 1969, this one was shipped to the States in spring of 1970 ad therefore titled as a 1970 model year. The only reason I am selling the car is my work recently moved and my commute is now much further. I need to keep my Chevy Tahoe for the family, but I also need to find another car that is more economical to commute in and more comfortable than the Alfa. Did I mention the Alfa does not have air conditioning or a radio?
Duettos in good shape that have been used as intended will usually trade hands in the $20,000 to $25,000 range. The very best concours examples can crest north of $30,000. Of the 105/115 Spiders, the Duettos are prized most in large part because of their design purity, versus later models that suffered from crash bumpers and fussier design details. I never thought I'd like silver so much on an early Spider, but with the simple steel wheels complimented with chrome hubcaps and a tidy black leather interior, this car cuts a clean pose. The California black plates are also a great finishing touch. Overall, a great example of an early 105 Spider that deserves another forty years of TLC.