1968 ALFA ROMEO 1750 Spider VeloceView vehicle description
1968 ALFA ROMEO 1750 Spider Veloce
Arguably one of the most beautiful roadsters of the post-war era, the first-generation Alfa Romeo Spider was introduced in 1966 at the Geneva Motor Show, with its show-stopping Pininfarina body work and curvaceous rear end, often referred to as the “Osso di seppia” which is Italian for Cuttlebone or, used in this context, boat-tail.
Initially introduced with a rev-happy 1570cc twin-cam engine, the 1750 models were later introduced with a (confusingly) 1779cc twin-cam engine with 116bhp, whilst a lower-end ‘Junior’ model later joined the fold in 1968 with a 1290 cc twin-cam engine, which was shared with the GT 1300 Junior coupé.
Replaced by the re-styled ‘Series 2’ models in 1972, these early boat-tail versions (S2 were known as the ‘Kamm tail’ cars) are rightfully highly-prized by collectors for their style, analogue driving experience and gorgeous looks. Finding one that has already been restored means you can simply jump in and enjoy the glorious driving experience, so it’s a good job that’s exactly what we have here…
Built in Italy in September 1968 and delivered to a South African Alfa Romeo dealership where it was sold in October 1968 to its first owner.
Not a great deal is known about the car’s time in South Africa, though no doubt the dry climate certainly helped to preserve its condition.
Following its time in S.A, the car was then imported to the UK and first registered here in 1990, and has been routinely maintained and restored piece-by-piece between 1990 and the present day.
Between 1994 and 2014, the following items were addressed and works carried out:
- Body re-painted in original colour, re-instated nose snout and fitment of Euro-spec indicators
- Major service, including new HT leads, plugs, carb adjustment and tuning
- New folding roof and seat covers
- New cables, callipers, half shaft bearings, and Flexi hoses
- Overhauled back axle
- New prop shaft and exhaust system
- Major engine rebuilt (9,882 miles)
- Suspension rebuild
- Regular servicing
- Gearbox rebuild
In more recent years, the vehicle has received new brake master and slave cylinders, roof rubber seals (2019) attention to the ignition wiring system, seat covers (2018) and paint to the front end.
In addition to the above, the bodywork received major attention in October 2021, with the following items addressed:
- Cut out any rot and repair with metal (all four wings)
- Repaint below swage line
- Repairs to boot lid & paintwork
Now, with the above work having taken place, this 1750 Spider is looking for a new home, and would make the ideal summer tourer, with its gorgeous Pininfarina lines, yet wonderfully enjoyable and analogue driving experience. What’s not to like?
On the Outside
A spectacle in white with its contrasting black roof (and matching black hard top) this first-generation Spider 1750 still draws plenty of admiring glances to this day. Whilst it may not be *the* prettiest car Alfa ever made (they certainly had their fair share of hits!) It’s certainly within the top five for this author, especially in first-generation ‘boat tail’ form.
The bodywork on this example is in excellent condition throughout, on account of the various works and attention it has received since arriving in the UK over three decades ago.
The paintwork is fantastic throughout, and perhaps our only criticism of the bodywork itself is that the door shuts could benefit from some very minor adjustment.
Looking closer, the chrome work is also very good, with some light commensurate patina visible on the more exposed areas, but certainly no corrosion, damage or ugly scarring. All of the badges and trims are present-and-correct, and we could see no damage to any of the light lenses or covers.
Up above, the folding roof is in great condition and water-tight (we should know, as our photographer got caught in the rain during our photo shoot!) and the matching hard top is also in good overall condition, and allows year-round use should the next owner wish to do so.
Below the arches, all four wheels present well, though there are some ‘nicks’ and kerb damage around the outer edges, though the central chrome dishes remain unscarred.
On the Inside
Inside, the cabin displays a lovely patina throughout, with the exception of the seat covers which were recently fitted in the last few years, and remain in almost as-new condition, having transformed the appearance of the interior.
With the seats undamaged, focus shifts to the dashboard which exhibits a wonderful and genuine usage patina, with some marks and ‘signs of life’ visible across its entirety, particularly around the glovebox and other ‘high traffic’ touch points. Whilst this could be cleaned up to return the interior to factory condition, we’d suggest leaving it ‘as is’ as, in our opinion, it is all part of the charm of this wonderful ‘duetto’.
Whilst the Alfa over-mats up front are in decent shape, it should be noted that the carpet / trim for the rear bulkhead has come away from its mountings. Some upholstery adhesive would sort this right out as the carpet itself is undamaged, but we thought it best to highlight the issue regardless.
In the boot, the rubber coverings remain in-place and undamaged, whilst up above the frame for the roof is showing its age a little bit, but remains in full working order and shows no signs of seizing or catching.
As far as we could tell, all of the gauges and switches were working as they should be, with no obvious or noted faults.
Firing into life with ease and settling happily into a smooth idle, the twin-cam engine under the bonnet of this 1750 Spider would appear to be in rude mechanical health, showing strong oil pressure and performing fantastically throughout our time with the vehicle.
Out on the road, the transmission, chassis and engine all come together to provide a genuinely enjoyable and engaging driving experience, with slick gear changes, reassuring clutch action and a wonderfully raspy, snarling soundtrack to boot. The handling isn’t to be sniffed at either, and we’re certain that this Spider would make for a wonderful and entertaining Sunday driver, especially on your favourite twisting B-road.
In terms of mechanical performance, we found no signs of any issues, and the engine under the bonnet also presents well aesthetically, again with no obvious problems or issues lurking under the surface.
Underneath, the chassis looks to be nice and solid, with barely any ‘bloom’ or wear noted beyond the usual layer of road grime from a vehicle that has been used and enjoyed.
The most recent MoT exam - dated 14 August 2021 - shows a clean pass with no advisory items, which is the same story for every MoT all the way back to 2010. Remarkable!
As ever, we’ve photographed all of the documentation that we’ve received with the vehicle, and this is available to view at the end of the gallery below. In total, we’ve seen over 110 pages of history for this gorgeous little spider, so it’s well worth working your way through the entire gallery.
However, for those of you looking for a quick run-down, we’ve got you covered. Highlights from this Spider’s history folder are as follows:
- The V5 registered keepers document, showing just four former UK keepers since it was registered here in 1990
- Correspondence with Alfa experts to confirm the vehicle’s original specification and destination
- Invoices for recent bodywork, fettling and attention to the electrical ignition system
- Older paperwork and documentation from the 1990s/early noughties
- A bullet point ‘highlight’ history document from 1993 to 2014, detailing major works carried out, the mileage and the cost of these works.
What We Think
Arrestingly beautiful but with the performance and experience to back up its good looks, the first-generation Alfa Spider remains as popular today as it did when launched, and for good reason.
An original South African-delivered example, this particular 1750 Spider boasts the most desirable engine of the range, and is in very good shape throughout, rude mechanical health and in need of only one or two areas of minor cosmetic attention.
If you’re looking for a Spider that drives as good as it looks, then this is your ticket. What’s it worth? Well, we’re pleased to offer this example for sale with an estimate of £30,000 to £40,000 when the hammer falls. Good luck!
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- Location: Bonhams|Cars Online HQ, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
- Seller Type: Private
- Odometer Reading: 38000
- Gearbox: Manual
- Steering position: Right-hand drive
- Colour: White
- Estimated Price: £30,000 - £40,000