The Alfa Romeo Spider was among the few Alfas that enjoyed a very long production run. It was a roadster produced by the Italian automaker from 1966 to 1993. Even with minor aesthetic upgrades and mechanical changes, the Spider was able to stay in production for almost three decades. The lack of investment in major restyling during the ‘80s was actually one of the reasons this nameplate stayed long in the industry.
The last Spider rolled out of the assembly line in April 1993, making it the last mass-produced rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo model.
1966-1969: Series 1 Spider (boat-tailed Duetto Spider)
It was in March 1966 when the pretty Pininfarina-styled Spider was unveiled at the 36th Geneva Motor Show. Named Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider, this roadster came with a boat-tail styling, from which its nickname Osso di Seppia or cuttlefish was derived. All the Pininfarina-assembled Duetto Spiders derived their power from the 1570 cc variant of the Alfa Romeo twin cam four-cylinder engine that was capable of producing 109hp.
In 1967, the Duetto was replaced by the 118bhp 1750 Spider Veloce, but the boat-styling remained. A year after, a more basic 1300 Junior was launched, wearing an exposed-headlamp look. It was outfitted with a small yet lusty engine generating 90bhp.
1970-1982: Series 2 Spider (Kamm-tailed Spider Veloce)
In 1970, the Series 2 Spider received a major exterior restyling. It was actually the 1750 Spider Veloce that was introduced, but the original boat-tail styling was cut off into a so-called Kamm tail. The luggage room was improved as well. The new Spider was equipped with new door handles, enhanced interior trim, top-hinged pedals, and other upgrades.
For 1971, the Spider Veloce was provided with a new and larger engine, a 1962 cc 132-hp unit. This new powerplant led to the model’s change in name—from 1750 Spider Veloce to 2000 Spider Veloce. A year later, production of the Spider 1600 Junior started. The 1974 model year, on the other hand, was marked by the introduction of the Spider Targa.
1983-1989: Series 3 Spider (Quadrifoglio Verde and the Graduate)
The Series 3 Spiders got a facelift or noticeable cosmetic makeover to make the car look fresh in a not-so-crowded market segment. Among the substantial exterior modifications were impact bumpers, new grille, and black rubber boot spoiler. In the UK, all Spiders were converted to right hand drive.
The 1986 model year was marked by the addition of the Quadrifoglio Verde with a lot of aesthetic tweaks. For the North American market, the Graduate model was added to give tribute to the Spider that made a famous appearance in the 1967 film, The Graduate.
1990-1993: Series 4 Spider (Spider Commemorative Edition)
The Series 4 Spider, which came in 1990, got final major mechanical and aesthetic changes. In North America, these change appeared for the 1991 model year. It was in 1993 when the production of the original Alfa Romeo Spider was shut off, but a limited-edition called Spider Commemorative Edition was produced for North America as a 1994 model.