1959 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider
Coachwork by Touring
Chassis no. AR.10204.00022
Engine no. AR.00204.00263
1,974cc DOHC Inline 4-Cylinder Engine
2 Solex Carburetors
131bhp at 3,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
Independent Front Suspension Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Stunning restored example
*'La Dolce Vita' period Alfa Romeo
*Comfortable rarely seen Touring model
*Sophisticated ahead-of-its-time mechanical configuration
*Italian coachbuilt thoroughbred
The Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider
Although Alfa Romeo returned to automobile manufacture fairly quickly after World War II, it was not until 1950 that a new design became available. This was the 1900, a unit body sedan with a twin overhead cam 1,884cc four-cylinder engine. It was the first Alfa built on a real production line all previous cars had been largely hand-built and also the first with left-hand drive. Until 1950, Alfa production had hovered around 400 units annually. With the 1900, this increased almost tenfold. A 1900C Sprint coupe was introduced with body by Touring and a Spider cabriolet by Pinin Farina, both built in much smaller quantities.
In 1958, Alfa came out with a new sedan, which, with its larger 1,975cc engine, was called the 2000. There was, not surprisingly, a 2000 Spider, designed and built by Touring, and a 2000 Sprint Coupe done by Bertone, the latter introduced in 1960. Spider and Sprint production comprised nearly half of all 2000 sales 3,443 examples of the Spider were produced, and 700 of the more expensive Sprint Coupe. The 2000 sedan had the uncommon feature of a column-mounted shifter for its five-speed transmission, while the Spider and Sprint retained the more sporting-oriented floor-mounted gear shift.
Built between 1958 and 1962, the 2000 Spider was far rarer than its junior counterpart, the Giulietta Spider (of which about 17,000 were produced), and at $5365 POE, its price was much greater than that of the smaller car. The 1975cc four-cylinder engine, with duplex-chain driven twin overhead camshafts, hemispherical combustion chambers, and a pair of side-draft Solex carburetors, was tuned to deliver 131 horsepower, allowing the Touring-bodied roadster to easily exceed 100 mph. Its fully-synchronized five-speed transmission allowed fairly relaxed high-speed touring, and its large Alfin drum brakes were very effective for their day. The handsome unibody styled by Carrozzeria Touring on a 98-inch wheelbase presaged what would become the six-cylinder 2600 convertible in 1962.
The Motorcar Offered
This very attractive 1959 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider commonly referred to as the "cast-iron two-liter" is the big brother to the well-known Giulietta Spider. This example, AR 102.04.00022, appears to have been completed on the 27th of January, 1959, and sold to Hoffman Motor Company in New York City on February 10, 1959. It is known to have been owned by a California enthusiast prior to having undergone a comprehensive bare-metal rotisserie restoration in Oregon about a decade ago. Subsequently, it was driven briefly by its owner, and then put into storage. When it was acquired by the consignor, it was still in excellent cosmetic condition, but required some minor mechanical attention. Noted Alfa Romeo expert Dennis Pillar found the engine to still be in fine shape, but installed a modern spin-on oil filter console to improve the original lubrication system. Pillar states that the oil pressure immediately improved by 10 psi and that single new component is reputed to nearly double the life of the iron-block four-cylinder engine. Pillar also rebuilt all six wheel cylinders, which had frozen during the car's lengthy storage.
This rare and desirable Alfa Romeo was entered in the 2013 Forest Grove Concours d'Elegance, where it was awarded a first-in-class trophy against strong competition, attesting to the lasting quality of the restoration. An excellent and comfortable touring roadster for more relaxed drives than its high-strung Giulietta sibling, the 2000 is yet another Alfa Romeo model that perhaps has not yet fully come into its own in the collecting sphere, allowing an opportunity for the perceptive enthusiast who wishes to be ahead of the curve.