Dr. Raymond Giraud, Palo Alto, California (acquired by 1972)
Hervé Labesse, Benicia, California (acquired from the estate of the above in 2007)
Tom Minnich, Pebble Beach, California (acquired from the above in late 2013)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
In 1962, propelled by the success of the popular Giulietta model line, Alfa Romeo updated the outgoing 2000 Series with a larger six-cylinder engine, resulting in the 2600 Series. The new 2.6-liter twin-cam engine was placed into an improved chassis and offered in a variety of body styles produced by Bertone, Touring, and even Zagato. Approximately 2,255 Touring-bodied 2600 Spiders were built through 1965. These elegant, upscale Alfa Romeos have come to be recognized among the era’s finest European grand touring cars, as epitomized by this comprehensively restored example.
According to factory records, this Spider, chassis AR192802, was completed on March 18, 1964, originally finished in red. Shipped the following month to Alfa Romeo’s Newark, New Jersey-based importer, the 2600 passed into unknown initial ownership, although anecdotal evidence suggests the car moved to California by 1967.
By 1972, the 2600 passed to Dr. Raymond Giraud, a professor emeritus of French literature at Stanford University. Because Alfa Romeos of this period were often registered by the date of sale rather than year of manufacture, many of the car’s records refer to it as a 1967 model, and the owner eventually contacted the factory to unravel this mystery. Dr. Giraud kept his beloved Alfa for 34 years; following his passing in 2006 the car was offered for sale by his estate.
Acquired then by marque enthusiast Hervé Labesse of nearby Benicia, California, the 2600 Spider was treated to a five-year restoration executed to the highest, show-quality standards. As documented by two extensive binders of related invoices and photographs, the Alfa Romeo received a complete rebuild of the engine, transmission, and chassis (much of which was performed by specialist Richard Ott of Alfetta Motors in Vallejo, California), and the exterior was refinished in the authentic factory color of Grigio Medio (Medium Gray). The quality and accuracy of the restoration were confirmed at Concorso Italiano in August 2013, where the meticulously detailed 2600 Spider tallied a score of 100.6 points at the Concorso d’Alfa California, winning a Certificate d’Oro Award.
As offered today, this handsome Alfa Romeo retains its original California black plates, as registered by Dr. Giraud. This longtime California car is equipped with Borrani wire wheels and is accompanied by a rare factory hardtop, original owner’s manuals, tool kit, and a wealth of documentation. As the 2600 model is only now beginning to strongly resonate with collectors, there is no better time to acquire one of these impressive Touring-built, six-cylinder Alfa Romeo Spiders, and one would be hard-pressed to locate a more finely restored example.