Whether you call it Italy's Fiancée or refer to it as "the most loved spider in the World", you'll always be talking about the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. It is an icon, an embodiment of a way of life and a time capsule to a bygone era. Introduced at the Paris Auto Show in 1955 after much pressure from the Hoffman Motor Car Inc of New York, Alfa Romeo's official US importer, it was an agile 2 seater capable of reaching 160 kph that had a strong appeal to young generations.
Initially, Alfa Romeo was reluctant to build an open-top sportscar: as a matter of fact, the few cabriolet prototypes of the 1900 made by Touring and Zagato obtained scarce success as the market at the time was not convinced by this kind of car. Normally, all spiders and cabriolets were hand-built in small numbers and were expensive to build and hard to sell: no wonder why Alfa refused to build it in the first place. Against all odds, Max Hoffman was able to convince the Firm's board of directors to build a small spider, thanks to the huge success that these cars were having in the U.S. and especially in the West Coast, where club races for European sportscars were very successful among enthusiasts.
After evaluating initial stylistic prototypes from Bertone and Pininfarina, it was decided to put into production the latter. The team of designers led by Franco Martiengo who already penned the gorgeous Aurelia B24 proposed a car whose fresh yet classic lines defined the quintessential Italian Spider.
Powered by Alfa's venerable 1.290 cc inline 4 engine with hemispherical chambers and a long stroke producing around 80 hp, the Giulietta Sprint was remarkably sporty and tractable at the same time, becoming a huge success not only in America, but in Europe as well.