It’s a warm summer morning, and the sharp, raspy sound coming out of the tail pipe floods the cockpit with memories of years ago and my own Alfa spider.

Friend Steve Crowley has graciously lent me the pilot’s seat for a little spirited neighborhood driving in his 1968 and it’s much prettier than my later Kam-tailed 74.

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Originally called the Duetto,

but better know as the boat-tailed spyder, rumor has it the name Duetto belonged to an Italian cookie and Alfa used it for only one year. After all, who the hell has the balls to go to war with a cookie factory?

No matter what they called the car, it’s riveting…

(In my youth I had a bunch of Triumphs, and my last was a TR-6. It was, to me, the slickest car on the road, until one day, coming out of an auto parts store, sat an Alfa Romeo Duetto. The clouds parted, a ray of sunshine caught the plexiglass headlight covers, and somewhere near, Italian opera began to play. At least that’s how I remember it)

No wonder Dustin Hoffman drove his a bit recklessly in The Graduate…light and airy to begin with, add a bit of speed, and the car sings in only the way Italian cars can.

Alfa Romeo managed to cram a large bit of fun into this tiny car, but there’s precious little in the world that can’t stand a bit of “tweaking”. If you own it, I figure you’re entitled to tweak away.

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After purchasing his Alfa Duetto in 1986,

Steve tweaked, farming out a great bit of the 5 year restoration, stuffing in a twin-plug motor now good for 142 HP vs a stock 109, and painting his car an unoriginal black, and the cost for this restoration exceeds rational thought.

But as Steve is fond of saying, “restoring a car is all about lust, because there are certain things you just don’t do for love” .

Purists screamed! But Steve Crowley is a guy who annually holds an event called “SpamStock” where a good bit of the food is devoted to that square, canned meat of my youth…which should tell you plenty about how he feels about purity…

thumbnail-1An Outlaw car with way too big a motor should be welcomed everywhere. I see “tweaked” stuff here in L.A. all the time. Cars that won’t pass muster at a concours, but always win “People’s Choice” Awards.

 

 

A man without a country in Chicago, gas her up and point it West…

As to his taste in food? That’s another story

STATS:

  • 2200 pounds
  • Double overhead cam
  • Twin Weber 40DCOE carbs

 

 

Dave

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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to DriveWithDave.com, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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