Back in 1963, the sports car market was revving up. From England, Germany and even Japan, there were four-wheel wonders roaring onto the scene and jostling for position.
Some were bombastic motors, tearing into the record books forever. Others, however, drove more refined roads — and have been quietly consigned to history.
This is one such car. Almost painfully pretty, Alfa Romeo’s 1963 Giulia Spider Cabriolet was created from the perfect storm of Italian passion and legendary performance.
Of course, the peerless Pininfarina styling and shortened wheelbase doesn’t hurt. An Italian stallion this may not be, but a pocket rocket it most certainly is.
Under the bonnet sits Alfa Romeo’s brilliant alloy twin-cam 1,290cc four-cylinder engine, which gives it the dynamic driving characteristics and sporting performance that earned the European brand such an ardent following in the early 60s.
But you’re not interested in that. Who could be, when the exterior is so captivating?
With its distinctive grille, endearingly-bug-eyed headlamps and those chromed wheels, the car is period perfect. And the red colourway of this offering, from auction house Bonhams — going under the hammer for £44,000, is the perfect passionate Italian hue for such a spirited motor.
Slip into the driving seat, and the the supportive vinyl-upholstered bucket seats are similarly chic. There’s a surprising amount of legroom for a car that first hit the road over half a century ago, and the steering wheel — carved from ebony and cast around aluminium spokes — affords those lucky enough to drive an atmosphere of mid-century-modern Italian ambiance.
Brava, Alfa — it may not be an icon, but your Giulia has stood the test of time.
Alfa Romeo’s 1963 Giulia Spider 1600 Cabriolet
Fancy something more British? Here’s why everyone forgets about the Aston Martin DB4…