The glamorous Duetto, which starred in The Graduate alongside Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was redolent of the 1960s and yet has proved a long lived classic. It was the last design personally executed by the famous Battista Pinin Farina and its name was the result of a competition run by the manufacturer at the time of its launch in 1966. Styling cues include the so-called ‘cuttlefish-bone’ profile with a rounded nose and tail, the Alfa Romeo shield dividing the front bumper. — Alfa Romeo
A bright red Alfa Romeo Spider was driven by Ben, Dustin Hoffman’s character, in the movie The Graduate to the strains of the folk pop duo Simon & Garfunkel. It made a star of the actor, Dustin Hoffman, who hadn’t acted before, the singing duo, and that bright red Alfa Romeo.
The 1967 Duetto is a two-seat convertible produced by the Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo from 1966 to 1993. Widely regarded as a design classic, it remained in production for almost three decades with only minor aesthetic and mechanical changes. It has become one of the most accessible cult Italian automobiles.
Unnamed at launch, the name “Duetto” was chosen after Alfa Romeo, the Italian automaker held a worldwide competition to find a name for the new car. It was first launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966.
It had many wonderful features: a responsive all-alloy twin-cam engine, accurate steering, sensitive brakes, a finely balanced chassis, and great looks. No wonder, the Spider sold over 100,000 units during less than three decades of its production run despite the same price tag as the much faster Jaguar E-Type (which could do 150 mph).
The Spider had huge trunks by sports car standards, the spare wheel neatly tucked away under the trunk floor It had dual Weber two-barrel side-draft carburetors, and produced 109 hp (81 kW). Sparsely fitted inside but including five speed manual transmission and independent front suspension, the car cost just $41 less than a comparable Lotus Elan in the US ($3,950).
The Spider’s contemporary design makes it one of Alfa Romeo’s great postwar cars. It was even called a poor man’s Ferrari.