$121,000 USD | Sold
| Phoenix, Arizona
- Maintained with road use in mind
- Long-term ownership by the California Mille’s Ken Shaff
- Freshly repainted, with a new top
115 bhp, 1,975 cc Hemi DOHC inline four, dual Weber side-draught carburetors, five-speed transmission with synchromesh, independent front suspension with A-arms, live rear axle with longitudinal radius arms, and four-wheel hydraulic Alfin drum brakes. Wheelbase: 98 in.
It’s difficult to say why the Alfa Romeo Tipo 102 2000, the “old” 2000, wasn’t more successful in its day. Certainly, it was not a hot little lightweight like its stablemate the Giulietta Spider, and if compared head-to-head, the larger and much more expensive 2000 didn’t necessarily look like a good deal. Actually, it clearly didn’t look like a good deal, as production of the 2000 Spider averaged less than 1,000 annually, with only 3,443 being built between 1958 and 1962.
The 2000, also known as the 2-Liter, was designed for luxurious long-distance touring, which can be interpreted to mean the American market. The Spider, or Roadster, received an uprated Sprint engine that had 8.5:1 compression and dual carburetors, resulting in it producing 115 horsepower at 5,900 rpm. While a Giulietta could outperform the 2,596-pound Spider in most conditions, the 2000 offers a completely different driving experience. Many drivers that were familiar with only the smaller Alfa Romeos of the era have remarked at how solidly constructed the Touring body feels. A full 10 inches of additional wheelbase opens up the cabin experience to one that resembles a Ferrari 250 Cabriolet of the same era, and indeed, there is more than a passing resemblance to the two cars overall.
While it was reportedly sold new in California, this car has the widely spaced hood intakes and double chrome side strips that are usually associated with the European market. It also has gauges in English measurements, with a Blaupunkt radio that has European markings and delightful Italian wording on some of the secondary controls; perhaps this could be a mystery for a future owner to investigate. The notoriously troublesome Solex 44 PHH carburetors have been replaced with much more dependable Weber carburetors, and the original airbox has been preserved in the event that the car’s future takes it to concours participation.
Prior to its current ownership, this car was in the long-term collection of noted Alfa enthusiast Ken Shaff, a co-founder of the California Mille rally. More recently, the consignor embarked on a comprehensive refurbishment of its older restoration, including having the car fully stripped and painted and the chrome partially replated. The interior is in excellent condition, and the top is new. Driving condition has always been a priority for the consignor, so, along with the cosmetic work, the engine has been freshly detailed, and the car runs and drives wonderfully. A leather satchel of tools in the freshly recovered trunk completes a car that is ready for stylish touring at speed.
Many of the same factors that made the Tipo 102 2000 Spider unpopular 50 years ago are now creating just the opposite effect. The combination of low production, a knockout Touring body, and great driving dynamics make it a highly sought-after choice for Alfa Romeo lovers today.