1990s / 2000s / Alfa Romeo / Future classic / Italian

Is the Alfa Romeo Spider (916-series) a future classic?

alfa-romeo-spider-916-series-9Fiat invested a sizable amount of money to renew the entire Alfa Romeo lineup in the early 1990s.  The cars were all inspired by the same angular design language and they were all front-wheel drive, two attributes that ruffled the feathers of brand purists.

A new Spider was presented at the 1994 edition of the Paris Motor Show to take the torch from the venerable 105 / 115-Series Spider that had been continuously produced since debuting in 1966.  Called 916-Series internally, the Spider was designed by Pininfarina and characterized by four round headlamps up front, a wedge-shaped silhouette and tail lamps that took the form of a bar, a cue introduced several years earlier on the 164.  The car landed in showrooms across Europe in 1995 but it was never sold in the United States because Alfa’s North American division went under that same year.

Inside, the 916-Series Spider was more oriented towards comfort and luxury than its predecessor, a move that helped it take on upmarket rivals like the BMW Z3.

A series of four- and six-cylinder engines (including several Twin Spark units) were offered throughout the car’s production run.  The fastest 916 Spider came in 2003, three years before production ended, with a 3.2-liter 239-horsepower V6 engine that propelled it from zero to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.3 seconds.

The 916-Series Spider never managed to capture the public’s heart like the 105- and the 115-Series did over the course of the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s, but it has held on to its value surprisingly well and a clean example still commands several thousand euros.

is the 916-series Spider a future classic, or will Alfisti avoid it because of its front-wheel drive setup?

7 thoughts on “Is the Alfa Romeo Spider (916-series) a future classic?

  1. I would say this car is a definite classic in my opinion.

    What earned this car a place in my heart was the “dashboard cover”, as it is covered in black leather and stitched together with a white seam. When I once sat in that car I thought to myself: “This is so beautiful and well executed – I would love to sit here and drive this car.” It was such an nice change to the FIAT Tipo my mother had, and even much better looking inside than the 155 of an friend. Many cars that like nice on the outside, I would not want to sit inside. But the 916-series has a really nice cockpit. I would really enjoy a long drive in there.

    Frankly, back than I did not give much about the outside, but today I think it is a really nice design that stands out. What I really hated were those Spiders that came before, that looked somewhat like the original ones, but had those plastic bits glued to them. But this? It really stands out as an good and original design. The beautiful “Alfa corrugation” running along the side, to frame the cover for the folding top. Very nice design.

    There are only two things I would change about this specific car you caught on camera: First, I think the 916-series did look much better in primary colors like red, yellow or even blue, than it did in metallic colors. And secondly I think there are alloys that look better – this alloy design always reminds me of plastic rings for shower curtains…

  2. IMO, this shape is elegant and distinctive.
    Like Tony says, much prettier alfa wheels are available.
    Later Alfas look great in blue and the metal flake just ads a bit of sparkle.

    Earlier rear wheel drive 105 / 116 / Milanos are better for hard charging drives (with a few mods) but on a sunny day with the top down & a good friend in the passenger seat, who’s racing?

    Buy and enjoy at your leisure.

  3. Pretty as an Italian woman, maybe not as fast!
    Could someone please smuggle me one to the states?
    Last little Italian I liked was an 850 spider, looked the part, slow as dirt but 50 miles per gallon wasn’t unusual.
    Alpha please come back to the U.S. and bring some cars that have some character!
    We have the fiat 500 but it isn’t half the car as this one!

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  7. This stunning car is sure to be a future classic. I have a 2001 v6 Spider in black with red leather and the attention this car commands in car parks is astonishing. The exhaust note under load is magical. Jemery Clarkson of Top Gear once said that the 3.0 Alfa V6 was one of the best sounding engines ever. I used to sell Ferrari’s in my early 20’s so the rection this gets was a definate surprise. Ferrari and Maserati V8 engines sound better but theres no doubt this relation has Itlin soul. There are few V6’s left as not as many were built and many have been crashed or neglected.
    My prediction is that with the right car, values could triple in the next 5-7 years. These are great cars to fall in love with but if you can make money at the same time then all the better. They are already starting to appreciate.

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