I’m writing this as we prepare for the Alfa Romeo Owners of Oregon (AROO) annual Valentine’s Day tour. There are three Alfa Spiders in the SCM garage. Our plans are to take the 1991 S4 and the 1967 Duetto.

Although my son Bradley has been driving his mother’s manual Porsche Boxster, he has not yet driven a classic 5-speed Alfa. He’s due to get a lesson on the Duetto from fellow Alfista and Past President of AROO Chris Bright.

What fun it will be for me to have two Alfa Spiders on the tour, me driving one and Bradley the other. It’s a father-son dream come true.

With those cars being prepped, my thoughts turned to the other one, the 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce that we have owned for over 40 years.

I began to wonder if it wasn’t time to consider thinning the herd. I’m keeping the S4 (SN 6671), as it is an automatic, which I require since my stroke.

But do I need two classic Alfas? As we all know, the more cars you have, the more things that go wrong, often just from sitting.

Both Alfas are special. The GSV (SN 390290) has benefited from a full restoration by Bill Gillham and engine rebuild by Conrad Stevenson. It is numbers matching and I’m just the third owner.

The Duetto (SN 61919) is a three-owner car that is completely correct and never rusted. Our paperwork stretches back to its original purchase from Rambo Motors in Portland. It even has the original bowling-ball vinyl to the seats.

Both cars have been upgraded with Dave Rugh suspensions. They are a delight to drive.

For the tour, I’ve mounted the factory hardtop to the Duetto. This is the first time we will take a drive in it with the hardtop on. It looks great, but how will the closed-car experience be?

So, if one car had to go, which would it be? The Veloce is a more thrilling, vibrant machine while the Duetto is a more relaxed and competent car. Each offers its own take on classic Alfa motoring.

Which would you keep, and which would you sell?


  1. Steve crowley

    I think it really depends on the type of driving you’ll be doing. I have owned my duetto for 38 years. It was redone 16 years ago with a GTA driveline and S4 seats. The car drives wonderfully. I drove it to the national convention which was 2300 miles round trip, which included a trip down the tail of the dragon and some laps around the Charlotte Motor Speedway. That baby will be coming with me when I go, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the cause. The nice thing about the earlier cars is that they could be enjoyed at 30 mph. They’re great for just tooling around town and going to cruise nights or out for ice cream. The closer to stock, the better off you are. The more you modify the car, the more you have to, and the maintenance is required. I can tell you from first hand experience. My other Alfa that is being put together is a 57 Giulietta sprint normale. Or should I say an abnormale, because it’s got a 180 hp twinspark. I’m just a glutton for punishment.

  2. Philip Roitman

    The GSV has history and personal emotional memories value. That is the one I would keep.

  3. Keep the Giulia.

  4. David Eichenbaum

    This is tough. But sell the Duetto.

  5. David Andersen

    Keith, a bit off topic here, but you should consider a new (or recent model-year used) Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio. Now, I have not owned a classic Alfa, and you have had many, but I do think the QV is peak ICE-powered Alfa. Because as you’ve probably read, Alfa is going all-BEV, or possibly hybrid, starting with the 2025 model year. So MY24 is the last all-ICE Alfa, and reading the latest news this week, production ends this June. I have a ’23 Giulia QV and it is simply sublime. Get ’em while you can!

  6. Randy L Bauder

    Definitely keep the Giulia…

  7. This isn’t a car thing it’s a Dad Daughter thing. The wedding car stays.

    • B.Mitchell Carlson

      Fully concur – and I’m not even a dad. Unless Keith wants an alpha to omega (sorry, low-hanging pun) comparison collection of the Duetto platform, sell the ’67 Duetto.

    • Give the Giulia Spider Veloce to Alexandra!!
      (That way, it stays in LONG TERM family ownership)

      • I like that idea. Sure, the Giulia veloce has been with you longer, is more unique, etc. So hang on to it. But given your childrens’ interest in cars – including Alfas – shouldn’t the Duetto stay in the family? In the next ten years, might Alexandra or Bradley say: “Gosh, I wish dad hadn’t sold that sweet Duetto back in ’24”.

  8. I see two choices:
    1) sell the Duetto
    2) Keep the Giulia

    Either way, you’ll be fine.

  9. Keep the 1965 Giulia Spider Veloce – all those years, all that effort,
    all that love – the kid can drive when you take it out! Hell, you could
    get any staff or even neighbor to even drive you around!!!

  10. Definitely keep the Giulia.

  11. Keith,
    I have spent considerable time playing with both cars, and have I driven them both. I drove the Giulia Spider Veloce
    a year or two before you bought it the first time. There is no question here the GSV is a better car, it always was.
    Keep the Giulia.
    Bill Gillham

  12. The Giulia is part of your life; you’ve owned it forever and you should never sell it. Better to figure out how to install an autmatic (heresy!) to meet your requirements than to sell it. I sold mine in 1980 and have regretted it ever since; and I don’t have the romantic connection you do. The wedding picture is a classic as well as the car. Don’t do it!

  13. Thanks for well posed wedding photo of your daughter. She has disappeared from recent columns so I enjoyed the update.

  14. Jim Rosenthal

    Why do you have to thin the herd? I’d keep all of them. Get a larger garage…

  15. Gabriel Hernández

    The Duetto is very special. The Giulia is unique.

  16. I’d like to reconsider my advice, which may have been hastily offered.

    Jeff Tweedy sings, “Statue of Liberty Play. Only works once, don’t throw it away.”

    In this case, the one-off trick is to give the car to Alexandra, as someone suggested above. Keith gets to keep both of the Duettos. The Giulia is in good hands and can be visited as needed, maybe even ridden in. A new collection is founded and the hobby continues.

  17. The Giulia (and predecessor Giulietta) was beloved from the beginning. A revelation vs. the British roadsters and a valid alternative to Porsche. The Duetto was introduced into controversy. Even Road & Track critiized the Duetto in their first test published Sept 1966: “We found almost no disagreement among members of our staff about the appearance of the new model — no one liked it as well as the Giulietta or the Giulia. One commented, ‘They did this shape five years ago on a show car and it isn’t any better now.’ Several people compared it, unfavorably, with the Lotus Elan.'”

    The article went on to praise the Duetto’s handling but criticize the driver ergonomics. The Giulia Spider Veloce wins … an affordable classic!

  18. No brainer

    Keep the GSV

    (or keep them both and sell me the Disco 😉 )

  19. Frank Barrett

    You’re not getting any younger, and you’ll probably never find another Giulia Spider Veloce as good as that one, certainly not with the family history, so keep it.

  20. A Duetto with a hardtop? Keeper.

  21. Just let me be caretaker until you or other family member would like to take over.

  22. Why sell them??

    I’d keep them all!

    You only have to pay taxes and die…

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