It's 1967 and the film 'The Graduate' is packing them in at cinemas all over the world. A huge proportion of the filmgoers are young men who have been fascinated by one of the most successful movie posters of all time – the one in which Anne Bancroft (Mrs Robinson) peels off her stockings prior to seducing the poor innocent Benjamin. An entire generation of hormonal youths (yours truly amongst them) had strange dreams for weeks afterwards!
The inevitable happened and Benjamin fell in love with Mrs Robinson's daughter Elaine. To cut a long story short she was about to get married to someone else and a panic stricken Benjamin tore off to the church in the true star of the show - an Alfa Romeo Spider. He didn't make it in time because his car ran out of petrol a few blocks from the church – and to be realistic, since the average fuel consumption of the Alfa Romeo 1600 cc Spider was only about 24 miles to the gallon, perhaps he should have picked a different car!
The film was a sensation and millions of young men worldwide fell in love with a beautiful and curvaceous object of intense affection – and the Spider was set to fascinate both men and women with it's sensual and sexy looks for another three decades or so.
This car had a little bit of an identity crisis! Originally it was launched by design house Pinninfarina as the 'Duetto', or 'duet' in English; this name was picked, perhaps unimaginatively, because it was a two seater. However copyright issues arose and the name had to be changed to 'Spider' because that happened to be a common term in Italy at the time for an open topped car. The Italian public however weren't impressed by this and they latched on to the fact that the tail of the car looks similar to that of the skeleton of a cuttlefish so that is what they knew it as, 'Di Seppia'.
Whatever the name you choose to call it this lively 1600 cc two seater could hit nought to 60 in just under 10 seconds and reach up to 114 mph; a perfect little car for a young man to impress a young lady in. With crumple zones front and rear and disc brakes all round she would be reasonably safe in the car as well; or at least as safe as she would want to be!
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