4 weeks ago
When The Graduate, which opened at two theaters in New York City 51 years ago this Friday, made its debut, it introduced a whole generation of young men to a curvaceous beauty that would dominate their daydreams and haunt their nights.
All due respect to Anne Bancroft’s Mrs. Robinson, but the beaut in question is undoubtedly the bright-red Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider that Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) received as a graduation present.
A two-seat convertible roadster, the Duetto Spider was designed by Battista “Pinin” Farina Franco Martinengo of the Carrozzeria Pininfarina coachbuilding company.
Distinctive for its sharp nose, boat-tailed back end, and enclosed glass headlights, the Duetto – which was always known officially as the Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 thanks to trademark issues – went into production the year before The Graduate‘s debut.
Powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the Duetto Spider could go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 10 seconds, hit a top speed of 118 MPH, and got 23 miles per gallon of gas.
Priced around $4,000 when it debuted, the car’s inclusion in the film was actually a fairly genius moment in product placement as Hoffman was a nephew of an Alfa Romeo importer.
Genius or not, the move wasn’t commercially successful as the early-midlife-crisis mobile’s price point proved to be prohibitive and Alfa Romeo only produced about 6,3oo of the Series 1 Spiders before the Duetto was replaced by the Spider Veloce 1750.
Later on, while trying to capture the same magic the car generated in the late ’60s, Alfa Romeo introduced a Spider model in the ’80s with a “Graduate” trim level.
While it’s not the actual Spider from the film, the car pictured here does have a distinct advantage over Dustin’s Duetto: you can buy it.
Currently on sale in Miami via Hemmings, this 1967 Alfa Romeo Duetto has 75.959 miles on its odometer and is priced at $49,000.
If you do happen to fork over $50k for the alpha Alfa, expect a lot from the car, but not for it to get you to the church on time.