Sorry Mrs. Robinson, the Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider Was the Sexy Star of “The Graduate”
The two-seater revved everyone's engine when it purred onto the big screen in the 1967.
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.