Max Hoffman, the importer of various European car brands into the USA, proposed the idea for Alfa Romeo to create an open roadster to rival the popular small British sports cars in North America. Design proposals were sought from Bertone and Pininfarina, with the latter ultimately winning the commission, despite Hoffman’s initial preference for the former.
Crafted by Pininfarina, the original Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider of 1955 marked the renowned Turin coachbuilder’s first venture into volume production. This roadster brought a new level of refinement and mechanical sophistication to small sports cars, eclipsing the competition. The Giulietta Spider quickly became a massive success, emerging as mainland Europe’s top-selling small sports car. It continued its success in a revised, longer wheelbase form following the introduction of the 101 Series in 1959.