Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider 106.08 Touring RH

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Alfa Romeo


2600 Spider 106.08 Touring RH





The Alfa Romeo 2600 (series 106) was Alfa Romeo´s six-cylinder flagship produced from 1961 to 1968. It was the successor to the Alfa Romeo 2000. It has become historically significant as the last Alfa Romeo to have been fitted with an inline six-cylinder engine having twin overhead camshafts. That had been the traditional Alfa Romeo engine configuration since the 1920s, but gave way to four-cylinder engines as the factory oriented its production towards more economical mass-produced car models after the Second World War.

The 2600 was introduced in the 1962 Geneva Motor Show, as a sedan with a factory-built body (2600 Berlina), a two-plus-two seater convertible with body by Carrozzeria Touring (2600 Spider), and a coupe with a body by Bertone (2600 Sprint). A convertible based on the Sprint coupe was shown by Bertone in 1963. It was also named 2600 Sprint, but did not enter production. The 2600 SZ (Sprint Zagato) with fastback coupe bodywork by Zagato, and the limited-edition 2600 De Luxe with five-window sedan bodywork by OSI (Officine Stampaggi Industriali) were introduced three years later in 1965 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The Berlina, Spider and Sprint were based on the corresponding models in the 2000 range, and all three inherited the body styling of their predecessors with minor face-lifting. The biggest change was the engine. A brand new all-alloy 2.6 liter engine with six cylinders in line and twin overhead camshafts replaced the earlier four-cylinder engine with its cast-iron block which dated back to the 1900 range of 1950. Two carburettors were fitted to the Berlina engines, while the Sprint, Spider and Sprint Zagato engines had three twin-choke horizontal carburettors and developed 145 bhp (108 kW). At the same time a relative handful of '2600' chassis were bodied as coupés by OSI and Zagato to their own designs. Of striking appearance, the Sprint Zagato version's body was constructed entirely from steel, yet the car was approximately 136kg lighter than the standard 2600 Sprint, resulting in superior acceleration and lighter steering. The OSI De Luxe was available with either the two-carb or the three-carb setup.

A certain number of 2600 Sprint were purchased by the Italian government and specially equipped and modified to be used as Police and Carabineer patrol cars, respectively nicknamed "Pantera" (panther) and "Gazzella" (gazelle), from the emblems of their rapid intervention teams. The cars were very suitable for high-speed pursuits to counter the increase in armed robberies by motorized gangs in 1960s Italy, and appeared in quite a few genre movies of the time.

The 2600 range was replaced at the top of the Alfa range by the 1750 models in 1968. The 1750s were refined versions of the 1600 cc Giulia range which continued in production, so once more the Alfa Romeo flagship was a derivative product created by upgrading the motor of an existing range and carrying out a minor restyling. All similarity with the 2600 ends there though; the 1750s, and the 2000s which evolved from them, were a great success for Alfa Romeo from every point of view, especially sales.

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