I’d seen a 1976 Spider (more on this one later) advertised at Hemmings, and I knew that it was in Toronto – but for various reasons, I was finding it hard to pin down. Last Saturday, Evelyn and I headed out to the general area and started looking. Sadly, the street on which we were searching was chock full of used car dealerships – but all were selling pretty recent stuff, and the only guy who seemed to click to the idea that an Alfa might be for sale nearby, tried to be helpful, but ultimately, wasn’t – unfortunately he was a chainsmoker and Evelyn was less than impressed when I returned to the car more odiferous than I had left. Anyway, we were searching up and down the road and I found a sideroad I could loop back on… and… there it was!!! It was rather inconspicuous from the road, so you really had to look to find it. But we spot it we did. Yay! I jumped out of the car and pressed my face to the glass. There were 3 Alfa Spiders glowing seductively inside, beside a 1962 Giulietta convertible, several Fiat Multiplas in absolutely prisitine condition, and – shock of shocks, an Autobianchi Bianchina – the first I’d ever seen this side of the pond (any good Italian car enthusiast from Woodbridge will know now the showroom of which I speak). Sadly, after circumnavigating the entire building, we had to accept that it was closed, and after leaving further nose prints and drool marks on the windows, returned home. I phoned early Monday and arranged an appointment to view the 1976 Spider, but on entering found a lovely Duetto, which I proceeded to ogle. The salesman informed me that the Duetto was on sale for exactly the same price as the 1976 Spider… oooooh. I wore a path between the two, but first I will describe the Duetto; I hadn’t expected to see this and wasn’t prepared for it. Regardless, it appears to be a 1967 or 1969 (have to check, wasn’t concentrating) Duetto. It sports panasport rims, which give the car a refreshing stance due to the slightly wider tyres required for such rims. The car was a lovely red (surprise, surprise) with black interior, and was in very good condition indeed. So much so that I can comment on the negatives in a paragraph or less; Paint was very good, but had notable “chipping” on the trailing edge of the driver’s side door. Interior was good but missing a couple of things – the gas pedal needed a “footpad” (which the salesman said would be sorted). And… that’s about it. I didn’t get to test drive it as – even though Toronto was going through a brief balmy period (above zero!!!) there was no way I was going to request a drive of this on salty roads and I’m sure, in spite of his helpfulness and pleasantness, no way the salesman would have allowed it. Later. The car was in VERY good nick. My only real issue with it was the lack of SPICA injection – more on this later – it had dual webers, and the fact that the car sported the 1750 engine (I think, it could have been the earlier and smaller displacement too). Finally, the interior of the Duetto is not as slick as the Series 2 cars (which the “76” is) – much more basic. I’ll write about the 76 Spider tomorrow or Thursday. Again, given the fact that I didn’t get to drive this, I’m not going to post impressions – but what I can say is that this showroom was very impressive. Some of the cars were concourse (and many “not for sale”), and the cars that were for sale appeared well sorted, well presented, and if not “perfect”, not far off. The showroom reminded me of the maxim: “buy the very best car you can afford”. Both the Duetto and the Spider (to be featured next) are available for Cdn $24,000, negotiable. The high end of my budget (and more than I hope to spend), but immensely tempting nonetheless. I’ll post some drawings of some of the other lovely cars displayed here later – even though many (like the Autobinachi) are not for sale. An amazing find. These cars are so impressive that Evelyn is interested in in arranging to see them after having had to view them through the condensation that my heavy breathing created on the showroom windows….