Back in 1978, it was a really big thing when former Formula 1 champion Niki Lauda joined the Alfa Romeo F1.
There were only 350 Spiders made to commemorate the arrival of 2 time Formula One Champion NIki Lauda to the Alfa Romeo Racing Team.The Factory made sure the customer was aware this was the Niki Lauda edition. There is badging all over the place.
The Alfa Romeo Spider is the longest running model from the 103 year old company. It comes as no surprise as its success spans nearly 30 years and well over 120,000 examples in all different years, variants, and specifications. It’s the quintessential Italian sports car for the masses in many ways, and was Alfa’s first real success as a mass manufacturer supplying cars to many markets across the globe. These little Spiders offered magnificent Twin Cam Alfa power, and with win on Sunday sell on Monday, Alfa Romeo was closely linking their racing success with that on the showroom floor. From pretty 1st series Duetto’s, to the 4th series 2,000’s of the early 1990’s, all of these Alfa’s carry the soulful, high revving, wind-in-your-hair style that they originally intended.
The Second Series 2000 Veloce, or “Bowtail” as it is often referred to was in high demand between 1971-1982 with nearly 38,380 produced. It was also during this era (1978) that Niki Lauda joined the Brabham Alfa Romeo for a new start after his stint with Ferrari. With Spiders in full production, and to celebrate this new addition to Alfa’s race team, it was decided that Niki Lauda was to be commemorated by a Special Edition Spider in his name. Launched at the 1978 Long Beach Grand Prix, the Niki Lauda Spider, Chassis # 001 was driven on the circuit by Niki himself.
The differences are subtle, but all add up to a fantastic look. They include such items as a fiberglass rear spoiler that wraps onto the rear quarters that was a first for Alfa Romeo and only seen on past prototypes; special badging on the sides, and a numbered plaque on the dash. Only one color scheme was offered in remembrance of the Brabham F1 livery, Red with stick on blue/white stripes. Other differences included door mirrors, exhaust tip etc…
Alfa Romeos in general have always held a certain presence among the collector car community. They are automobiles for the enthusiast first, and collectibles second, as Alfa’s are perhaps one of the most thoroughly enjoyed collector cars extant. The Niki Lauda Spider offers rarity, performance, and the element of collectability more than any other Alfa of its era