April 3-12 at the Javits Center in New York City. This year Alfa Romeo was an important presents as they displayed both historic and new models, including the premier of the 4C Spider.
- Report by Stuart Light
Mention the name 4C to a non-car person and more than likely they’re gonna think that you’re referring to a brand of bread crumbs…you know the stuff that you sprinkle on top of salads and perhaps use in the preparation of stuffing to be used in a Thanksgiving turkey.
However when ya mention 4C to a car person, especially an eye-talian car person, right away they’re gonna know that you’re referring to the Alfa Romeo 4C, Alfa Romeo’s first regular production sports car to hit these shores in 20+ years.
Last year I had the pleasure of seeing the 4C couple in person and trying out a couple of them for size.…as I mentioned at that time…I had little trouble squeezing in and out over the door sill due to my relatively thin frame…well…not as thin as it was 30 years ago…but still thin enough to get in and out of sports cars. Last year a few Alfisti didn’t like my less than positive comments about the leather seats which although great for road racing might not comfortable for a road trip of more than two hours.…hey...I felt the same way about the FIAT Abarth, preferring the fabric seats to the leather seats.
This year the big difference is that for a 4C Spider was on display. Ya gotta give Alfa Romeo credit….as long as I can remember they’ve made “drop top” cars look great whether the top is up or down. That goes for my 1963 Giulia Spider, the Duetto and the Spiders of the 70s, 80s and 90s. There isn’t much of a weight difference from the 4C coupe to the 4C Spider… maybe twenty something pounds due to the carbon fiber tub giving the 4C enough stiffness as to not require much modification to convert it to Spider with a drop top mechanism. Like the 4C Coupe the Spider has an all-alloy 1750cc engine with 4 valves per cylinder and direct injection good for 237hp…..enough power to propel it from 0 to 60mph in 4.1 seconds with a top speed of 160mph.
Alfa Romeo enthusiasts who contacted me after visiting the New York Auto Show commented that there was a lotta interest in the Alfa Romeo exhibit. That included the older vintage/historic/classic cars on display…..my favorites would have been the Series 2 TZ and of course the 1968 Tipo 33 Stradale. Most of the crowds of course were around the 4C Spider including NYAROC members Dino and George Pappous, plus Vic Cerami and Lou Grasso.
Do I like the 4C?…what’s not to like…I’d still like to see a 21stcentury version of my front engine rear wheel drive 1963 Giulia Spider....maybe Sergio will listen and grant traditional Alfisti our wish.
This article isn’t as thorough as usual due to that fact that I composed it while in the hospital with an I.V. drip plugged into me This is only the second time I missed the Press Preview at the New York Auto Show since themid-1960s…the last time was 40+ years ago when my Father passed away. I almost felt guilty that I wasn’t up at 4AM, on a train bound to NYC at 5:38M and at the Jacob Javits Convention Center by 6:45AM to sign in.
Fortunately I had Vic Cerami to provide me with tech information plus Phil Roitman and Martyn Schorr who took great photos of the Alfa Romeos on display. Don’t worry…I’ll be back at the New York Auto Show in 2016…..you know there will be more Alfa Romeos plus new foreign exotics on display….something to look forward to.