History of the 1962 - 1965 Alfa Romeo 2600
The Alfa Romeo 2600 range of sports cars was produced from 1962 to 1969 and included coupe, saloon and convertible body styles . The 2600 was an evolution of the earlier 102 series 2 –litre steel block cars, but now fitted with a 2584cc straight- six all aluminium DOHC engine fed by twin or triple Solex carburettors and a five-speed gearbox. The cars have a front engine, rear wheel drive configuration and were at the top end of the Alfa range, offering power combined with high levels of comfort.
The car came in a number of body styles. The four-door Berlina saloon was made between 1962 and ’69 and offered two bench seats. The coupe, designed by Bertone, was in production from 1962 to ’66 and featured a large back seat and good boot space. The Carrozzeria Touring-designed Spider was made from 1962 to ’65 and offered a 2+2 convertible option. Zagato created a coupe designed by Ercole Spada, the 2600 SZ, between 1965 and ’67, and although it offered a slight increase in power, its steel body prevented any significant performance improvement and it was never raced. Very small numbers of OSI Deluxe coupes were made in 1965 and ’66, featuring very sophisticated interior trim. They are extremely rare today.
The Alfa Romeo 2600 is not as nimble or responsive as its Giulia and Giulietta cousins, and at low speeds they can feel cumbersome. That said, the engines are powerful and extremely smooth, and in their intended environment of grand touring they are superb: strong, quiet and comfortable. The build quality is very good and interiors are very comfortable.
Parts supply is limited, and can be problematic. Many basic parts are now available from the big Alfa parts suppliers, but mechanical and trim parts are more expensive than those for other contemporary Alfa models. Some upgrades are available- power steering is a popular addition, as is a Weber/Dellorto conversion from the original Solex carburettors, although the intake manifold must be correctly modified. Tyres are metric, and consequently can be expensive to source.
Alfa Romeo 2600s tend to be affected by rust less than other Alfas of the time, but check wheel arches, valences and sills. The Sprint has electric windows, and broken switches can be very hard to replace.
The 2600SZ is the most sought- after of the range, followed by the OSI DeLuxe. Of the ‘standard’ cars, the Spider is roughly worth double the Sprint. The Berlina is now extremely rare, and although typically worth less than the Sprint, good examples may command a premium.
Alfa Romeo 2600 cars tend to compare very favourably in terms of value with contemporary alternatives. The 2600 Spider is externally similar to the Maserati 3500 Spyder and may be compared to the Ferrari 275 GTS. The 2600 Sprint has a similar design to the Gordon Keeble, and has some similarities to the Mark 2 Jaguar.