There are collectibles that play to the crowd, leaving us all in awe of their technical and artistic mastery-and the amount of money invested in them. Other collectibles, more affordable, strike purely personal chords: a first car; the car I was married in; or the one I've wanted forever.
Generally Alfa 2600 coupes and Spiders, as reasonably-priced classics, fall into the second category, along with Austin limousines and Lloyds. On the other hand, think of the other all-alloy twin-cam straight sixes, and the value we set on them: Maserati, Aston Martin and Jaguar.
The disparity in value is not due to the any styling deficiency on the part of the Alfas. The 2600 coupe has a svelte Bertone body, and the famed Carrozzeria Touring was responsible for the Spider. Both had spacious, comfortable interiors, often in leather. You get a superb five-speed gearbox, full instrumentation, excellent outward vision, optional power windows and front seats that are the equal of BMW or Mercedes sedans. With the exception of a solid rear axle, the 2600 gives away nothing in the areas of technical sophistication, styling, or even rarity.
The 2600's limited following is due exclusively to the fact that it is an almost-3,000 lb. car, powered by a 2584cc, 145 hp engine, which gasps through three twin-throat, progressive Solex sidedraft carburetors. As an offsetting virtue to this guaranteed leisurely performance, none of the other marques can match the 2600's maintainability and reliability. If you wanted to take a cross-country trip, no car would be a better choice than the 2600, and you might even be able to enjoy its 124 mph top speed on a long stretch of road.
If you're willing to indulge a private pleasure, the 2600's a sure bet, then. It is not rust-prone, nor does it blow head gaskets like its smaller siblings. Early cars had rear drum brakes; the later four-wheel-disc cars are preferred. The only unobtainable part is the windshield, and the most problematic are the 400 mm Michelin X tires which are proper for the series. Wire wheels are a rare and desirable option, and a factory hardtop is a handsome addition to the Spider, if somewhat superfluous for today's sunny-day drives. Conversion to 40 DCOE Weber carburetors with a modified intake manifold and reground camshafts can improve the performance of the car, but those modifications also dilute its main appeal, which is its rock-solid dependability.

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