I own a few S2's, one S3 and one S4. The best driver's car is one of my early S2's (steel bumper car). Next is the S4 - easiest to drive and more of a Grand Touring car than a Sports car. The S3 and the 1980 S2 are the one's that get 0 miles on them.
A fully agree with the article, except I've never owned an S1, so I can't comment on that car. For me, it's a tie between my 1973 S2 and my 1971 S2.
I enjoyed that article, and what I particularly liked was the comments about the revability of the 1750 engine, as I own a 1750 GTV. These nord engines don't rev very high, but that article has reminded me that, just like my 156v6, they have that wonderful swell of torque and you don't need to rev them until they are bouncing off the rev-limiter, to thoroughly enjoy yourself. Its an eagerness thing
The very first GTV I drove, a 1750, had a good engine like this. I fell in love with the car in minutes ... should have bought that one, but the completion of the metal work is getting closer on my one, so soon ...
I have only ever driven two Spiders, both S2s. My Pagoda Yellow '71 and a beautiful black with an Ox blood red interior that I believe was a '76 or '77. The '76 I drove back in '78. I never forgot it Back in '06 I decided I had to have one. Unbeknownst to me a friend of mine had the '71 in storage for 18+ year not running. I could not resist. I did all the work myself except for the syncro replacement. It took 4 years. I have never regretted it. This article made me very happy
Alfa Spiders got heavier as the years went by. They started out as sports cars and ended up as boulevard cruisers. My advice to someone in the market for one is to buy the earliest good one that you can find, preferably Euro spec with Webers
Now that even the last S4 cars are old enough to have become bona fide classics and can be viewed with a bit of perspective I do think the S2 cars deliver the best drive and are arguably the best looking, particularly early ones. Most powerful engine (132BHP was claimed on Dellorto's here in Euroland), pretty well joint lowest weight, better brakes and a limited slip diff. I also prefer the more raked windscreen line.
As Emissions and safety got added after that (not that either of those is necessarily a bad thing) the engine power dropped around 10% and the weight increased aound 10% meaning they probably feel 20% less perky on the road. Can't really criticise AR for that, it was the same for everybody in that period.
Whether they will ever be valued as much as an S1 I05 series roundtail I don't know or care. But my feeling is they'll be appreciated as very close to that level. I sold my '71 car (owned for over 20 years) a few years ago to a Ferrari dealer who was going to restore it in his spare time, with instructions to offer it to me first whenever he came to sell it.
A while back, I asked some engineers what they thought of the four Alfa Spider Series, based on looks. Interestingly, most liked the S1 with the 1960's look and the long tail. They didn't notice the windshield was more upright or the little crown on the nose. The next one was the S4 - they thought it looked more modern and they liked the look of the painted bumpers and the little flip on the trunk. Next was the S2 (I showed them a picture of an early metal bumper car). They thought it had a European sports car look, but not as nice looking as the S1. The lease liked was the S3. They said the bumpers didn't match the car and were too bulky. The black tail wasn't well received either. And the star wheels were "pretentious" and should be used for "real" sports cars like a Ferrari.
These are engineers from all over the world, with the bulk in the US. Engineers are lovers of classic cars and most of them really like the Alfa Spider, though a couple of them didn't like the body style. I remember reading somewhere that the car media folks didn't like the look too much either, when it first came out.