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I couldn't find anything in Quattroruote and Auto Italiana either, but I do know that the 2600 Touring Spider was introduced in March of 1962. The Spider prototype by Pinin Farina was shown at the Salone di Torino in 1962. I believe the same is true for the 2600 Boneschi convertible (but would have to look it up to be sure). These two cars were shown but not built. I believe it is unknown whether or not the decision to not build these convertibles was based on dealer responses or a corporate decision to go with a specific design. But I would expect that if these cars were shown, the 2600 Ghia must have been shown somewhere too -- and the drawing looks very much like it could be based on a press picture.
I think the reason for the 2600 coupe prototypes (Pininfarina, Bertone, Zagato) is clear: Alfa wanted a smaller high-performance coupe beside the Bertone 2600 Sprint.

The Spider prototypes leave some room for discussion:

The Boneschi (BTW presented at Turin in 1963 on chassis 106.01*192742) seems to me clearly a styling excercise with no hope for series production.

It might be different for the Pininfarina and Ghia - Alfa Romeo might have wanted a new body for the 5-year old Touring design and contracted these coachbuilders for a new design. Ghias model with its low chassis number would support this theory, but Pininfarinas design appeared a bit too late for this version (Turin in November 62 - chassis number would be interesting). Even the facelifted Touring in the picture (from an old AlphaPlus magazine) could be a prototype from this period (although it could be a later prototype or not made by Touring at all).
 

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"Even the face lifted Touring in the picture ,from an old AlphaPlus magazine, could be a prototype from this period .Although it could be a later prototype or not made by Touring at all".
That was an interesting picture. The front lambs is clearly 2600, but the front and the grill has clear resemblance to the Bertone Giulia Cabriolet. What is the date of the issue AlphaPlus, you refer to
 

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I think the reason for the 2600 coupe prototypes (Pininfarina, Bertone, Zagato) is clear: Alfa wanted a smaller high-performance coupe beside the Bertone 2600 Sprint.

The Spider prototypes leave some room for discussion:

The Boneschi (BTW presented at Turin in 1963 on chassis 106.01*192742) seems to me clearly a styling excercise with no hope for series production.

It might be different for the Pininfarina and Ghia - Alfa Romeo might have wanted a new body for the 5-year old Touring design and contracted these coachbuilders for a new design. Ghias model with its low chassis number would support this theory, but Pininfarinas design appeared a bit too late for this version (Turin in November 62 - chassis number would be interesting). Even the facelifted Touring in the picture (from an old AlphaPlus magazine) could be a prototype from this period (although it could be a later prototype or not made by Touring at all).
This cars does look like a 2600 Touring to me (with 2000 influences), possibly a transitional protoype from 1960-1961.

Reading through Giuseppe Busso's "Nel cuore dell'Alfa" this week, I found some interesting references to 2600 development on p. 87-89. Apparently, talks started in 1955 about developing a 6-cyl engine. The purpose was to refresh the 1900 product line and compete more directly with Lancia. The engine was supposed share much technology with the Giulietta 4-cyl engine. The development project was assigned to Ciaccia and was well underway but mid-1956, but eventually a 2 liter 4-cyl engine was chosen instead of the 6-cyl engine and the 102 series created. In 1957, the 5-speed gearbox was developed for the 2000 but with the 2600 engine clearly in mind. Busso hints that the weight of the 102 cars was too high for the 2000 engine, which leaves room for speculation if, like the gearbox, the 102 bodies were designed with a larger engine in mind also. Finally, in 1960, when the focus was on relatively small cars, Satta gave the OK to start developing what became the 106 model line.

I recall seeing pictures of a 2600 Bertone convertible prototype that looked like the coupe with the top cut off (similar to what happened later to the GTC) but I can't find these picture right now.

I have a hunch that Alfa may have wanted a more distinctive look for the convertible, as the Touring design did not provide much visual differentiation from the Maserati, Lancia, Aston Martin and Sunbeam. So, maybe there was something like a design competition (or shopping for designs). Most likely, this would have happened in 1961, as the 2600 Touring was shown in March of 1962, together with the Bertone coupe.

Thank you for providing the chassis number for the Boneschi protoype. It seems very high. A friend of mine owns a Series 2 Touring Spider with chassis number 192605, which I believe was built in Spring of 1964. This does not preclude the Boneschi convertible to be a '63 design -- but chassis number 192742 for this car seems strange somehow.
 

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This cars does look like a 2600 Touring to me (with 2000 influences), possibly a transitional protoype from 1960-1961.

Reading through Giuseppe Busso's "Nel cuore dell'Alfa" this week, I found some interesting references to 2600 development on p. 87-89. Apparently, talks started in 1955 about developing a 6-cyl engine. The purpose was to refresh the 1900 product line and compete more directly with Lancia. The engine was supposed share much technology with the Giulietta 4-cyl engine. The development project was assigned to Ciaccia and was well underway but mid-1956, but eventually a 2 liter 4-cyl engine was chosen instead of the 6-cyl engine and the 102 series created. In 1957, the 5-speed gearbox was developed for the 2000 but with the 2600 engine clearly in mind. Busso hints that the weight of the 102 cars was too high for the 2000 engine, which leaves room for speculation if, like the gearbox, the 102 bodies were designed with a larger engine in mind also. Finally, in 1960, when the focus was on relatively small cars, Satta gave the OK to start developing what became the 106 model line.

I recall seeing pictures of a 2600 Bertone convertible prototype that looked like the coupe with the top cut off (similar to what happened later to the GTC) but I can't find these picture right now.

Another 2600 Bertone prototype; the 2600 High Speed coupe:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~marcelschaap/2600HS.JPG

I have a hunch that Alfa may have wanted a more distinctive look for the convertible, as the Touring design did not provide much visual differentiation from the Maserati, Lancia, Aston Martin and Sunbeam. So, maybe there was something like a design competition (or shopping for designs). Most likely, this would have happened in 1961, as the 2600 Touring was shown in March of 1962, together with the Bertone coupe.

Thank you for providing the chassis number for the Boneschi protoype. It seems very high. A friend of mine owns a Series 2 Touring Spider with chassis number 192605, which I believe was built in Spring of 1964. This does not preclude the Boneschi convertible to be a '63 design -- but chassis number 192742 for this car seems strange somehow.
It seems very few early 2600 spiders came to the US. Every one I owned was in the number range from 191500 through 193000. I also find it interesting that the Boneschi car was built that late. Perhaps it was a rebody of an already existing car?

Another 2600 Bertone prototype; the High Speed Coupe:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~marcelschaap/2600HS.JPG
 

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It seems very few early 2600 spiders came to the US. Every one I owned was in the number range from 191500 through 193000. I also find it interesting that the Boneschi car was built that late. Perhaps it was a rebody of an already existing car?

Another 2600 Bertone prototype; the High Speed Coupe:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~marcelschaap/2600HS.JPG
I agree that there may not have been many early cars exported to the US, and attribute that to the fact that Alfa Romeo had not fully established its own presence inthe US by that time and left imports to distributors like Hoffman in NY. That being said, I believe 2600s were imported into the US right from the beginning, but not in large quantities. My car, the ex-Malcolm Harris car that complled him to start the 2000/2600 register, is a US car with chassis number 191437 but I have seen earlier cars as well.

Thanks for reminding me of Marcel Schaap's web site. He has a page about the Bertone prototype I mentioned above, but looking at it again, it may be a 2000 instead of a 2600.
 

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I agree that there may not have been many early cars exported to the US, and attribute that to the fact that Alfa Romeo had not fully established its own presence inthe US by that time and left imports to distributors like Hoffman in NY. That being said, I believe 2600s were imported into the US right from the beginning, but not in large quantities. My car, the ex-Malcolm Harris car that complled him to start the 2000/2600 register, is a US car with chassis number 191437 but I have seen earlier cars as well.

Thanks for reminding me of Marcel Schaap's web site. He has a page about the Bertone prototype I mentioned above, but looking at it again, it may be a 2000 instead of a 2600.
I find it interesting that many of the 2600 prototypes were built so late. Perhaps they were more really design studies than prototypes. Here is a link to photos of the PF coupe and spider. I especially like the look of the coupe.

http://home.hetnet.nl/~marcelschaap/index2600PININnl.htm

I believe the car that looks like a roofless Bertone sprint is a 102 and not a 106.

I was unaware that Mal Harris was the one to start the 102/106 register. I do have a number of newsletters "pre-Zat", but nothing published by Mal....or was it something that he just kept a record of?
 

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I find it interesting that many of the 2600 prototypes were built so late. Perhaps they were more really design studies than prototypes. Here is a link to photos of the PF coupe and spider. I especially like the look of the coupe.
According to unconfirmed information I have, the Pinin Farina coupe and spider is the same car -- first shown as spider in '62, then rebodied as coupe in '63.

I was unaware that Mal Harris was the one to start the 102/106 register. I do have a number of newsletters "pre-Zat", but nothing published by Mal....or was it something that he just kept a record of?
This is the front page of the 2nd newsletter that Mal Harris published. I'm don't think I have a copy of the first register (probably just a list) from mid-1976.
 

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One of the things that puzzle me in context of the 2600 prototypes is Alfa Romeo's model numbering:

106.00 - Berlina
106.01 - Touring Spider
106.02 - Bertone Coupe
106.12 - SZ (Zagato)
106.14 - OSI

I kind of speculated that the missing numbers may have been prototypes or design studies, but the chassis numbers of the Ghia and Boneschi convertibles seem to contradict that (but the Zagato prototypes indicate model and chassis numbers wre assigned after the cars were built on Spider bodies).

Does anybody have more information on the missing model numbers?
 

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A few details to the 2600 prototypes - I'm currently preparing a story for the German Alfaclub's magazine, so i made a little research recently.

Boneschi 2600 Spider
The story of this car is quite well documented by Michele Catozzi and Sergio Puttini in an artiocle in Auto d’Epoca (Feb 1994):
The chassis 192742 was delivered to Boneschi on September, 6th 1963 and was finished by October, 29th 1963 after 3570 hours of work - quite incredible. The official presentation was during the car show in Turin on October, 38th to November, 19th 1963. Being the ninth prototype of Boneschis "linea tesa" it was called Studionove. It still exists today.

Pininfarina Spider and Coupe
I also do believe these are built on the same chassis, but i do not know the number. BTW there were two coupes. One presented in Brussels in January 63 with concealed headlights, which was later n 63 - but when exactly ? - modified at the front to feature Montreal-style headlights. The coupe reappeared after a restoration a few years ago.

Bertone High Speed Coupe
This car was presented in Geneva 1963. Luciano Greggio mentions in his book about Bertone that after the show Bertone wanted to present this car to his friend Rudolf Hruska. He eventually turned down the offer because Hruska was too large for the car. The further story is not known to me.

Bertone 2000 Cabriolet
This is definitively a 2000 presented in Turin 1961. Sometimes it is called 2000 Spring Cabriolet. Tabucchi mentions that chassis 102.05*00001 and 102.05*106709 - the very first and the very last 2000 Sprint chassis - were prototypes. 102.05*00001 is Tourings Praho, so 106709 could be the Cabriolet. Depending on the source this car might be still in existence either owned by Mario Righini or a Japanese collector.
 

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Thanks for posting these pictures. I wondered when we'll see this car come out of the restoration. Looks like a job well done!

With respect to the Touring prototype, the car looks like a 102 model (2000), not a 106 (2600). Do you have a shot of the engine?
 

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Thanks for posting these pictures. I wondered when we'll see this car come out of the restoration. Looks like a job well done!

With respect to the Touring prototype, the car looks like a 102 model (2000), not a 106 (2600). Do you have a shot of the engine?
Yes the car (#2) looks really good, and now it's in perfect conditions.
About the Touring one...the owner says it's #3, a Touring prototype for 2600 Spider, but maybe it used the old 2000 body. I don't have pics of the engine, but I'll ask for more info!
The birth of Alfa 2600 was not far from a restyling of the 2000, and for istance IMO the 2000 Bertone Cabriolet prototype in post #70 was a prototype for a proposal for the future 2600, although it use a 2000 chassis...
MPC
 

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Bertone 2000 Cabriolet
This is definitively a 2000 presented in Turin 1961. Sometimes it is called 2000 Spring Cabriolet. Tabucchi mentions that chassis 102.05*00001 and 102.05*106709 - the very first and the very last 2000 Sprint chassis - were prototypes. 102.05*00001 is Tourings Praho, so 106709 could be the Cabriolet. Depending on the source this car might be still in existence either owned by Mario Righini or a Japanese collector.
This is a picture I got from Mario Righini in 2006 and shows a 2600 Sprint Cabriolet. Price was 100.000 Euro. The car had red leather interior and a wooden dashboard. I have more pictures of the car. It is possible that the car was converted to a 2600.

Millenove
 

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Foolish to think chassis numbers in order.

My, I do recall those first 2000/2600 newsletters. The first one was actually the lengthy list that Malcom and I compiled -- he doing the 2600 cars and I the two liters. We were already disturbed then in 1965 when we discovered that the first cars built of the various models for Alfa Romeo by Touring, Bertone et all never started with chassis # 1 and went in progress to #2 and then #3. That never seemed to be the fact at all. For example, I seem to recall that the first completed Giulietta spider was #15, then #17 and then #19. A fellow in Tacoma, Washington, actually had the second one ever built.

As for me, when Touring made the two liter spiders I was told that the first 15 chassis numbers were saved for coachbuilders, and I consequently believed the factory demonstrator I drove in Germany in 1959 was #16. I confess, however, that I never checked because the chassis # was not the least bit important to me then. However, I know that the first two liter spider that got to the US was AR10204*00017 and was purchased by Hazel Rochester from her good friend, Hoffmann the dealer. She loved it so much that when her husband crashed it in 1964 she sued him for divorce. My first spider was also in the middle of a sandwich in August 1964 so she bought my wreck to repair and gave me her hulk as part payment. The first 15 theory, however, was blown out of the water when I was recently surprised to see a perfectly normal Touring spider with chassis AR10204*00013. That should have been the number on a Vignale or some special coach builder, I thought. But, no, the car was a perfectly normal Touring spider.

You see, sometimes the cars with lower numbers may actually have been one of the last ones made and the factory is finally filling up missing numbers not yet stamped on cars.

I know that has to be true in the case of Bertone's very first two liter sprint, the predecessor of all GTV or GTA or Sprint GT creations that followed. I have a letter (see the photo) from Storico that indicates my AR10205*00019 was the very first one finished (or finished enough) so it could be rushed to Brussels for the January 1991 exposition. And yet, Adrian Ratchiffe in Vancouver campaigned "Piggy" in the vintage races in the 80's as a 2600 sprint with chassis AR10205*00015. It was a two liter sprint fitted with a two liter engine when it came to Vancouver, but the doctor who bought it had been told he was getting the "latest" car, and refused to take delivery until the dealer remotored and changed the hood. Adrian has both hoods (although that two liter sprint chassis is so bent from being rolled head over tail (A$$ over teakettle, he says) that even the crackerjack body man he is hasn't cared to tackle the repair. Obviously that two liter sprint had been sitting unsold a long time and sold as a new one after the 2600 sprints came out in 1962. It probably was one of the very last ones sold.

Don't believe Fusi blindly when he lists that chassis number such and so to such and such with engines such and so to so and such were built in this year or that. For example he says five two liter sprints were built in 1960 (one of which was mine), all with chasis and engines matching 00001 to 00010. Total bit of malarkey. Chassis number and motor number were NEVER the same, and prior to 1960 a car, especially one coming to the US, would often be titled by the engine number rather than the chassis number. My sprint is titled as AR10205*00008, clearly the engine number, and, moreover, as a 1962 when first registered as new in California. Yet, with the car when I got it were the galley photos of the professional model showing off the car at the Brussels show. The reason for the late registration was because the car went to all the shows after Brussels and was finally purchased off the stand at the show in Milan by the lady from California in 1962 and shipped by her husband home to California.

MORAL OF STORY: (1) Don't blindly believe that the lowest chassis number is always the earliest built. (2) Don't foolishly assume they were ever numbered in numerical sequence as they were made. (3) Remember that the cars were built in one place and the engines in another, and that the combinations consequently also follow no sequence.
 

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