I end up buying a 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce in really bad shape as a “fun” “hobby” project.
I’ve been hankering for an Alfa Romeo for about half a year now. Here’s the 411 folks, there are two types of vintage Alfas; The first are pristine/restored ones that command a hefty premium and the second are rusty dilapidated husks that mascaraed as a car.
I’ve never driven an Alfa and the classic ones I’ve seen in the wild are far and few (probably because they rust before your eyes when exposed to atmospheric air).
But the allure was always there. I find their cars to be utterly gorgeous and I was eager to take the plunge into classic Alfa ownership to experience firsthand what made them so special. I’ve never owned a car older than 1987 (thanks Chevy Nova) and so the intricacies of a Spica mechanical fuel injection are foreign to me.
I’ve always figured I’d end up with a mid 80s GTV to be honest.
But wowza, a Pininfarina designed Alfa Romeo Duetto/Spider is the knockout that stole me heart. The first boat tail iteration is obviously the most beautiful, most expensive and least produced...but hey, I’ll settle for second best; the follow-up kammback tailed model that still retains the beautiful charm of the original at a fraction of the cost.
They made this car for almost 30 years straight and the Spider would eventually get fat rubber bumpers and whimsical side skirts (1980s Alfa Spider Verde Quadrifoglio anyone?) until settling with a modern clean take at its swan song in the 90s.
This Italian convertible has at its heart, an all aluminum DOHC 2.0L engine that is iconic Alfa and soo advanced for its time. For the nerds, 128HP@5800RPM and 130 LB FT@3700RPM. It has a 5 speed manual and only weighs 2200 lbs; Mine has the fun option of a limited slip diff in it.
This Spider has been sitting outside for 20 years and it looks the part. Most of the bits are there but there’s much-o rust lurking on the floorpan and rockers, shocking I know. Forget that, just take a minute to enjoy a wonderful wooden brimmed steering wheel, the deep big ‘ol gauge cluster and the utter Italian flair of it all.
I’m way over my head here and will never financially recover from fixing her up. The good news is, all the sheetmetal are readily available for literally every panel on this car and parts are quite plentiful. That is super! It’s a labor of love and for the record, I have yet to drive an Alfa Romeo since this one doesn’t actually run. Thanks for reading!
As a bonus, the owner had a 1960s GTV in his garage that I HAD to snap pictures of. Sheer elegance: