Jeremy Clarkson says a lot of dumb things, but one piece of sage wisdom he has imparted is that the testament of true auto enthusiasm lies in Alfa ownership. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Spider fulfills that requirement, but does it do so at an untenable price?
When Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet that “parting is such sweet sorrow, do you think he was talking about parting out an old car? In the case of yesterday’s 1984 Chevy Corvette project car, having a parting party would certainly be an option. At the very least, that would likely recoup the $2,200 purchase investment. Alternatively, pumping a good bit more money into the car should make it a reasonable runner and driver. It’s good to have options, something most of you agreed upon, and that ended up giving the ’Vette a narrow but decisive 56 percent Nice Price win.
This 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Quadrifoglio hails from the second to the last in the series but maintains most of the attributes — simple one-hand manual top, free-revving DOHC four-cylinder engine, and modestly capable suspension — that made all of Alfa’s Spiders great.
Of course, being an Alfa, it also likely has suffered from numerous issues that have perhaps dulled its owner’s enjoyment over time. That’s pretty obvious in the litany of repairs and updates that the seller notes in the ad — wiring, a top end, and hydraulics being most notable among those. All of that work has resulted in what the seller claims is now a turn-key reliable car.
Power comes from a 1995 cc edition of Alfa’s legendary “bialbero” four wearing electronic fuel injection and a display-worthy alloy cam cover. In U.S. trim, this engine makes 115 horsepower and 119 lb-ft of torque, although it demands some wringing to do so. Making the most of those numbers, the Alfa employs a long-throw five-speed manual feeding a coil-sprung live axle at the rear. This is all bolted into a two-seat convertible uni-body that, even with its plasticky ’80s aero add-ons, can’t mask its hippie-dippy ’60s origins. For some, that’s probably not a bad thing.
Per the pictures in the ad, the car is a good 10-footer. There are numerous chips in the paint and a scrape on the nose, all amassed over the course of the car’s amazing 229,740-mile life to date. Yes, an Alfa Romeo with over 200K on the clock. And, it still looks to have plenty of life left in it. Will wonders never cease?
This is a four-season car as it comes with both a brand-new convertible canvas top and a removable factory hardtop. Both cover a cabin that shows its age but is still wonderfully eclectic with its factory red carpet and matching stitching on the gray leather seats.
Oddly countering normal wear and tear patterns, it’s the passenger seat that shows the most degradation. It’s serviceable but will need to be repaired or, at the very least, covered to prevent further damage. Everything else looks to be in acceptable condition, although the carpet dash toupee might be hiding some cracks or fading. We don’t know anything about that.
On the plus side, it’s a California car and hence solid. As a rule, these Spiders tended to rust like nobody’s business straight out of the factory. Maybe in this car’s case, the assembly line rust installer called in nauseato that day.
According to the ad, the title is clean, and its mileage was amassed under only two owners. The present owner isn’t the ad poster, a job that’s apparently being handled by a friend owing to time constraints. Let’s see how friendly we all feel about the car’s $6,500 asking price.
What’s your take on this seemingly sorted Spider and that $6,500 price tag? Does that seem like a deal to get official car enthusiast cred? Or, is that price, much like Clarkson at times, a bit too much to take?
H/T to Bill Lyons for the hookup!
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