1972 Alfa Romeo Spider, Viewed 21/03/2015

72 Alfa SpiderKVT

This is one of 2 cars I viewed today (both owned by the same seller). This is the one that initially attracted me – it’s exactly what I’m looking for in a Spider – the right year, SPICA injection, Carello headlamp covers, lovely shade of red.., The seller had warned me , however that the car was “rough”. Still the price it was on offer for was very good and I had thoughts of getting it restored “just so”.

When I arrived, I knew a test drive was out of the question, as the car was on a hoist. This did allow me a great view of the undercarriage, though. It was rough, but I’ve seen worse. The floors looked reasonably solid as did the attachment points, but the rockers were rough, with the driver’s side sporting a 12cm rent, and bubbling paint. The chrome wasn’t quite as clean as I would’ve hoped, and the paint had a slightly flat, faded appearance. None of this should have been a surprise to me as the seller had told me pretty much all of this before I arrived. He describes it as a mechanically sound car that would pass inspection and is fun to drive, but needs a lot of work in terms of the cosmetics and body. I was tempted before arriving, but actually seeing the car was an eye-opener…

Beyond the body and cosmetic issues, the car had originally been silver and this can be seen in the engine bay. The “matching interior” (for the silver) was a dark red that seemed a little like overkill with the red paint of the car. In my head, the dollar figures were beginning to increase at an alarming rate – Rotisserie paint job with consequent engine and interior removal, re-doing the seats and doorcards in a colour to match the red (black, I presume) bodywork… it was all beginning to look like a bit much for me.

I think for the right person – someone who has the workspace and the tools – this would be a brilliant car. It’s certainly an excellent starting point, and 1972 is one of THE years to have for this model. But given my circumstances, and according to my “rules” for this purchase, I should be looking for the best car I can afford – and though this one is tempting, I think it would be time consuming to get to the state I want it in, and probably more important, expensive to achieve, given that I don’t have a place to work on it myself and would have to contract the entire job out.

The asking price for this car is $4900, which I think is a fair ask – especially if you’re able to tinker with it as you go. I can’t. So;

Value for Money: 8/10 – A good deal, I think – but not for me.
Driving Impression: NA
Body: 5/10 – The body was rough but looked generally solid – it would need some metal replacement – but not all that much. Engine: 7/10 – NA – The seller claims it’s a “driver” and I tend to believe him, based upon our conversation and his other car (more on this to follow)
Handling: NA

So – this car, as much as I like it, and see promise in it, is not for me. The seller did have another car to show me though, and he’d already suggested that, given my circumstances (which I had told him about) this car might be more up my alley… I’ll post on this next one soonest.


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