1976 Alfa Romeo Spider – Test Drive, 12/04/2015

Bianca

First, apologies for the recent lack of consistent postings. I have been very busy at school with the wrapping up of the semester and the organization and running of our School’s Thesis Show.

You may notice that this drawing is different to previous ones in that it is fully coloured, but more on that later. Let’s start at the beginning. I had, of course, already seen this car, but Evelyn had not, and so I was anxious to see her reaction to it. We arrived in the late afternoon and the car was sitting in the driveway, ready to be taken for a spin. The owner hopped in the driver’s seat and took me for a spin down the country road on which he lives, and talked to me a little about the car. The vehicle was not licensed, so our excursion was only a kilometre or so down the road, to its dead end, and then back. This was enough, however to run the car through the gears and get it up to 4th at least.

Back in the driveway, I got into the driver’s seat and Evelyn into the passenger seat and off we went. I was a little surprised at how low you sit in this car – it doesn’t look like that will be the case from the outside. The clutch bite point was a little surprising  to me and I nearly embarrassed myself by a stall, but managed to parley that into only a “stutter” as I backed out of the drive. The steering felt tight and direct, and shifting (I’ve heard this can be a problem on these cars, especially 2nd gear) was easy and very smooth. We got to the end of the road and executed a 3 point turn and were off, and this time I gave it a bit of welly, nothing outrageous, but enough to get an idea of the engine note at 5 grand; and the result was lovely – loud but not deafening, with a hint of a “howl” that bodes well for when the engine winds up even more. At this point Evelyn asked me why I was going “so fast” and I was able to report to her that I was only doing 40 mph. Obviously, like many smaller cars this one has the tendency to increase the impression of speed…

The car ran well, and seemed to enjoy stretching its legs. As far as I could tell (given the limited range I drove) the handling was good and the car put its power down well. The drive was a little noisy, but not annoyingly so – just enough to remind you that you’re in a convertible (the top was up) and that this is a sports car . Everything about the car felt “tight” and predictable. I think the only complaint that I could make is that the turn signal felt a bit “floppy”. So this was a very good experience.

So good, that I put money down on the car. Sadly, however, over two weeks later and I have yet to pick it up. The seller is a very busy guy and I’ve had a hard time arranging a date to get the ownership and sales package settled so I can get a temporary permit to pick it up. I’m hoping to get this sorted this week and will update the site when it happens.

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