Tag Archives: Alfa Romeo Spider

Fiscal Responsibility & Financial Planning – TTS Style!

Car Collection

Suppose for a minute that you have managed to finagle your personal finances through a series of questionable actions to the point that you have somewhere in the neighborhood of $20K available in liquid funds. Now suppose further that you are cunning enough to convince whomever else in your household that has a say in how your money gets spent that you are car savvy enough to take that $20K and turn it into at least 25% more over the next 1-3 years. We’re not talking penny stocks going up 100X in value, but is there not some appeal to our automotive selves in the ability to buy and enjoy a car that we find interesting and end-up selling it on at a net gain? Continue reading


Top Down Fun: Nine Convertibles for Ten Grand or Less

1993 300CE Cabrio

So spring (or summer, apparently) has sprung – at least in the Mid-Atlantic region, but also throughout much of the rest of the country, from what I hear. What that means to me is that it’s time to dust-off your convertible, change the oil, pump-up the tires, put the top down, and head-out for a relaxing drive in the country, or the city, whichever is your pleasure. What’s that? You don’t have a convertible? We would argue that there is a convertible out there for nearly any budget or anyone with a credit card that they’ve given-up trying to pay off and therefore don’t mind piling onto. Who among Car Geeks doesn’t relish the wind in their hair, the sun on their face, and the sound of the exhaust bouncing off the trees? Now is the time before prices jump-up for the season. What we offer here are some thought starters…

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1972 Jensen Interceptor III: The Iconoclast’s Aston Martin V8

Jensen Interceptor

What would happen if a niche British carmaker, who wasn’t even as mainstream as Aston Martin, wanted to make a large coupe in the classic grand touring tradition using a honking American V8 lump that was neither quick nor fast? And just to prove they were more nichey than Aston, what if they made their car funky looking well past the point of polarizing?

What if it looked like some large insect carrying its egg pouch on its tush? Continue reading


1982 Ferrari Mondial Coupe: Ferrari Fun for Fifteen Grand??

1982 Ferrari Mondial - 2

I love that this car is green. Everybody and their mother (relatively speaking, of course) has a red Ferrari, and if not red then chances are it is black, silver, or white. I’m a fan of colors on my sports cars, but not necessarily the same colors as the vast majority. Give me a Ferrari in metallic blue, burgundy, or as you see here, good old british racing green. It’s even more attractive to me when that color is applied to a pedigreed sports car that I have a snowball’s chance in Hell of affording: a car like this one here on CarsforSale.com in Arlington, Texas for a bargain basement price of just $14,998.

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1969 Fiat 850 Spider: Disposable Sports Car #7

As you may have read elsewhere on Totally That Stupid, both of us were introduced to sports cars by our dads who both owned Fiat 850 Spiders at the same time in the early 1970s. They would wrench them on weekends, and commute in them during the week. I have memories of our whole family of four (at the time) crammed into the Fiat, my folks up front and my sister and I sitting on the shelf behind the seats on a pair of silver speaker covers that I thought were actually seats. I also remember evening trips to the East Norwalk train station to give Dad a jump start. Neat little cars, but not perfect. Find this blue example here on Craigslist in Sacramento, California for $2,200.
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1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Disposable Sports Car #4

Having learned to drive in an old Alfa Romeo Spider, I have always been partial to two-seat roadsters. One of the best feelings in in my world is carving the back roads in a convertible with the top down, matching the revs on every downshift, and listening to the symphony emanating from the tailpipe. About two years ago I decided to recapture that feeling by buying another Spider just like the one I’d had before – but this time without the terminal rust. Nostalgia is a funny thing, however, and instead of a flood of memories from my youth with a Bryan Adams soundtrack behind them I spent the next several months trying to get an otherwise perfect Alfa to start, stop, and run properly. I remember thinking I should have just bought a Miata.

This past weekend on the heels of looking at two horrible German convertibles which were incidentally nothing like the pictures or the descriptions from the seller – shocking, I know – I went to look at a Miata that I spotted on Craigslist and just sounded like a good little car. With 82,000 miles, a relatively recent timing belt, water pump, and fluid change, and full books and records including the original window sticker. I bought it on the spot.

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