Tag Archives: Alfa Spider

1978 Fiat 124 Spider: Disposable Sports Car #11

1978 Fiat 124 - 1

After writing about that gorgeous Alfa Romeo Duetto the other day, I got to thinking: there are a lot of ways to enjoy sleek European styling and a sonorous dual overhead cam motor combined with open air motoring. Most of those have been covered in TTS before – cars like the Alfa Spider, the Jensen-Healey, and even Fiat’s 850 Spider and X1/9. Shamefully, we have not covered Fiat’s 124/2000 Spiders in any depth. Until now. This car, advertised on Craigslist in Leesburg, Virginia for $3,950, represents the same basic experience as the Duetto but for about 10% of the entry fee.

The Fiat 124 was basically the Torino firm’s counterpoint to Alfa’s Spider, and their specs are comparable if not remarkably similar: they were both penned by Pininfarina and released to the world in 1966, both had varying displacement DOHC inline-4 motors, both had full synchromesh manual transmissions and four-wheel disc brakes from the get-go, and both started rusting about six hours prior to leaving their respective factories. In many ways, choosing between the Fiat and the Alfa was really down to preference. Of course, the Alfisti will argue that their Spider came with oodles more pedigree and had sleeker, sportier styling. The Fiat side of the camp will conversely argue that their car ticks all the right sports car boxes, but with more robust running gear that was used throughout the world in hundreds of thousands of their contemporary models. Frankly, I like both of them, albeit for different reasons.
Continue reading


1985 Honda Prelude EX: Disposable Sports Car #10

1985 Honda Preslude - 1

One of our favorite sayings around the TTS offices is that “nostalgia is a funny thing.” Meaning, often times we recall the cars of our past with a special fondness, often focusing on the parts of them we enjoyed – looks, smells, handling, colors, you name it – as opposed to the parts that made us sell them or otherwise move on. Of the TTS crew, I am the one who repeatedly drinks from the same well. I’ve owned multiple Mercedes W123s and W126s, two green Alfa Spiders, and even a pair of grey 1985 Honda Preludes. With the Mercedes I seem to be on a never-ending quest to find the perfect example. With both the Alfas and the Hondas I think it’s some subconscious effort to reclaim a part of my youth, the first of each having been my first and third car, respectively.

Continue reading


1993 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Short Attention-span Theater

First things first: this is shameless self-promotion. I own this car, for the time being. You see, I have an addiction to buying and selling cars. There should be a support group for this, but I fear it would turn into one big swap meet. In any case, my wandering eye has me contemplating something entirely different, which puts this little sweetheart of a car on the market. I love Miatas, and they remain some of the most automotive fun you can have for the low prices they command. This particular example is a nice, clean honest one that has not been thrashed, torn, ridden hard and put away wet, or been adorned with bits and baubles like body kits and wing spoilers. In fact, it looks pretty much the way it did when it rolled off the dealer’s lot 19 years ago. Find it here on eBay in Fairfax, VA with a buy it now price of just $4295.

Continue reading


Start them Early: Your Kids and Your Car Hobby

So there I was, out for a Saturday drive in Dad’s Toyota Tundra king cab on my way to fetch various and sundry moldings and power tools from the local Lowe’s Depot, bombing around the backroads listening to the unfortunately melancholy CD that I gave him some time ago, and I spied this pretty little mid-80s Porsche 911 Targa – and I love mid-80s targas, especially sans whale tail – curving up the country lanes. But it wasn’t the car that caught my eye, it was the two little heads bobbing back and forth and up and down in the back seats. And it got me thinking…

Continue reading


1997 Porsche 993: Last of the Air-cooled Porkers

An occasional TTS reader, who is also a Porsche 911 fanatic, told me he likes the blog but asked when we are going to cover some “real” cars? Considering some of the very real cars we have covered, I can only take that to mean that down there in Oak Ridge, Tennessee where the scientists glow green in the dark (also, incidentally, where my the aforementioned reader lives and works) “real” must somehow equate to squat, rear-engined, and German. If I were to accept that definition, in my world it would also mean “air-cooled” – as nature intended. But alas, he’s a water-cooled Porsche junkie. Nonetheless, the dialog reminded me of a sad chapter in my own life – related to the last of the Porsche 911s – the 993 – a car just like the car featured here which can be found on Cars.com here in Marin County, California for a very reasonable $31,555.

Continue reading


And now for something completely different: 1985 TVR Tasmin 280i Convertible

I cannot tell you definitively if the British or the Italians actually invented the two-seater sports car, but both take credit. My money is on the Brits, at least for cars that the everyman (or woman) could afford, having built some of the most iconic sports cars ever including the MGB, Spitfire, TR6, Austin-Healey, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. By the beginning of the 1980s, however, the roadster ship had all but sunk, cars were bloated and underpowered and the British car manufacturing industry was collapsing. Still, there remained a handful of small niche manufacturers building sports cars for enthusiasts, and TVR was one of them. Find this rare TVR Tasmin 280i convertible – one of 472 1985s – here on eBay with a buy it now price of $10,950.

Continue reading