Tag Archives: Italian Cars

Disposable Sports Sedan #1: 1991 Alfa Romeo 164

1991 164 - 1

Poking around BaseFook the other day, one of the ads from which they thought I would derive tremendous value from was a t-shirt for The Manual Gearbox Preservation Society. “Pfft!” I thought, hating the fact that technology thinks it knows me better than I know myself. Then I started thinking that maybe the Interwebs were onto something. We’ve talked before about the gradual disappearance of the stick shift, and there’s no denying its days are numbered. So I took it upon myself to poke around looking at assorted manual cars that 1) I’d be stupid enough to buy, and 2) wouldn’t break the bank. Enter the Alfa 164, and this solid example located in Tulsa, OK for a paltry $2,500.

Continue reading


TTS Quick Pick: 1971 Fiat 850 Spider

1971 Fiat 850 - 1

Welcome to the newest TTS feature: TTS Quick Pick! These posts are dedicated to cars that.. Oh let’s be real – these posts are dedicated to interesting cars we stumble across which we either a) don’t have the time to write comprehensively about or b) can’t be bothered to write more about because we are in the middle of binge-watching “The Americans” on Amazon. In any case, as part of our responsibility to bring more (any?) cars to you, we offer these short takes – starting with this pretty little 1971 Fiat 850 Spider which can be found here on CraigsList in Northern Virginia for $7,200.

Continue reading


Five Cars You Can Buy Today that Your Neighbor Doesn’t Have

Neighbor - 1

Part of being a TTSer is coveting the strange, unusual, abnormal, underappreciated, etc. – automotively speaking. One of our favorite pastimes in the TTS offices is to peruse classified ads from the UK, mainland Europe, and even the Far East and elsewhere in search of whacky cars that whet our appetites. A particular favorite website for this colossal timewasting is Germany’s www.mobile.de. So on the tail-end of buying another car this week (details forthcoming) and then tripping on another car I’d wanted to buy only to have the seller take his sweet time getting back to me, I thought I’d distract myself by looking for fun cars that one could conceivably buy for credit card or home equity money – including shipping – and which you’d be 100% certain your neighbor wouldn’t have. Unless he or she is more interesting than you are..
Continue reading


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


1982 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce: Department of Redundancy Department

1982 Alfa Spider - 1

So I figure that our recollection of our first cars falls into one of two categories: either it was a complete and utter embarrassment to be seen in and you hated everything about it (as was my wife’s experience with a 1974 Dodge Monaco Coupe in metallic diarrhea) or you remember it as the Best Thing Ever. I fall into the latter category, despite the fact that my own first car – a 1977 Alfa Spider – had terminal rot and Spica fuel injection. In my mind it is one of the best cars ever, and was also, not surprisingly (because Nostalgia is a Funny Thing as my TTS cohort Jonathan would say) a far better car than the 1978 Spider I bought a few years ago to try and recapture the joy. This 1982 Spider however, available on FerrariChat out of Reno, NV for $11,500 is a whole different story..

Continue reading


1977 Fiat 132: The Cars of our Fathers…..

1977 Fiat 132 - 2

So My dad died about three weeks ago. In his honor, I’ve been trying to write something witty, something solemn, and even something really, really long. But ultimately I decided that first and foremost this is a blog about cars, and he liked cars, and even instilled in me that passion. So instead of eulogizing him and writing some long, drawn-out diatribe about the guy he was, I’ll write about one of his cars: the Fiat 132. It was the first car he ever let me attempt to move (almost taking out a family friend/one of dad’s colleagues in the process) and is to me one of the cars that stands out most in my memory as “Dad’s car”.

Continue reading