Tag Archives: Spider

1966 Alfa Duetto – Any Color You Like, But Probably Red

1966 Alfa Duetto - 1

As a car guy, one of my favorite things on social media is when a friend announces that they are looking for a particular car. I take those posts as a personal challenge. Earlier today a friend posted that he was finally ready to add an Alfa Duetto to his collection of very nice but driveable Alfa Romeos, and it got me thinking. I don’t have any space either in the garage or the fleet for another car right now, but if I did I would seriously consider a well-sorted Duetto. I’ve written here before about how my first car was an S2 Alfa Spider that was remarkably well-sorted but rusty as all get out, and about three decades later I bought that car’s twin, but with a perfect body but mechanically, well, challenged. I loved my first Alfa both as a first car but also as a dirver’s car, and I was so sorely disappointed when the second one was so unhappy. As my TTS partner always says, nostalgia is a funny thing and I was clearly wearing blinders when I bought that car a few years back, but I haven’t lost my appetite for a nice Alfa and now I’m thinking that there is most definitely an early round-tail Spider in my future – ideally before they go the way of the Mercedes Pagoda, which is to say expensive beyond reason. Perhaps one like this beauty for sale here on Mobile.de in Monza, Italy for about $34,000 would fit the bill.
Continue reading

Advertisements

1967 Fiat Dino Coupe: Itsa Bitsa Anyway

1967 Fiat Dino Coupe

Parts. Bin. Engineering.

Manufacturers use parts from other brands all the times. It can be significantly cheaper to source parts-counter bits than creating your own. Sometimes those brands are in the same family, though sometimes they’re not. Ferrari used Alfa Romeo Spider exterior door handles on several models throughout the years. Aston Martin used Volkswagen Audi Group head- and taillights on their 1989 Virage; later DB7 models used Mazda Miata interior door handles. Heck, the Jaguar X-Type is more notable for the parts that aren’t sourced from the Ford Mondeo. Continue reading


1984 Toyota Celica GTS Convertible: Rare, Especially in This Condition

We’ve discussed before how convertibles were very much a dying breed going from the 1970s into the 1980s. While there were a handful of holdover cars from another era from Alfa Romeo, Fiat (badged as Pininfarina or Bertone due to Fiat’s official withdrawal from the U.S. market), and the like, it was widely believed that convertibles would soon be consigned to the history books thanks to ever-increasing safety standards from the US Department of Transportation and other safety Nazis. Still, a few mainstream manufacturers kept the torch burning for the convertible in the form of special, low-production convertible versions of their sporting coupes. Today’s case in point is the attractive Toyota-ASC collaboration on the Celica GTS Convertible. They were only produced for two years – 1984 and 1985 – with just 250 1984s hitting the streets, making this clean red car for sale here on eBay in Katy, Texas for just $4,200 especially rare. There were about 4,500 produced for 1985.

Continue reading


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.

Continue reading


1983 Fiat X1/9: Disposable Sports Car #1

Right off the bat, the 1983 Fiat X1/9 is a mid-engined, wedge-shaped, Bertone-designed sports car. It has a life-off targa top, a 5-speed manual transmission and fuel injection. Even displacing just 1500cc, this car is so small and tossable that it will feel fast regardless of what the specification sheet says – so long as your ego can’t be bruised by being stomped at a traffic light by a 10 year-old Kia Spectra. Find this nice example here on Craigslist in Denver, Colorado for just $2550.

Continue reading


1985 Alfa Romeo Spider Graduate: Last of the “Pod” cars..

The Series 3 Alfa Romeo Spiders are generally dismissed as the bottom of the barrel when it comes to classic Alfa convertibles. On the other hand, many of us who love our cars and grew up in the 80s fondly remember these cars as vintage roadsters available brand new at the dealership. There were very few convertible sports cars even available in 1985 – the Mercedes SL which cost about 3 times what the Alfas did, and the Pininfarina Azzura (formerly the Fiat 2000) which was privately imported by Malcolm Bricklin in very small numbers. Remember folks, these were the days before the Miata… This pretty little example is listed for $8500/OBO on the AlfaBB site.

Continue reading