The Truth About Cars » Alfa Romeo Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:07:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Alfa Romeo Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/junkyard-find-1981-alfa-romeo-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/07/junkyard-find-1981-alfa-romeo-spider/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 13:00:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=856321 Prices for (non-164) Alfa Romeos have been getting somewhat crazy in recent years, but it’s still possible to get a restorable 1970s or 1980s Spider for non-insane bucks. The proof of this is that rougher examples still show up now and then at the self-service wrecking yards I frequent. In this series so far, we’ve […]

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13 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPrices for (non-164) Alfa Romeos have been getting somewhat crazy in recent years, but it’s still possible to get a restorable 1970s or 1980s Spider for non-insane bucks. The proof of this is that rougher examples still show up now and then at the self-service wrecking yards I frequent. In this series so far, we’ve seen this ’74, this ’78, and now today’s ’81.
01 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is ugly, but it doesn’t show the atomic-testing-grade obliteration that Colorado convertibles get when left outside for years with no top.
07 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAlfa Spiders love to rust, even in single-digit-humidity Colorado.
06 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNot worth restoring, but a good parts car.
11 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIts final parking place is next to a Mazda RX-7.

01 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1978-alfa-romeo-spider/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/05/junkyard-find-1978-alfa-romeo-spider/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 13:00:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=825178 While Fiat 124 Sport Spiders are commonplace in junkyards, the Alfa Romeo Spider has remained sufficiently valuable that few examples make it to the kind of self-service, high-inventory-turnover wrecking yards I frequent for this series. We’ve seen this ’74 and that’s it prior to today (though I have passed by a few junked Alfa Spiders […]

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11 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile Fiat 124 Sport Spiders are commonplace in junkyards, the Alfa Romeo Spider has remained sufficiently valuable that few examples make it to the kind of self-service, high-inventory-turnover wrecking yards I frequent for this series. We’ve seen this ’74 and that’s it prior to today (though I have passed by a few junked Alfa Spiders that were picked clean before I got there). The Alfa Spider was more expensive than the Fiat Spider when new— in 1978, the Alfa listed at $9,195 (about the same as a new ’78 BMW 320i), while the Fiat cost a mere $6,495 (just a bit more than a Volkswagen Scirocco)— and American Alfa Romeo fanatics have always been more maniacally obsessed than Fiat fanatics. Here’s an unrusted, not-yet-completely-stripped ’78 that I found in a San Francisco Bay Area yard a couple months back.
02 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOutdoor storage with no top in Northern California, with its sunny summers and rainy winters, tends to be rough on car interiors, and not much was worth saving out of this Alfa.
03 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 111-horse, 1,962cc Twin Cam engine is still there.
08 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe giant 5-mph crash bumpers looked pretty ugly on small cars during the Malaise Era.
12 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSpica mechanical fuel injection! This system worked amazingly well given all the moving parts.
20140113_135806When I find a rear-wheel-drive Alfa Romeo with any good stuff on it, I always call my friend Conrad Stevenson to see if he needs anything. Conrad runs an amazing Alfa restoration shop in Berkeley, uses a ’58 Fiat 600 Multipla as his parts runner, and races a profoundly terrible (yet fast) Spica-equipped Spider in the 24 Hours of LeMons.
IMG950181Conrad burned rubber right over to this Oakland wrecking yard (in his ’64 Ford Ranchero, which he uses for hauling parts too big for the Multipla) and grabbed the rear end, the transmission, and a bunch of smaller goodies. The Alfa Mafia is strong in the Bay Area, and no doubt many of Conrad’s fellow capos swooped down on this car during the next few days and vultured it down to a bare shell.

01 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin IMG950181

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Mazda, Alfa Romeo Roadster Could Be The Start Of A Beautiful Friendship http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/mazda-alfa-romeo-roadster-could-be-the-start-of-a-beautiful-friendship/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/08/mazda-alfa-romeo-roadster-could-be-the-start-of-a-beautiful-friendship/#comments Fri, 31 Aug 2012 19:30:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=458558 While discussing the future of a Mazda/Fiat collaboration last week, one industry insider trusted by TTAC had this to say “It’s a bit like a first dance during the sixth grade…the Roadster, I mean. They’re leaving room for Jesus, but still able to cop a feel if they’re lucky.” Now we’ve got more info on […]

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While discussing the future of a Mazda/Fiat collaboration last week, one industry insider trusted by TTAC had this to say

“It’s a bit like a first dance during the sixth grade…the Roadster, I mean. They’re leaving room for Jesus, but still able to cop a feel if they’re lucky.”

Now we’ve got more info on the Alfa/Mazda collaboration, and the possibility of more co-operation between Fiat and Japan’s last auto maker.

Speaking to the media, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said that while the two roadsters would share weight-saving technology, powertrains and price points would differ. The new MX-5 would use a Skyactiv motor, while the Alfa would be an upscale product. Yamanouchi also had this to say regarding future partnerships between the two brands

“We want to achieve success with the MX-5 and Spyder project first,” he continued. “We can learn more about each other and see what opportunities exist.

It’s pretty plain to see that this is all but a confirmation of future products being develop side by side. The synergies are there; Fiat has the economies of scale to help Mazda make it worthwhile. Mazda is independent, a distinct disadvantage in this era (even with Sumitomo in the background), but has the engineering expertise and an Asian market foothold.

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Next-Gen Alfa Romeo Spider Won’t Be An Upscale Miata http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/next-gen-alfa-romeo-spider-wont-be-an-upscale-miata/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/06/next-gen-alfa-romeo-spider-wont-be-an-upscale-miata/#comments Thu, 28 Jun 2012 19:50:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=450640 News of the next Alfa Romeo Spider sharing its technology with the Mazda MX-5 led to some speculation that the Spider would be a more expensive version of the MX-5, perhaps with a bespoke powertrain and styling. Not quite. According to Retuers, the Spider will be the volume model, while the 4C mid-engined sports car […]

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News of the next Alfa Romeo Spider sharing its technology with the Mazda MX-5 led to some speculation that the Spider would be a more expensive version of the MX-5, perhaps with a bespoke powertrain and styling. Not quite.

According to Retuers, the Spider will be the volume model, while the 4C mid-engined sports car will occupy a premium role.

For the Spider, Fiat aims to attract younger buyers who look at an accessibly-priced Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ and will be priced like the Miata MX-5 ($23,500 to $31,225), aiming for similar volumes (5,674 in 2011, compared with around 3,500 for the BMW Z4 or the Mercedes SLK).

The 4C should be priced in the BMW roadster or Mercedes range ($42,000 to $67,000).

As far as I’m concerned, more affordable sports cars is always a good thing. The agreement between Fiat and Mazda likely stipulates just how similar the two cars can be, but it’s hard to imagine too much overlap between two sports cars with fiercely loyal camps. If anything, the fashionista crowd may gravitate towards the Italy narrative that goes with Alfa Romeo, while the older gents who have actually owned an Alfa (and dealt with the various issues associated with them) may be more open to the idea of a Miata.

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Mazda/Alfa Romeo Roadster Alliance: The Bright Side Of Consolidation http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/mazdaalfa-romeo-roadster-alliance-the-bright-side-of-consolidation/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/mazdaalfa-romeo-roadster-alliance-the-bright-side-of-consolidation/#comments Wed, 23 May 2012 13:54:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=445703 Back when I was searching for my first car, I briefly found an Alfa Romeo Spider that looked like it would be in passable condition. Before I could even call the number from the classified ad, my father chimed in with his usual wisdom. “Oh, you don’t want to start with those. They were crap! […]

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Back when I was searching for my first car, I briefly found an Alfa Romeo Spider that looked like it would be in passable condition. Before I could even call the number from the classified ad, my father chimed in with his usual wisdom. “Oh, you don’t want to start with those. They were crap! Just get a Miata and finish!”.

Now, after 25 years of utter dominance, the Miata has finally consumed the last icon of European two-seaters, the Alfa Romeo Spider. Mazda and Fiat signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop new, lightweight roadsters specific to each brand. Both would be built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant. While the new MX-5 is just around the corner, the Alfa would start production in 2015.

Alfa Romeo cars, particularly vintage ones, have an enormous following in Japan, and the tie-up with a “premium” brand will reflect well on Mazda, which is saddled with financial troubles and a gloomy future, despite a new wave of promising product. Unfortunately for Miata owners, it will be hard to harp on Alfas for oil leaks, electrical issues and other maladies once Mazda starts building the Spider to the Miata’s superb level of reliability.

The big question here is the implications for Mazda and a potential Fiat alliance. Mazda has been adamant about forming partnerships in order to ensure its survival, and Sergio Marchionne told Automobile this month that a broader partnership with Mazda would be attractive. When you think about it, a Mazda/Alfa partnership isn’t too much of a stretch…

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Junkyard Find: 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1974-alfa-romeo-spider-veloce/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/junkyard-find-1974-alfa-romeo-spider-veloce/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2011 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=409569 I’ve never owned an Alfa, and every time I see one in the junkyard I feel a twinge of guilt for never having rescued some poor abandoned Spider project prior to the inevitable ride to the junkyard that all such Alfas take after a decade or two spent sitting under a tarp in the driveway. […]

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I’ve never owned an Alfa, and every time I see one in the junkyard I feel a twinge of guilt for never having rescued some poor abandoned Spider project prior to the inevitable ride to the junkyard that all such Alfas take after a decade or two spent sitting under a tarp in the driveway. Here’s yet another rust-free Spider that’s going to get eaten by The Crusher because nobody was willing to save it.
Alfa Romeo made the Twin Cam for 40 years, and the one in the ’74 made a claimed 129 horsepower from its 1,962 cubic centimeters. That’s very good for the Malaise Era, though it’s worth noting that the Datsun 260Z of the same year sold for more than a grand less than the Alfa ($5,289 versus $6,550), had 33 more horses under the hood, and weighed only 184 pounds more. Of course, the ’74 Fiat 124 Sport Spider sold for a mere $4,395, but buyers had be willing to overlook the car’s 92.5 horsepower (any time a car manufacturer claims a fraction of a horsepower, look out) and general terribleness.
This car, which I found last week in a Denver self-service yard, appears to have spent many years with its interior exposed to the Colorado elements. Too far gone to be worth restoring, although it would have made an excellent 24 Hours of LeMons race car.
What does it mean when the “THROTTLE” idiot light comes on? Broken throttle cable?

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