Junkyard Find: 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

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?






Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Forestghost07 Forestghost07 on May 16, 2013

    this photo saddens me and some of the comments really raise fur ... my 1st car (age 16) was a brand new '78 Alfa Spider. We swapped the horrible "crash" bumpers to those lovely stainless steel earlier ones, and I kept that car 8 yrs/ 130,000 miles with not a SINGLE breakdown! How many teens respect and lovingly care for their 1st car even 8 months??? Unreliable? NONSENSE!! I learned how to service it MYSELF, "mysterious" mechanical injection and all. That was the trick - keep 'em in your own hands and AWAY from shops. The only bugger was rust, but all 70's cars were rust buckets, don't some of you remember? I've gone retro now - driving a 1972 MGB GT, rock solid, show condition, a joy to own and tinker with

  • Graham64 Graham64 on Dec 29, 2021

    That is a huge binnacle that surrounds the speedometer.

  • Mia Hey there!I recently stumbled upon the Crack Eraser DIY Windshield Repair Kit (check it out here: https://crackeraser.com/collections/diy-windshield-repair-kits) and decided to give it a shot on a small chip in my windshield. I have to say, it worked like a charm! Super easy to use, and it saved me a trip to the professionals. If you're dealing with a similar issue, this kit is definitely worth considering. 😊
  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
  • 1995_SC Can you still get some of the tax credits under the new program?
  • Analoggrotto HyundaiGenesisKia saw this coming a long time ago and are poised for hybrid and plug-in hybrid segment leadership:[list=1][*] The most extensive range of hybrids[/*][*]Highest hybrid sales proportion over any other model [/*][*]Best YouTube reviews [/*][*]Highest number of consumer reports best picks [/*][*]Class leading ATPs among all hybrid vehicles and PHEVs enjoy segment bearing eATPs[/*][/list=1]While some brands like Toyota have invested and wasted untold fortunes into full range electric lineups HyundaiKiaGenesis has taken the right approach here.
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