Used Car of the Day: 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Today's UCOTD is older than your humble author -- just barely -- and it shows us some Italian goodness. It's a 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider.

It appears to be in pretty good shape, and the seller says the car is well-maintained and runs well. The asking price is a reasonable $13,000. You should have enough money left over to buy a tweed jacket, a jaunty cap, and some leather driving gloves.

This North Carolina-based car also has a manual transmission.

You can live out your dreams of driving the Italian -- or at least Californian -- coast in an Italian sports car if you click here.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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9 of 45 comments
  • Alan Alan on Aug 22, 2023

    The British invented the sports car and the Italians copied them.

    I wouldn't buy this maintenance intensive vehicle, and like the British vehicles of the 60s and 70s Italian vehicles had a lot of reliability issues.

    • See 2 previous
    • Steve S. Steve S. on Aug 24, 2023

      This is far less maintenance intensive than any British coal cart. I've owned two.

  • ChristianWimmer ChristianWimmer on Aug 23, 2023

    Just wondering why the attitude here is “Pass, it’s gonna be unreliable.”

    In this day and age the most common issues with specific historical cars are known. Thus you can easily do preventative maintenance by replacing the problematic parts which are bound to fail with modern improved parts specifically designed for _________ [Insert car here] and they will work reliably for a long time. Then there’s the large internet community of various car enthusiasts which helps you with DIY work or access to companies which offer reliable/modern spares or will professionally repair the car.

    For a decade I worked with various classic car magazines as a photographer. The shoot would take an entire day which also meant spending time with the owners. I must have photographed an Alfa Romeo Spider at least half a dozen times. According to the owners these cars are generally reliable if properly maintained and they all are members of some Alfa Club of sorts where information on how to maintain and care for these cars as well as spare parts are shared.

    This is also the reason why I am a member of an R129 SL Club, so I can keep my ‘89 500SL in tip top shape. It’s been a very reliable car anyway but there are known issues to watch out for and when the signs and symptoms show up I want to be ready. That’s just something you need to be on the fence about with ANY older/classic car.

    • See 3 previous
    • Jeff Jeff on Aug 24, 2023

      True this Alfa would be mechanically simpler than a modern car. I doubt someone who buys this car is going to daily drive it more likely it will be a hobby and taken out when the weather is nice with the top down. It would be perfect on a nice 2 lane winding rural road where there is some nice scenery. The handling of this car would really shine on a road like that.

  • Billccm I think history is repeating itself. In the late 1980s the French acquired AMC. They discovered no easy money in that deal, Chrysler took AMC and Jeep is all that remained.Present day the French acquired FCA, discovered no easy money in the deal, and some Asian manufacturer will take what remains of Chrysler, and Jeep and RAM will be all that survived.To understand the future study the past.
  • Jalop1991 "why did the governor veto a bill to give me free gummint money?"
  • Jalop1991 absolutely. I'm probably coming into a 31 Model A, and there's a great retrofit system for that. It makes a bunch of sense.
  • TMA1 Been thinking about getting one of these for my mother. Skip the AWD and DSG, the FWD comes with an 8-spd. Good size vehicle for a woman who wants a SUV and has a small garage. Much better view outwards than the Mazda CX-30 I was looking at. Wish it had a power tailgate though - she's short.
  • Ajla Mustang.