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Almost to Bangor: 1962 Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider

For reasons unknown to me, I have a fascination with northern Maine. I think it’s because here in New England, you can visit three states in little more then two hours – but to cover the vast expanses of Maine, you’ll need close to a week. Plus, the remoteness of its northern territories always makes me wonder how cars like this 1962 Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider here on eBay end up there, far from year-round top-down weather. 

This Alfa was discovered in Palermo, Maine, which is a mere hour away from the Queen City known as Bangor. Supposedly locked up in a rural shed, I’m dying to know how this rough-but-complete Alfa ended up in snow country, and why the second owner chose to lay it up for the last 30 years! Despite being an area that experiences more than its fair share of snow fall, this Alfa 1600 isn’t the rust bucket you might be expecting. Most rust is contained to the rear of the car, in the trunk floor and hind quarters.

There is rust, for sure, but take a look at that interior: not bad, right? Obviously, the top is long gone, so the insides have held up well despite the beating the cockpit has likely taken from the elements. A “rural shed” does not exactly conjure up images of a heated garage. The original Alfa Romeo steering wheel still looks sharp, as does the gauge cluster. The windshield was damaged beyond salvaging, so the next owner will have to sort out glass replacement. The seller claims the door still close well, and there are no obvious signs of accident repair.

The motor is stuck but said to be complete. I’m most impressed by what I suspect is an original VDO washer fluid bag. Those are the little details that are hard to replicate, as trim items like those aren’t reproduced and have long since succumbed to the elements. And if the matching numbers claim holds up, this is a highly original car indeed. Bidding is active and there’s just over a day left, so wave your paddle if this Alfa in Maine has caught your attention.

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I HAD to send this to my brother, who, as you may remember, had a ’63 like this in the early ’70’s. Running, driving for $500 bucks ( and the guy threw in a very tired, but running TR4) just to show him how out of kilter the hobby has become. The owner of the hole that this person dragged it out from is probably pretty sore, got to be a $13,000 profit so far. Again, the purpose of this comment is not to rip on the flipper, I’d probably do the same thing. However, I just can’t for the life of me, be willing to spend a years wages ( that’s all SS pays @62) on this hulk. Pure greed. Killing the hobby. Thumb away,,,,,

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    • Scot Douglas

      Thumbing away. Up, up and away! I totally agree with you. 🙂

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    • Woodie Man

      Git ’em Hojo!

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      • Howard A Member

        Yeah, perhaps I was a bit hasty. What this car SHOULD be, is an inexpensive way for someone to experience an Alfa, without spending tens of thousands of dollars. If you want an Alfa, then go out and buy an Alfa already done, but what this does, it drives the price up for beaters ( and this IS a beater, sorry) and eliminates regular folks from enjoying this. Ok, I’m not that old fashioned, clearly the 70’s, and $500 Alfa’s, are gone, but get this for a grand or 2, at most, tinker with it, it doesn’t have to be perfect, and go wind the crap out of it. (These sound so neat at high rpms) I mean, if you have $15g’s to buy it, and another $20-30 (?) to restore it, you certainly must have enough to just go out and buy one. Leave something for the little guy ( or gal)

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    • Bruce Best

      I had a 63 as the first car I every purchased when I was 16 and I restored it many years later and had to sell it to pay for medical bills for my late wife. Last I heard it sold for 95K last year.

      This cars in this condition with good fender arches are like hens teeth to find. I can see this one easily going into the high 20L range. For those that do not know much of the front chrome is really stainless steel, the whiskers and cross bars. Much of the rest is stamped brass. The side rails hid a continuous weld and those covers are also stainless steel. All of that looked good.

      The rust in the trunk is common and not that difficult to repair and windshield are expensive but available as are almost every other mechanical bit. One of my favorite all time cars with the exception of the heater which is purely worthless.

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    • Klharper

      There are plenty of cheap Alfa’s out there, but you are looking at a 105/115 car and not a 750/101.
      It is still the same basic engine, transmission and diff. You are probably looking at an Alfa between 1975 to 1989.
      I had a customer purchase a nice driver 1982 for 2600 bucks, and while I haven’t looked it up my guess is that 500 bucks in the early 70s is worth more than 2600 today.
      I am a confirmed alfaholic and own 5 spiders a 64, 67, 74, 82 and 86, and while they all drive different it is just nuances between them. I find that many people want that “special” car that is rare, and for that you have to pay the piper. If you just want the alfa driving experience it is out there for a reasonable rate.

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      • Dave Wright

        Well stated………..

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    • Jimmy

      Well it’s a cycle remember $500 in ’75 is about $2,300 dollars today and in 50 years will an rx7 fa fb still be worth $5k for a nice running and driving example. Remember in the 90’s the Alfa Duetto was the underdog of all the spiders a chrome bumper kammtail would bring more money than the same condition duetto at that time. It all takes time depending on the rarity/how many survived. Will a first gen Miata be worth 50k for a driver in 30 years probably not because they’re a dime a dozen. Will Alfa spiders be worth $50k for a driver well the duetto is on the brink to being that much for a nice driver. It’s all a cycle those sporty cars we can buy now for a decent example at $2,300 that aren’t very common will one day have the same price tag Giulias have today.

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  2. Squanto

    I want to know about the windshield. I pictured someone taking a shot at the driver of this abomination. Someone commented on the gauge cluster. I’m thinking the whole spicy meatball is a cluster.

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  3. Brad C

    The leaning, weather-beaten barn they surely dragged this out of is surely worth more than the car. No thanks – I’d rather take my chances on the turquoise Studebaker also posted this morning.

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  4. Dan

    Jeff, did you actually look at the pictures? That interior does not look bad, it looks terrible! Everything appears to be corroded. Bet that VDO bag will crumble once you touch it. I love a lost cause, but this looks ruff!

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      Eh, it isn’t great but I’ve seen worse. I don’t think it’s “epically” bad for a car that’s been sitting as long as this one has.

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  5. Klharper

    I own one of these, though mine is a 64. My wife sees the prices these are bringing and encourages me to sell it. I asked her to wait until I have cooled off a few degrees before she sells it.

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    • Dave Wright

      Did you see the restored 65 on eBay……………120,000. Buy it know. At that price, there is plenty of room here. Howard, you are stuck in the wrong century. The market changes and people that resist are bound to get left behind.

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      • Howard A Member

        I’m well aware of that, Dave. I, and many others here, certainly come from different income brackets. I’d wager few people that visit this site, would spend $120g’s on something like this. It’s why we’re here, because we can’t afford these. The bottom line here, is I (and many others years ago) got to enjoy this car for a fraction of what someone else is going to have to spend, to do the same thing. (AH 3000, too) And also, sadly, many won’t get to experience that DOHC at 6500 rpms, crisp 5 speed, and brakes that will put you thru the windshield. If that’s considered “left behind”, so be it.

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      • Dave Wright

        My brother has a warehouse full of these and other very expensive classic alfas. He started buying them 40 years ago after I sold him my 1969 Duetto. People with foresight gather things they like when they are inexpensive before they hit the appreciation curve. Last fall, at my dad’s memorial, I asked one of his old busisness partners what happened with the 59 Desoto adventurer I sold him 45 years ago…..it was one of the most magnificent cars I ever owned in retrospect……..he said “I kept the wrong cars”………those words struck home to me…….simple concept.

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      • Marco

        Well, Dave Wright, as an ALFA collector and restorer I would be very interested to be put in touch with your brother. Or is he a “I never get rid of anything”. Can we talk?

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      • Dave Wright

        He is in the Bay Area, collects Alfas, BMW motorcycles and Lotuses. He is one of the founders of the computer age and has more money than he can spend. A true eccentric. Someday his daughter will have one of those huge sales that people talk about for years. The last I heard, his wearhouse is over 20,000 sq feet and full. The Bay Area was a huge Alfa market, in the old days, it was obvious that Southern California was Porsche country and northern cal was Alfa land.

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  6. Adam Wright

    My only advice is if you do go to Northern Maine to get a car, wait until Spring, because there is nothing open this time of year, no gas, no hotels, no nothing. You can read a true horror story here:
    https://unobtaniuminc.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/postcard-from-the-edge/

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    • carl french

      This is just south of Bangor this isn’t the a Allagash. It’s right off the turnpike and motels and diners are available.

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    • Jeff Lavery Jeff Staff

      I enjoyed that. Much like the time my buddy and I drove to podunk Vermont and found there wasn’t a restaurant open after 9 and we had driven 5 hours from work to get there. I’m not exactly a city slicker but darn it, every town should have a 24 hour diner.

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    • John K

      As mentioned, this is central Maine, not northern Maine. But winter time is recreation time in northern Maine – – snowmobiling is a HUGE past time. Travel around to the motels up north and you are far more apt to find room instructions on how to treat your sled than find pool rules. For example, every motel I’ve stayed in up there has a sign stating “DO NOT USE TOWELS TO WIPE DOWN SNOWMOBILES”. Instructions on how to hang/dry snowmobile suits, where to dispose of oil bottles, etc. are also common. And when the snow flies, the rooms are packed.

      Springtime? Only if you like blackflies.

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  7. Rocko

    At 14k with one day to go on Fleabay means its gonna fetch 100k when done. Its so chic to have cash to flaunt! Go get them!

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  8. Adam T45

    If this has been stored somewhere that is even slightly damp, I don’t even want to begin to think of the electrical problems that the next owner is going to encounter! Jeremy Clarkson once said on Top Gear UK, “Alfa Romeo build cars to be as good as they can possibly be….briefly.”

    I’d love it but can see a world of pain there.

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  9. redwagon

    i’ll bet it was parked when a rock thrown up from a logging truck went through the windshield and took out a portion of the canvas top too!

    seriously who brings an alfa up to northern maine? the same type of idiot who brings classic cars to rural areas of canada. my type.

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  10. Bruce Best

    Adam surprisingly the electrical systems were not much of a problem as compared to English cars. I know because I have had a number of both. I have salvaged cars in far worse condition to save the transmission an other bits and all the electrical bits worked. The two weakest links on this car is the body and the worthless heater. It can make noise but not much heat if any and that was true for all of the cars of this body style I owned.

    Oh and there is a small plastic gear for the wiper that will always bread in the middle of a thunderstorm. Not a total pain to replace unless it is pouring. Under bridges work well. I always carried a spare in the glove box. Having a spare got me into back stage tickets and to party with the band the Grateful Dead in the late 70’s but that is a whole nutter story as they say.

    Last comment most cars are tools to get from one place to another. We here celebrate those that are left and the exceptions. The cars that thrill the soul. Look on Youtube for the videos of why these bring the prices they do. These are far more than transportation they are works of art by a master. Under that light these are bargains now and I do not think this is a bubble. I think prices will go further up.

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    • Adam T45

      Hey Bruce, I’ll defer to your experience on the long-term electrical reliability of Alfas. I live in Tasmania, which is Australia’s coldest and wettest state. I’ve known a few people with Alfas and just know that they experienced above average electrical issues.

      Having said that, I agree with you about the driving experience of an Alfa. Most cars are tools, but having driven a number of Alfas, I would dearly love one myself. We have a piece of road nearby that I punted a little Alfasud over one day. It remains vividly in my memory as one of the most enjoyable driving experiences of my life.

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  11. Marco

    And the VDO bag is available again from European suppliers.

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  12. Jimmy

    Biggest throw off on this car is the fact it needs a windshield only the people that have put one on know the pain of going through multiple windshields until you get the right one

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  13. Marco

    Thank You, David Wright. Your brother sounds like an interesting fellow. I hope he knows Conrad Stevenson, also in the Bay area. He performs magic with Alfa’s! Perhaps we’ll see your brothers collection one day.

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  14. wyatt

    ..well, when I had mine on ebay last fall the far more desirable 750 series not a 101 Giulia with not nearly as much rust in fact 90 percent less and far more complete with more of the correct parts and no broken glass…Haa I was villified here as a greedy alfisti who over priced it, I call Bull Shizen to those nay sayers…even tho I had owned it for 25 years as well as other alfas all in barns and me getting to damn old to restore any more cars..so I say more power to the seller and let the values soar… these are one of the most beautiful cars ever designed.Let the free market rule

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    • wyatt

      btw..plus it has a title very important for over seas sales…:-)

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