10k Original Miles: 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider

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It is pretty common to find classic Alfas with rust problems. These can range from the reasonably insignificant through to issues that are well beyond repair. This 1979 Alfa Spider is a welcome exception because it does appear to be completely rust-free. It was an estate find, and it is believed that the 10,000 miles showing on its odometer are genuine. It is looking for a new owner who has a passion for Italian classics. If you are that person, you will find the Spider located in Chehalis, Washington, and listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set the price at $9,800. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Rex M for spotting this great little car for us.

The first piece of positive news with the Spider is that it has been garaged for its entire life. That is always a good thing because Italian steel can tend to start to dissolve if it is left to its own devices. There is no visible rust, and the owner makes no mention of any nasty surprises lurking below the surface. The panels are laser straight, and the Silver paint shows none of the sorts of deterioration resulting from long-term exposure to UV rays. It shines beautifully, with no signs of patchiness or checking. The Black convertible top is as tight as a drum, while the rear window is clear. The external trim is in good order, and the original alloy wheels are free from stains and damage.

While panels and paint can be a significant issue with Italian classics from this era, the interiors don’t get off scot-free either. Upholstery is prone to deterioration, and plastic pieces can crumble. None of these issues have afflicted the Spider, with the interior looking close to perfect. There is some very slight wear on the carpet on the driver’s side, but everything else appears to be faultless. The overall condition supports the owner’s claim that the Alfa has 10,000 genuine miles on the clock. If the mileage were higher, then I would expect to see a lot more visible wear. What isn’t visible is the engine. The 1979 Spider is powered by a 1,962cc 4-cylinder engine, which pumps out 111hp. These horses find their way to the rear wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission. A ¼-mile ET of 17.4 seconds is not that fast, but it is respectable for a small classic from 1979. Unfortunately, the owner neglects to tell us how well the Alfa runs or drives, which is quite frustrating. However, the drivetrain in the Spider is a pretty robust combination. Provided there are no electrical gremlins to tackle, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be in sound health.

The 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider is an attractive car, and it offers its driver a rewarding motoring experience. They can be prone to some horrendous rust problems, but if they are treated with care, it is possible to keep these problems at bay. That appears to be the case with this example because it presents exceptionally well for its age. It is possible to buy some reasonable cars for under $10,000, but pristine examples can sell for twice that figure. This one looks like a real beauty. If a personal inspection confirms that it is as good as it appears to be in the listing, then it has the potential to be a bit of a bargain. It is undoubtedly one that would be worth a closer look.

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  1. alphasudMember

    Pretty car and looks to be a good buy if it’s running well. I believe this car still had Spica. And when they are properly set up they run nice. Loose the US numbers to add lightness to bring this car closer to its roots.

    Like 0
  2. Kris Hicks-Green

    Looks to be a potentially great deal. If I weren’t in the middle of a kitchen remodel I’d probably be on the phone right now.

    I live 20 miles from Chehalis and owned a ’69 boat-tailed Spider for six years, if anyone wants me to take a look at this one. I’d love to have an excuse to crawl under it!

    Like 3
  3. christopher gush

    Appears to be a lovely survivor. The lack of mileage can be problematic taking into consideration all the engine and driveline seals as well as of course the braking system with brake fluid gelling after lack of use and age. Something to consider by the uninitiated buyer. These are delightful cars to drive, but ergonomics can be problematic for any driver over 6’3″ with long legs. Interference between the drivers door pull, now extended laterally for the 1979 model to the outer steering wheel will not allow your leg/knee to clear it when trying to clutch. Pretty exciting when you first figure it out trying to disengage the transmission with the clutch. Whoopee. “You must be this short to go on this ride”.

    Like 1
  4. MarkMember

    Someone jump on this and keep me away, please!

    Like 1
  5. Steve S.

    I’d say this is underpriced by at least $5000.

    Like 1
  6. wifewontlikeit

    WHAT A TIME CAPSULE! As a former Alpha owner, this car would be an easy decision to buy! I agree it’s undervalued, but Alpha’s tend to be very soft. They often sell for significantly less than Fiat 124’s a significantly lesser car (sorry Fiat lovers, but compare new car specs, year by year). GLWA, its a beauty! Great color combo too!

    Like 0
  7. Araknid78

    very nice

    Like 0
  8. kevin

    I’d love to have THAT ONE but already have my ’83 with a just-installed rebuilt transmission. Just got back from my mother-in-law’s place in Centralia. If I’d known about this gem, then I would have take a look. Scratching my head like, “How could I sell my car and get this silver one?”

    Like 0
  9. Stan Marks

    Car would have shown better, with the top down, sitting outside..
    IMHO, car needs a contrast, to help the all grey exterior.
    How about a red pinstripe, to match the interior?
    I know, some of you hate pinstriping. I really don’t care. LOL!

    Like 0
  10. randy simonMember

    per owner its been sold

    Like 1

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