1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Survivor

Long connected to its on-screen debut in The Graduate, the Alfa Romeo Spider is also recognized as a wonderful driver with a sonorous twin-cam. The Spider enjoyed a long production cycle, beginning in 1966 with slim chrome bumpers and more desirable styling than later models. The Spider remained in production until 1993 with a continuously upgraded powerplant but saddled with less-sculpted sheet metal to meet U.S. safety requirements. Fortunately, our find today is a 1974 model equipped with the more attractive stainless steel bumpers. Find it here on the Alfa BB for $7,800 or best offer.

Any car that remains in production for three decades certainly has made some friends, and the Alfa’s timeless good looks make it easy to see why. A shape introduced at an auto show in the sixties that still gets second looks today is exceptional, but in an era of plain-Jane econo-boxes, it’s little wonder it stands out. This Series 2 model, made from 1970 to 1974, also sports the first generation of the Kamm tail, which was a departure from the original incarnation’s hindquarters. The classic interior remained, and this car’s seats, dash, and top are all said to be in excellent condition.

The Spider was not big on power, with 0-60 runs taking a leisurely nine seconds. Though equipped with only 132 b.h.p., the Spider delivers a visceral driving experience, with an aggressive exhaust note, console-mounted shifter, and an open-air driving experience that’s tough to beat. The Spider featured here benefits from low miles – 36,000, to be exact – with body and paint condition that reflects the low use. There is, however, some light discoloration associated with a poor touch-up job on the Alfa’s nose, and the seller discloses this minor cosmetic flaw.

From a reliability standpoint, Alfas are cars that benefit from religious maintenance. However, like many sports cars with a fairly low cost of entry, they suffer from neglectful owners who didn’t bargain for the costs associated with their upkeep. One of the common ailments of the all-alloy engines is head gasket failure, an expensive repair on most any cars, but particularly disastrous on the Alfa. According to some buyer’s guides, oil will leak into the coolant and then the coolant will leak into the oil, with expensive consequences. Despite this car’s lows miles, a compression test might be money well spent.

In the case of the car featured here, maintenance was likely a top concern of the previous owner. Coming from the estate of one owner who has looked after the car for 37 years, the low-mileage and overall condition seem to validate that it has been well cared for. All service records are included with the sale, and despite not having been licensed in years, the car has been started and driven regularly. Lights and electrical components are said to be in working order, with the only exception a non-functional tachometer and fuel gauge. $7,800 seem a bit steep for a car that frequently trades for much less, but it can be tough to find one in this sort of condition.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Don Murphy

    This car is a phenomenal example. What you may not know is that this car is the last year before the reduced performance of a the later catalytic converter cars. While you may think this car is high at $7800, the price is actually about half what that car is really worth. This may be the best example of a pre-catalytic car in the US. I have owned a 74 for 28 years and it is a very roomy, comfortable, reliable sports car which I have no interest in selling. Mine is no where near as nice as this one and I would not consider selling for less than $10,000.

  2. Bob Lange

    How can this still be for sale? It’s been posted at least 11 hours!

  3. Jack

    I have one also. Not the original engine, runs grate, but needs a new top. & some interior work.it looks just like the one in the picture. I might restore it or sell it ,not sure, I’m getting old (78) I’ve always loved sport cars though .

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