Live Auctions

20 Years of Records: 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider

There are certain details about a listing that just make you feel so much better about who you’re buying a car from. Certainly, there is no shortage of old Alfa Romeo Spiders for sale at a given time, so you have your choice of projects to choose from. This 1979 example is definitely better than a project and is a desirable fuel-injected example. The seller reports that he has records stretching back over the last 20 years, which should paint a fairly rosy picture of how well this one has been maintained. The interior is a gorgeous shade of oxford red that compliments the somewhat bland silver exterior perfectly – it’s worth a look, for sure. Find it here on craigslist for $10,500 in Portland, Oregon.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Matt H. for the find. The Pacific Northwest never disappoints as it relates to drool-worthy project cars and drivers that are still used like any other piece of transportation. A car like this would be locked up and given the diaper cloth treatment every night in the northeast for fear of road salt getting into the crevices and rotting out from the inside; not as much of an issue out in places like Multnomah County. The interior is gorgeous in this example, and the seller doesn’t describe it as having been recently restored – is there a chance this is all original material we’re looking at? The steering wheel and carpets certainly seem to be, and it speaks volumes if the seat upholstery has survived to this degree.

The four-cylinder engine features Spica fuel injection and presents as being in stock condition, with no obvious alterations. Even the brake booster housing looks original, which isn’t the end of the world – my 1987 BMW 325is still has its original brake booster, and it looks like hell – and the valve cover appears to retain its original finish. I can’t quite tell if the engine appears wet in places, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it has a leak or two. That’s not a death sentence either, and in a way makes it seem more authentic. After all, most old Italian cars have a leak or three by now, and I’m more comfortable with owners who focused on the big things and simply enjoyed their car rather than treating it as a time capsule and sweating over every minor flaw.

The U.S.-spec safety bumpers are a crime against humanity, and if this were my car, I’d find a way to swap out that rear parking bench for a slimmer European-spec assembly. The top appears to be in excellent shape with a crystal clear rear window, and the finish looks quite clean as well, as it’s not easy to make silver appear this glossy. If you can get your hands on the maintenance and service records to confirm the car’s history, I’d say this looks like an excellent Alfa Romeo Spider specimen to simply keep enjoying, especially with a reasonable asking price. Which generation of the long-lived Alf Romeo Spider is your favorite?


  1. alphasud Member

    I agree on the bumpers. Absolutely dreadful! Beautiful color combo though and this should be a fun driver if the Spica is tuned properly. Funny the seller mentions he is near the zoo. Not sure if he is referring to Portland or an animal sanctuary?

    Like 6
    • Terrry

      Can’t be the zoo with animals. They don’t set fire to their own cages.

      Like 3
    • grant

      There’s a zoo not far from the West Hills, where this car is located.

  2. Gerardo

    My ’73 Berlina never ran consistently due to the inconsistent thermostatic actuator.
    Spica pump finally broke some internal pieces at 55k miles.

    Like 5
  3. Terrry

    A nice looking car, in unrestored original condition, but that makes the price a bit high because I’ve seen them in like shape for under $6k.

    Like 2
  4. Tim

    Portland Zoo = in the hills SW of Portland. For the locals, I guess? Nice looking Alfa. But yeah, too bad about the bumper.

  5. Pauld

    BF asked which is your favorite Alpha Spider? It would be, of course, the red 1967, boat tail, used in the hit film,”The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman. I bought one for 2K, partially restored it, and sold it for 4K. It ran good, but did not have the get up and go of my 1969 1750 coupe. Wonder where both cars are today?

    Like 1
  6. CJinSD

    I could live with bumpers that protect these incredibly vulnerable bodies, but I’d go nuts looking at how asymmetrically the rear one is mounted.

    Like 1

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