Lost Storage: 1986 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Classic Alfa Romeo Spiders don’t come along very often and when they do, they tend to be perfection on wheels or basket cases. A 1986 Alfa Spyder that is somewhere in the middle of the two extremes is for sale on Craigslist in San Diego, California for a reasonable $3,450 OBO.

Wisdom says that if you’re considering the purchase and renovation of a classic car, you should buy the best example that you possibly can. Comparatively speaking, bodywork is more expensive time and labor wise than mechanical work so avoid rust buckets if at all possible. This Spider Veloce looks like it has a fairly straight body with a minimum of issues. The seller says that it has had one repaint in its original red. A good detailing might bring the finish back to an acceptable condition.

Photos of the interior are a bit dark, but it looks like all of the major pieces are present. The ad states- and the pictures back it up- that the door panels have been removed. For what purpose we are not told.  From what the photos show, the upholstery may respond well to a thorough cleaning.  The dash top looks like it has a couple of cracks in it, but a replacement or a Coverlay-type product may be available. If this is indeed a Veloce model, the seating surfaces should be leather and the windows are power-operated.

In the engine room, we can see the lovely 2,000cc four cylinder twin cam engine complete with Alfa Romeo script on the cam cover. Being a 1986 model, the fuel system should be Bosch L-Jetronic injection. This is a good thing since the earlier SPICA fuel injection system is said to be challenging to set up properly. In stock form, the two-liter engine should put out 115 horsepower which won’t snap your neck under hard acceleration, but the soundtrack is pure Italian.

For $3,450.00, or less depending on your negotiation skills, this little Sportster could be your entry into the classic Italian sports car hobby.  It is doubtful that the values of these great cars will decline much, so it might just be a ground floor opportunity to get in touch with your inner Benjamin Braddock. What do you say, Barn Finds readers?

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  1. Kevin Harper

    In the last year I have purchased 4 of these all in better shape than this one. The best one was a 90 which I paid 2k for the worst was a quad which was close to the shape of this one but with a perfect dash and I paid 1200 for it.
    These are fun cars and I love them bit cut the price in half for this one.
    On the plus side when they are complete without any excuses they are worth a few dollars but it takes a lot of sweat equity and money to bring one like this up to that level.

  2. Jack Quantrill

    I can see this motoring thru the Goleta Tunnel on Hwy 101, to the tune of “Mrs. Robinson”!

    • Francisco

      Heaven holds a place for those who pray.

      • Howard A Member

        “Did you need any gas, Father?”

  3. Victor Anderson

    hmmm… well if it does not have any rust then it might be worth the asking price. If it has any rust at all – it is not.

  4. Dave Graham

    Is it a Graduate or a Veloce? Graduate model had steel wheels, Veloce had Campagnolo Daytona alloy wheels. Also Graduate had manual windows, power windows standard on Veloce. Cannot see in the pics which windows it has.
    I sold these new in 1986 while living in Arizona. Drove year round with the top down and in the winter, the heater full blast.

  5. rapple

    As Kevin points put, the asking price is waaaay too much. Even on the seller’s local CL there are several decent looking driveable examples for between $5-8k. If the engine runs and the underside is rust free, the seller might something close to his asking price but there is no claim that either is the case.

  6. BOP_GUY Member

    I’ve always wanted one of these. A lady in our neighborhood, when I was a kid, had a white one with the curved rear end. The original model. It was one of the very first cars that I fell for, being so exotic in a neighborhood full of American made boats (it was the late 70’s after all). I’d still like to have one, and I watch them as they come up for sale. I think being a SoCal car (who knows how long) it may be totally rust free. Then it might be worth it, with some haggling. Otherwise you can get one that’s driver quality for not much more. Fun to see!

  7. Michael Friedmann

    Italian junk, no parts available and a rust bucket. Glad I got rid of mine.

    • Kevin Harper

      Actually parts are easily available and there are several sources.

      This is a series 3 and they do not rust bad. I have 4 series 3’s in the garage and none of them have rust. Earlier series 1 and 2 are much more susceptible to rust. The only place that series 3 do have a rust issue is the spare tire well.
      These are one of the last cars that a normal enthusiast can work on. Tons of hop up parts to make them quicker and very fun in stock form.
      I like these things and this one would be great to learn on. My only issue is that the ask price is way to high on this one.
      These are truly an Italian thoroughbred.

  8. Steiny

    Stay tuned…. :)

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