Always Looking For Another: 1965 Alfa Spider

I’ve been told that once you own an Alfa, you never really get it out of your system–thus the title acronym! I haven’t owned one, yet, so maybe I’d better keep it that way! Anyway, this little 1600 Giulia Spider with a factory hardtop is waiting for you in Wallingford, Connecticut and is listed for sale here on eBay, where there’s no reserve but I have watched bidding go up to over $9,000 while I’ve been waiting to write this find up. 

s-l1600-2

I find these little cars absolutely charming to look at, and from everything I’ve read they are great to drive as well. It might be a while before you return this one to the road, though. Despite having only 47 words, the ad pretty much sums it up by stating it’s not running and needs paint, interior and mechanical work. However, since the main problem with these cars is usually rust, maybe this one is worth examining closer. The worst part of the body damage is what you can see on the driver’s side rear in the first picture–that will take both rust repair and some patient hammer and dolly work to make right.

collage

Here are two of the underside shots included with the auction. Actually, despite the holes visible in the lower shot, this looks a whole lot better than the typical Alfa Guilia Spiders I’ve seen for sale. I’m guessing this explains the decent bidding war going on.

s-l1600-3

I think that’s a patch on the passenger side floor, but given the surface rust I’d want to look a lot closer regardless. Still, again, I’m not seeing the ground, which has been the case for most Spiders I’ve looked at recently. Also, the dash appears to be intact and the seat frames, while needed a complete rebuild, look solid enough that acid dipping or bead blasting would still leave enough seat frame left to reconstruct.

s-l1600-1

The relatively fragile bumpers and grille look intact, but I’m wondering what happened to half of the hood scoop trim. Oh well–if that’s the worst thing you have to find, that’s not bad for a classic Alfa project.

s-l1600-4

I don’t know enough about Alfas to tell you if this is the original twin cam 1600 cc four cylinder or not. I have certainly heard of later, larger engines being swapped into these cars, but I’m hoping this one is the original. Considering the seller doesn’t even tell us if it turns over or not, I’d plan on a rebuild or replacement. I went value hunting as this is the last year before the Duetto spider to see if that bumped the value any. With low retail being $30,200 and high going up to $90,600, perhaps there is room to not go completely under water if you do the work yourself. But again, as much as folks seem to love these cars, I don’t think someone’s going to get this one going and then sell it on! If you’re Always Looking For Another, chime in here and tell us why these Alfas are so wonderful!

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Dolphin Member

    Looks like a decent project even with the rust and perforation on the floors and underneath. From the engine it looks like a Normale, and median auction prices paid for those have been $60K recently for very good cars, so this should be an OK deal at the current bid of about $11K or maybe a bit higher. It will need metalwork, so I hope it doesn’t go to a dreamer with no experience. It looks like it’s probably already been there….

    These are addictive, altho not for everyone, since a common interpretation of the brand is Fix It Again Tony. It helps to be handy with automotive fixes, but at least there’s no $650 ECM to ever need replacing—just regular stuff…and only one carb.

    • Rosso1600

      Fix it again Tony is used in reference to Fiat, not Alfa Romeo
      A. R. – Always Ready

    • Dolphin Member

      You’re right! I guess I was thinking FIAT. My explanation is brain fade, which can explain lots of things that go wrong. Thanks for correcting.

  2. Tirefriar

    You are right, once you drive & own one it’s never enough. I took a break after owning 9…. Great cars in almost any iteration, too bad US market has been robbed of models that came after 1995. As a sport car nut, you need to have owned at least one in your lifetime. Those that question reliability of AR have most likely never owned one. With proper maintenance, and I mean no b.s. parts or being worked on by dimwits, ARs are virtually bullet roof.

  3. Larry Brantingham

    Ummm – Fix It Again Tony is FIAT, not Alfa.

  4. Somer

    This is the kind of “fun” you get if you are a masochist. Being a unibody of sorts, all rust must be dealt with on these. All the panels are available. Lots of bondo to be dug out too. There there is the unknown condition of engine.
    This has big engine for Spiders. Should have 5 speed. 2nd gear syncro is always an issue.
    In August a nice one like this was sold for ~$26,000 at the LeMay auction.
    This does have the super rare F’glass top.
    Sell it to cover your bar bill while you’re redoing it.
    BTW I do own one. I looked for years. I would always take a cheap refrigerator magnet with me and check the rockers out.

    • MjModern

      That top is not fiberglass. It is a genuine, steel Pininfarina hardtop that was a factory option for these cars. Each top has an id tag and Pininfarina serial number. Rare these days for sure, but if one is patient, they do come up for sale. I had bought a rusty Giulietta Spider just for the factory hardtop. Sold the car, kept the top and now a friend has it on his Giulietta Spider.

      • Somer

        I learn something everyday! Thanks!

  5. Howard A Member

    Make no mistake, this is an awesome car. No TR6, but a different category. My brother had a ’63 like this, same motor, but a troublesome car. Fun to drive,,,for a while. High revving, tach needle bouncing, 5 speed fun. Handled great ( much better than the Healey) Then the trouble set in. Many, many problems, and it wasn’t that old, a ’63 in ’73. He sold it, and got a big Healey, and was a much nicer car. I’d never care to get an Alfa after that, but won’t soon forget the sound that motor made at 7g’s.

  6. Bruce Best

    I had a 1963 Giulietta Normal for almost 20 years and it was dependable to a fault. Easy to start in the winter, and never overheating in the winter. The stories about second gear are generally true until you go about 3 to 5 miles and it warms up, then it is fine. I think I put well over 80,000 miles on it.

    The bodies are really very well made and at the time ALFA used a very thick primer coat that hid all the small defects of the production process. The original black finish was on mine and it was nearly of Rolls Royce quality for being smooth and perfect gaps between panels.

    The floor when I got it had rubber mats as well as the trunk. The only carpeting was on the sides of the floor and over the center transmission tunnel. At the bottom center behind each seat was a drain hole for the foolish that left the top down.

    I rebuilt the engine once when the car had about 140,000 miles and it was shockingly easy to do. I purchased a piston sleve set and replaced everything to as new with new oil pump, water pump gaskets timing chain even though most were still in very good to excellent shape. All the valves and bearing of course. A special note the Exhaust valves are sodium filled and are not to be handled by fools for they can be explosive if water gets in. Look up in Wikipedia.

    What I liked about the ALFA’s of that era were the details especially in the engine compartments. Simple things that made a world of difference. Brass nuts for the Oil Plug and Exhaust studs so they would not stick. Magnets in the oil plug to collect any filings that were produced.

    Another great thing is if you look the seats are designed to lower themselves as you push them back for taller drivers. This same design was adopted for the Avanti Studebaker and it is a brilliant solution. Often when driving in traffic when set up properly the only way to know it is running is to look at the tack. You can neither hear it running or feel it.

    When driving with the top down in the summer wind buffet is there but not excessive and the engine sound is a soft purr that enhances the trip and is not harmful in any way. BUT and this is a huge BUT, the heater is almost totally worthless. About as useful as a butterfly and a candle but much noisier. That was the only down fall of the car.

    There are few cars I say this about but it is one of the most elegant designs and cars I have ever had the privilege to either own or drive. I only sold mine because I had a brother-in-law that was almost 6′-5″ tall and it was the only sports car that he had ever been in that fit him.

    If somebody wants to make a kit car, this is the one I would remake with proper heater and a slightly larger 1750 engine. Even with the drum breaks great stopping distance. It says something about it that Ferrari, Maserati and even the people At Lamborghini used parts and design features off this car for years after.

    This was my first car, I purchased it for $300.00, YES $300.00 when I was 16 years old and it took about 4 years of pleading by my youngest sister to sell it to her and her husband. Many years later with about another 50 thousand miles they sold it due to medical reasons. The car was repainted by me once and I took care of it and showed them how. It was rust free even then (linseed oil) and sold for over $90,000.

    I have reached the age where I no longer get older just meaner and more bitter but that is one car I truly loved not just because it was my first but because the style, the feel and all those details made you feel elegant driving it. Fast no, great handling? Not bad, great mileage for the day, but that feel. Few things in this world make you feel elegant. Look at photos of an good one and think again about what the worth of feeling elegant is like. Not rich, not stupid wealthy, just elegant.

  7. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    Um, there’s an oil pan sitting on a truck tailgate in one pic and an engine in mid air in another. I’m thinking this poor Alfa has been in the hands of some shade tree mechanics, which I must say I have met some good ones over the years.

Leave a Reply to Bruce Best Cancel reply

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.