Barn Cave-In: Alfa Romeo Spider Project

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Should all vintage cars be saved if their bodywork and engines are intact? That’s a subjective question for sure, but when we see a vehicle that doesn’t typically have high values but is also seemingly not past the point of being rescued, it’s a tough call to say whether it should be dragged out of the barn to brought back to life. The Alfa Romeo Spider went through many iterations and the earliest cars tend to be the most sought-after. Later examples like this one don’t command much dollar-wise but can certainly provide a memorable driving experience when fully sorted. Can this forgotten Alfa sitting in the tall grass come back to life? Find it here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of just $1,250.

The Alfa is said to reside in Lakeport, California, which is part of Lake County. This part of California is quite far inland, away from the potentially corrosive sea spray of the Pacific Ocean. Recreational boating is a big deal here, and this little Alfa certainly wouldn’t have been used for anything other than parking at the marina and looking pretty. But the seller does note it has a roll bar under the tired soft top, so perhaps this was a previous owner’s weekend cone chaser and track warrior. The bodywork looks reasonably sound with the rust limited to surface-level only, likely due to years of being parked in the sun. Without the huge front bumper, we’re reminded how pretty this design always was.

The interior isn’t awful for an old Italian convertible left to the elements. The door panel is missing on the passenger side but it may very well still be in the cockpit somewhere. It’s also an easy part to find thanks to the high production volume the Spider enjoyed over its many years of production. This aspect of the Spider’s history is also why it can be hard to justify saving a car like this, as you don’t have to look too hard to find a better one that you can actually drive. The seller doesn’t explain how he came into owning this Spider, but if I had to guess, he bought the property and the car came with it. It’s certainly not being invited to park in the garage given its desolate location on the back 40.

The asking price is reasonable but only for potential buyers in the area, as shipping this Alfa any distance would quickly negate any potential upside in the low sale price compared to just waiting for a beater to show up in your local marketplace. The Alfa does come with an engine and was last registered in 2003. It’s quite a long time ago but it’s still encouraging to know it possibly ran sometime in the last 20 years. Or, it has been sitting for forty years after the previous owner or caretaker lunched the motor. With little insight into engine or transmission health, you have to tread lightly here if you find yourself wanting a new rescue project or possibly needing a good parts car. What do you think the fate of this forgotten Alfa should be?

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  1. Jamie Palmer Jamie PalmerStaff

    One word: LeMons!

    Like 4
  2. angliagt angliagtMember

    An Alfa that’s outstanding in it’s field!

    Like 12
  3. Pat P.

    Alfalfa Romero?

    Like 14
  4. Mike

    It kinda doesn’t look that bad compared to other Alfa projects I’ve seen.

    Like 4
  5. Robert Levins

    That is one “scrotum style gear shift “. Looks like a love it or leave it car. It would make a great project car since the price is right. Just don’t get too close to that shifter!

    Like 0
    • Martin Horrocks

      That´s how they are and it´s one of the sweetest shifts you can find.

      Maybe not this example….

      Like 0
  6. Big C

    The mere fact that the owner is asking $1200, tells you that folks today will put a price on dog doo.

    Like 1
  7. bill tebbutt

    Run away……

    If the restoration costs don’t kill you, the tetanus will.

    (former Alfa owner)


    Like 0
  8. james F preeo

    Parts car only not a classic like my 66 spider

    Like 0
  9. Steve

    “Ran when…oh, never mind.”

    Like 0
  10. Martin Horrocks

    Usual comments…..If the “Pay me to take it away” guys knew the current value of an Alfa twin cam engine, box, wheels and restorable shell, they´d be there with a trailer waving money…..Maybe it´s just strategy.

    Like 0

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