BF Auction: No Reserve 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider

Sold for $1,925View Result

  • Seller: Jesse M ortensen
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Mileage: 39320 Shown
  • Chassis #: 115410002159
  • Title Status: Clean

This was a very nice Alfa Romeo… until a fateful day a few weeks ago. The body had no major rust, and the paint looked great. It had been parked for a while, but I had big plans for this Spider. I’d just gotten the engine running and was in the process of making it a driver again when tragedy struck!

The next-door neighbor at Barn Finds HQ wasn’t paying attention and backed his trailer right into the side of the car! That left a nasty dent, but I figured it was fixable, so I called a tow truck and had it hauled to a nearby body shop.

After dropping it off there, the driver immediately put the truck in reverse and backed right into the front of the car! How could this happen again? As you can probably imagine, I was a little disheartened. Luckily, the tow company owner paid me close to what I had into it, and I got to keep the car.

I looked around for an old Giulietta with a seized or missing engine that we could swap this drivetrain into. That was a fun idea, but I had no luck. So, I’ve decided to auction it here on Barn Finds with no reserve instead. Could a skilled paint and body guy massage that crinkled sheet metal back into shape? Or perhaps this car could donate some parts to keep another on the road?

Before the incident, I’d just installed a thermostatic actuator that Spica fuel-injection master Wes Ingram had rebuilt. So, the engine runs, and the car can be driven around the block. It’ll still need some fine-tuning (or a set of Webers) to really scream, though.

The inner structure of that nose looks undamaged, but it would still take a lot of work to pound that honker and the rear rocker back into shape. Then, you’ll still have to source a new hood and paint it all. Do you think someone can still save it? Be sure to browse through the photo gallery, and feel free to leave your questions in the comments section below. Happy bidding!

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $1,925
Register To Bid
Ended: May 2, 2024 10:02am MDT
Winner: Matthew Barlow
  • Matthew Barlow bid $1,925.00  2024-05-02 09:59:47
  • Nova ll
    bid $1,875.00  2024-05-01 12:58:57
  • mbbdcbdcinccom bid $1,750.00  2024-05-01 11:52:43
  • g.rock bid $1,400.00  2024-04-29 16:33:37
  • mbbdcbdcinccom
    bid $1,350.00  2024-04-29 16:13:29
  • g.rock bid $1,300.00  2024-04-29 14:52:59
  • mbbdcbdcinccom bid $1,250.00  2024-04-29 13:22:51
  • g.rock
    bid $1,150.00  2024-04-27 18:43:23
  • Suave79 bid $1,100.00  2024-04-27 18:24:30
  • g.rock bid $1,050.00  2024-04-27 16:11:12
  • IV113
    bid $1,000.00  2024-04-27 15:59:22
  • g.rock bid $850.00  2024-04-27 15:43:25
  • Suave79 bid $800.00  2024-04-27 07:12:27
  • IV113
    bid $750.00  2024-04-26 10:08:50
  • Paul bid $550.00  2024-04-25 21:19:59
  • IV113 bid $500.00  2024-04-25 11:02:51

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Jesse… In my world that’s what I call minor damage. Easier to replace the hood but even a good metal worker can fix it and the other damage on the car. These cars in good condition are hard to find as rust killed most of them.

    Like 16
    • Martin Horrocks

      I agree. A traffic accident in Madrid a few years ago left my Spider with a very similar look to the nose and bonnet. New panels are available, not expensive. My car ended up looking great.

      Much cheaper to fix this than a rusty car!

      Like 8
    • Jim Andrews

      I have all the parts to fix this except the lower fender, in Salt Lake City. I’m currently giving away the rolling chassis to get it out of my garage.

      Like 2
  2. alphasudMember

    That’s a solid little Alfa! Definitely worth fixing and definitely something I am considering. The engine is even dry underneath! The thermostatic actuator is a common item on the Spica units. The pump might need to be worked on to clear up the tune issues but definitely worth keeping. Webers work good as well but the Spica really barks when it’s set up properly.
    I was working on a 86 Spider at the dealer which had an issue cutting out on right turns. Had my meter hooked up and sitting on the passenger seat. The dealer had a long rear service entrance with a curve that I was using to find this issue. I looked down as I entered the turn to look at the readings and when my head popped back up there was the office worker with her K car Daytona. The poor Alfa didn’t stand a chance. Fortunately the customer was understanding and the Alfa got a new nose. Ironically the impact revealed a rusted ground connection on the frame rail. That was a hard way to diagnose a problem.

    Like 14
    • bobhess bobhessMember

      If you grab this car and fix it show us the results, if nothing else to show it can be done.

      Like 13
  3. Bruce

    I have owned these in the past and fixed them and it is a far easier job then you might think. You can use either suction or a stud welded to the surface sheet metal to pull most of it out. Harbor Freight has these and they work well and are not expensive for a one time use. The quickest way to fix the engine Bonet is to find a replacement. Given that these tend to rust out on the bottoms those are far easier to find than you might think. Also this car looks great in silver.

    As for the fuel injection system it really works well and the biggest problem is altitude. Above 10 to 12000 feet there is a switch you need to flip to get it to work it’s best. You do not have to it will still work but performance improves.

    Like 7
    • Bill ToelMember

      Can you tell me where that “Happy Switch” is?

      Like 4
      • Bruce

        It is on the fuel injection pump and if you have access to the owners manual it shows where it is there. I have have had a couple of spiders like this one and a 1974 2000 GTV that I wish I had never sold. But I used to live in Denver and when I would go skiing in the mountains I would hit that switch before I left, and again when I got back home. But that has been about 40 years ago so I can not tell you exactly. Just been too long ago. Sorry.

        Like 4
  4. Lawrence Smith

    That hood & the rear dent are fixable, as stated you can pull them out easy with suction or by welding a plug pulling it out & then carefully grinding the plug off , have done it many times for friends, you could also check out Mid west or other breakers who carry parts for the hood.

    Like 3
  5. Shawn O'Connell

    OMG !!! Are you serious ?? The driver hit it twice. Is he blind but this is totally fixable.

    Like 0
    • Jesse JesseSeller

      Different drivers but yeah…

      Like 0
  6. alphasudMember

    How does the transmission shift? Synchros okay?

    Like 2
    • Jesse jesseSeller

      Syncros seem good. It does pop out of reverse sometimes but that is most likely caused by tired engine/tranny mounts.

      Like 2
  7. Marques Dean

    To the seller,I feel your pain. 10 years ago I had a 1975 MG MGB 35 Anniversary Edition that was totaled by one of my neighbors while parked in front of my house. Seriously,who goes for a drive at 1 am in the morning when they have problems sleeping (at least that’s what she told the police officer investigating the accident) her Nissan Altima didn’t fair any better!

    Like 4
  8. Chill-driver

    An old Italian Alfa Romeo. Like buying a boat. Fun WHEN it works.

    Like 1
    • Figgy308

      No old Alfas make you look stylish even when you are broken down on the side of the road.

      Like 3
  9. Kendra KendraMember

    Hagerty lists current average value $7k fair, $16k good, $24k excellent, $35k concours. And regardless of numbers these are a blast to drive top down on a warm evening – I experienced that in a ’76 about 35 years ago.

    I’d be sending strong bids if I had space for it.

    Like 0
  10. Lee Noga

    I do not really see the side damage very well in your pictures. Do you have a better picture of the side damage?

    Like 0
    • Jesse JesseSeller

      Check the photo gallery. There are over 100 photos.

      Like 0
  11. IV113Member

    I don’t mean to ask really stupid questions but I’m new to the bidding-on-line scene and I am truthfully ignorant. To me this Spider is absolutely beautiful! Nonstructural cosmetics can always be repaired. If a winning bid is around $3-5K, ($1,875.00 plus $500 as I write this.) I think that would be fair. I believe the engine, transmission and brakes are in good condition. WHAT AM I MISSING??? Any and all comments would be appreciated.

    Like 0
    • Jesse JesseSeller

      The engine and brakes are in good condition. It was parked for a while so it may stop need some servicing and such but the compression is good and it’s all there.

      Like 0
  12. Araknid78


    Like 0
  13. Jim in FLMember

    Now THAT’S how to write up a “for-sale” advertisement!
    Clear and concise text, multiple great pictures….you should give classes on this.
    Too bad on the dents, thinking for a skilled body & fender man they are probably fixable without too much $$$.

    Like 0
  14. Paul T. Root

    someone got a bargin

    Like 0
    • Jesse JesseSeller

      I’m happy with what I got. The buyer has already paid and it’ll be going to a good home where it’ll be brought back to life.

      Like 1

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