Is It Too Rusty? 1960 Alfa Romeo Spider

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With a little over three days left in the auction here on eBay, this rusty Alfa Spider has made its way up to $7,600. Since there’s no reserve, someone will end up with this Alfa, presumably as a project, not a flip. I’m curious what you think of their raw material! The Alfa is located in Wallingford, Connecticut, where the snow, ice and salt may account for at least some of the rust.

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I have taken the steps down the road of restoring a rusty car before. Not quite this bad, but bad enough. I would describe it as a character building experience. Also an expensive one. There’s rust all over this Alfa, which is said to be “fresh out of the barn.” I think someone needs to look at the roof of the barn; it may be leaking.

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Here’s what’s left of the rear floor and seat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a seat rust like that.

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It doesn’t get any better in the front. It’s going to be difficult to find enough solid metal to weld something to. I guess you  just work your way up the side until you hit steel.

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The seller characterizes the car as a Veloce, which only made up about a quarter of Spider production. However, as best as I can tell, the easiest way to tell a Spider Normale from a Spider Veloce is whether the engine has one downdraft Weber or two sidedraft ones. As you can see, this one only has one carb. This made the difference between 109 and 130 horsepower according to this article. One classic value guide here states that the low retail on one of these cars is $20,600, but that’s for a running vehicle that needs some minor help. I just don’t see how you’re going to get there from here, unless it’s a labor of love. What do you think, readers?

 

 

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Comments

  1. Dan

    I think I do not have a clue as to what is going on in the car world anymore. Sure seems like a lot of money for nothing.

    Like 1
    • Jack

      $7,600 buys you the beginning of your new career as an auto body welding pro, because that is what you will be after getting done with this car

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Dan, I agree with the 1st sentence, but disagree with the 2nd. Being old ( school) I too can’t believe what has happened, or what cars from our youth, turn out to be these big dollar classics. In the early ’70’s, my brother bought a ’63 Alfa, just like this for $500, and the guy “threw in” a very tired TR4, that ran (poorly). We sold the Triumph,( for $250) and we drove the Alfa for a while. I’m not a big fan of Italian cars, but this was a fun car, high-revving, 5 speed, handled great, pretty cool,,,,until #3 spark plug blew out of a stripped hole. We took it apart, had it fixed, but must have had the cam’s timing a tooth off, or something, because it never ran the same after that. I remember, it had excellent brakes, but the transmission ground a lot. He traded it on an Austin-Healey 100-6, and that was a much cooler car. I just can’t believe how the prices for these have shot up. I never really thought the car was that special.

  2. OhU8one2

    I would take today’s rendition of a Disco Volante,and do a classic looking version. Now I wouldn’t make it look like one of the first Disco’s. Maybe something in between the originals,it would have to appear period correct though. Maybe throw in a little Sprint Speciale. Paint it Dark Navy Blue,Oatmeal interior,and Borrani wire wheels. Volante specs, and attach the “Z” logos,which isn’t for Zansabar…….

    • Bruce Best

      I understand but the factory ones were almost perfect for typical driving. I would suggest that we talk about using a later 2000 spider and making a Cangaro replica. Check out that design. I have drawings already started to build a tube frame.

  3. sir mike

    Someone has an Alpha that needs a title and vin.I don’t think even the Brits would attempt to rebuild this one.

  4. Ian

    It is/was a Veloce. Can’t see oil pan or headers to determine how much else veloce equipment has been removed.

    Too far gone for me, but I’ve seen worse.

  5. cyclemikey

    I don’t think they sell Evapo-Rust in a size large enough for this project.

    • Wm Lawrence

      Touch this thing with Evapo-rust and you won’t have a project.

  6. Bruce Best

    I have salvaged worse. The main structure is in good shape and there is very little chance that this is a Veloce 1300. The rockers are an easy fix as are the floor pans as patch panels are available for a reasonable cost. I agree about that drivers seat.

    All the front bright work is available the biggest problem is the trunk and rear wheel arches. They seem to be at the very least to be OK. The bodies on these are very well designed and are stronger then you might think. The prices that even a normal one bring make it a possibility to make a profit with some elbow grease added to the mix.

    I suspect that this car has drum brakes all round and that is not as bad a think as you might think. The drums on these cars are amazingly good and very expensive to make being part aluminum with elegant fins and steel liners fitted. That design cools very well as compared to disks but is a bit heavier and more complex to make.

    Just assume that the engine will need a total rebuild as well as the transmission. I have yet to see an Alfa rear end need a rebuild but that is possible. Just consider the heater to be worthless because it is. This seems to be the last year of the small tail lights which some like better.

    All I know is that I had to sell mine after I finished the restoration in the very early 1980’s to pay for medical bills and the same car sold last last year for over 95 thousand. They are a piece of art that you can drive and there are just not many of them around left to bring back. Will it be work, YES, will it be worth it, YES but no half measures here.

    I would buy it but I am in the middle of two restorations now and I just do not have the time or space.

    • cyclemikey

      Too bad that you’re too busy. I really, really like seeing “hopeless” cases like this one get saved, and it sounds like you’d be the guy to do it.

      OTOH, at the price it’s going to go for, someone obviously thinks they can save it, so I hope they do and more power to them.

  7. Kevin in Iowa Member

    So far $7,600? IMO, overpriced by more than $7,000.

  8. alphil

    Several things point to it as being a Veloce body;Number on firewall with “F”code. Special air vent (in front view,drivers’ side),as well as double air ducting on inner fender. Correct fuel filter/regulator/bracket on rt. frt. fender. Marelli regulator.8K tach,140 speedometer.The engine might be a different story.As mentioned,the Veloces came with two sidedraft Webers;the 1960 spider normale came with a two barrel downdraft Solex.This carb and manifold are early Sprint,with the manifold having a cast-in thermostat housing,but could still have the correct Veloce block.AFA value,that NADA price mentioned is for a normale.The Veloces have reached low six figures,and I have no idea as to whether they’re going up or down,but I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more bids on it.

  9. Wiley Robinson

    I’m hoping these are the next Porsche 356 of the old car world.

    • Dave Wright

      The Velocies have been sought after for a long time. They are very popular for high end rallies and other automobile sporting events. I know of some that get flown all over the world to compete. The normals have lagged behind but they are not cheep either. Off course, Alfa Romeo is a much older brand than Porsche, very early sports and racing cars have always commanded top prices, they were the Ferrari of there day. This car will wind up on a rotisory with a high end restoration and an appropriate Veloce engine. One of my brothers has several of this model that he has horded for decades. They were not cheep when he bought them in the 70’s but are crazy valueable now.

  10. Tre Deuce

    My first sports car was a 59′ Spider Veloce, that was reported by the second owner to have been owned, originally, by Brock Yates. Never confirmed that. It was an exquisite car, a little jewel of a car.

    I spun a main bearing and ruined the block and new one back in 1965 was about $2,200 and it had to come from Italy as none were available in the states.Today a competent welder would weld up that block and it would be rebored. I solved the situation by buying a 62′ Veloce engine.

    Always wanted to acquire the beautiful Scaglione designed Sprint (Veloce), but they have always eluded me. Now, they are beyond my financial reach unless I sell something, or several somethings.

  11. robbert smit

    Well worth the effort…however they are difficult little cars to get right. Starting price to high should be around the 2000 doll mark. Long wait to catch to the 356 prices.

  12. David Miraglia

    too much rust

  13. Kevin Harper

    This is a veloce and it will probably be fixed. I am not sure if the engine is,correct or just the carbs. I do have a complete and correct 1300cc veloce motor for this that is ready to go in. 22k if the owner is interested.
    Completed in even a condition 2 level is currently going for 120k

  14. Jack Robinson

    In a previous life I was a domestic dealer with a body shop. Because we liked Alfas we did some restorations on them. When they get this bad they tend to break in the middle. We sent cars home that looked like this. Nobody is ever happy at the end of the project – neither the rerpairmen nor the customer.

    • Dave Wright

      You are right about the old days, I remember trying to braze body panals because welders precise enough to weld thin panals without warp age were not available yet. Things have changed. I remember when I bought my first English wheel, no one knew what it was. We actually have very fine craftsmen today that have more information than we ever did ( the problem is with people that want cheep instead of good, that has not changed) and the values of many of these old cars have moved from the junk yard to the rotessory. In our shop today we have a sand blaster still but the Soda blaster is where the magic is, cleans surfaces without damage or heat. Lots of new equipment and methods to save this kind of machine. I am learning so much from the young guys I hire that have degrees in auto body, things we could only dream of.

  15. Charles

    I pity the guy who buys it. I bought one in 1970 or so, and it took 2000 cash to put it on the road, but it wasn’t as bad as this one.

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