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Italian Job: 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Getting into this write-up was harder than you could imagine because, if I might quote Jeremy Clarkson: “This is the thing you have to remember. Alfa build a car as good as a car can be… briefly”. As the proud owner of this very same model and year in Argento, I see this “extensively restored” Canary Yellow Spider, with its rather odd protective strips running down each scallop, the missing Alfa logo from its steering wheel, the rat’s nest of wires peeking through the radio chasm, the bizarre wheels and sad overspray (most obviously in the trunk) and one word comes to mind: RUN. Of course, that’s not entirely fair because at its heart, it’s an Alfa Romeo and there is actually no substitute for the love Alfa owners feel for the marque and their cars. Problematically though, no antidote exists for the heartbreak. But we won’t go there. Find this Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2000 on eBay with bidding at $7,005.

Underhood is the tried and tested 2L twin cam all-aluminum engine, which made circa 125HP when new — expect less on this one, I promise. But the best part is, all Alfas come with built-in rust protection. I mention this unique feature in the context of the copious leaks that inevitably emerge from the various component parts of the lightweight powerplant and transmission. These work seamlessly to run various oily lubricants down the underpan helping to preserve it, as we see here. Despite this, many, many Alfas have fallen to the enemy of rust. Would that possibly make our subject car a survivor?

If the term I mentioned earlier — RUN — didn’t resonate with you, maybe this will hit the point home. The owner gives a clue by saying the car: “…runs and drives excellent, with only 72k miles (50k reading on clock)”. But take a closer look at the pic of the odometer: it clearly reads 42,171 miles. So while there are “some miscellaneous items missing on the interior,” I suspect a prospective buyer will have to sleuth the actual mileage to truly know how far the car has traveled. Otherwise, the interior appears relatively complete — at least enough to hop behind the wheel and pop down to your local ‘cars and coffee’. Whether you make it home is a different story. At least you’ll be caffeinated.

There are other clues that maybe our subject car isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The driver’s sideview mirror is from a later model Alfa and, while certainly functional, I am partial to the slender, round, flat chrome mirror myself. And those wheels. Maybe they are better than steel wheels with dog dish hubcaps? Maybe. Fourteen-inch turbine Cromodoras or Campagnolos are the correct wheel fitment and help the car drive and handle as intended, but again, I’m a purist. All of these criticisms aside, it is once again the words of Jeremy Clarkson that resonate in my head when I see this (or frankly any) Alfa: “You can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned one”.

Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    That color is just plain wrong – looks SO much
    better in other colors.
    And those wheels are SOOO UGLY.I had a
    Cortina MKII wagon with wheels like that.One of the
    first things I did after buying it was to take them off
    & sell them.
    That said,Alfa Spiders are cool cars.

    Like 2
  2. Michelle Rand Staff

    I can go with “run!” What bothered me was the weird look of the door gaps when the car is shown in the air. The doors look warped and the fit is very close. The photo of the nose shows the bumper fit is not symmetrical, too.

    Like 5
  3. Big C

    OK, I admit it. I’ll never be a ” petrol head.”

    Like 1
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Add the bent rear bumper to your list of concerns. Doesn’t look like it’s a big deal but it is just one of the things that need to be done to bring it up to snuff. If there is no rust it’s worth buying just for that. The comment about the “rust proofing” hits close to home as our ’59 Sprite race car that’s been on the track since 1974 really blows a lot of oil out at the 8 to 9,500 rpms it runs. To this day if you jack up one side of the car up and leave it oil comes out of the spot welded seams everywhere. No rust! Oh, I do like the yellow color.

    Like 2
  5. Bob

    Front and rear bumpers don’t fit. Doors look wrong. Mileage is wrong. Wheels are wrong. Colour is wrong. Side trim looks wrong.
    Run like the wind.

    Like 3
  6. Gerard Frederick

    Back in the day I´ve owned 2 Alfas, a (used) 1969 boat tail Spyder and a (new) 1974 Berlina. The word – RUN- says it all. Pure mechanical masochism.

    Like 2
  7. t-bone bob

    Located in: Millstone Township, New Jersey

    Like 1
  8. bill tebbutt

    (sigh)

    I bought a 1990 Spider in about 2000. It had <30,000 miles on it, no rust anywhere, original paint. It was beautiful. No power steering was its curse, as they had a habit of stiffening up over time and my wife really had to fight it into parking spaces. But on the open road, it was just lovely. I would buy it back in a second (and rebuild the steering!).

    As for this car. No. As mentioned earlier, bumpers bent, colour wrong (and carelessly sprayed over everything), wrong wheels, etc….. In looking at the original listing, the pics show plenty of wavy body panels – there's more plastic than metal along the sides of the car. It's a slapdash out-the-door job to some unsuspecting rose-coloured-glasses-wearing buyer.

    cheers,
    BT

    Like 1
  9. Araknid78

    Ended: Jul 03, 2022 , 2:46PM
    Winning bid:US $7,605.00 [ 34 bids ]

  10. Mitchell

    “This …spider has gone through an extensive restoration”, it looks
    more then like a car quickly cobbled together from some
    new reproduction parts.
    Doors are badly fitted.
    Both instruments have deep scratches or are cracked.
    Body shows undulations on both sides, which means there is too
    much filler on it – and it will rust from the inside later.
    Steering wheel would be repainted but horn buttons still show the wear.
    The rims would visually fit on a Pininfarina spider.
    The exhaust tips are wrong.
    Too expensive for a parts car too much tinkering for a proper classic.

    Thishere is typical for “restored” cars from West India with over
    painted rust, 10 years later, the sheet metal behind is completely
    worn through. I have seen plenty of this.

    Or as the Beatles sung, “let it be let it be let it be let it be”.

  11. Mitchell

    \edit
    In trunk you can see a highly oxidated original wheel. This engines
    rarely leak the most common fails made from unknowing ‘mechanics’
    are wrong adjusted clutch plates which cause sometimes a worn
    main shaft bearing on the gearbox.

    The rear differential needs observation and at 80’000 KM a refill
    with fresh hypoid oil. Otherwise no mechanical issues, they are
    bullet proof. I would estimate this example runs 145’000 mls or
    245’000 KM what is rare today but an Alfa can proof. Let it be

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