No Reserve Roadster: 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

We’ve had a run of Alfa Romeo Spiders popping up for sale as of late, a trend I attribute to both the model’s generous production numbers and the ongoing popularity of vehicles from the 1980s. If you’re looking to get into ownership of an iconic 1980s vehicle, your options are growing smaller if budget is of concern, as many of those once-attainable cars are becoming five-figure items. This 1987 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce isn’t perfect but is a good driver that can be improved without needing a frame-off restoration. It features good cosmetics thanks to a new paint job and well under 100,000 miles. Find the Alfa here on eBay with bids to just over $2,000 and no reserve.

The Spider Veloce wasn’t much different from the other trim options offered stateside, with the Graduate model being the true base option and the hard-to-find Quadrifoglio Verde offering a variety of cosmetic upgrades the other models didn’t get. All three trims still made do with the standard four-cylinder powerplant, which featured a 2.0L DOHC four-cylinder with Bosch fuel injection. By no means a racy mill, it certainly offered some level of durability and ease of maintenance given how many Spiders Alfa was able to sell to retirees and casual car enthusiasts. I know of more than one of these holed up in garages as summer use only cars that get minimal love and still seem to run decently, year after year.

The interiors were also fairly durable, as the leather bucket seats seem to hold up fairly well. This one comes with original seating surfaces, which is a little surprising considering the owner decided to go through with a respray. The interior has a few issues, including the typical lack of A/C along with the less typical lack of heat and a very slow passenger window. The seller doesn’t confirm whether the heating issue is tied to the heater core or something else, only offering that it seems like it could be a ground issue. While the respray is a definite bonus, the cabin seems like the next place I’d focus my time and efforts if I wanted to make some significant improvements to the Spider without going down the rabbit hole of over-restoring it.

The paintwork looks nice, and it would appear the seller began with a solid car for rejuvenating. This generation of the Spider featured the large black textured bumpers and integrated rear spoiler, both of which appear to be in good condition here with no evidence of sun fading. The seller notes the next owner may wish to replace the soft top but doesn’t explain why; I’m guessing it’s because it looks increasingly tired the closer you get to it. The seller notes he has replaced the gas tank and performed a full tune-up, but you still may notice the transmission grinds going into second gear. The odometer currently doesn’t work but the seller estimates he’s only gone 1,000 miles or so since that happened. It’s a driver, but one that can be easily improved over a few weekends.


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  1. alphasud Member

    To add clarity to the Spider trim levels the Graduate was the base model with vinyl seating, steel wheels, and a vinyl top. The Veloce added leather interior, power windows and mirrors, and alloy wheels.The quadrafoglio added the hard top, contrasting stitching for the leather seats, and a cloth top. Weak electrics, A/C, weak synchros, and oil and water leaks are all part of the Alfa charm. Alfa used the same Porsche style synchronizer set up which requires operator care to insure long life. One trick I was taught when working on these transmissions and transaxles was to swap the friction ring and slider on 2nd with 5th gear. A poor mans way to fix the 2nd gear shift grind.

    Like 4
  2. Raymond

    That plastic rear end cap tho….fugly…

    Like 1
  3. Troy

    Odometer stopped working at 72k miles would still make a fun project

  4. Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

    Check for rust in the foot wells. If it appears underneath, it’s probably a lot worse inside under the carpet, underlayment, and linoleum sound deadening. Ask me how I know.

    • Troy

      How do you know?

      You said to ask obviously you had some experience with these.

      • Eric_13cars Eric_13cars Member

        Fair enough, Troy. 2 years ago I bought a 1989 Veloce that appeared to be in very good condition bodywise, with 103K miles. I of course looked under the car before buying it ($2300). There was a hint of rust under both of the floor wells and also in the spare tire well. It needed a top (window was crazed) and the leather seats were worn. Carpet was intact, but many different colors. Out for a drive with my brother, the car died. Trying to figure out the wiring for the fuel pumps, and trace what I thought would be a dead short, I removed all of the interior carpet, and underlayment to trace the complex wiring. Lo and behold, the foot wells had much larger holes than I originally thought. I’m no body specialist or professional restorer, but I have some skills. Classic Alfa sold me the correct floor pans, but to install them I would have had to remove the inner and outer sils. Instead, I cut out the rusted areas and cut the new floor pans to fit the openings, welded them in and sprayed Flex-Seal all over them after first painting them with primer (top and underneath). I’ve also subsequently recovered the leather seats with new covers from LSeat, and installed a new top from World Tops. I’m also redoing the carpet from scratch. The original problem….a bad O2 sensor.

        Like 1

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