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One Family Owned: 1983 Alfa Romeo Spider

Every time I see an Alfa-Romeo Spider I think of Dustin Hoffman in the movie, “The Graduate”. While hardly a car movie, the Alfa gets a lot of screen time with what is probably dubbed-in engine tone but it sounds great and you get Hoffman’s perspective from behind the wheel. Generally, I think of the colors red (like Hoffman’s) or black or white when I conjure up a vision of a Spider. What caught my attention about this featured 1983 Alfa Romeo Spider, located in Union, New Jersey and available here on eBay for a current bid of $2,002, is its color, silver-blue. I believe this is the first one that I have seen in this shade.

Alfa Romeo produced the Spider from 1966 until 1993 before returning in 2015 as a substantially different car. The original Spiders are broken down into four different series and this example would be considered a series 3, 1983 through 1990. Alfa produced 5,356 Spiders in 1983 which is the sixth-highest production model year, 1991 being the highest at 9,073 and 1981 being the lowest at 1,653.

This Spider really shows well! The finish, which I think is great in silver blue, is strong and appears unblemished. The black plastic bits do not appear to be faded, misaligned or cracked. The chrome components/trim are still pretty bright. This listing, like many I review, says very little in terms of details so we are left with photographic evidence to make determinations, and based on that, the exterior looks very sound. Ditto for the canvas convertible top, it appears to have a lot of life left in it.


There isn’t a broad, comprehensive image of the interior included but what is present reveals a typical Italian sports car design and layout – very driver-oriented. The console and switchgear show a little bit of wear but this Alfa is 37 years old too. The wooden steering wheel shows light use, no significant wear incurred from this Alfa’s 70K miles of usage. The seller states that this Spider has been sitting for seven years so it would seem to have experienced proper storage.

So many positives about this Spider, there has to be a down-side, right? Well, there is, it doesn’t run. All the seller says is, “needs work.” The non-running situation could be serious or very minor, there is just no way to know without probing. The non-running engine is a 2.0 liter, four-cylinder, DOHC, fuel-injected motor wringing out (when it’s running) 126 HP. With that kind of power coming from a 2.0-liter engine, and combined with the Spider’s diminutive size, this Alfa should be a feisty performer. Power to the wheels is regulated by a five-speed manual transmission.

On the surface, this looks like quite a bargain with the bid at only $2,002 and there are only two days of bidding to go. The non-running engine is of concern, of course, but some probing questions may help to narrow down the malady. So, here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, I think you should ditch the guy and go for his car. I really like this Alfa Romeo Spider, how about you?


  1. alphasud Member

    This is the more up-scale model than the graduate. Has the alloy wheels and power windows. This has the Bosch EFI not the Spica so a little easier to get back on the road. Only a couple places can repair the Spica pumps. The 2.0 liter engine is pretty stout other than head gasket issues we used to see. Believe it or not in 86 the Spider got variable intake valve timing! A simple solenoid actuated the cam phaser so it was a on off arrangement.

    Like 1
  2. H5mind

    Lift the spare tire, and if you can’t see the pavement you’re good to go! Looks like a great start to a fun weekend(?) project.

    Like 1
    • On and On On and On Member

      I never get tired of that clip Howard. Love Alfa Spiders, haven’t had one……………. Yet!

      Like 3
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        Why are you not watching the auction!!!!!!!!!! LOL!

        Like 1
      • On and On On and On Member

        Was at the auction on Wednesday.

        Like 2
    • Jim ODonnell

      Love it Howard! Thx

      Like 1
    • MikeH

      His driving position is all wrong! You don’t sit that close to the wheel of an Italian sports car.

      Like 0

    Well if I didn’t own 12 Alfa’s already. Simple little cars and a lot of fun to drive.
    Oh the non start could be as simple as a low battery, the engine spins beautifully with 11 volts but the injectors will not fire without 12. And if it has been sitting a long while the bosch fuel pump craps out. As long as it doesn’t have a major mechanical failure, which is rare, I could probably get it running in a few hours.
    Cool color, I worked as a mechanic for the dealer when these were new and Alfa had several interesting 80’s color, I liked this color but it was bad about fading, though this one appears to have held up well.

    Like 4
  4. ccrvtt

    At $2,225 with 8 hours left – someone is going to STEAL this car!

    Like 0
  5. RickC

    That air freshener in the passenger footwell come standard? There’s that old deodorant adage ” you never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression..”

    Like 0
  6. On and On On and On Member

    Sold for $3500. Nice deal if engine is OK.

    Like 3
  7. t-BONE BOB

    Winning bid:US $3,500.00
    [ 31 bids ]

    Like 1
  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It’s been re-listed, sale must have fallen through,

    Like 0

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