Parked 32 Years: 1972 Alfa Romeo Spider

This 1972 Alfa-Romeo Spider has been in dry storage since 1987 and, well, it “ran when parked”. It’s for sale here on eBay with bidding only around $1,500. As the former owner of one of these buggies, I see both good and bad points about this example. The best thing about it is the condition of the body. Alfas of this era rust as soon as they leave dry, sunny Italy. My ’76 had virtually non-existent rocker panels, and this one is hardly pristine, the lower parts of the fenders and the rockers are crusty, and it needs new rear wheel arches, too. The wheels aren’t the rather nice examples it came with. But it’s better than many, and the owner claims the floors and trunk are solid, but that’s not supported with photographic evidence.

What we do see is a complete car with a remarkably good top (though needing a plastic rear window), clean bumpers and paint that’s still shiny, or at least capable of being shiny. The windshield has a bad crack. The interior looks halfway decent, with seats that could be cleaned and saved, but the wires dangling under the dash are worrying. The door cards were cut for speakers. I’m wary of cars that aren’t running—because you can’t really check their mechanical condition. That’s an issue with any car, and it’s even more so with these temperamental Italians. When I got my barn find Saab running, I discovered that mice had chewed the circuit boards on the back of the instrument panel. But it could have been much worse.

This Spider has been sitting for ages, at least 30 years, and is going to need to be very carefully revived. Fuel and brake work is definitely part of the package, and the engine sounds tired. It has 99,000 miles, a lot for an Alfa Spider, and the owner acknowledges it “probably needs some level of rebuild.” Don’t expect that to be cheap. As with any stalled restoration, this one comes with accumulated spare parts: taillights, bumpers, door panels (speaker free!), an oil pan guard, a complete exhaust and a fuel pumps. NOS goodies include a master cylinder, four KYB gas shocks, fuel filters, and tune-up parts. A hardtop would be a nice plus, but it’s not on the parts list.

These cars are delightful when they’re running well. I loved mine, and you can put the top down without even getting out of the car. No, it’s not exactly the car from The Graduate—that was the earlier Duetto Spider (made until 1969), without the Kamm tail. But it’s close enough, and red, as it should be.

With the Alfa Spider, buy the best car you can find. I’d probably prefer one that was running, but if this one is solid it might be worth taking on. Would you take a gamble on a car with this many unknowns, even if it was cheap?

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Comments

  1. t-BONE BOB

    Seems like a good starting point

    Like 1
  2. Healeymonster

    Appears to have “Blue Tooth” spark plugs!

    Like 3

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