Smashed Spider: 1969 Alfa Romeo Duetto

As someone who is not immune to the siren song of a desirable car that is down on its luck, I can emphasize with this seller’s delusions of grandeur as it relates to hatching a plan to restore a wrecked 1969 Alfa Romeo Spider, otherwise known as a Duetto. The Duettos were desirable for a few reasons, ranging from their on-screen role in The Graduate to the shapely rear end that makes later Spiders look downright tawdry. This Duetto was wrecked many years ago and purchased out of the New Mexico desert for an ambitious restoration that the seller admits will not happen. Find the Alfa here on eBay with a suggested opening bid of $7,500 and no action yet.

I have come to terms with the fact that I am a very lucky man, as my wife is incredibly forgiving when it comes to some of the heaps I’ve dragged home. While the junkyard-find Mercedes 190E 2.3-16 isn’t the biggest basketcase I’ve acquired, it does need a fair amount of bodywork – but my God, nothing like this. I really can’t imagine the conversation that transpires when you bring something home that seems very likely someone actually died in given the extent of the damage – not to mention explaining the bold plan for bringing it back to life. Yes, restored Duettos sell in the six figures on occasion, but I’m guessing those cars started from a better place than this one.

But those of us who own projects know it’s unfair to wage judgement on fellow car nuts or their ambition to see a desirable car brought back from the dead, and I’m sure this seller saw how beautiful this car could be with unlimited time and money. He notes that despite the wreckage, the Alfa’s frame is “basically” straight, and that the primary impact point wasn’t the engine, but the A-arm. I suppose these are net positives when it comes to restoring a severely damaged accident car, as I haven’t ventured down that path automotive hijinks yet. The interior, as you might expect for a car found languishing in the desert, is completely burnt away.

The seller is including a good front clip for the Duetto, which is a big part of the reconstruction efforts. Other reasons why this Duetto may be worth rescuing, as the seller points out, is due to the 1969 models coming with some added features the prior year Duettos did not have. This includes better brakes, an ashtray, and center console – small details for sure, but likely quite meaningful to an Alfa enthusiast. The seller has smartly gone through the hoops of getting a clean title from the California DMV, so there’s definitely some real value here despite the appearance of being a car destined for the scrap yard. I have no bearing on what a fair price for a wrecked Duetto would be, so what would you say – is it worth restoring?


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  1. Howard A Member

    Mama Mia,, Front clip, pfft, gonna need more than a front clip. Jeff’s line, “unlimited time and money” says it all. Can’t deny, parts must be worth a fortune, but you’d have to off your rocker to try and restore this.

    Like 19
    • stu

      What are you talking about…some sanding, upholstery, paint job, etc…and your all done. Easy job!

      Like 1
  2. RayT Member

    This is what used to be called a “total write-off.” I’d say it still is.

    I suppose if it was a Porsche 356, or from the stock of Beverly Hills Car Club or Gullwing Motor Cars, I could understand the pricing. The difference between $7.5K and a “six-figure resale” seems to be about what the restoration would cost….

    Sorry. I like Duettos, but I wouldn’t go near this one.

    Like 11
  3. Gremlin X

    Looks more like a Crepe now!

    Like 3
  4. Steve Clinton

    Don’t Duett!

    Like 29
  5. Ike Onick

    Are people adding magic mushrooms to the stuffing this year?

    Like 9
  6. Tracy

    That car and and a 100k and you’d have a 40k car!

    Like 18
  7. Arby

    Duetto forgetto…

    Like 10
  8. PeteL

    Let’s see, I have a hood/bonnet, doors, bumper, grill, suspension and a 1750 engine in my stash of parts from this model. Perfect, now who is up for cutting and welding? A tad overpriced I think. I know of a very nice one at $28k in Maine.

    Like 4
  9. Mark

    Using past ads as a guide….the wear on the steering wheel, door cards and brake pedal in my opinion do not jive with the claimed mileage. Therefore, the vehicles originality and associated value should be in question.

    Like 2
    • Terry R Melvin

      Frame is bent too. The transmission and driveline are severely misaligned. This car’s only value is as a parts donor, and even that is limited.

      Like 1
  10. Pebblebeachjudge

    This is a perfect example of a parts car that no one seeks the parts of. Absolutely starting bid should be 1000$. I imagine 1000 hrs of work at least. Negative value.

    Like 7
  11. Daniel Soukup

    Crispy Crepe

    Like 2
  12. Jeffo

    This is more in line with what spiders look like in my house after my wife sees them

    Like 13
  13. ccrvtt

    Only takes a 20 minute youtube video to fix this, provided it’s an old HotWheels found in a sandbox.

    Like 1
    • Terry R Melvin

      “Wow I bought this Spyder for only $150 at an online car auction. Let’s see if I got ripped off”

      Like 1
      • stu

        Terry R Melvin,
        Hell yes you did get ripped off! Why did you pay so little when you can have this gem in your garage!

  14. Mike

    The seller’s description is a pain to read with various capitalized words. Here’s a sample:


    Like 4
    • Terry R Melvin

      This IS because his CAPS button is SHORTED on his KEYBOARD.

      Like 1
  15. RayZ

    I could be wrong but, if this car was to be completely restored and sold for 121K the owner would still be underwater.

    Like 3
  16. saltydog

    Hard to believe this car has a clean, and not a salvage title.

    Like 2
  17. Rick

    I appears that the “better brakes” were of little help.

    Like 3
  18. SDJames

    This one must have been an early build as it obviously had the ’68 brakes… ;)

  19. Nick

    I would be far more inclined to cut the rear end off this one, and weld it onto a tail-ended and better preserved example.

    Like 1
  20. Stilbo

    Comment 1 there’s no such thing as a cheap Italian sports car
    Comment 2 this won’t buff out
    Comment 3 Hahahaha

    Like 4
  21. Dave Mathers

    Move the decimal point over to the right at least two spots to get the true value of this piece.

    Like 2
  22. christopher gush

    This 1969 would be correctly identified as a 1750 Spider, not a Duetto. A legal spat with Volvo required Alfa Romeo to remove the Duetto name for the final years of this boat tail vehicle. Certainly a great parts car for someone who is recommissioning a 1968 or 1969 1750 Spider….

    Like 1
    • Gene Stigen

      Had one in the ’70’s, actually 69’s were left over. The Spider I was a ’68 titled as a ’69. It had F/I & was a Velochee{sp}. Duetto had dual Webers.

  23. Terry R Melvin

    Give the Italians and this Duetto credit. Even though it’s wrecked it’s still beautiful enough to look better than today’s Chevy Silverado and Ford F150 pickups.

    Like 2
  24. Phlathead Phil

    Here’s the deal: Crush it and walk away, 👣👣👣👣👣 never to look back and get a decent workable project you can enjoy!


    Like 3
  25. John Oliveri

    Nah, creepy death car, not worth anything, parts,

    Like 1
  26. JBD

    First Place in the worst Restorable Project Category?

  27. Jonny_the_Boy

    How the Alfa shield survived is beyond me!

  28. Bill McCoskey

    It’s likely this car languished for years in a local junkyard until the current owner found it. He then did the work to change the title from one marked “salvage”, to a regular title.

    It remained unchanged [no parts removed] because [1] no one in the area had a running version in need of parts, and [2] there are damn few useable parts remaining! So the junkyard owner was very happy to sell the car to an unsuspecting buyer!

  29. Araknid78

    No surprise

    Ended:Nov 29, 2020 , 8:11PM
    Starting bid:US $7,500.00[ 0 bids ]
    Item location:Canoga Park, California

  30. Phil

    An Italian shop I know cut a 59 Spyder in half because they “didnt have space” for it. I thought of buying it and restitching it with my bodyman brother in law. Been outside for a decade. Too too big a project.

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