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The Niki Lauda Edition Alfa Romeo Spider

1978 Alfa Romeo Niki Lauda Spider

Oh, how times have changed. There was a time when you could slap a professional race car driver’s name on a car, add some special decals, and a few other visual changes to it and sell it as a special addition. That kind of marketing doesn’t seem to work real well today, but then again maybe it wasn’t that effective back in 1978 either. Alfa Romeo tried it with their special edition Niki Lauda Spider. They only built 350 of these convertibles in ’78, but given that it lacked any actual performance upgrades, it’s easy to understand why they didn’t produce more. That being said, they are rather rare today and having one of the few left would make for an interesting conversation starter. Be sure to take a look at this one here on eBay, where it is being offered without a reserve. Thanks for the tip Connor B!

1978 Alfa Spider

Niki Lauda was a championship winning Formula 1 driver in the 1970’s. He had raced for Ferrari in the mid ’70s, winning in 1975 and 1977. His final season at Ferrari had been full of tension, so he left Ferrari and joined the Brabham and Alfa Romeo team in ’78. Alfa was very enthusiastic about their venture into F1 and hoping to capture some of the excitement at the dealerships, they introduced this special addition Spider to commemorate the event. All changes were purely cosmetic, with the exception of the spoiler. All 350 cars were painted red with racing strips that were to resemble the ones on Lauda’s F1 car. Neither the F1 car or the Special edition Spider saw much in the way of success.

Burnt Alfa Spider

There is a reason this special edition Spider is being offered without a reserve and we can only assume that’s because of its condition. Italian cars are known to rust and as you can see, this one has rust in all the typical places. Thankfully, of all the Italian sports cars ever built, the Alfa Spider has to be the easiest to find parts for. We don’t see any serious structural rust, but the seller didn’t include any photos of the floors and given that the interior caught fire and likely left the metal exposed, we would guess there are some serious problems.

1978 Alfa Spider Motor

The seller claims that the motor wasn’t affected by the fire and that it was still running after the fire. While the engine bay does look good, assume the worst and hope for the best. Besides needing a complete interior, top, and all new wiring, we are sure this one will also need all the hoses and lines that run underneath the car replaced. Fire damage can be extremely difficult to repair, as the heat can alter the metal and impact structural integrity. The seller didn’t say how long ago the fire occurred, but this detail could be very helpful in deciding whether it’s worth saving. The combination of fire damage and long term rust could mean the metal is beyond repair.

Alfa Spider Rear Fender

We have always loved the looks of the Alfa Spider, but we aren’t so sure about this special edition paint scheme. We would rather have it in a solid color, but then again the paint is what makes this one special. Niki Lauda’s story is an interesting one, but we aren’t sure how much value his name adds to this car. If the fire damage isn’t as severe as it looks, this could actually be a good buy. It will need just about everything, but parts are plentiful and aren’t as costly as a Ferrari. Does the Niki Lauda connection add any value to this for you or would you rather just have a standard Spider?


  1. Mark E

    Only assume it’s the condition? Lets examine the facts: a. In the ’70s Italian car companies used high carbon steel that rusted if you looked at it funny. B. This car exhibits very visible signs of rust. C. Did you say interior fire?!?? Conclusion: RUN, do not walk, as far away from the car as quickly as possible!! ^_^

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  2. Brian

    Anybody interested in a Ricky Bobby addition ’88 Yugo GVX?

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  3. Doug

    Niki was (is my F1hero) but darn gotta stay away from this one

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  4. paul

    Nothing special about these Niki Lauda Alfa’s except those silly stripes, a parts car at best!

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  5. John Allison

    No pictures of the floors or dash….answers that question! PASS!

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  6. jim s

    it has 35 bids and no reserve, so someone is getting a nice parts car in about 1 hour.

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  7. Connor

    Sold for $1525.

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  8. John

    At least the tires look good! Maybe that’s what tipped the sale!

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  9. Hotrodds46

    I had one of these cars…New off showroom floor#250…back when I was in high school…these limited editions did come with the ansa exhaust…had nice tone to it…very fun to drive…and believe me I was hell on wheels back then…had only one draw back…1 seat to put all the girls that wanted to get in it…lol..i went eveywhere with the top down…thank goodness for a good heater in it…No it wasn’t the quickest or fastest around…but it did handle very well…get up to the mnts..those v8’s couldn’t keep up..seeing this car brought back alot of great memories..

    Like 2

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