With just 2,300 miles since new, you have to wonder what the current owner of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Alfa 4C has been up to recently since it’s obvious driving it hasn’t been in the cards. Let’s see if it’s priced to let a more active owner take over.
I have to offer a mea culpa for misidentifying the wheels on yesterday’s 1966 Toyota Crown wagon project car as being off one of the marque’s more modern pickup trucks. As a number of you pointed out, they were definitely from Ford’s fine family of cars, specifically the ‘90s Ranger/Explorer.
Another thing a whole lot of you pointed out was that the car riding on those Ford rollers was way too needy and way too weird to command its $5,500 asking. Perhaps half that might make the task of finding its missing glass and delving into its non-functioning mechanicals worthwhile. As it stood, however, (since it apparently could barely roll) it dropped in an 86% No Dice loss.
What’s the phrase sex addicts like to throw around? Oh yeah, ‘use it or lose it.’ That’s a fine take when working to keep your junk out of a funk, and it applies to a lot of other things as well. Take cars for instance. They are engineered to be used on a regular basis.
Seals, gaskets, and lubricating systems all demand a reasonable amount of activity to keep from going the way of Kanye’s presidential aspirations. Other parts, like brakes, need the occasional exercise to prevent corrosion and degradation of their essential fluids.
That can obviously be a real problem when it comes to garage queens or car museum captives, but what would you say to a four-year-old car with just 2,300 miles under its wheels? Is that new enough, and the miles sufficient enough that their low count actually works in the car’s favor? That’s just what we’re about to find out.
Exhibit A: this 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider. The white over black two-seater is claimed in its ad’s headline to have “less than 2500 miles.” It turns out it’s quite a bit less than that even—just 2,300 miles in fact. The seller claims the count is increasing incrementally as the car gets exercise on a bi-weekly basis, but it seems that’s a good bit like a prisoner being let out in the yard every now and again.
With its mid-mounted engine, Targa roof, and diminutive two-seater size, this Alfa naturally feels like the spiritual successor to the… Fiat X1/9. Of course, the Alfa lacks the Fiat’s pop-up headlights so it’s not quite as cool. Making up for that, what the Alfa does have is a carbon-fiber tub making up the main section of its monocoque chassis. These are notable for being the cheapest such design currently on the market.
Being the Spider edition, this car has even more of the stuff wrapping over the roll-over bar and making up the rear mount for its Targa roof. More still is sprinkled in the interior by way of the Carbon Fiber Interior Trim option box having been checked at the dealer.
Other additions to the bottom line include the track package, “sport-tuned” exhaust, and yellow-painted brake calipers. According to the seller, all that added up to an original MSRP just a few hairs shy of eighty grand. That apparently wasn’t such big a deal to the present owner as the ad shows the Alfa hobnobbing with some of the other cars in the collection, including a newish 911 and Ferrari Italia.
Those are both nice, but we’re here to talk about the incredibly low-mileage Alfa since that’s the one for sale. Speaking of sales, these cars have never sold in sizable numbers here in the States. You can still buy a Spider new from the factory, but the closed-top car has been given the heave-ho from the lineup owing to a distinct lack of customer clamor.
That’s not because the car isn’t fun. In fact, there’s a lot to like with the 4C. The 237 horsepower 1750cc turbo four that snarls behind the headrests can push the little car to 160 miles per hour and takes just a tick over four seconds to get you to sixty on the way there. The six-speed twin-clutch gearbox isn’t as fun as a traditional manual, but it makes up for that in being faster at its shifts than you could ever be, and by offering a full-auto mode for when you just want to calm the eff down.
The ride, handling and noise level in the 4C is Spinal Tap level 11 across the board and that makes the car more tiring to drive than say a contemporary Porsche Boxster. Then again, these cars are rarer than their German competitors and reward those who can deal with their foibles.
This one is described in the ad as being “almost Perfect 99.9%” and in “*NEW condition.” I’m not sure what the asterisk denotes there, but then I didn’t write the ad. The title is clear and one would expect the car to be running current tags.
This will be the first year it will require a smog test since it’s both four-years-old, and seeks to transfer its title, both actions that demand an emissions test in the car’s present home of California.
The asking price is $48,999 and for that the seller warns that non-serious buyers need not apply and that joy rides are completely off the table. Maybe if I ask nicely enough I could get a ride in the seller’s Ferrari instead?
While I’m figuring out how to make that happen, why don’t you all take a moment to weigh in on the Alfa’s $48,999 price tag? What do you think, is that a deal for so lightly used a sports car? Or, does that price mean this Spider can just bug off?
H/T to Mike M. for the hookup!
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