The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Spider claims it to be an honest, clean, and original car. Let’s see if that translates into an honest-to-goodness deal.
We had to contend with some pretty odd aspects in the ad for the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Sport that was the object of yesterday’s appraisal. Those began with the seller omitting the wagon’s make and model in the title and wrapped up with the demand for interested parties to make contact only by phone. Putting up with such eccentricities demands a respectively low price, and the Montero came through on that account with a $3,450 asking. That was good enough for most of you, with the Mitsubishi ringing up a solid 90 percent Nice Price win.
Yesterday’s Montero was what we all might consider to be basic transportation in today’s car market. As we all know, being basic is enough to get by, but it doesn’t likely fill that hankering need for fun. For that, we have cars like this 1981 Fiat Spider 2000.
Now, at the outset, allow me to point out that fun is a subjective term. Especially when applied to classic sports cars like this Fiat. Any modern econobox will out-perform this little roadster, some by a wide margin. We should also consider the overall desirability of this model of car too. As we all know, Fiat attempted a half-hearted resurrection of the marque with a Miata-based modern interpretation just a few years back. That car sold like ice cream in the Antarctic.
Still, there’s something to be said about the experience of an old sports car, slow and rudimentary as it may be. For many, it’s really unique and singularly enjoyable. And this modest-mileage Fiat looks to be a great way to experience that enjoyment.
The car comes with just 79,502 miles on the clock and the seller’s assurance that it is rust-free, having been garaged its entire life. The handsome Pininfarina styling wears dark blue paint which is matched with a black top and factory four-spoke alloy wheels.
This being a later model, it sports the big five-mile-per-hour bumpers on both ends. Those detract from the overall looks, but really can’t be helped. This was the first model year for the 1995cc twin-cam engine to use fuel injection across all U.S. models (California received injected cars the year prior), and that provides 102 horsepower and 110 lb-ft of torque. Putting those ponies to good use is a five-speed manual transmission feeding a coil-sprung live axle in the back.
According to the ad, the engine has seen some significant work, with new bearings and rings down below and lots of headwork up on the top. Plenty more maintenance has gone into the car, and the seller says they have the receipts to prove it.
That has all ended up in what the seller touts in the ad as an “Honest, clean and original 1981 Fiat Spider” which now “Runs as good as it looks.” Those looks are pretty good too. The top is clean and sports clear plastic in its rear window. The interior beneath that top appears to be in fantastic shape as well. The blue vinyl upholstery is unmarred and the wood on the dash seems to be good as new. For steering, there’s a wonderful three-spoke wheel and a wooden knob sprouting from a sloughy leather boot does the job for shifting. It’s all very old school and quite appealing. A clean title seals the deal on this Fiat’s desirability factor. What should all that reasonably be worth?
The seller asks $9,500 for the car, and it’s safe to say that this should be a turn-key investment for fun. What do you say though, is it a value? Could this Spider catch a buyer at that $9,500 asking? Or, is that price nothing but a web of deceit?
H/T to Mario Maldonado for the hookup!
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