The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Alfa says he wants it gone ASAP, and looking at it you can see why. The question remains, should you pay his asking to make it gone, or should he be paying you?
Yesterday’s 2010 Aston Martin Rapide suffered an awkward juxtaposition between negative opinions in the comments and a 57 percent Nice Price win in the vote-gathering. Yes, it was probably a bad idea in the long run, but at $59,900 its value equation seemingly added up for many of you.
That Aston is just 9-years old this new year, and was described in its ad as still being in as-new condition, extant its vinyl wrap. It’s not unresonable that such a confluence of calendar pages and condition certainly could elicit substantial demand.
What if however, you were faced with a car that looks pretty far from new and whose seller doesn’t even want to bother to open a door and confirm its year of manufacture off its VIN label? What would you do then?
With that question looming in your mind, allow me to introduce you to this nineteen eighty-something Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce.
You’re up on your shots, right?
Yes, this Alfa is in what appears to be a barn, and damned if you aren’t right in your observation that it’s presently more countertop than car. Still, it comes at a price that just might make you overlook its present, possibly toxic presentation.
Introduced in 1966, the Pininfarina-designed Spider would enjoy one of the longest production runs of any Alfa Romeo model in history. The first series, dubbed the ‘boat tail’ for its pointy rear end, ran from ’66 to ’69 and carried a 1600 cc inline four as top mill here in the U.S..
The second generation Kamm’d off the back end and bumped available displacement to 1750 and then 1962 ccs. This one is a series 3 which added bigger bumpers, a rubber rear spoiler and fuel injection for the 2-litre engine made available under its hood. The seller says he doesn’t actually know what year it is, but stuck in ’87 as a guess. Based on the layout of the dash, I’d say that’s a pretty good guess.
The car is in non-running condition and does need a thorough going over before it could possibly be considered anything close to roadworthy. The white paint is filthy and suffers from surface rust in a few places. The mold and likely vermin shit covering many of the remaining surfaces would demand a hazmat suit during cleaning lest you end up looking like the car. It shares its space with an equally heavily patina’d Toyota Space Wart that’s also on the market.
There are a number or broken parts here, including the passenger-side door latch and the window winder inside. The top actually appears to be in decent shape, and may be salvageable, although it does require a new rear window. Alfa’s star alloys are wrapped in what appear to be ancient tires, but those amazingly still seem to be holding their ancient air.
The seller says that he has no idea of the car’s mechanical condition other than that it doesn’t run. Seeing as it’s an Alfa Romeo that probably won’t come as a shock to those familiar with the brand. Following a thorough cleaning, a comprehensive mechanical rundown will need to be undertaken. Who knows, the car could fire right up with a new battery and fresh fluids, or it could potentially never run again. That’s just the roll of the dice here.
If you’re a gamblin’ man or gal then you might just want to take that risk. After all, when they’re not a Superfund site the little Alfa Spiders are fairly nice little cars. Also, the cost of entry here is a mere $500. That’s possibly low enough for you to part out what’s good on the car and dump the rest. The only possible issue with that is the lack of title. It’s hard in many areas to dump a shell without some proof of ownership as a lot of places think you’re attempting to rid yourself of the evidence of a car theft.
I had this issue years back with an MG Midget that I bought. I wanted the car for its 1275 engine, disc brakes, and rib case gearbox to put in my old Austin Healey Sprite. I never transferred the title on the MG as I wasn’t intending to drive it, and ended up having to cut the car into quarters with a torch and then dumping it in a couple of business park trash dumpsters.
That was a lot of work and I’d really not like to see this Alfa end up in that manner. With that in mind, could you see bringing this barn find back to life? If so, could you also see paying $500 for the opportunity to do so?
H/T to Mark Howell for the hookup!
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Correction: Due to an unfortunate typo, this car was listed as an 1897 Alfa Romeo. It’s clearly not that old. We regret the error.