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Alfa Romeo Spider: Buying guide and review (1966-1993)

Alfa Romeo Spider: Buying guide and review (1966-1993) Classic and Performance Car
Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider Alfa Romeo Spider
Looks aren’t everything, but they sure do help. Take, for example, the Alfa Romeo Spider. From every angle it dropped jaws, and still does today – especially when in the right guise in good condition. A starring role in the iconic 1967 movie, The Graduate, made this stylish roadster an international star. 
 
When it came along in 1966 it epitomized the stylish fun-loving decade it was born in; those rounded body panels, that intricate grill, that subtle-yet-stunning rear end. By the point it met its maker in 1993, the Spider made use of electronic fuel injection and larger painted plastic bumpers, but it still managed to look and drive with all the charm of the original. As the years go by, the Alfa Spider continues to look gorgeous and drive in a thrilling manner. Buy the right example, and you could be enjoying some fairly trouble-free top down motoring, but you will soon regret sinking your cash into a bad example. Here’s what you need to know.
 
Which one to buy? 
 
It’s always wise to choose a classic car that comes complete with a good history, but with any Spider it’s paramount. You should not be afraid to inspect and sample a number of different cars before you make any decisions. There are many rough or poorly restored examples on the market, and the more you inspect, the better your idea of what you’re looking at. 
 
The oldest cars are most desirable, meaning it’s the boat-tail 1600 Duetto Spider – as seen in The Graduate – that is generally the most expensive. Generally speaking, the later the cars offer a better driving experience, as well as a simpler ownership experience. Many have larger more powerful engines, as well as suspension tweaks. If you’re looking for a classic that can be enjoyed regularly, then you shouldn’t shy away from these upgrades - if they’ve been carried out correctly. 
 
As the years went by, and the engine capacity increased, so did the Spider’s weight. There’s no disguising the added weight of the later cars, however power also increased throughout the years. Many reckon the early 1750cc cars are perhaps the best compromise. 
 
Performance and specs
 
Engine 1570cc, four-cylinder
Power 91bhp @ 6200rpm
Torque 80lb ft
Top speed 106mph
0-60mph 11.8sec
Gearbox Five-speed manual
 
Dimensions and weight
 
Wheelbase 2250mm
Length 4255mm
Width 1626mm
Height 1295mm
Kerb weight 1038kg
 
Common problems 
 
• The Spider’s biggest problem is rust, and it is not an easy model to restore properly or inexpensively. The Spider’s lack of any corrosion protection from new means signs of rot on the car will have come from the inside out. By the time it’s visible it’ll be much worse underneath, so it’s normal for three-quarters of the cost of a Spider restoration to be on the bodywork.
 
• One of the first areas to rot is the crossmember under the radiator – on Kamm-tail cars there are two plates which are fitted on either side of the radiator. They meet the lower panel where water gets trapped, eventually rotting through.
 
• Also badly affected are the rear of the sills, the wheelarches (especially the back ones, which are double-skinned) and floorpans. The seams where the front valance meets the wings also harbour rust.
 
• The lower half of each rear wing will have seen better days, due to a blocked drainage pipe which runs from the hood scuttle to an outlet in the chassis. Although the area may look presentable, there’s a good chance it’s been patched and is not as solid as it appears.
 
• If the car isn’t given a good thrashing regularly, the Spider is likely to ‘oil’ its spark plugs. These engines are highly strung thoroughbreds, and while generally reliable, they definitely need regular maintenance to stay at their best. Any proof of this is a good sign that the car has been used correctly. 
 
• Neglect is not good however, and you should always check for signs of head gasket failure, which includes a mayonnaise-like substance in the oil cap (indicating oil and water mixing) with 
 
• All but a few late US-market cars came fitted with a five-speed manual transmission, which should be quiet and smooth in operation. Don’t worry about a bit of stiffness when the ‘box is cold, but any crunching going into second is a bad sign, meaning that the synchromesh is worn.
 
• A low-slung sump is vulnerable underneath the car, particularly when parking. 
 
• Leather upholstery is prone to split along the seams, but most will have been re-trimmed by now. Watch for low-quality leather or cars needing a full re-trim – this will cost a significant amount.
 
Model history 
 
1966: Alfa Romeo unveils its all-new Spider, unofficially tagged the Duetto. The first Spiders (badged 1600) have a 1570cc engine and two twin-choke Webers to give 109bhp, 103lb ft and 111mph.

1968:
The 1750 Spider debuts at the 1968 Brussels motor show, still with a boat-tail; its 1779cc engine is reckoned to be the finest incarnation of Alfa’s twin-cam powerplant, with 118bhp and 127lb ft giving 116mph. Changes include an alternator instead of a dynamo, a brake servo as standard and suspension tweaks. Harsh Italian tax laws also lead to the introduction of a 1290cc Spider Junior, aimed at the home market – RHD cars are rare. 89bhp equates to a 110mph top speed, but three-quarters of the cost of a 1.8-litre car ensures strong sales.

1970:
The Duetto bodystyle is superseded by the Kamm-tailed version, still with the 1779cc engine. It is six inches shorter than its predecessor, and its revised dashboard has cowled instruments in place of the original ones set in a flat dash.

1971:
The engine size is increased to 1962cc and the car becomes the 2000 Spider Veloce. A limited-slip diff is standard, and styling changes include a broader front grille, recessed door handles and modified sidelights.

1977:
Official UK imports of the Spider stop, but some cars aren’t actually sold until 1978. However, Spiders continue to be imported (including 1983-1989 Series 3 models) by companies such as Bell & Colvill.

1990:
Official imports resume, with LHD only. These Series 4 machines are structurally the same as 1970s models but with a heavily-restyled nose and tail. The interior is also spruced up and electronic fuel injection is installed along with variable valve timing. An official right-hand-drive conversion is £2200, taking the overall price to £18,550.

1993:
Production ceases, a year before the introduction of the all-new GTV-based front-wheel-drive Spider.
 
Owners clubs, forums and websites
 
• www.aroc-uk.com – Alfa Romeo Owners Club
• www.alfaowner.com – Alfa Romeo Forum
• www.alfaworkshop.co.uk – The Alfa Workshop
 
Summary and prices
 
The Spider is considered one of the most beautiful cars ever put into production, so it’s no wonder that prices are on the up. Concours-slaying boat-tail models can command up to £40,000 in today’s money, although less rounded examples can be picked up for just shy of £30,000. Average editions come in at £18,000, however are a big risk; peel away the bubbling bodywork and you’re likely to find rust, and a lot of it, revealing just why it’s over half the price of a well-looked after Spider. 
 
The series 2 Kamm tail models can be picked up for a little over half the price, meaning a mint example can sell for around £25,000. Pay between £7000-£15,000 for a reasonable example. As you might expect, it’s the series 3 and 4 cars that provide the best value for money. Even the best S4 models go for around £10,000, and S3 models even less. £7500 will get you a fine example, with rough runners starting from £3500.
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Last updated: 15th Jul 2016
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Alfa Romeo Spider cars for sale

17 Search results
Alfa Romeo Spider
3695 16950 GBP
  • Lot 69

    1989 Alfa Romeo Spider 2.0 S3

    £5,000 - £7,000 est. £5,000 - £7,000 est.
    Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
    Auction Date: 12 Jul 2017
    RESERVE PRICE
    • Engine size: 2
    Auction Date: 12 Jul 2017
    Brightwells
    01568 611122 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • ALFA ROMEO SPIDER JTS LUSSO 2003

    £5,995 £5,995

    2003 Alfa Romeo Spider JTS Lusso. Nero Black coachwork with tan leather Momo sports seats and black mohair electric hood. This Spider is the facelifted model with the larger front grille and offset number plate. Having covered just 81,000 miles from new with a full service history and last serviced just 4,000 miles ago. The complete book pack is still with the car as is the all important service book displaying 9 stamps. The Alfa has been very well cared for over the years and is it outstanding condition for its age and displays owners club stickers in the windscreen. The car has a fully functioning electric hood, remote central locking, electric windows and working air conditioning. This really is a lovely summer sports car, the essence of Italian style. Coming complete with a private registration plate this Lusso is just waiting to be enjoyed in new hands. On road test with really enjoyed the Alfa, the car performing without fault. These are quick and competent cars with typical Alfa flair and very very enjoyable. The Alfa Spider is regarded as one of the best looking convertibles that is very usable daily or just for weekend pleasure. As it was said on a series of Top Gear program 'you are not a true classic car enthusiast until you have owned an Alfa'. Absolutely any inspection is welcome. Viewing is highly recommended. All major debit and credit cards accepted. Please contact us for any further information. Delivery can be arranged.

    • Mileage: 81000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.97
    For sale
  • Alfa Romeo Spider! Nice convertible Italian car for sale!!!

    £4,999 £4,999

    I am selling my lovely beautiful looking car,with good tyres, MOT NOV 2017,drives perfect get ready for summer as you could be driving this Italian car on the streets with the roof down today! Climate Control, Cruise Control, Parking Aid (Rear), Alarm, Alloy Wheels (18in), Computer (Driver Information System), Electric Windows (Front), In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), Rain Sensor. Service been done recently: changed oil/oil filter/air filters/ changed front brake pads.Selling a bit cheaper due to some scches on side.

    • Mileage: 107808 mi
    • Engine size: 2198
    For sale
  • ALFA ROMEO SPIDER 2008

    £9,495 £9,495

    We are pleased to offer this stunning Alfa Spider Limited Edition in Carbonio Black with Natural leather upholstery.;;The car has been maintained to a high standard and benefits from a full service history, refurbished 19" Alloy Wheels and has been fully detailed prior to being offered for sale;;Specification includes; Alloy Wheels (19in), Rear Parking Sensors, Blue and Me Bluetooth Connectivity, Heated Leather Seats, Electrically Adjustable Memory Seats, Electric Convertible Roof, Climate Control, Cruise Control, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), Multi-Function Steering Wheel, Remote Central Locking, Alarm, Immobiliser, Two Keys. 2 seats, Carbonio Black;;We are open by appointment 7 days a week. All of our vehicles are HPI checked and clear. Our cars are prepared to the highest standard and are subjected to a full mechanical inspection prior to sale. We offer a range of extended warranty options from 6 months to 3 years. Nationwide delivery available

    • Mileage: 67000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.198
    For sale
  • ALFA ROMEO SPIDER 2.2 JTS LIMITED EDITION 2DR MANUAL. FULL HISTORY. LOW MILEAGE. HEATED LEATHER. BLUE AND ME. 08 2008

    £8,990 £8,990

    A GREAT LOW MILEAGE CAR WITH A FULL ALFA SERVICE HISTORY. PARKING SENSORS. HEATED LEATHER. BLUETOOTH. CRUISE CONTROL. This car comes with a great service history. 6 services with the Alfa Romeo main dealer up to 06/08/2014, and 2 services by Alfa specialists to 07/2016. Just serviced by us. Fitted with a matching set of Pirelli tyres. Will be supplied with a new MOT. Carbonio black metallic with full tan leather interior. Dual digital climate control. Rear acoustic parking sensors. Electrically operated seats, drivers side with memory. 3 stage heated front seats. Blue and Me Bluetooth. Cruise control. RDS Radio with CD player, USB and auxiliary input. 19" 10 arm alloy wheels with locking wheel nuts. Front centre armrest. Multi function leather steering wheel. Electric heated, folding door mirrors. Drivers information system. Aluminium fascia inlays. Multiple airbags with passenger deactivation. Front fog lights. Electric windows. Remote central locking with alarm and immobiliser. 12v power point. 2WD. In the same family since March 2012. HPI checked and clear. Excellent condition. Finance arranged. www.incentivecars.co.uk 0121 457 7644

    • Mileage: 73759 mi
    • Engine size: 2.198
    For sale
  • Alfa Romeo Spider

    £10,990 £10,990

    19'' Alloy Wheels, Full Leather, Electric Memory And Heated Seats, CD Player, Bluetooth, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, 6 Speed, Park Distance Control Two Owners From New. Very Low Mileage With A Full Service History. Fantastic Specification Which Includes, 19'' Alloy Wheels, Full Tan Leather Interior, Electrically Adjustable Heated And Memory Seats, Radio CD, Media Input, Air Conditioning, Climate Control, Arm Rest, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Park Distance Control, Electric Folding Mirrors, Electric Windows, Remote Central Locking, Alarm, Immobiliser, Isofix. 2 seats, Black Metallic, We Are A Family Run Business Specialising In Sports, Prestige And Performance Cars. Ideally Located On The Border Of Hampshire, Surrey And West Sussex. Our Premises Are Situated A Stones Throw From The A3 And The London Waterloo To Portsmouth Train Line. All Vehicles Are HPI Checked And Come With A Comprehensive 6 Month Warranty Which Can Be Extended. We Offer Hire Purchase And PCP Finance Packages At Very Competitive Rates. Pleased To Be Approved Under The Hampshire Trading Standards 'Buy With Confidence' Scheme, Open 9.00-5.30 Monday To Saturday, Sundays And Out Of Hours By Appointment.

    • Mileage: 44000 mi
    • Engine size: 2198
    For sale
  • 1989 Alfa Romeo 1600 Spider

    £9,950 £9,950

    A lovely late Alfa Romeo Spider. This car has had 3 owners from new and for the greater part of its life it was owned by Alan Gibson, who was also the director of an Alfa Romeo dealership by the same name. It ran with his private registration and was maintained without expense spared as you might expect. New carpets and new mohair hood complement this attractive Italian roadster.

    • Year: 1989
    For sale
  • Alfa Romeo Spider

    £10,975 £10,975

    Alfa Romeo 2.0 Spider, 116,000 kms,left hand drive. Red with tan interior,Good sound car, well maintained, previously owned by ourselves., *** HPI Checked-Comprehensive Warranty Included-Finance available-Part exchange welcome- similar vehicles always required, immediate cash settlement-see website at www.sportingcarsussex.co.uk for more stock***

    • Mileage: 72500 mi
    • Engine size: 1962
    For sale
  • 156 - 1975 Volkswagen 182 Trekker

    POA POA

    The Volkswagen Type 181 was a two-wheel drive, four-door, convertible, off-road, manufactured by Volkswagen from 1968 to 1983. During the 1960s, several European governments began cooperating on development of a vehicle known as the Europa Jeep, a lightweight, amphibious four-wheel drive vehicle that could be mass-produced for use by various national military and government groups. Development of the vehicle proved time-consuming and the West German government needed a limited number of light, inexpensive, durable transport vehicles that could fulfil their basic needs while the Europa Jeep was being developed and put into production. Originally developed for the West German Army, the Type 181 was also sold to the public, as the Kurierwagen in West Germany, the Trekker (RHD Type 182) in the United Kingdom and The Thing in the United States (1973-74). Volkswagen imported 300 righthand drive Trekkers 182's during 1974-75 but only 71 were sold starting at chassis number 185 2086406 and makes it rarer than an series one, flat floor E-Type Jaguar. This rare Volkswagen 182 Trekker was the subject to a ground-up restoration taking eighteen months; repair panels were not available so everyt

    • Year: 2017
    For sale
  • 1992 ALFA ROMEO SPIDER S4 1600.Just 2 owners.

    £10,995 £10,995

    1992 ALFA ROMEO SPIDER S4 1600.Just 2 owners. Excellent,Alfa Romeo Spider S4,in rare Alfa Yellow with contrasting black,Alcantara interior.A 2 owner car which has recently been imported from Italy,in rust free condition,with excellent interior superb,never welded underside and an excellent drive.

    For sale
  • Alfa Romeo Spider

    £14,295 £14,295

    Variant name:JTS LIMITED EDITION ,Derivative:MK6 (939) ,Variant: JTS LIMITED EDITION Finished in Black with Tan Leather Interior, Specification Includes 19 “ Spoked Alloy Wheels, Power Hood, Cruise Control, Heated Memory Front Seats, Parking Aid (Rear),Dual Zone Climate Control, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), CD Player, Bluetooth, Approved Used Alfa Romeo, Remote Central Locking and Security System

    • Year: 2008
    • Mileage: 31283 mi
    • Engine size: 2.2
    For sale
  • Alfa Romeo Spider

    £16,950 £16,950

    Variant name:JTDM ,Derivative:MK6 (939) ,Variant: 2.4 JTDM 2007 (57) Specification Includes 17” Alloy Wheels with Red Brake Calipers, Cruise Control, Rear Parking Sensors, In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD), Electric Windows, Power Hood, Remote Central Locking and Security System. FULL ALFA ROMEO MAIN DEALER SERVICE HISTORY.* NEVER DRIVEN IN THE WET & ALWAYS GARAGED FROM NEW*

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 24663 mi
    • Engine size: 2.4
    For sale
  • Alfa Romeo Spider

    £5,895 £5,895

    Immobiliser, Alarm, Remote Central Locking, Air Conditioning, Electric Windows, Trip Computer, CD Player, Isofix, Alloy wheels 16'' ALLOY WHEELS, FRONT FOG LIGHTS, BLUE AND ME HANDSFREE BLUETOOTH, AIR CONDITIONING, ELECTRIC WINDOWS, USB, CD PLAYER, MULTIFUNCTION STEERING WHEEL, ELECTRIC WINDOWS WITH ONE TOUCH FUNCTION, BLACK CLOTH SEATS, REMOTE CENTRAL LOCKING, POWER ASSISTED STEERING, LEATHER STEERING WHEEL, ISOFIX, DRIVER/PASSENGER AIRBAGS, AM/FM RADIO, CARBON FIBRE EFFECT DASH, WINDOWS MOBILE, HEATED REAR WINDSCREEN, REAR WIPER, VANITY MIRROR, DRINKS HOLDERS, TRIP COMPUTER, STOP/START BUTTON, ALARM, IMMOBILISER

    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    For sale
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