1974 Alfa Romeo Spider

My very first Alfa Romeo was a yellow 1974 Spider that I purchased in 1977 (I've had lots of Alfas since!). It's not this one, though—I kept the first one for about ten years and sold it, mistakenly thinking that I ought to give Porsches a try. After a couple of those, I came across this car in 1989—it was deja vu! Just like my beloved yellow '74 Spider, but a rust-free California car! So I sold my 911 and bought the Spider! Essentially, I've owned a yellow '74 Spider for over 25 years!

1974 is considered by many Alfisti to be the most desirable model year for the Alfa Spider. In stock form, it had the most powerful engine, since pollution controls emasculated the engine's performance in later years. Simultaneously, Spiders also got heavier, uglier bumpers after 1974.

During the 15 years I've owned this example, it's been well cared for and has undergone many improvements:

  • Despite the rust-free status, the California paint was faded, and it was stripped to bare metal and professionally repainted in the original color (Pagoda Giallo, AR paint code #119). This was done about 30K miles ago and the paint is in excellent condition.

  • The engine was completely rebuilt by Paul Glynn of Glynn Motorsports, New England's premier Alfa shop, with European cams and ceramic coated headers for even better performance. This was done about 28K miles ago and it's a great-running car.

  • A Marelli-Plex electronic ignition is installed.

  • The Spica fuel injection performs well at all RPMs, and there are no starting problems. (The decel fuel cut-off microswitch could be replaced, however.)

  • The exhaust system comprises the ceramic coated headers, stock center section, and Ansa resonator and exhaust tips

  • It has Ward & Deane street springs, and recent Bilstein shock absorbers.

  • Unique, desirable Italian Mille Miglia wheels with the Alfa Romeo script cast into the alloy are installed with new Michelin Pilot XGT-H4 205/60HR14 tires all around.

  • All of the suspension bushings have recently been replaced with Performatek polyurethane parts.

  • Ball joints, tie rod ends, U-joints, brake components, etc. have all been maintained and replaced as necessary. Adjustable A-arms are installed.

  • An Ereminas chassis stiffener is installed to improve body rigidity.

  • Second gear is a little balky when the transmission is cold, but it shifts smoothly once warmed up. It does sometimes pop out of reverse.

  • The interior is in very good condition, with excellent seats and door panels. There are a couple of dashboard cracks caused, no doubt, by the California sun. The original rubber floor mats are in excellent condition, and there are also removable carpeted Alfa-logo mats installed.

  • All gauges, lights, and instruments are working correctly.

  • The convertible top is cloth and in very good condition. An original black vinyl tonneau cover in excellent condition is included.

  • The car is fitted with three-point retractor seat belts for safety, replacing the original lap belts.

  • Extensive service records are available.

Why am I selling it? Well, to buy another Alfa, of course! (A '61 Giulietta, but with a two-liter drive train, just like this car.) It's rare to come across an Alfa Spider with a body that's never had rust problems; restored ones are never quite the same. (There are a couple of rust spots in the floor—hey, even in California rain will end up in the floor if you leave the top down.)

This Alfa Spider is a blast to drive—it's quite quick and makes marvelous sounds getting up to speed and while cruising. It's also been remarkably reliable—my wife and I took it on a pleasurable 2000-mile trip to Nova Scotia last summer with nary a problem. (The photo at the top of this page was taken along Nova Scotia's famous and beautiful Cabot Trail.)

If you're looking for a never-rusted, mechanically fresh, cosmetically superior, Alfista-owned Alfa Romeo Spider with no stories, this is the one. Offers in the $9,500 range are welcome. Drive a legitimate, head-turning Italian sports car for the price of a ho-hum Miata! I'm sure I've left out some of the info that you're interested in, so please feel free to contact me by email at dave@dvpratt.com or by phone at 781-320-8208.


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