Thursday, December 10, 2015

Italian Stallion: 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider

Alfa Romeo's Spider was designed by Pininfarina and sold from 1966 through 1994 with various cosmetic updates over the years.  The first generation was called the cuttlefish (1966-1969), followed by the boat tail (1970-1982), and then the rubber bumper duck tail (1982-1989) and finally the smooth tail (1990-1994) -- for some reason the styling changes and descriptors were focused around the rear end.  Find this 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider here on eBay bidding for $7,700 reserve-not-met with a few hours to go, located in Boise, ID.

This Series 2 Spider comes from the early smog years, so it isn't totally restricted by emissions equipment and is free from annual smog inspections in California (a big plus when it comes to resale price).  It does have those strange bumper fangs that were added in the early '70s to pass DOT mandated 5mph impact tests, but those can be removed if you find them offensive.

The 2.0 liter inline-4 cylinder SPICA fuel injected engine puts out 129 horsepower and 131 ft-lbs of torque, all into a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine bay looks clean and tidy, not an overly ArmorAll-ed mess, but a a place where you wouldn't need to change your clothes to check the oil.

The interior is in good shape and looks like a decent place for a Sunday afternoon drive. I am curious to see what lives under the dash cover, but the seller includes a pile of photos for your inspection.

See another Italian ragtop for cheap?


  1. I have always wanted one of these, at least I think it's this one, except in blue and tan.

    When I was a po' chile growing up in a 3 room (not bedroom, room) cabin in North Georgia my only outlets to the real world were a radio station that I could sometimes get from Atlanta that played New Order and other non-Aerosmith, non-Bon Jovi, bands on occasion, and GQ magazine. Back in the 1980s GQ was pretty respectable from a style standpoint, now it's, um, not, but that's neither here nor there.

    And I still remember a couple of things from GQ in the 1980s:

    Moldova apparently has the most beautiful women on the planet
    Andre Agassi at one point had a lot of hair, and

    a spread set in the desert with an old blue and tan alfa romeo convertible with actual hard luggage on the rear rack. I wanted that car ever since. At some point while I was off shooting people in the face and cavorting with women who didn't go to church my dad threw out the magazine that had the Alfa Romeo spread in it.

    And google has been worthless, but I always told myself I'd do two things:

    Go to Moldova to see if they were a bunch of liars being paid by the Ministry of Tourism and own that very year, make and model of dusty blue and tan Alfa, and have hard luggage to go with it.

    The only thing I've done close to either of the above is acquire the hard luggage.

  2. My most hated car ever. Because as a college freshman I knew a knockout sort of girl who owned (yes, owned) one of these and I didn't get anywhere with her.

    I've been emotionally stunted ever since. Alfa Spider begone!

  3. > Go to Moldova to see if they were a bunch of liars being paid
    > by the Ministry of Tourism

    Bring prophylactics.

  4. Interesting. I have never heard of these referred to as a cuttlefish. I have a 1969 with the rounded rear, and I had always heard and referred to them as the boat tail, or Duetto (the 1300 junior spider often gets referred to as Duetto too). The change to the chopped rear end was referred to as the kam tail, or square tail. What's your source, Vince?

    1. I'm with M5 on this info. It's more often called the boat tail, but supposedly it was nick-named cuttlebone in Europe because of its shape. Generally speaking, it's boat tail, kamm tail, and then the spoiler tail and smooth tail versions. Overall, Alfa did a commendable job of not ruining the design over the entire production run, despite having to adjust to safety regulations. The last generation examples hold up very well against the earlier ones.

    2. The Series 1 cars, 1966-1969 are commonly called cuttlebone or osso di seppia, round tail or boat tail. People also call them Duettos, but that is only correct for the 1966 and 1967. The factory never officially called them Duetto. Volvo politely told them not to as they had the Duet. The Series 2 cars 1970 - 1982 are called the Kamm tails for the chopped Kamm tail (duh). You can split Series 2 into Series 2a, 1970 - 1974 with the nice chrome bumpers like this car, and the 1975 - 1982's with the big, black, 5 mph crash bumpers. The Series 3 duck tail restyle was introduced in 1983. People also call then Bosch spiders since Bosch FI replaced the SPICA in the US and carbs in the rest of the world. This is technically not correct as the Bosch FI was in the last of the S2's in 1982. The Series 4 debuted in 1990 as a 1991 and production completed in 1993. About 100 cars produced in 1993 were sold as 1994's in the US as "CE'" or Commemorative Editions, with a numbered badge. The S4 to me is more of a boulevarder/cruiser than the sports car it started out as in 1966.


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