Best Documented – 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Update: Price is now up to $1900 – he must be getting more calls than expected. Even at this new price, the car is a pretty decent deal.

Here at RustyButTrusty, I try to totally favor Italian cars show an even selection of cars. That said, I realized I hadn’t featured an Alfa Romeo in a while.. and it’s easy to find plenty of expensive Alfas, project Alfas, and listings with a phone number and not much else, there is the occasional thorough, well-written listing for a reasonably priced driver that has plenty of summers’ worth of fun in it, and can legitimately qualify as a classic (later spiders and 164s don’t really fall into that category just yet, although they’re getting close).

This is a pretty rare example of a well-written ad for a very reasonably-priced car. The seller has thoroughly photographed the car with a good selection of decent-sized pictures, and a clear description of the car’s good & bad points, as well as recent work. You can find it in Springfield, PA (near Philadelphia) for just $1300… incidentally, the same price I paid for my spider in 1991, and it was not nearly as nice.

1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce left

It’s a pretty good looking example, and while it’s red, it’s an attractive darker shade that stands out from the usual resale red Alfas. It does appear to have some bumpiness around the rockers, especially just ahead of the rear wheel, and that’s one of the few things the seller doesn’t address. You can see the new tires in this pic.

1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce interior

While the seller says the driver’s seat is torn and the carpet needs shampooing, the interior otherwise looks pretty clean. The seats look reasonably clean, and the dash looks amazing for the price – both the center console and dash seem to be crack-free!

1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce engine

The seller seems to be pretty familiar with Alfas… and here’s the only reason I’m recommending a 1981 spider, which normally has a single-butterfly intake that was probably the lease efficient permutation of the SPICA system. This particular car, besides having a ’79 block, also has an earlier version based on the ’77 – ’79 cars. However, that means you can’t pass smog in certain states.

1981 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce right

So here’s the catch – while the car’s had a lot of work done recently, it still has some needs. At present it seems to need a new ignition switch, and though it runs well and the compression figures are within reasonable range of each other, they seem a bit on the low side. It needs some brake work finished, but has had a lot of maintenance catch-up, including a new thermostatic actuator, battery, tires, and new clutch hydraulics. Overall, this looks like a good deal on a car that just needs someone to take it over its final hurdles.

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