Almost there – Italian Fiat Spider and Alfa Berlina Projects

Since I’ve been writing fewer posts, I seem to have cut back to featuring my favorites. Looks like they’re mostly Italian cars that are affordable enough, yet modern enough in spec to be used as daily drivers. And I’ve mentioned it before, but they almost all seem to use the same formula – rear wheel drive, twincam fours, 5-speed manual transmissions. Mostly I also try to feature cars that are running, but recently I’ve spotted a couple that I still think are worth mentioning in quickie format.

The first one is a Fiat Spider. All Fiat Spiders get cool points in my book, even though they’re still fairly common in northern California, but I’m a bigger fan of the early models (AS and BS) with their delicate chrome bumpers, hubcaps, and (sometimes) flat hoods. They have a much more delicate look about them that is probably closest to how Tjaarda intended them to be. And since they were often kept as second cars, you can still find them in pretty decent shape for short money. That brings us to our first example, a 1972 spider in Campbell, CA (near San Jose) for $1606.

1972 Fiat Spider

Not the greatest pictures in the world of the exterior, but pretty comprehensive nonetheless. For the price, the interior looks really clean, as does the body. Engine compartment could manage with some tidying, but you’ll have the opportunity to do that while you replace the blown head gasket. The car does start and run, and has had a fair amount of service about two years ago, including new brakes. Seller is the second owner as of two years ago, and says he has too many projects – in fact, you can see another Fiat spider in the background of the garage shot. Body damage includes a minor ding above the right taillight, and most likely some rust – no pictures confirm or deny that rumor, though!

Looking for a little more body work? Well, look no further, my friends, because I have found the car for you! It’s (another!) 1974 Alfa Romeo Berlina, for sale in Goshen, NY (near the Poconos) for an undetermined price. Show him the other ’74 from the other day, and he’ll have to cut you a deal!

1974 Alfa Romeo Berlina

But wait! What’s that? This car does have quite a few selling points. For one, it’s Much Much rarer than the uber-common 2-door Berlinas. The wood steering wheel is worth $400 on eBay, and if you have the time and patience absence of social life needed to get this one up to form, you can ask $15-20,000 for it, and people will be beating down your door! But all fun and sarcasm aside, this actually looks a pretty decent car. Apparently, the rust is only limited to one quarter, while the floors and trunk are solid. It also needs an injection pump, but is willing to turn over – I would verify what test the owner has performed, since the SPICA system is easily mis-diagnosed. If the owner has a reasonable expectation of price, I would jump on this one – after all, how many Berlinas do you find in the Poconos?

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