Generally speaking, 1974 was the final year for chrome bumpers on US-market cars, so at this point, we’re at the 40th anniversary of FMVSS 215 and its diving-board-bumper impact on automotive styling. Some manufacturers (BMW and Mercedes, for example) were proactive and had their 1974 model year cars already restyled, but smaller volume manufacturers like Alfa Romeo, Fiat and most British makes were given some leeway. The Alfa Spider was one of those cars, and while you can see the 1974 bumpers protrude more and have little nipples on the strike face, they’re still much cleaner than the updated 1975 battering rams. Check out this 1974 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, for sale for $2700 in Austin, TX.
While red is nice on spiders, the whole red Italian car thing is something of a cliche, so it’s nice to see this one in white. It’s said to have roughly 43,000 miles (on a 5-digit odometer), and was previously restored. It starts, drives, and shifts well, though with a slight notchiness when cold (perhaps changing to another transmission fluid would cure this). Compression is good and even across all four cylinders, and the car has recent tires, center muffler, filters, and seats.
The picture quality is less than perfect, but the seller offers more pictures to interested parties. Things look straight overall, and the car looks to have received regular care and driving from its present owner. However, it does need some attention, namely to rust in the trunk, door bottoms and perhaps rockers, and to the rear window. Additionally, the rear window has numerous cracks, the heater/vent fan is dead, and the fuel filter tends to clog after a few hundred miles. Aside from the rust, these seem comparatively minor issues that you can fix while you enjoy the car.
For a car at this price level, you’d expect a cracked dash and split seats, but this car has neither. Yes, the dash is wearing a cap, which is a good way of saying “hey, there are cracks under here!”, so perhaps you replace the dash while you’re in there replacing the fan. Barring slightly wavy door panels, everything else looks good – this car has not suffered cheesy carpet “upgrades” or a silly modern stereo (though this does look like one of those retro two-post units).
In addition to the above, the engine also has a working thermostatic actuator and pertronix ignition, so starting should be easy. While the engine compartment could stand a little detailing, it’s complete down to the flexible hose into the airbox, and the straps holding the airbox to the intake manifold. The older restoration seems to have been done properly, with no paint on the hood bumpers or prop. Overall, this sounds like a great RustyButTrusty car – running, driving, and with some liveable needs that keep it in the affordable range.