These pages have previously espoused the perspective that cheap Alfa and Fiat spiders are disappearing due to attrition, that they’re a sportscar bargain hidden in plain view, and more. But they’re also part of another disappearing breed – the affordable classic sports car. As cars from the 1970s move solidly into the domain of the collector, so they get restored, prices go up, and the cheap older car category loses carburetors, wing windows, and other bits that make vintage motoring what it is. Not that there’s anything wrong with the 1980s BMWs, Mercedes, and Renaults that have moved into their place, but they lack a certain purity and rawness. Check out this 1974 Fiat 124 Spider for sale for $1000 in Carlsbad, CA.
Wow, only ten benjamins for a real, coachbuilt Italian sports car – what’s the catch? Well, it’s been parked since 1996, and it’s being sold due to death, presumably of its last owner. Which means the seller probably doesn’t have a very specific amount to get out of the car, and may be flexible on price when the time comes to move it from its current location. It’s said to show 87,313 miles, and to be in good original condition. Aside from the question of whether it runs – you could have a seized engine here, or a car that will start with some fresh fuel and a new battery.
Aside from some dirt and a split on the shoulder of the driver’s seat, things look pretty good in here. White on dark red is a great color combination (okay, the RustyButTrusty spider causes some conflict of interest), and the back seats on these are nice as emergency jump seats for the kids or a quick run out for coffee. The driver’s seat back does not appear to be broken, a common problem on these caused by the driver reaching back to open and close the top.
Around front, things look pretty good too. California blue plates are evidence of long-term residence there, and hopefully less rust, while the Prius in the background and lack of an engine shot suggest the seller is not an enthusiast. Expect the paint to be rather dried out, but with any luck, some wet sanding, polishing and waxing might bring it back. The military base permit is a neat part of the car’s history, and might go further to substantiate its residency. And if the car doesn’t turn out to be what you expected, there are some famous caverns in Carlsbad!