Baby’s Back – 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

After a protracted period of downtime following its interstate move, the RustyButTrusty Alfa Spider took a time-out under a cover in the garage. Its issues were minor, but it finally went down to the local Alfa doctor in Portland to get some attention. Fortunately, the minor issues included an air leak causing a racing idle, along with a chunk missing out of a long-cracked donut, and some pinging under part throttle. With these problems resolved (at relatively small cost, fortunately), it’s eager to please again. Which brings us to an important point – the 105/115-chassis Spider is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to live the Alfa experience. Check out this 1978 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce for sale for $4500 in Napa County, CA.

1978 Alfa Romeo Spider 2 left front

Looks like the body is fairly straight, though the paint is dull and the driver’s door appears to have been opened too far when the (relatively easily replaced) door restraint had failed. Late 1970s Spiders suffered aesthetically from both rubber bumpers and XL-sized flag mirrors; retrofitting parts are available for both, and if you plan on keeping the car for a while, are probably a worthwhile investment. On the plus side, those bumpers are great when parking. Touring-grade tires are new, including the spare, and both halves of the bisected Alfa heart shield are present. Also notable is a new soft top and a vintage hard top – the seller does not say if this is the Alfa top or one of the period aftermarket fiberglass pieces.

1978 Alfa Romeo Spider 2 engine

The car is said to run well with great oil pressure and compression. It has had much mechanical work, including a new clutch and throwout bearing, clutch hydraulics, second and third gear syncros, water pump, brake master cylinder, booster, calipers, seals, and flexible lines, thermostatic actuator, ignition wires, headlight relay, a new fuel injection belt and pump oil filter (and fuel injection tuning), and comes with many spare parts. It also has a new catalytic converter, and comes with an uninstalled roll bar. Essentially, the seller has addressed many of the areas that are most prone to failure on one of these cars.

1978 Alfa Romeo Spider 2 right front

The car’s interior is the dark red amaranth shade, which works very well with the silver exterior. It’s said to have a new leather shift boot, but to need new seat covers – not a tremendous expense given how compact the seats are. It sounds like the battery is new, and the car is said to be rust free. All in all, this car looks like it’s ready to be driven, with improvements made as the miles accumulate. Even though this isn’t the least expensive Spider currently on the market, all the maintenance that’s been done combines to make it a great value.


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