Alfa Romeo Spider
ENGINE 1962cc/4-cyl/DOHC POWER 120bhp@5800rpm TORQUE 115lb ft@5800rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 119mph 0-60MPH 9.2sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 24-32mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, five-speed man MoT 12 months from sale ODOMETER 104,600km
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
This Spider pulls off the classic Alfa trick of being sprung hard but softly damped to give a taught, firm ride that still soaks up the bumps. The clutch is heavy, but just a tap of the throttle gets the twin cam engine revving and producing strong acceleration with no hesitancy or worrying noises. The gearshift is snappy and precise, the powerful brakes stop the car quickly and in a straight line. Steering is light and immediate with just a couple of turns lock-to-lock and unobtrusive power assistance.
The bodywork is straight and rust free, the only panel damage being a tiny ding on the offside rear quarter that’s only visible from certain angles. The few small chips around the car have been touched in and are only noticeable up close. The bumpers have a couple of small marks and one rear corner has a small amount of crazing in the paint. There is some pitting on the chrome door handles but the black hood is in excellent condition and the rear windscreen is clear. With the roof down the tan tonneau cover – which matches the interior – is also in fine condition. All four 195/60R15 tyres – Avons up front, Pirelli P6000s on the rear – have good tread remaining but there is some kerb rash on the offside alloy wheels.
HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
The Nardi wooden gear knob and steering wheel are in perfect condition. The black plastic dashboard has no cracks or damage, but the km/hcalibrated speedometer betrays the car’s left-hand drive origins. There’s some creasing (but no damage) to the half-leather seats’ side bolsters and front sections, but the Alcantara squabs have fared less well – the fabric has pilled and bagged, particular on the driver’s side. The carpet is in generally good order, apart from where it’s worn thin on the edge of driver’s sill and around the heel area.
UNDER THE BONNET
This is clean and presentable. There are no oil leaks from the fuel-injected motor and it starts easily and idles quietly. The power steering pump is quiet and the transmission sounds and feels fine. All S4 Spiders started life as left-hookers and this car still has its LHD chassis number. The conversion to right-hand-drive was done by Bell and Colvill – well-known in Alfa circles for this sort of work – and it looks to have been done professionally, with no obvious tell-tale signs other than the speedometer.
THE CCW VIEW
This Alfa shows signs of having been used but it is very presentable, and feels mechanically sound. Ample history shows that it has been well maintained, making this Spider a very good, usable classic at a sensible price.