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

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Matt Richard­son

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.

BODY­WORK CHECK

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.

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