Cheap Wheels: 1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider | The Daily Drive | Consumer Guide® The Daily Drive


Alfa Romeo Spider

Notice: The pursuing tale was excerpted from the August 2021 issue of Collectible Vehicle magazine.

Cheap Wheels

The Alfa Romeo Spider experienced a long heritage in the U.S. It very first went on sale as a 1967 model termed Duetto. It was relatively typical for a two-seat convertible sports car in its working day with low bodywork, a four-cylinder engine, Weber carburetors, handbook transmission, folding prime, and a live rear axle. For this Low-cost Wheels, we choose it up more downstream, in 1983, when Alfa facelifted the by now very long-managing Pininfarina-intended car. By then it was referred to as Spider Veloce, and these Alfas are often referred to as Collection 3 Spiders. 

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1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider

Up entrance there was a new black-plastic bumper assembly that also integrated a more outstanding grille. At the back, a dark-plastic “ducktail” spoiler was extra. We consider the spoiler seems like the device on a 1979-1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am whether it improved look stays debatable. But we feel the magnesium Campagnolo “Daytona” wheels have been, and are, handsome.

The engine remained the 2.-liter dohc unit that arrived back again in 1972. Around time it was upgraded, and tweaks provided variable valve timing in 1980 and Bosch L-Jetronic gasoline injection in 1982. By ’82 the four was great for 115 horsepower and 119 pound-toes of torque. 

In 1985, Alfa-Romeo added a less expensive Spider variant with a lot less gear, the Graduate. The identify of class referenced the 1967 movement photograph The Graduate that starred Dustin Hoffman and his character’s ’67 Duetto.

Additional alterations arrived for 1986. A leading-of-the-line Quadrifoglio model was new, priced from $19,600. It bundled “aerodynamic” decrease-overall body skirts, leather interior, a detachable fiberglass hardtop, and air conditioning. It ran 15-inch alloy wheels sporting Pirelli P6 tires, though other Spiders still rolled with 14s. 

Quadrifoglio obtained a revised interior shared with the now-midgrade Veloce ($16,995). The seats and console have been new, together with a transformed instrument cluster. A more compact-diameter leather-based-trimmed steering wheel changed the aged hand-concluded wood device, and the pedals were repositioned in an clear effort and hard work to improve leg area. Client Guideline® advised all inside upgrades were being prolonged to the $13,995 Graduate Street & Track disagreed, reporting the Graduate carried on with the outdated seats.

R&T was pleasantly surprised with its Quadrifoglio check car’s overall healthy and end, and amazed with the inside revisions, but didn’t like the insert-on aero skirts. CG believed body flex was too much and the inside was riddled with squeaks. The 4 was not as powerful or refined as then-modern-day contemporaries, and the brakes had been disappointing.

For 1990, Shopper Guidebook® documented that—shades of the future—approximately 300 Chrysler-Plymouth sellers would start promoting the U.S.-spec Alfa Romeo Spider. It was very little adjusted, but new electronic engine-control devices aided increase a few horsepower, bringing the overall to 120. Costs ranged from $16,950 for the Graduate to $23,950 for the Quadrifoglio. The editors advised readers fascinated in the Spider get a Mazda Miata alternatively. 

That prolonged background we described at the start off experienced one more chapter. Upcoming up was a Series 4 vehicle that would just take the Spider to its conclude in 1993.

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• Handling was very good, specially with the 15-inch tires.

• From what we hear, the convertible top rated was extremely straightforward to function.


• Pretty much just about every time period critique mentions an unpleasant driving place with also-close pedals but a steering wheel that requires also extensive of a arrive at. 

• Inexpensive-wheelers searching for an automatic transmission won’t obtain one particular in these Alfa Romeos.

Ultimate Push:

Even though quite a few may well argue the initially-technology Mazda Miata is a much better car or truck by virtually any measure, the Alfa Romeo Spider’s quirky Italian mystique and intended-in-the-Sixties charms make for unexpectedly unique low cost wheels.

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1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider

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1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider

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1983-1990 Alfa Romeo Spider


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