You either understand Alfa-Romeos or you don't. Cars like this 1976 Spider don't make a lot of sense to our rational minds, but slide behind the wheel and it whispers seductively in fluent Italian and suddenly you find yourself running it through the gears just for the sheer joy of the sound and the feel of a machine acting as your dance partner.
It also helps that it's good looking. Sportier than an MG and undeniably Italian, this Alfa is the entry-level two-seater for the guy who knows the real thing when he sees it. Everyone has built a two-seat roadster, it seems, but few can do it better than the Italians. It starts with great bodywork, and the Spider, which endured for decades virtually unchanged, shows off a lot of flair in a compact package. Panel fit is quite good given the era and the hand-built nature of the car, and the shape works just fine without the body add-ons that would come a few years later. Simple, elegant, and extremely sporty, it shows off the little things that the Italians do so well. Note the neat little flush-fitting door handles, the exhaust pipe that's almost (but not quite!) centered under the chrome rear bumper, and, of course, that Alfa grille standing proud up front. The light yellow finish is a strong driver-quality presentation that looks fantastic when its bombing down the road, punctuated by the blacked-out, painted-on LeMans style stripes that run down the center of the car. The '76 gumball was painted on as well, giving this little roadster a little added character, and eve with the American spec bumpers fore and aft this Spider looks very trim.
The special Italian touch extends to the interior, where even this bargain-priced roadster gets handsome black buckets that wear fresh seat covers. An elegant wood-rimmed wheel adds to the interior's ambience, and while it may look a little awkward at first, the shifter is intuitive and easy to use without any strangeness at all. Beautiful Jaeger instruments in a pair of hoods jutting out of the dash show off the simplicity that has long been a hallmark of Italian automotive design, with the secondary instruments slightly canted towards the driver. The ventilation system is typical Italian, with controls that are hard to decipher, but that's really all part of the charm. The trunk is actually well-shaped and spacious enough to hold luggage for two. Uniquely, this Alfa comes with two top options, a vinyl covered hard top as well as a black convertible top which in good shape and seals up tightly in case of inclement weather.
The rorty 2.0-liter flat-four engine sings to life with gusto and loves to rev, and with a glorious sound from the new muffler out back, you'll be looking for reasons to drop a gear or two and pin the throttle. Bright silver aluminum cam covers are a traditional Alfa look, and the two Weber side-draft SU carburetors have instant throttle response. Upgraded/maintained ignition parts and other miscellaneous signs of work mean it's ready to enjoy immediately, and the engine bay is really presented nicely. The 5-speed manual gearbox snicks through the gears and the suspension has a great combination of control and supple body movements, so the car is all-day comfortable. Power four-wheel discs live behind stylish alloys carrying 175/70/14 radials with plenty of tread left.
Fun and stylish, this bargain-priced exotic is a great entry-level Italian. With plenty of parts, easy maintenance, and performance that will always make you smile, this is an excellent choice for a fair-weather toy. Call today!