1985 Alfa Romeo Graduate Spider
I admit that my interest in these cars is because we are both Italian. In addition, I find these cars to be inexpensive fun and enjoyment. They attract attention, inspire conversation and truly are fun to drive.
This particular car is of the Graduate trim level. In other words, it is the base model and does not have many options. On one hand, it is not very fancy, but on the other hand, there is less to go wrong. This car has manual crank windows, no radio and no convertible top boot.
This car spent most of its life in Northern Illinois. I can see that it was rust-proofed, most likely when new, and that prevented major body rust issues. It was repainted in the 90’s to the same shade of red and it was nicely done. There are a few stone chips and scratches that have been touched up.
All of the glass is original to the car. The top is original, and nice, with the rear window recently being replaced. The carpet appears to be original and it has survived very nicely. The seats were re-padded and covered. The color of the new covers is a lighter brown than original. Attractive and cool in the sun.
This car languished for a few years. The most recent owner provided it with the repairs and maintenance to make it a reliable driver. The fuel system was completely overhauled. The tank, pump and sending unit are new. The fuel injection system was cleaned and the rubber lines replaced. The ignition had its major components replaced. The brakes were gone through. The master cylinder, calipers and rotors were all replaced. The clutch master and slave cylinders were replaced. New radials were just installed.
The electrical system was evaluated and gremlins eradicated. Neither the horn, nor the blower motor, are functioning. Otherwise, all systems are functioning. All lights work. The keys lock the ignition, doors, glove box and trunk. An Owner’s Manual and wiring diagram reside in the glove box. There is a spare, jack and tool kit in the trunk. There are a few rust holes in the spare tire well, but nothing to challenge the structural integrity. There are some spare parts in a box within the trunk.
The 1962 cc engine starts with ease and runs great. It is not a torque-monster, but does have decent power, especially at higher rpm. The clutch is good and the transmission shifts smoothly. The five speed has overdrive with a .79 ratio. This allows for freeway cruising at less than 3000 rpm.
This car handles wonderfully. The low center of gravity allows for aggressive driving through the corners. Just manhandle the steering wheel and the car will go where you point. It’s really a blast to drive.
The overall appearance of the car is pleasing. All of the glass is good. The top is in nice condition. The interior looks great. The paint is in nice condition and hides all imperfections unless you are very close.
The odometer reads 67,855 miles. I have been told that this is the actual mileage. While the condition of the car supports this claim, there are no documents that verify it. Due to the age of the car, it is exempt from odometer disclosure. In my professional opinion, I believe the odometer reading reflects actual mileage on the car.
I am planning to drive this car to an upcoming car show, then on into the City to attend a Wisconsin Badger football game. Go Big Red! I have no concerns about its dependability or reliability. I am looking forward to the drive and to taking back roads during the journey.
There is a lot of life left in this cute Red sports car. It is a ton of fun and is appealing to the eye. Where else can you find a great looking and well maintained European sports car for this value?
Yes, I am biased because we are both Italian. But most of all, I really enjoy the fun provided.