Last of the Classics:

1990 Alfa Romeo
Spider Veloce!

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First introduced back in 1966 as the Duetto and brought to fame in 1967 in the movie "The Graduate" starring Dustin Hoffman, Alfa Romeo's Spider is an automotive icon par excellence. Built for almost 30 years with only slight upgrades, it provides pure, unadulterated fun and is the quintessential Italian sports car.

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Even in 1990, its final model year in Aerodinamica -- or "Series Three" -- guise, the Spider still exuded the Italian way of la dolce vita so prevalent during the 1960s. Yes, the Spider gained a reliable BOSCH fuel injection, a few more pounds (made up for by a few more cavallinos), and creature comforts on par with any modern luxury convertible, but at heart it's still the Spider we've all have come to love.

For enthusiasts, this fine example ticks all the right boxes and will appreciate in value as surely as there will be gondolas in Venice twenty years from now.

Manufactured during July of 1989, this 1990 model Spider was sold new on June 1st, 1990 at Jim Marino Imports on Main Street in Alhambra, Calif. to a San Gabriel Valley Gentleman who purchased the car as a retirement gift for his wife. The couple had fallen in love with Alfa Romeo convertibles during a vacation in Italy, where they had rented one to tour the Italian countryside.

In 2012, we were lucky to purchase the car from the original owners, and consequently sold it to Paul, a meticulous Gentleman who, in his pursuit of perfection, invested another $5,000 during his 4 years of ownership. He addressed brakes, motor mount, trailing arm bushing, water pump, had a new battery installed and repaired the factory radio, mounting upgraded speakers underneath the original speaker covers. He also purchased a nice set of period-correct Coco Mats!
In November of 2015, the story of car and owner was published in Hemmings SPORT & EXOTIC Car magazine, an interesting read.

This truly exceptional Spider comes with its complete set of books and manuals, still inside their attractive, tan morrokide pouch. Included are owner's manual, stamped maintenance program book, Alfa road atlas, dealer directory, tire guides, audio system manual, anti-theft system tags and decals, and consumer protection folder, and all the invoices accrued during Paul's ownership. There's also the radio removal tool.
Let's inspect this sexy Italian closely now, starting with its undercarriage.

According to its original owner, this Alfa was never driven in the rain, and it shows. Veloce's underbelly looks 100% correct and undisturbed; even most of the factory-applied Cosmolene wax coating is still intact. Manufactured before modern rust proofing methods were adopted by Alfa Romeo, it's truly a miracle that the car has survived the past 26 years without the brown rust cancer taking hold. It doesn't get any cleaner than this!

Being a pampered toy, driven less than 1,500 miles annually, on average (a fact that is supported by a clean history report), this Alfa Romeo has obviously never been in an accident, big or small. Featuring arrow-straight coachwork and perfect door and hood gaps, its lines are showroom crisp.

The top-of-the-line Veloce models came with several high-end options, and a canvas convertible top was but one. Black top is super easy to operate with one hand and remains in pristine condition, with a crystal clear rear window. The black tonneau cover is among the items purchased recently.

Still sporting all of its original, factory-applied Rosso Corsa paint, arguably the most fitting color choice for an Italian sports car, the Alfa looks fabulous. There are no dents or bubbles; the finish is smooth and glossy, just like Mr. Pininfarina intended when he built the car.

Another highlight are Veloce's beautifully preserved, Campagnolo-designed light alloy wheels, fitted with excellent MICHELIN radial tires of the correct size 185/70R14.

Veloce comes with its matching numbers, 2-liter dual overhead cam power plant, fitted for the 1990 model year with a BOSCH Motronic electronic fuel injection system (just like Porsche's 911), producing 130 happy horsepower, more than sufficient to propel the car past any legal freeway speeds. This particular engine starts easily every time, idles smoothly, and runs strong on regular unleaded gasoline. There are no bad habits, such as smoking, (oil) drinking, or leaks to report. Car has always passed the stringent biennial California smog inspection with flying colors and has been serviced "by the book."

Engine compartment is spotlessly clean. Note the beautifully preserved underhood labels.

Let's now focus our attention on Alfa's exciting cockpit!

Beautiful VEGLIA instruments are centrally located, right in front of the pilot. All lights, gauges, and switches work flawlessly. Nothing has been modified; leather-clad steering wheel and shift knob are the original items. Since the Veloce edition was the luxury version among Spider models, this car came nicely equipped from the factory, sporting power windows, power mirrors, an Alfa-Clarion stereo/cassette unit with multiple speakers, and even air conditioning.

The high-end Veloce comes with genuine leather seats and new black velour carpeting, protected by the above-mentioned coco mats.

Condition of seats mirrors the car's low, low miles. The leather is still very supple, and there are no rips or tears anywhere.

Area behind seats holds additional luggage, is fully carpeted.

Alfa still carries its original 1990 California license plates, front and back. The valuable MARINO IMPORTS chrome license plate frame from the original selling dealership is included in the sale!

Immaculately carpeted trunk is rather roomy. Note working trunk light.

Rust free trunk floor, original spare, unused tire jack. Tool roll has never been opened as it's still wrapped in clear plastic.
Let's take the Veloce through its paces now, shall we?

Wednesday, August 31st, turned out to be another picture-perfect day in sunny Ventura. With temperatures in the low eighties, leaving the top down made a lot of sense.

Alfa features a happy synthesis of 1960s design and 1990s technology. Thanks to German fuel injection, it starts instantly and has plenty of power. Veloce is easy to maneuver, the 5-speed manual transmission shifts great, 4-wheel disc brakes stop the car on the proverbial dime, and the suspension delivers a fine balance between sport and comfort.

The red rocket is in its element on fast highways. In 5th gear on the freeway, it hums along happily while being the proverbial gas miser.

Returning home, we have rekindled our love for the wind-in-the-hair feeling this 1960s icon provides. Being a well-cared-for, two-owner car has its advantages. Originality and low miles help, too. Paul added just under 5,000 miles to the odometer since 2012; mileage currently stands at 42,410!

Purchasing the best-preserved specimen you can find is sage advice dispensed by nearly every classic car guru. This Alfa Romeo proves it amply: is there another classic that provides more carefree fun for less money? We don't think so . . .

We sold this exceptional Alfa Spider for the second time in Summer of 2016.

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