You either understand Alfa-Romeos or you don't. Cars like this 1984 Spider Veloce 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. Every manufacturer 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 Veloce, which endured for decades virtually unchanged, shows off a lot of flair in a compact package. The bright red paint is in good condition with the usual signs of use, which is fitting on a car that's designed to be a great dance partner, and you could really wake it up with a proper buff. 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 rear bumper, and, of course, that Alfa grille standing proud up front, neatly integrated into the bumper assembly.
The special Italian touch extends to the interior, where even this bargain-priced roadster gets handsome tan buckets that wear correct-looking seat covers. A wood-rimmed wheel adds to the interior's ambience, and while it looks pretty weird, that shifter is intuitive and easy to use without any strangeness at all. Functional 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 in a car like this, although the A/C needs to be serviced. There's also an AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit that was installed many years ago and probably due for an upgrade today. The trunk is actually well-shaped and spacious enough to hold luggage for two, and a black canvas convertible top fits neatly and can be stowed in seconds.
The rorty 2-liter engine sings to life with gusto and loves to rev, and with a glorious sound from the single tailpipe out back, you'll be looking for reasons to drop a gear or two and pin the throttle. Aluminum cam covers are a traditional Alfa look, and the fuel injection system has that instant throttle response that makes these cars such a joy to drive. And contrary to what you may have heard, these tough little Italian sports cars are actually reliable and sturdy, perfect for having fun without the worries. Yes, it's a little scruffy, but a weekend or two spent cleaning things up will pay big dividends because it's all in good shape otherwise. The 5-speed manual gearbox snicks through the gears thanks to a silky smooth clutch and the suspension has a great combination of control and supple body movements, so the car is all-day comfortable. Four-wheel discs live behind stylish 5-spoke alloys carrying 185/70/14 Goodyear radials.
Fun and stylish, this bargain-priced exotic is a great entry-level Italian. Sure, it needs a little TLC, but for this price, you get a genuine Alfa Romeo that gives you a real taste of pure sports car magic. Call today!