Twin Spark: 1997 Alfa Romeo Spider

The 1990s were a transition time for Alfa Romeo. They left the U.S. market in 1995 after years of dwindling sales. The moved most of their cars to simplistic front-wheel drive, much to the disdain of enthusiasts. And yet their designs started returning to the artful, sensuous curves not seen on their cars since the 1950s and early 60s.

The Spider was introduced in 1993 but the design by Enrico Fumia dates back to 1987. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it does mark a change in Italian auto styling trends away from the harsh edges and angles of the late 70s and 80s and more towards softer corners, flat planes and minimal detail. Sex appeal was back. It was was sophisticated then, and it still looks fresh today.

This particular example is especially crisp in blue over tan leather with black top. I especially like the holed alloys.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter 16-valve 4-cylinder twin spark engine that produced 147 horsepower mated to a 5-speed manual transmission.

The seller of this example says it has just 84,200 kilometers which is only about 53k miles. Cosmetically, they say it has no rust and no "bondo".

Mechanically, they say it drives good and just had a timing belt and water pump replaced at 78km.

These were never sold in North America, but this one had managed to find its way to Canada, so it's one step closer thank importing one directly from Europe. I can see it humming alongside vineyards in Napa Valley, California if you can get it here.

Available here on ebay in British Columbia, Canada with bidding at $2,824 and a Buy-It-Now of $7,800.

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