Forbidden Fruit: 1997 Alfa Romeo Spider

Guys With Rides is pleased to offer Lot 166, a 1997 Alfa Romeo 916 Spider, in an online, reserve-style auction format on behalf of the current caretaker.

Bidding opens Wednesday, November 23 at Noon and will continue for fourteen (14) consecutive days ending at 5:00 PM Eastern on Wednesday, December 7, 2022.

Not originally offered in the United States, this Alfa Romeo 916 Spider spent all of its life up until earlier this year in the Netherlands.  The U.S. Federal Government’s 25-year exemption rule now applies to 1997 and newer models, so the current caretaker successfully imported and titled this car in Pennsylvania early this fall.

This 1997 Alfa Romeo 916 Spider resides in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, less than one hour’s drive from Philadelphia International Airport.

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The Deets

Year: 1997
Make: Alfa Romeo
Model: Spider
Location: Bensalem, PA
Mileage: 51,000
VIN: ZAR91600006039158
Exterior Color: Verde Acido
Interior Color: White Leather
Engine: 2.0 liter DOHC Twin Spark Inline Four
Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
Drivetrain: Front Wheel Drive
Fuel: Gas

Current Bid: $12,950

By 1995, Italian automaker Alfa Romeo decided to cease importing its cars to the U.S.  By that point, the company’s Spider was out of production, leaving the 164 sedans as the sole import.  Sadly, Alfa decided to exit the U.S. market just as they were gearing up to produce several what would become stunning automotive designs.

The first examples of Alfa Romeo’s efforts were the Pininfarina-designed GTV 2+2 coupé and the two-seat Type 916 Spider. Between 1995 and 2006, Alfa Romeo produced approximately 39,000 Spiders and 41,700 GTVs.

The Spider and GTV were based on a heavily-modified version of the then-current Fiat Group compact car platform, called “Tipo Due” (or Type 2). While the new pair of sports cars featured an all-new multilink rear suspension, Alfa’s 1992 155 sedans supplied front suspension and front-wheel-drive, transverse-engine powertrain.

Quite striking when first launched, the wedge-shaped pair featured a low nose with four distinctive headlights separated by a traditional Alfa grille.  While the rear of the GTV coupé features a “Kamm-back” design for improved aerodynamics, the Spider features a more rounded rear. The Spider featured a folding soft top with five hoop frame, which disappears under a flush-fitting tonneau cover.

Details included a rear lamp/fog lamp/indicator strip across the rear of the body and minor instruments in the center console being angled toward the driver. At its launch, many journalists commented that Alfa had improved overall build quality considerably and that it came close to equaling its German rivals.

As part of a 1997 update, the interior received pleated leather seats supplied by MOMO in a choice of either white, red or tan. These seats came with matching colored carpet, pleated leather door card inserts, optional color-keyed stitching around the hand brake, gear lever, and an all-new three-spoke steering wheel.

Our very own Rudy and Nurse Nancy had the pleasure of renting a similar car while traveling through Italy several years ago. While the transverse-engine, front-wheel-drive setup may put off some enthusiasts, especially in a sports car, they found the car to be a very comfortable and well-handling sports car that features a Corvette-style folding top and tonneau assembly.
 
The current caretaker came across this car earlier this summer during a worldwide search. While the distinctive Verde Acido over white leather interior and desirable 5-speed manual transmission piqued the current caretaker’s interest, what really sold him was the documented 51K original miles with extensive maintenance history.  Following this car’s successful and uneventful importation, the current caretaker enjoys this Alfa. We can personally attest to the crowd it draws at local Cars & Coffee events, a feat that is not easy to do at most Bucks County, Pennsylvania gatherings. Knowing that word is spreading about these rare-in-the-US Alfas, the current caretaker elected to list the car with GuysWithRides to see what interest is in the car.  Now is your chance to get a low-mileage, well-maintained example with all of the importation work completed. The values of these rare sports cars will only continue to increase, so now is your chance to get one early and before next spring.
 
Here is a complimentary CarFax® for this 1997 Alfa Romeo Spider, confirming the car is successfully imported into the U.S. and is currently titled and registered in Pennsylvania.  To review the CarFax, please click on the picture below. When finished, click on your browser’s back button to return to this listing:

Although written in Dutch, the seller provided the following documentation: his Spider has been properly maintained. The critical timing belt service has been completed.  Once imported, the seller had his mechanic perform a thorough Pennsylvania safety inspection. The mechanic only noted the lack of a rear license plate light, which is not required in the Netherlands.

While photographing the car in person on November 21, 2022, Rudy completed a visual inspection of the car.  Please click on the picture below to review his findings. When finished, click your browser’s back button to return to this listing page:

Recent maintenance since importation includes an oil and filter change and a new battery.

To help you make informed bids, we’re providing access to Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the Classic Car market, that provides an interactive graph of recent comparable sales year-to-date. By clicking on the green dots, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:

Exterior Gallery

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Interior Gallery

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Underhood And Undercarriage Gallery

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Tires And Wheels Gallery

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Windows & Mirror Gallery

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Documentation Gallery

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If you have any questions about this 1997 Alfa Romeo 916 Spider, please comment below or call Rudy directly at 877-468-6497.  Thank you for looking, and happy bidding!

4 Comments
  1. SEAN

    Hi, What are really looking to sell this car for, I watched the video and while it looks very nice, not sure in the current environment of Pennsylvania weather it will need special care, I live in Pittsburgh and would be further interested if the price is reasonable considering my research on similar models being sold worldwide which prices are all over the place.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      Sean, if you click on one of the blue “Click Here To Bid” buttons, you’ll see a horizontal graph on the bidding page that changes from blue to lime green as the high bid increases. You can use that as a guide to understanding the reserve price for this Alfa. The seller priced this Alfa very appropriately, considering only 51K miles combined with the fact he’s gone through all of the logistics and costs to import the car and get it titled in Pennsylvania.

      Reply
  2. mARK

    I’ve seen this car in person at a local car show and its real and spectacular. The color really pops and the car is simply beautiful!

    Reply
  3. Roy

    I am the seller of the car. My daughter lives in Pittsburgh and I visit her all the time so I know the terrain. This car would do fine in Pittsburgh even in the winter. If you end up being the buyer, I would be willing to drive the car to Pittsburgh and deliver it. It would give me a reason to visit my daughter. The only stipulation is the check has to clear before I would be willing to make that drive.

    Reply

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