The 1981 Alfa Romeo Spider you see below was ending its days behind a business in northern Utah. I spotted it from a nearby overpass about ten years ago, and I immediately turned around to get a better look at it.
The registration sticker on the rear license plate indicated the Spider had been off the road since 1994, meaning it had been sitting motionless for over ten years when I took the pictures. Structural integrity was not its strong point: the Pininfarina-designed body was badly rusted from decades of meandering on Utah’s salt-covered roads. The interior was in bad shape, too, because the top was torn and the driver-side window had been left open.
Realistically, the Spider was a parts car at best. It was complete, fully stock, and there were still quite a few components on it that could be salvaged. If memory serves, the owner of the business told me his brother left the Spider there when he moved away from Utah and never came back for it. He was open to selling it, but it turned out to be far too expensive for what it was. It was rusty, the interior was trashed, and 1981 is generally regarded as the worst year for the Alfa Spider.
I passed on it. The Spider sat in that exact spot for another couple of years, until it turned up in front of a local repair shop that specialized in Italian cars. Curious to see if the seller had dropped his price, I asked the Spider’s new owner how much he’d paid for it.
“Nothing, a guy just turned up and asked if I wanted a parts car.”