Market 188: Spider 1600 372427 project in Italy

Giulia Spider 10123*372427, 00112*00662. This car, like the Sprint in market 187, is available in Italy from Ghibli Auto Classiche in Umbria.  No details are available on their website, but enough pictures are posted to form an opinion.  This is a typical example of your ‘fairly complete but needs a lot’ restoration basis.

Curiously both this car and the Sprint they have on offer are missing left hand side headlights.  Grill bar from the same side is missing as well.  One of the three cars in this picture are what generally come to mind when an American of a certain age sees or hears the words ‘foreign sports car’, and they are taken aback when told there are coupe versions of these cars.

Door fits well.  Ride height is slightly high in the back.  I would drive a car in this cosmetic condition.

Another peek into the strange world of classic car dealers who try to make a living on low end condition examples of high end cars.  Mercedes doesn’t look bad though.  Nash Healey coupe is behind the Sprint -one of those cars some people  (or more like some peoples dads) get excited about but that doesn’t do much for me. Oh yeah the Spider.  Trunk fits good but the corners will require rust repair.

Plan on some repair under the battery when you tackle the trunk lid.  That yellowish decal along the inner upper edge of the trunk is probably for the paint maker and color.  Italians have many names and tones for what to most is just white.

Dash top looks ragged.  Mirror is probably incorrect for this series Spider.  Steering wheel, gauges and other controls are in above average shape for a project car.  Accept the fact that you will be repairing some floor rust.

You are expecting me to write this off, but honestly, this isn’t bad at all.  Yes, the terra cotta is showing through under the drivers seat adding to the already ample palette of reddish browns on display.  Seats are 105 Spider items.  Plan on having spent $2500 or more by the time you source seats, seat tracks and all the materials and labor to make them look nice.

If you are lucky you can get away with nursing this engine back to health without so much as a head gasket -I know plenty of people who would try, but will you ever really feel confident taking it very far from home?  Missing airbox and associated bracketry and ducting is included.

Numbers and another data point in my ‘when did they change from slotted to phillips head screws to hold the grommet clamps to the firewall’ survey.

How does this happen to a car?  These were not cheap when new and it’s hard to imagine a time when one would look at this car and not see a desirable object.  How about this -the timing advance counterweight seizes up, the car loses its gusto, the mechanic misdiagnosis it as something expensive, the owner limps it home and parks it and weeks turn into months which add up to years, the ivy creeps over it, the cat sleeps in it, ecosystems of insects thrive until the house changes hands and the real estate agents cousin tows it away, puts it on Craigslist, sells it to a broker who triples their money selling it to another European broker who will somehow make money selling it as a restoration basis to someone in yet another country who might buy it based on pictures, be slightly disappointed to find the reality of restoration -dirty nails two hours a day for two years seasoned with some check writing, is a different thing than the cake-walk that catalogs and testimonials make it seem, so they despair, give up, park it in the side of their house for another couple of years, then finally sell it or trade it to a broker at a loss to get one that is already fixed up.  Or maybe it was the angry divorce scenario, or untimely death or any of the other plots that make taking care of a car utterly unimportant.  Whatever the case, here it is in Umbria looking for a skilled hand to see it back on the road and add a happy chapter to the story.  Spring and sunshine will be here soon -it could be you.


3 thoughts on “Market 188: Spider 1600 372427 project in Italy

  1. Dear Matt,
    ‘How does this happen…’ sounds like the intermezzo theme of a chapter of a Book on the Life and Times of a Giulietta
    Good Writing

  2. Sadly, I’ve thought about “how does it happen” a lot, and mostly I come to the conclusion that most people see a downward curve on a graph where maintenance is on the vertical, and age is on the horizontal. Unlike some of us readers here, who see the exact opposite.

  3. I wrote this post at about 4 in the morning when I couldn’t sleep -I guess I should write in the middle of the night more often.


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