"Rinata" means reborn in Italian, and that is what this cheery blue Italian roadster has been -- repeatedly. I did a bare metal renovation of this car in 2006. Sold in 2009 and came back to me in 2017 needing some love. I got things started so the next owner can finish to her or his taste, at a low pressure pace.
When I first saw Rinata on eBay she looked like favorite, faded and well worn pair of jeans. Her Celeste metallico #365 paint was thin, nearly gone on the hood and trunk; her top was faded and starting to fray; and her interior was sun-baked. Having lived her life in the Bay area near San Francisco, she had been donated to a charity, and the initial impression would have been that after 102,000 miles, the roadster was ready to be parted out.
But a deeper dive showed she came with a fat binder of receipts, and those documented lots of high quality mechanical work over the years. And the seller claimed the car ran well. I bid a modest amount and soon she was on a truck headed east.
That truck positioned Rinata beneath a Lincoln that leaked oil. And apparently the trucker went off-roading through an aviary, so my poor Alfa arrived to my driveway tarred and feathered.
This car gave me the opportunity to do a renovation far beyond any other I had attempted, taking the car to bare metal in some places, while fixing any dings or scratches. I had her repainted the original color (the same as in all 1983 Spider advertisements and the factory catalogue for this first year of the Series 3 spoilered Spiders). Added a new blue cloth top. Found a matching darker blue hardtop. Found a fresh set of blue vinyl seats to replace the stiff, compressed leather ones. I also made custom leather replacements for the top of the door sills and the shift boot, and I refinished the wood steering wheel, staining it darker to match the tones of the interior.
Rinata, renovated and ready to roll as she appeared in 2009.
This was my first Spider with a roll bar. I did time trials in this car at the Alfa convention in Detroit in 2007 (second place in class) and took it on the track in Chicago the next year, where a fellow competitor lost his oil, leading me to tap his side with my nose. Rinata underwent rhinoplasty and was refinished and lived to shine again.
While I termed her "the best driving Spider I've owned," Alfa means "Always Looking for Another" so around 2009 I sold Rinata to focus on two 1960s Spiders. She sold for what was then high dollar -- $8,000.
In 2016, she came back on my radar, up for sale at the DC Auto Auction. I found her a bit worse for the intervening years -- rust had done a number on her rocker panels and under the rear bumper -- but the paint still was shiny and the interior sharp, and when they fired her up at the auction she sounded great; so I bought my old friend back. I focused on ensuring she was mechanically strong, and postponed the body work.
Rinata took second in her class during her and my first track outing, AROC Detroit Convention 2007.
The clutch went out two years ago, and I had too many other projects going so the car sat. Now with the clutch working and a new battery she's ready for some more love and driving! Rinata is available for sale.
Here are the basic details:
* 1983 Spider Veloce, Celeste Metallico #365
* 142,325 miles (3/5/21). Working odometer.
* Brand new battery 1/2021
* Excellent aftermarket CD stereo
* Stebro stainless exhaust (rare -- worth $1,000+)
* European headers
* Functional roll bar
* This car starts strong and runs smoothly and has a very peppy engine
* It is registered and insured and suitable for test drives
* Darker blue metallic hardtop (matches the interior)
* Bodywork needs -- Rusted rocker panels, and under rear bumper; cosmetic parking lot dent behind driver's door; dings in nose
Asking price: $4,500. Offers and trade ideas are welcome!
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Contact: Brewster Thackeray, Brewthack@gmail.com
Alfa Romeo introduced Celeste Metallico paint #365 in 1982, and in 1983, the company chose to show the Spider in this distinctly 1980s shade in all of its advertising. In this U.S. market brochure, the Spider is shown on the cover of the thin, narrow sales brochure. Inside, a lovely young woman sketches while seated in a Spider on the dock in Portofino.
The European ad brochures also showed the blue Spider, but with fewer options -- note the steel wheels here. Why not take a rust-prone, rear-wheel drive convertible skiing?
The front cover of that 1983 U.S. brochure highlighted the new bumper treatment of the Series 3 car, a notable update from the heavy black bumpers of 1975-82.
In the DC region, including Maryland and Northern Virginia, the Capital Chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club is your resource for local advice and fun events. Brewster Thackeray serves as Capital Chapter President.