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How so? That looks like a bog-standard '91 Spider base model with a Quadrifoglio/dealer install hard top.

Even has the optional '91 Spider base 14" alloy wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It was listed as a Veloce, and it is a standard Spider ...

Previously, it has been noted that "OEM springs on a Quad are a little taller than those of the Veloce models" in the S3. Should there be a weight issue on the 91, if so would a dealer installed hardtop address the problem with different springs?

Just wading through the weeds to find the right spider.

Thanks
 

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I've got a Pininfarina (nee Quadrifoglio) hardtop that I've used at one time or another on 3 of my Spiders; S2, S3, and S4. I honestly can't see/feel any difference in the ride height, or anything else, for that matter. I've never weighed the hardtop, but I'll just guess it's 50 or 60 pounds. The hardtop was actually an option on the S3 Quad's and Veloce's, wasn't it? If so, why the different springs, or were they matched car by car only to those that had the top? I just don't think the weight of the top amounts to anything significant on a car that's ~2500 pounds.
 

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am i mistaken or is the drivers side door sill stainless/while the passenger side sill looks to be black?

doug hunt

ps: these pics of the nose remind me why "I WANT A RED SERIES 4 SPIDER"
sorry about yelling!!! i just really like the series 4 nose(all body color)
pps:dont pay any attention to me,my coworker just showed me where one side is in shade and the other is not. duh
 

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It was listed as a Veloce, and it is a standard Spider ...

Previously, it has been noted that "OEM springs on a Quad are a little taller than those of the Veloce models" in the S3. Should there be a weight issue on the 91, if so would a dealer installed hardtop address the problem with different springs?

Just wading through the weeds to find the right spider.

Thanks
Perhaps I can shed some light here... The hard top was introduced as standard equipment for the top-of-the-line series 3 Quadrifoglio only. (Quads were introduced in 1986 and sold until 1990.) It was not an option for the series 3 Veloce, although the Alfa factory wired all Spiders from 1986 on with the connection for the hard top rear defogger. Hence, while not an official option, there was nothing preventing anyone form ordering the hard top and the console switches to make the rear defogger operational. The Quad springs are indeed taller than the Veloce (and Graduate) springs because of the hard top weight.

When Alfa moved on to the series 4, which only offered the Spider and Spider Veloce models, the "cool" features of the Quad were retained an offered for the series 4 cars. These included the enlarged boot cover (standard in all series 4), the 15 inch phone dial wheels (standard in the series 4 Veloce only), and the hard top (optional on both models).

The series 4 cars are much heavier than the series 3 models by at least 400 lbs, and the series 4 springs are heavier and taller to accommodate the weight. This said, I have never heard of anyone having a issue when retrofitting a hard top to an earlier car, and would concur with Art Vandelay's observations. (I too have a hard top on my '87 Veloce, but it has sport springs, which are stiffer than the OEM version.)

As far as the differences between a Spider and a Spider Veloce, there are only 5:
  1. 14 in. x 6 steel wheels (with in 5-star wheels optional) vs. 15 in. x 6 in. phone dials
  2. Optional A/C vs. Standard A/C
  3. Vinyl seats with suede inserts vs. Leather seats with suede inserts
  4. Spider badge vs. Spider Veloce badge
  5. Plain trunk vs. one with Alfa emblem embossed in jack compartment door.
Other than that, they are identical, both interior-wise and mechanically.

An original Spider, as well as an original Spider Veloce, will have the following standard equipment:
  • 5 speed manual (automatic was optional on both)
  • Power steering
  • Power antenna
  • Dual power remote mirrors
  • Power windows
  • Driver side airbag in the steering wheel
  • AM/FM cassette radio (CD player was optional on both)
  • Canvas top and boot cover (Hard top was optional)
Best regards,
 

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Enrique,

I thought the '91 Spider (non-Veloce) had a vinyl top, not canvas. Am I mistaken?
All series 4 cars came with a canvas top, and the Alfa brochures that list the options also indicate this. (I have double checked this against the 1991 and later Spider brochures, and I also remember this being the case.) I have heard people state that the regular Spider came with a vinyl top, but this is not the case. Alfa started using canvas exclusively in 1982, with the introduction of the "luxurious" Spider Veloce. Then they re-introduced the vinyl top for the "base model" Graduate only (1985). When the Spider line evolved to the series 4 cars, Alfa abandoned any "base" or "entry-level" edition, which had been significantly cheaper than the two higher end editions (Quad and Veloce). This made sense, as the series 4 Spiders were marketed as "luxury" cars, and they were not cheap by any means, and the higher end Spiders had been fitted with canvas for almost a decade by 1991...

Best regards,
 

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All series 4 cars came with a canvas top, and the Alfa brochures that list the options also indicate this. (I have double checked this against the 1991 and later Spider brochures, and I also remember this being the case.) I have heard people state that the regular Spider came with a vinyl top, but this is not the case. Alfa started using canvas exclusively in 1982, with the introduction of the "luxurious" Spider Veloce. Then they re-introduced the vinyl top for the "base model" Graduate, starting in 1985 and ending in 1990. When the Spider line evolved to the series 4 cars, Alfa abandoned any "base" or "entry-level" edition, which had been significantly cheaper than the two higher end editions (Quad and Veloce). This made sense, as the series 4 Spiders were marketed as "luxury" cars, and they were not cheap by any means, and the higher end Spiders had been fitted with canvas for almost a decade by 1991...

Best regards,

Enrique,

Thanks! You are a treasure trove of information. As long as I'm picking your brain, a/c was an option on '87 Spider Veloces, right? Standard on Quads, optional on Grads/Veloces.
 

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Enrique,

Thanks! You are a treasure trove of information. As long as I'm picking your brain, a/c was an option on '87 Spider Veloces, right?
Hooligan,
Thanks for the your nice comment... I just happen to have been lucky enough to have grown-up with these cars, and when your a bit crazy about them, it's easy to keep up and save brochures. :)

Yes, A/C was an option on the '87 Veloce. I have to say however, that the vast majority of series 3b ('86 and forward) Veloces that I have seen have A/C. Also, I must emphasize that "options" on Alfa Spiders are a bit misleading. There really wasn't anything truly optional. You couldn't go to an Alfa dealer and order a car with the options that you wanted. Alfa would simply decide what they thought would be sought after in the U.S. market and would fit the cars according to their perception. So it was more like the options list was used to know what was going to be added to the base price of the car, as no buyer had a choice!

Best regards,
 

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Hooligan,
Thanks for the your nice comment... I just happen to have been lucky enough to have grown-up with these cars, and when your a bit crazy about them, it's easy to keep up and save brochures. :)

Yes, A/C was an option on the '87 Veloce. I have to say however, that the vast majority of series 3b ('86 and forward) Veloces that I have seen have A/C. Also, I must emphasize that "options" on Alfa Spiders are a bit misleading. There really wasn't anything truly optional. You couldn't go to an Alfa dealer and order a car with the options that you wanted. Alfa would simply decide what they thought would be sought after in the U.S. market and would fit the cars according to their perception. So it was more like the options list was used to know what was going to be added to the base price of the car, as no buyer had a choice!

Best regards,
Enrique,

Totally understandable! I think my '87 is one of those few non-a/c Veloces, however. Because of the peculiar a/c switch (from a pre-86 car), I think it was added on at a later date. I'll hopefully talk to the original owner soon to confirm.
 

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Enrique,

Totally understandable! I think my '87 is one of those few non-a/c Veloces, however. Because of the peculiar a/c switch (from a pre-86 car), I think it was added on at a later date. I'll hopefully talk to the original owner soon to confirm.
I don't believe that the switch itself is different in a '87 and say, a '84 Spider. The position of the switch is. In your car, the A/C switch is to the left of the clock, and both right below the stick shift opening. In the earlier cars, the switch is at the very end of the console (toward the back), next to the cigarette lighter...

Best regards,
 

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As far as the differences between a Spider and a Spider Veloce, there are only 5:
  1. 14 in. x 6 steel wheels (with in 5-star wheels optional) vs. 15 in. x 6 in. phone dials
  2. Optional A/C vs. Standard A/C
  3. Vinyl seats with suede inserts vs. Leather seats with suede inserts
  4. Spider badge vs. Spider Veloce badge
  5. Plain trunk vs. one with Alfa emblem embossed in jack compartment door.
Other than that, they are identical, both interior-wise and mechanically.
These are very minor but I've noticed two other differences:

The passenger side sun visor has a covered courtesy mirror.
The steering wheel is leather wrapped.
 

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All series 4 cars came with a canvas top, and the Alfa brochures that list the options also indicate this. (I have double checked this against the 1991 and later Spider brochures, and I also remember this being the case.) I have heard people state that the regular Spider came with a vinyl top, but this is not the case.
Sorry man, but that's incorrect. My '91 came with a vinyl top from the factory. Verified it with the original owner.
 

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These are very minor but I've noticed two other differences:

The passenger side sun visor has a covered courtesy mirror.
The steering wheel is leather wrapped.
Close... the sun visor's courtesy mirror is only covered (and lighted) on Quadrifoglios. There is a mirror on Veloces and some years of Graduates (I think).

And the leather wheel came only on Quadrifoglios.

Now, like Enrique said, standard/optional equipment was based more on what Alfa felt like putting on the cars when they left the factory. This isn't Toyota we're dealing with here! Each car can be slightly different than the one before/after it.
 

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Sorry man, but that's incorrect. My '91 came with a vinyl top from the factory. Verified it with the original owner.
I hear you and I don't know what to say except that when questions arise at a concours event about what is or isn't OEM, and the Alfa brochure states a material different from what is on the car, the owner of the car being judged who is making the claim is asked to produce documentation (such as the window sticker) in order to avoid an incorrectness deduction from the judge. In this case, the 1991 factory literature for Spider models indicates that the standard material of the top is canvas, for both the Spider and the Spider Veloce.

Best regards,
 

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ROFL...don't dock my Spider points, Enrique! Now I'll never have a concourse queen!

Seriously, man, you're wrong. This is the '92 Spider brochure (Cardisc page 44 of the brochure). It's tough to see, but see note (1) at the bottom, referenced by the section on the top:

"Spider convertible top: vinyl Spider Veloce convertible top: premium cloth"
 

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I think it really does come down to Alfa's factory doing what Alfa's factory wanted to do/could do at the time.

There is much more inconsistency with these cars than there is with 2007 cars.
 

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my novante spider was a custom job from the dealership. a perfect union in my opinion and not too far from the spider listed in this thread.

i got a graduate, black with brown interior. its the lightest of the spiders and lets face it gents, vinyl was stock for 50years for a reason. convertibles get wet. leather and fabric tops was perhaps exactly why the spider declined in performance and over-pricing over the years.
manual window-cranks, like a true sports car.
air-conditioning as an option.
the optional factory hardtop.
nardi wooden steering wheel

all assembled by the dealership.


the hardtop is worth every single penny of its original 1500$ price. it makes your spider a year-round vehicle. it gives you clear night-vision in the rear (much better visibility) and like tifosi said, its light as hell. i can lift it myself. the overhead dome-lamp lights up with the floor lights when opening the doors.

the quad was a very strict style-choice. i mean when does somebody ever say "red carpets...thats what im feeling"

i think the posted spider is a pretty sweet choice.

however, that hardtop needs some serious rubber restoration and the stuff is pretty hard to ever source (maybe impossible)
 
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