Despite Everything, I Really Want A '939' Alfa Romeo Spider

The Brera-based Alfa Romeo Spider is slow, heavy and not terribly good to drive. But I still want one...

Remind me later

There are many reasons why you should not buy a ‘939’ Alfa Romeo Spider.

For starters, it’s packing the ‘wrong’ V6. Arriving just after the death of the legendary Alfa Romeo V6 - and indeed the passing of its creator Giuseppe Busso - the Spider instead made do with a far less charismatic, General Motors-sourced 3.2.

Then you have to consider the weight. Tipping the scales at around 1700kg, the Spider really was a porker, and as a result it takes a leisurely 7.2 seconds to go from 0-62mph, even with a reasonable 260bhp on tap.

The limp performance and lack of fireworks under the bonnet are potential deal-breakers on their own, before you even contemplate the handling. Which is apparently shocking.

I’ve not had a chance to drive the four-wheel drive V6 Spider, but road testers reported the flabby 939 range-topper was nose heavy, rolled hilariously in the corners, and suffered from appalling scuttle shake. Add in the fact Alfa Romeo reliability was - according to surveys at the time - still not brilliant, and you have a recipe for one big nope of a car.

Despite everything though, I want one. I really do. I mean, just look at it. In the right colour with multi-spoke wheels (sacrilegious though it might sound, I’m not a massive fan of the teledials), it’s a stunning thing to behold. It always irked me than the Brera was more hatchback than coupe, so lopping off the roof created a much more elegant shape to my eyes.

Yes, I know it’s too slow, too fat and will understeer at the slightest provocation, but I find the idea of cruising around with the roof down, ears full of V6 noise (even it it’s not the best V6) immensely appealing.

The good news is, grabbing a slice of cruisey Alfa life is getting cheaper and cheaper. The car you see here is the cheapest of the few V6s for sale in the UK (according to Howmanyleft.com only a few hundred V6 Spiders are registered in the country), mostly because it has a considerable 106,000 miles on the clock. As a result it’s up for just £7695, a figure low enough for us to overlook the fact the advert says things like “car benefits from BLUE,” and is written almost entirely in lowercase.

No, this is not a good car, but that doesn’t stop me wanting it. Someone please talk me out of this…