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1973 Alfa Romeo Spider

My brother strongly influenced this purchase of a 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider (a convertible). He bought a GT Veloce model, and I subsequently bought the Spider Veloce version. I bought it used from Gordon Rubinett in Austin, Texas and had it serviced at Zephyr Auto Paddock (ZAP), also in Austin. I still own this vehicle, although it is currently rusting away in the driveway. There are more photographs in the gallery at the bottom of the page.

  • 1963 cc four-stroke, four-cylinder, aluminum block engine with iron cylinder liners (see specifications below)
  • Purchased used on March 19, 1973 in Austin, Texas
  • VIN: AR3041978
1973 Alfa Romeo Spider
Changing the oil (7 quarts, Castrol 20W-50!) in a field on the Holtzen farm west of Burkburnett, Texas, December 19, 1976. The aftermarket protective guard for the oil sump is visible beneath the front bumper and grill.

Specifications (mostly from the Owner's Manual)


Cylinders 4 in line
Bore and stroke 84 x 88.5 mm
Total displacement 1962 cc
BHP @ 5800 rpm 129 SAE net


Turning circle 34.8 ft
Designated seating capacity 2
Tires 165 HR 14
Curb weight 2292 lbs


Alfa Romeo coolant mixture abt. IMP. U.S.A. METRIC
2.1 gals 2.5 gals 9.7 l


Engine (* when full abt. danger level) 5.95 qts 7.1 qts 6.6 l
Transmission 3.2 pts 3.8 pts 1.85 l
Steering box .7 pt .8 pt 0.4 l
* This quantity is that needed for regular changing. The total amount of oil in the circuit (pan, filter and passages) is abt. 6.5 qts 7.8 qts 7.16 l


Tank capacity, abt. 11.9 gals 14.3 gals 54 l
Reserve 1.3-1.5 gals 1.6-1.8 gals 6-7 l
Lead content (maximum) 2.9 g/gals 2.4 g/gals 0.635 g/l

Octane Requirement

IMPORTANT: Use of the correct fuel cannot be overemphasized. Recent changes in "Octane Ratings" can cause confusion. Below are the octane numbers required for your engine:
Research method (RON) 91 minimum
F.T.C. method* 87 minimum
* This rating number is required by the Federal Trade Commission to be posted on gasoline pumps in filling stations after March 15, 1972. While it is not an actual measure of an engine's requirement, its purpose is to approximate the actual octane requirement on the road.

Performance (with 41:9 final drive)

AFTER BREAKING IN (maximum speeds)

Gear 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Rev.
mph. 27 45 66 88 128 29

Photo Gallery

Click on images below for higher-resolution version (opens in new window)

Alfa Romeo Spider Left-front view of 1973 Alfa Romeo Spider on Mission Ridge, Austin, Texas, 1978.


Created 20130830; Updated 20150107