I honestly don’t remember optional hardtops on convertibles even being a thing until the 1990s. It seemed to have taken the modern, two-seat sports car revolution brought about by the original Mazda MX-5 Miata in the late ’80s before I remember seeing removable hardtops on newer cars. That’s why it came as such a surprise to me to discover that the Quadrifoglio Verde edition of the long-running Alfa Romeo Spider came standard with one, with this variant’s introduction in 1985 for the ’86 model year. I simply don’t remember seeing any of these Quadrifoglio Verdes when new – not even while watching the oh-so-’80s daytime game show stalwart “Sale Of The Century”, where the Spider was a regular fixture as a prize on the revolving stage behind host Jim Perry.
These cars weren’t cheap when new. I couldn’t find a POE base price for the Verde, but prices for the “regular”, ’86 Quadrifoglio started just north of $20,000, which translates to about $46,000 in 2018. This seems like an incredible sum of money for a little car that had been in production – albeit with not-insubstantial tweaks throughout the years – for over two decades by that point. The Verde didn’t even have any mechanical upgrades over lesser Spiders – they all came standard with the same 116-hp, DOHC 2.0L four cylinder and five-speed manual. With a starting curb weight of between 2,200 and 2,300 pounds, our featured car would be good for a decent 0-60 time of about 10 seconds, according to Consumer Reports.
What the Verde featured that the other cars didn’t were slightly contoured side-skirts, front and rear spoilers, the aforementioned removable hardtop, and dual, color-keyed sport mirrors. I’m not 100% sure about the model year of our featured car, but I went with ’86 simply because this was the first year the Verde was available. There were about 26,700 Spiders sold worldwide from between 1986 and ’90, prior to this model’s fourth and final restyle for ’91. From the temporary plate behind this example, this car looks like a recent purchase. Here’s hoping its new owner gets a lot of enjoyment out of his new toy this summer.
Downtown, The Loop, Chicago, Illinois.
Thursday, July 5, 2018.