Ronald D Spartan Neo-Classic

Most people do not know what a “Spartan Neo-Classic” is.

Spartan Story

Hi, my name is Ron and I own a Spartan Neo-Classic automobile #25 from the first year of production. This Spartan was built in 1983 using the Nissan 280ZX Turbo platform.

Most people do not know what a “Spartan Neo-Classic” is. “Let the questions begin!” - The Spartan is not a kit car. Neo-Classics are cars with bodywork that evokes the luxurious timeless designs of the 1920s and '30s, but with chassis and power trains from modern day automobiles.

The Excalibur is probably the most well known neo-classic car and they used Chevy/Corvette components for their drive train.

The Spartan Neo-Classic was the passion of Automobile Designer Ron Sparks of San Marcos, California. The 1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo sports car was chosen as the platform for his hand crafted creation.

I am located in Central New Jersey and my car spent most of its life in a garage in Las Vegas owned by my aunt who was a professional lounge singer performing in many major hotels. She wanted a flashy car to go with her Las Vegas celebrity status. So when she saw the Spartan she had to own it. My aunt purchased the car in 1986 and was the second owner. After using the car for about three years, she got tired of people asking questions about the vehicle and having to tell the story about the Spartan… So she just put the car in her garage, covered it and let it sit for 19 years. You know what placing a car in a garage, untouched for 19 years does to the fuel? Not to mention the summer heat and dryness in Las Vegas? Finally, in 2008 I got the car transported to New Jersey and began a very unique restoration project. I spent a year working on the car and finally got it roadworthy again keeping everything original as possible.

Very little research data is available about the Spartan and you will not find this car listed in Kelly Blue Books or on other car published listings. However, thanks to the internet, I was able to find some history about the car. The Spartan was also Cruella de Vil’s car..... A car just like mine was used in the 1996 Walt Disney Production of the 101 Dalmatians starring Glenn Close as the villainous Cruella de Vil. The only difference was the color. In the movie the Spartan driven by Cruella was white with black fenders and had a red interior.

When I take the Spartan to car shows or cruise nights I take along a collection of stuffed Dalmatians and place them all over the car and instantly everyone, especially children, recognize the car as Cruella’s car. A great time is had by all!

Only 300 Spartans were ever built. Only 9 were produced in 1989, the last year of production. Most were purchased by celebrities: Eddie Murphy, Larry Holms, Joan Collins & Tony Dorsett of the Dallas Cowboys.

19 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Ron Central Florida May 15, 2014 at 13:14
    I too own a 1983 Spartan. Mine is #21 of ??? built with less than 8500.0 miles. Mine is Burgundy with Silver fenders. I see some listed in Hemmings and other places that report they were built as late as 1994. That is the latest year I can find after much research. I have found through my research a '83, '84, '85, '86, '87, '92, '93 and a '94 For Sale. I would like to correspond with other Spartan owners. It is hard to find any information on these cars. Thanks for listening~~~~~~Ron
  • 2
    Terry Billings MT October 1, 2014 at 00:18
    I own a 1995 Spartan and I know there is a 1999 in Huntley Montana. It is my understanding that 1999 was the last year
  • 3
    Vince Kaplan Washougal, Wash April 16, 2015 at 10:50
    Looking for a Spartan, have a mechanical mind an feal I can bring back to nearly new in time
  • 4
    Corkey Texas January 8, 2016 at 22:47
    I have #32, purchased it in 1997, been on many vacations/daily driver. paint has some fading, interior is great, no holes, dash no cracks, original floor mats, no wear, T top carriers like new and sun shades. Age has caught up with me and can do the tinkering anymore. Any Takers out there??
  • 5
    Ron Sparks Arkansas March 26, 2016 at 23:21
    If you have any questions about the Spartan one or two I would be happy to help you if I can.
  • 6
    Ron DiMonda Toms River, New Jersey May 2, 2016 at 21:22
    #5 Are you the Ron Sparks, the designer and builder of the Spartans? Wow... Could you shed some light on the background history of the Spartan. There are so many conflicting stories out there on the internet. I love my car... I thank you so much for your automotive vision and creativity.
  • 7
    Matthew Turner Milton, VT. July 23, 2016 at 17:33
    Hi, My question is to Ron Sparks. I bought a 5-84 Spartan and I am trying to find out what production # it is. Could you help me tell how to find this out?
  • 8
    jim BUCKEYE July 26, 2016 at 10:43
    I just got a really nice one. It was in the garage of a house ai just bought and went with the house. I has a new 300 Nisson engine. How do I tell the # . They tell me it is a 83.
  • 9
    matthew Milton July 27, 2016 at 13:09
    I like the style and work that you have done to the cars. I just bought one and would like to know how to find what number it is.
  • 10
    JD Jones Central Point Oregon August 30, 2016 at 15:56
    Question for Ron Sparks #5 I have an 86 Spartan II that has "one" painted on the doors in with the pinstripe. The story I was told was that the "one" signified the first one built. Or possibly the first one built in 86? Can you shed any light on that? Also, I am in need of the trim part that fits between the spare (spoke) wheel & the body. Are there ant of those still available?
  • 11
    matthew Milton September 1, 2016 at 16:49
  • 12
    Benny Elkins Arkansas October 4, 2016 at 21:45
    I worked for Ron Sparks 83 84 then myself 85.
  • 13
    tim iammarino san marcos,tx October 11, 2016 at 01:17
    looking to buy Spartan 2 car-will paid cash for car--maybe I would like any Spartan car at a good price ..
  • 14
    Gary Phoenix, AZ November 28, 2016 at 13:33
    I have a 1986 Spartan II that I might consider selling. I can be reached at, or 602.708.9999.
  • 15
    Gary Phoenix, AZ November 28, 2016 at 14:16
    Does anyone know if the rear seats fold down to gain access to the trunk?
  • 16
    Richard Apple Valley, California December 2, 2016 at 12:25
    I to worked for Ron in 1983 and I'm real interested in saying hi to my co workers. I loved working for Ron and Dan and playing racquet ball after work with them. I have great memories of that time of my life and helping to build those wonderful cars. I'm still in love with the car after all these years. I would love to here from anyone that worded there ... You can contact me @ talk to you soon . Rich
  • 17
    JD Jones Central Point Oregon March 7, 2017 at 19:55
    I have a 1986 Spartan II which, according to the previous owner, was the first of the II series having the V6 engine. It a "one pin striped on the doors. It was my wife's car & is for sale in case anyone is interested.
  • 18
    VINCE LANZA PHILADELPHIA PA March 27, 2017 at 20:46
    I have a 1987 spartan II that i am putting up for sale, runs and drives pretty good, just needs a bit of tinkering with rear turn signals , air horn and things like that, but basically , a real solid car that does not need a hell of a lot, appears to have been bright red at one time and is a off white cream color now and has gold trim where most were chrome,,$12,000 i think is a good price for one of these fairly rare babies
  • 19
    Ann Holtz Ocean City, Md. May 20, 2017 at 17:55
    I have a 1985 Spartan. It traveled multiple car shows as the first one made. There is a plaque in the car with #1 on it. I also have the car title showing 001. My 86 year old father gave it to me last year. It only has 37,000 miles on it. As it has sat in a garage for so long, I would like to replace some of the parts and need to know if anyone can help. Need new horns, rear lights, etc.

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