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Alfa Romeo Spider, Classic Cars, Convertible
#1 of 55 Spider Hunting - Alfa Romeos and the fools who want one
Aug 19, 2009 (9:21 am)
I'm in the process of hunting down an Alfa Spider for a hobby car. I suspect that I'm not the only one who has 'spider bite fever' and thought that I'd start a discussion where those of us who are in the market can ask for assistance, opinions and warnings.
#2 of 55 Re: Spider Hunting - Alfa Romeos and the fools who want one [lokki]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 19, 2009 (9:53 am)
I don't see anything foolish about wanting an Alfa Spider, since the 1981--1993 models are really a bargain in terms of European sports cars that are the "Miata alternative".
Miatas are great cars but are cramped (anyone over 5' 9" need not apply unless you are buying the very newest models) and as common as leaves on a tree. For about the same price you can score a very clean Alfa Spider, and if you choose wisely, have yourself a well-built, dependable car with way more charm than a Miata and way more reliability than an MG, Triumph or a Fiat in a similar price range.
What are my personal rules of thumb?
1. Don't buy a "fixer-upper" Just don't. Ever.
2. If you are buying 1981-1993, don't expect "fast". These cars are not fast.
3. If you can't afford a Duetto from 67-69, consider the Spiders with SPICA injection from 1970-74. They rev much better than the Bosch injected Spiders and they are faster.
Why does everyone bad rap SPICA injection? Because nobody follows the book on adjusting it!!!!
#3 of 55 Re: Spider Hunting - Alfa Romeos and the fool who wants one = [lokki]
Aug 19, 2009 (10:02 am)
I've been taking up space in the "Project Cars - Hold em or Fold em" topic and thought that I'd pull this Alfa Romeo specific out of the clutter, and out of the way of the other posts there.
I've owned a couple of Alfa Spiders in the distant past - a 65 Giulia like the one in the picture below - bright red and almost as nice as the one in the picture, but NOT the one in this picture.
and I also had a 74 Spider in the same color as the one in this picture... but with the original Campagnolo wheels
I wish I'd never sold the Giuila - I couldn't ever afford to buy my old car back- particularly in the condition it was in but a 74 is just about within reach if I don't get too picky.
I also know that there are many other years of Spiders to choose from, but it seems to me that 74 was the high water mark since there were still no pollution controls and no heavy bumpers. However, 74's command high enough prices that I could get a much newer Spider, often with less miles for the cost of a 74.
So, here are the current contenders -
A 74 that seems to have most of the heavy lifting already done - Seller says California car with no rust; no accidents; no problems; no discounts. I'd asked for comments on this one before... and I'd made an offer on a previous listing but we failed to come to terms. A disadvantage is the roughly $700 to ship the car to Texas... driving it down would cost about the same when everything is said and done.
74 you've seen before
The local contenders:
1982 Spider - Pretty but not running and not a great year. Still for the $5K difference you could make a lot of restorations and modifications. Still 82 is probably one of the least desirable spiders. (Am I wrong here?) and even with $5K to play with those bumpers aren't going anywhere.
This one is a 78 with only 81K miles, but "May need carb adjusted because car has been in Denver colo since 1999, I do have special tool for adjusting it and it goes with the car. . . Paint has one or two bad spots. Front lower fenders have some rust.
78 that's not so great
I'm allergic to rust.... I figure that I can get the mechanical work done or have it done, but the combination "rust and Alfa" scares me almost as much as "rust and Fiat". Additionally, the picture looks like the air cleaner for fuel injection - not the carbs for he has a special tool.
Finally the wild card - a poor-boy paint jobbed got some bondo, probably not running but complete 67 Duetto.... it's ending as I write, but it's going to be relisted... reserve not met. This is tossed in on Shiftright's rule that it's no more expensive to restore, but a lot easier to sell when you give up.
Any comments? Any other Alfisti who can't wait for the return of the breed?
#5 of 55 1965 Sprint GT (GTV) (project) - $11500
Sep 03, 2009 (1:21 pm)
The car has been stripped to metal and all the rust spots has been replaced. I have all photos to document and prove the work that has been done. Body work alone cost over 10k. Its currently primered and its waiting to be sanded , painted and put back together. This car started as a complete running car and I have all the parts to put it back together including a lot of new and restored parts
#6 of 55 Re: 1965 Sprint GT (GTV) (project) - $11500 [lokki]
Sep 03, 2009 (1:44 pm)
Finish the job. Stay to the end. Don't give up. You started it, you finish it. Don't be a quitter. Learn to complete all projects.
#7 of 55 Re: 1965 Sprint GT (GTV) (project) - $11500 [euphonium]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 03, 2009 (2:57 pm)
"Do your research a restored rust free 65 Sprint GT sells for 30 to 40K"
Perhaps on Mars but here on earth I don't think so. This car is a long way from done is the problem.
Besides, many people might prefer the GTV 1750/2000, which came a few years later.
Nice car and all, but it's a long way home.
Probably it will follow the formula: total investment / 2 = selling price. Buy it for $10000 as is, put another $30K in it to finish it, sell for $20K--$22K. Again, this is 2009, not 2006.
#9 of 55 Re: compromise? [explorerx4]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 03, 2009 (8:26 pm)
There you go. The Fiat 124 is not built with the quality of materials as the Alfa, but it's still a fun car to drive. $2500 sounds right as long as the "TLC" doesn't stand for "transmission, lighting and clutch".
#10 of 55 Compromises....
Sep 10, 2009 (7:56 am)
A Fiat? Hmmmmm... I'm a reasonable man, and I'm open to compromises... I'd been pondering a small loan on an S2000, or (less desirable because I'm not a fan of the looks - a Z3). But pretty as the Fiat Spiders are, a former Alfisti feels like he's stepping downwards (Yeah, I know - Fiat owns Alfa, Fiat owns Ferarri, I know) but somehow, they're not on the radar for me.
Here's a Spider that's in good condition and cheap.... ($3500 asked) and has been on Craig's here for a couple of weeks now (They'll probably take $3K). It's in an affluent area (Plano), which is always a good sign that the claims are true.
I asked for some more photos and the interior is pretty nice.... and the engine bay is clean - Toyota Camry neglected, if that makes sense. Rust isn't an issue here in Texas, thank God, no problems there.
The bad news:
1. It's a 1982 - not a very desirable year, even in nice condition.
2. It hasn't been used in 3 years. I asked if had been prepped for storage, but no, it just sat in the garage, unused. Haven't asked if they've replaced the battery, drained the gas and 'really' tried to start it, but the impression is not.... Just - "you're never going to drive it, honey, get rid of it"
So the questions:
If I get in for $3K, can I get back out for a reasonable loss? If I enjoy this car, I'd get a more desirable year to play with... after learning my basics on this one.
What's it going to take to get her running again? Change the oil; flush the radiator; drain the gas tank; new battery; change the brake fluid...
What are the odds that it's going to require more elaborate work on the fuel system after sitting for 3 years.... put away wet?
It's got the Bosch Fuel Injection, rather than the SPICA.... After exchanging a few emails, I politely passed on it because it's an 82... but, now I'm pondering..
I'd appreciate any opinions....