"Since this car is a hobby rather than a daily driver, the parts issue doesn't bother me as much as if it was my main source of transportation"
I always wonder at this, as maybe I'm doing something wrong, my Alfas always having been daily drivers now for the last 45 years, with little trouble caused by a lack of parts. Maybe a million miles or more driving Alfas through the years, including drives across the country. simply put, they had to earn their keep, so to speak, and for me, they have done so in good fashion.
Of all the Alfas I have owned, probably the one that gave me a couple of major problems was my original, 6th one built, Giulia Sprint GT. A seat back hinge bolt broke, and I had to get a new part from the factory (they mailed me a parts catalog and said to just order from them directly), and the car had those unlubable lower inboard front suspension ball joints, which tended to freeze up, one tearing out, requiring a new front crossmember to be welded in. While I loved that car and put 260k miles on it eventually, it was a little more trouble than any of the later cars. Other than that car, I've always been able to source any new parts I might have needed through the years.
I say keep them clean, keep them lubed, do the services, including preventive ones, don't get carried away modifying them, and finally, drive fast but don't beat them. As an example, you should be able to get at least 100k miles out of an Alfa clutch. 160k miles on my 91S OEM clutch so far.
For the most part, they will adequately serve as fun daily drivers. Will there be part failures or wear problems? Sure, but pretty much any car can do that to you. Don't be unrealistic about reliability, and always watch after the consumables which all cars have.
1989 Milano, Shankle Sport
1991 164S, stock
1994 164LS (~Q)
1972 Morgan 27
previously owned since 1964:
62 Morris MiniMinor 850, 67 Austin 1275 Cooper S (Downton 3/4 race), 64 Giulia Sprint GT (1st red one made), 72 Fiat 128 Sedan, 75 Alfetta Sedan, 78 Alfetta Sedan, 78 GTV, 81 GTV6, 86 GTV6
Last edited by Del; 07-20-2012 at 03:32 PM.