Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dexter, Michigan USA
Moving to S Cal with 87 Spider, Need Advice
I really don't have a dog in this hunt but, if I may, I'd like to offer another suggestion. Unless you have an emotional attachment to your '87, I suggest selling it and replacing it with an earlier Spider that will be exempt from getting smog checked. Reading this makes me glad I live in Texas.
The flaw in this suggestion, is that even an older car that is exempt from smog, but does not have a current registration in California is still subject to a visual inspection to register the vehicle. So all smog equipment must still be in place, it doesn't have to work, though, unless you buy a car old enough that it was not required to have smog equipment. I don't know what year Alfas first had smog equipment.
The same applies to a previously registered California car that has fallen out of the system and was not non-opped. After 7 years without paying fees or a non-opp in place, the car is dropped, from the California system and fees are written off. So even with a California plate and expired tags the car is subject to visual inspection to get re-registered. We had this problem with our Suburban, which had all smog equipment removed and was registered during the time that Suburbans were exempt because they were over the gross vehicle weight limitations. But once they took away that exemption we were in trouble and had to use some creativity.
FWIW, I could not live in Texas -- the heat would kill me.
(Not an authority nor SME on anything, just PATSYF)