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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2016, 11:42 PM
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I would always go for an original unrestored example. To me that's the way they should be, however good/better a restored example may be.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 02:54 AM
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It depends what you mean by "restored" and "original". Any genuine original car that is good condition (and therefore doesn't need restoring) will be top, top dollar in today's market. Any "original" car available at a reasonable price is going to require some restoration work otherwise you won't be able to use it. Most original spec cars that are in good condition have had some restoration work done over their lives, so are they no longer original?

By "resto-new" do you mean the Alfaholics style full restoration and improvement with lots of new performance parts added or do you mean an original spec car that has had some modification? I've got a 1750 GTV with original steel wheels and original engine but it's been repainted, has a 123 distributor, Alfaholics exhaust and Alafholics suspension kit. Is that restored or original? I view it as "sympathetically improved" because it drives a lot better now than when I first bought it and is more reliable. I'm going to get the engine rebuilt with ported and flowed head, better spec cams and lightened flywheel. Does that make the car worse because Luigi's hand has been replaced by the hand of a 21st century Alfa specialist? I want to release more of the potential of the engine rather than be constrained by the limitations of 1970s Italian mass production. It will still be the original engine but I'll view it as being closer to what Autodelta might have done with it rather than Luigi on the production line....

Overall I think It depends what you want to do with the car. If you are a collector and are looking for an asset that will appreciate in value (and you probably won't use the car much), you want as much originality as possible. If you want to drive the car and use it, you will have to have some degree of modification/restoration IMO. Some people want to go down the path of the "modern take on an old classic" and I do see the appeal of that. If you forced me to choose I would go "resto-new" because I would want a car I could drive, not one that needed to stay in a storage facility.

FWIW what I did was shell out an upper end price on an original spec GTV that had been recommissioned and had the bodywork done (along with many replacement parts where the originals were not usable). Since then I've been improving it while staying true to what I think is the spirit of the car. It worked for me. But then I couldn't afford either a genuine unrestored original in usable condition or a tricked out "resto-new" car.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 05:08 AM
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The best unrestored original car is what I wanted when i bought mine.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 06:34 AM
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The best unrestored original car is what I wanted when i bought mine.
Yours was a great find!
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 07:20 AM
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Yours was a great find!
I wish I could say it was the result of persistence, deep market knowledge, endless road trips and many sleepless nights. But in the end there were just many sleepless nights, and someone upstairs was looking out for me.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 07:56 AM Thread Starter
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 09:02 AM
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A car is only original once, and a low mileage, unmolested GTV is a very rare thing indeed. A full ground up restored, Certificate d'Oro 100 pointer is also hard to come by as well, and the current market price for one is $60k or more. It's really a personal choice and what the owner/buyer wants to do with the car.

Someone with the means or desire to purchase the "Best You Can Get" is not likely going to use it as a daily driver. Most likely, the owner will want to show the car or use it for the occasional weekend drive or club event. If he does show the car and wants to walk away with top honors, the restored car is the way to go IMO. The body and paint will be better than the factory production job; and everything will be as-new. Granted, there's something to be said about an original car with patina, but unless the judging allows some consideration for original, the "better than factory" restoration tends to come out on top (at least from my experience).

Personally, and being biased, I would go with original (or one that's been well maintained, non-molested with repairs and "as-needed restoration"). But something that has been used enough that you can hop in and go to the store without a second thought of tacking on miles or getting a stone chip here or there. As we all know, driving these cars is what it's all about.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 11:37 AM
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Nigel, it sounds like you gave it even more thought than I have.
Well, as you can see here Nigel's 105 Story, I ended up where I did through somewhat of a journey....

I was quite keen to try to get a "top notch" level of restoration originally but couldn't afford it. My car presents well and runs well but would never win a concours. But like Ken said above, I think if it was truly concours condition, I'd be afraid to drive it as much as I do. I certainly would not have done a track day in it, and that was great fun!
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 11:55 AM
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An observation...

The world of car enthusiasts, including Alfa-centric enthusiasts, is a bell-curve. Regardless of what we might want, and understand is the most desirable choice, each of us occupies a spot on the bell curve of economic liberty. This is why the entire statement is "buy the best car you can afford"

There are people at the very tip top end of the curve. What they can afford is both the perfect, low mileage original, and the perfectly restored to strict standards cars. They can, and often do, drive even the most pristine 100 pt cars. They can afford to have them redone.

My point is that looking for the perfect, unrestored car is probably a poor choice unless you live in the land of economic liberty. Best to go for a restored, or very well maintained car. You'll be proud of it, and you can drive it with less concerns about it breaking down.

A low-mileage, 40 year old Alfa is probably ready to surprise you with plenty of unexpected failures. That same car with all recent rubber components, chassis bushings, engine overhaul, etc is going to bring much more pleasure and fewer disappointments.

Don P
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Past Alfas...
59 102 Touring (first Alfa $500 running)
65 Sprint GT (2nd Alfa, $500 daily driver)
102 Sprint (never did anything with it, but wish I had)
74 Berlina (first new car - now certainly rusted into oblivion)
61 Giulietta Spider G-Prod Race Car (where is it now?)
84 Spider Veloce (rarely drove it, so sold it)
86 Quadrifoglio (Dull car - no more 115s for me)
1971 Montreal "The Full Monty". Fair winds and following seas

Current Alfas
59 102 Touring Roadster - restoration complete, enough Alfa for any rational man. Or irrational, for that matter
Oops. Add to the "present" list, 10204 01488, 2000 Touring Roadster project

And past...
Two 1946 Stampe SV4C (c/n 294 "Rocinante" - wife's favorite airplane. RIP), and c/n 235 "La Bon Temps Femme" (gone to a new home, but never forgotten)
Zlin 50LA (+9 -6 gees, titanium spar, 1200 lbs, 260HP rumored to now be in Brazil)
1946 Luscombe 8A
Starduster Too (recently spotted at the Nevada City, CA airport - over 20 years and an entire continent separating it from our stewardship in Binghamton, NY)
1955 Cessna 170B (wife taught me to fly tailwheel in this)

And present...
64 Mooney M20E ("Rambo". My faithful steed for over 40 years) Over 55 years old, and just returned from a trip to Argentina in him
Newest in the fleet
1967 Piper Super Cub on Wipline amphibious floats (a true "all terrain vehicle")
2010 Triumph Thunderbird


You can snap roll an Alfa only one time...
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 12:31 PM
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Well, I'm not a long-time Alfa guy, but I am a life-long car guy. Once a car is properly sorted, I prefer to drive and enjoy it, rather than worship it. I never intend to be stupid with my money, but I've never bought a car as only an investment, and if my heirs don't get top dollar, but I've had a good time, that's fine with me! You can't take the money with you, so why not enjoy some of it-within reason (not meaning to imply that I advocate neglecting anyone).

That being said, and since I can do most of the work, I would always prefer to buy an original car, either nice, or worn out. At least you can usually honestly asses most of its condition. My Sprint GT is rough, but it's all there (and was something I couldn't pass up). I think other than the usual rocker and floor problems, it has good bones, and so far, I haven't found a lot of horrible surprises. If it had had a typical '70's - '90's "restoration", who knows what bodges I would find (and had probably paid dearly for!), and how much work would be required to set it right-as I've seen so often on this BB. I prefer knowing most of what I'm up against. YMMV! Jim

Last edited by 1965 Sprint GT; 09-01-2016 at 12:41 PM.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 12:58 PM
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Once a car is properly sorted, I prefer to drive and enjoy it, rather than worship it.
I'm afraid I like to do both! I'm frequently found in the garage just looking at it and I spend far too much time polishing and cleaning various bits. I do avoid driving it in wet weather but apart from that I drive it as much as I can. But it is my first classic Alfa, so hopefully I can be forgiven that....
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 01:13 PM
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I thought I would throw in 2 cents. I went on a search for a GT Jr in Europe a few years ago. It had to be a step nosed so that narrowed the search. I had heard all the horror stories about ill-fitting doors and rubber..and I knew rust was not an option...The other thing that thinned our selection was the paint. It had to be at least 5 years old.

So we found the car.. unadvertised but for sale. The paint was 10years old. and the car was otherwise very original and has ASI certification.

The bottom line is fresh restorations pose a risk. Poor paint prep and paint shortcuts even from reputed good shops usually take time to show there faces.

As it turned out the car is as I would hope it to look after 13 years since the paint and fools body shops as original as I went to some for a color match touch up kit. It's solid and never been welded on. All the underside and well wells and floor and trunk are as prepped from the factory. The doors are as straight as they left the factory. Rubber except for hard glass which was pulled for paint is original.

My point is rule number one: don't buy a fresh restoration. Avoid any body work ..period. If it has it, it better be good and seasoned. These cars are out there.. it just takes time to find them and you should pay the top price because anything less will get you in the end.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2016, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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