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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Traveling in the states

Hello fellow alfistis

My first post here is weirdly not about alfa's, but as there are many american users here i'd like to know the following.. I'm going to North Dakota for a wedding this summer, and i was planning to spend some weeks to see the states. As a car-nut i would prefer to do this by car, but is it possible to buy a cheap car that can take me a couple of thousand miles?

Registration is no problem as my girlfriend is american.. My only demand of the car is that its a comfertable cruiser that can take me the whole way without too many breakdowns..

What car should i buy, and how much money would i have to spend?
I have been looking at Acura Legend (first edition) and similar, as i know the engines as reliable and they are fairly cheap..

Per Husaas
1972 1300 GTJunior - 1980 Alfasud - 1975 Alfetta GT Racer
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 10:54 AM
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Why not just bring your GT Junior with you?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 11:23 AM
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Do what everybody else is doing. Come to the AROC national convention in California, buy some cheap CL Alfa, flog the bejesus out of it during the convention, then tour the country in what's left of the car. You can triple your money selling the rust free body at the Desmoines international airport.

Smog challenged Alfas are cheap and plentiful in California, and actually worth something everywhere else in America. Win win situation! If you promise to sign up for the track events, I'll even help find something for you, and park it next to the others until you get here..

bs
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 12:09 PM
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>> Why not just bring your GT Junior with you?

Ha! But the 'sud would be more unique.. and practical, too!

>> [AROC Convention marketplace]

Brilliant!

OP: While used/buy/sell may sound reasonable, initially.. during a short travel/trip, you don't want to spend more than 45 mins. - total - of your time to deal with a car problem (and that 45 mins. would be a phone call to the rental office and arrangement for alternative transport or a replacement car).

The risk of torpedoing your vacation is too great. When traveling, you typically want someone else providing the service you need. For cars, if there is an unexpected fender-bender, burst coolant hose or ECU failure, THEY need to act on it - not you.

You are supposed to be waiting under a large sun umbrella, sipping a cold Pepsi (native) or beer (tourist), while your replacement transportation arrives.

If you were staying for a year, then you'd need to bring over the Jr., and probably the 'sud. Or buy, buy, buy at the CaliforniAlfa convention.. rust-free cars for sale as far as the eye can see..

-Frank, in SF, CA (ex-GrisCo grunt)
'73 Berlina/SPICA (RIP), '65 Giulia Sprint GT, '74 Spider/SPICA, '93 164L (from new)

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 01:32 PM
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If you do find and purchase an Alfa, perhaps you can come along with us for part of the way if you like or just meet up? Several Alfisti are driving from New York to Sonoma via Route 66 starting June 23rd and planning to arrive in California on July 5th or so.
More information here: Alfas on Route 66

Also a car club from Norway is driving from New York to California via the Lincoln Highway - perhaps you know some of the guys? :P http://www.lh2013.com/index.html

Fred - Now: 1966 Giulia Super -1973 1600Z Zagato -1973 Giulia Super-1983 AlfaSud 1.5 - 1968 Fiat Dino Spider, 2012 Abarth. Then: 1971 Fiat 500L-1974 Fiat 500 Abarth replica-1972 GTV

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hehe

Don't thing the GTJ would be very comfortable 2000 miles with 1300 ratios and no soundproofing..

I really see the point wrt. the car beeing a potential vacation spoiler, but im not nessecarily talking a 500$ car here, how much would i have to give for something trustworthy?

I'd love to buy an Alfa offcourse, how much would a decent Spider set me back?

These are all just ideas, i suppose i'll end up in a rental or an airplane like everyone else.. Thanks for the input.

Per Husaas
1972 1300 GTJunior - 1980 Alfasud - 1975 Alfetta GT Racer
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 07:52 PM
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An Acura Legend is (was) a very good car but they are getting very old now, and unless you already have a specific one in mind that you know is good, you may not be able to find one that you can trust to just get in and drive away. I live in Dallas where cars never rust, and I'd guess I haven't seen a Legend in 4 or 5 years now, and the last one I saw looked "at the end of the trail" if you know what I mean.

I'd seriously suggest that you look for either a Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Marquis (same car different badges). They're classic American, V8 with auto and air (and yes, you NEED air conditioning, for resale if for no other reason). They are simple as bricks, common and reliable. An old Lincoln Town car is also great if it doesn't have the air suspension. (Avoid those.) Any of these will be easy to buy, easy to drive, easy to get fixed, and easy to sell. Second choice would be a big old Buick of some sort. Buicks are nice and comfortable, they're pretty reliable, and, being "old people's cars" usually have lower mileage and are well maintained. I would avoid Chrysler/Dodge cars as the company had a rough last decade and choosing one of their good cars in your price range can be tricky.

A Japanese car like an Accord or a Camry will get you much less vehicle for the same money compared to an American make although better resale too. In general these days used cars are somewhat scarce and thus a good one harder to find. With "cash for clunkers" a few years ago the govt got quite a few old cars out of the market. Then the credit crunch kept a lot of people out of the new car/higher price used car market, driving up prices at the bottom/ cash end of the spectrum. Avoid Mitsubishi. Avoid Kia. Think hard before buying a Hyunda. No VW's as some have problems and run low on the bang-for-the-buck scale. Not usually to Nissa
NOTE: These are just opinions aimed at the idea of buying a car for a couple of thousand for a cross-America run. If you were spending more money or getting a car to keep for 5 years, my opinions would be different.

Parts are cheap and available in any town in America for the Victoria/Marquis and any 12 year old can fix them for you. V8,automatic,RWD is as reliable as it gets. 200K miles is easy for these cars. Bits and pieces and interiors may wear out but there's a reason that police forces and taxi services loved these cars.

Anyhow

71 Spider

Last edited by Lokki; 03-20-2013 at 07:59 PM.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-20-2013, 08:27 PM
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You can get a reasonably clean reliable sedan in the $2500 range. Stick with something American and common as dirt. Easy to buy and easy to sell. Ford or Chevrolet. I've bought cars like this a couple of times. Buy it for $2500. Drive it a couple years. And sell it for $2500 when I'm done with it.

Larry and Belinda Smith
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-21-2013, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I was thinking of american cars too, but im completely blank on which ones are good (in this respect)..

Autotrader.com next.

Per Husaas
1972 1300 GTJunior - 1980 Alfasud - 1975 Alfetta GT Racer
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