1992 Alfa Spider - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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1992 Alfa Spider

Hello! I am new to this Forum. I have the opportunity to buy this 1992 Alfa Spider from a shop that refurbishes both Alfa and Fiat Spiders. It is a 1992. I have tried to do my research but want to make sure I am not making a mistake. Is there anything about 1992 or its era that is "good" or "bad" for the Spider? I am just looking for a fun convertible for "play time". It will not be a daily driver or ever see snow or salt. I have always wanted an Alfa. The price is kind of steep but it comes with a warranty and many of the exterior/interior and mechanicals have been serviced and in many cases refurbished.

I am open to advice!! For those that might own early 90s era Spiders do you love them??

Two pics attached not the greatest but they are all I have right now.

Thanks in advance. Mike
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 10:09 AM
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Hello & welcome. Actually you are going about this backwards - at least compared to most of us. We usually fall in love with a forlorn Alfa at first sight and are then blinded to any faults (until it is too late). We then spend the rest of our life (and our kids inheritance) fixing up the car...!

OK, to be somewhat serious, the Series 4 Spiders (1990 - 1994) are usually a good buy. They are newer, tend not to suffer from the factory installed rusty panels and usually had owners that cared for them. I suggest contacting a local Alfa club and seek the assistance of their members to check out the car. They'll know what to look for. They might even know of good cars for sale (sometimes an Alfisti will actually sell one of their cars - usually to finance the purchase of another).

No shame in paying top dollar for a well cared for, well sorted Alfa. In the long run that car will often be cheaper to own than a run down, neglected Alfa. For top dollar I would expect that everything looks and works nearly as good as new. The Bosch Motronic FI system in the Series 4 Spiders is quite reliable. The engine should start up quickly cold or hot, idle smoothly and pull to redline. (note that the Series 4 Spiders do require premium gas as they have higher compression pistons) All gauges should work, no check engine light illuminated, and all electrical items should work properly. The Spider transmission doesn't like speed shifts but it should shift smoothly into all gears. One oddity is that too quick a shift from neutral into first can grind. Alfa drivers quickly learn to move the shift lever part way to another gear and then shift into first when getting underway. This uses the synchro from the other gear to stop the spinning gears - allowing a quick, smooth shift into first.
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- - Eric
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~ 1984 Spider Veloce ~
- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 10:22 AM
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could be the base model (not the veloce), looking at the 14" wheels, and (at least I can't see it) lack of veloce sign on rear.
What is the odd emblem stuck on the rear, left side?

the wiper cowl vent is lifting off on one side, means someone was in there doing something and the little tabs have broken off.

at least it has two identical rear lights

what mileage on it and exactly what repair work was carried out....
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:49 PM
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Buying an Alfa is like buying any other car (but without the passion). So, do the usual due diligence before plucking your money down. A carfax report is invaluable to find out if it has been in a serious accident. Have a mechanic do a full inspection, including getting under the car to look for rust, bent things (accident damage), leaks, condition of the shocks and anything that looks abnormal. Then, of course, a good test drive.
As gnhl mentioned, start the car when cold, cold enough to put your hands on the exhaust manifold. And, of course, both gnhl and spiderseries4 had good advice to follow.
BTW, there is no legal definition for refurbishing that I know of. I think it just means making the car look better.
Even if you find some things that aren't prefect that you can fix or can live with, you can use that as bargaining power to get a lower price and still buy a great, fun car.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to everyone for replying to my post all of the comments are very helpful. I do have a listing of everything that the seller is proposing to do to the Spider as part of the price. Although it is not a complete refurbishing it is pretty substantial. I have attached it. Let me know what you guys think.
They are also offering to do structural chassis bracing for an additional $1600 is that needed or worth it?
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:53 PM
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I purchased a '91 S4 a couple of months ago. I looked for a presentable example with a good interior but I was most concerned with how it drove. I wanted a solid engine and drivetrain. I found one and am very happy with it.

Bear in mind that any 25+ year old car is going to need some attention to details and those details can become time consuming. I think most Alfisti actively enjoy the tinkering needed to sort out a car.

Joining the Alfa BB is one of the best moves you can make. The amount of knowledge here combined with individuals who are ready and willing to help is astounding.

Asking prices seem all over the map. I paid $11,000. I saw similar models from $8500 on up to the high 20's.

Good luck and have fun.
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Bill

1991 S4 Spider "Gabriela", 2017 VW Golf R, 2018 VW GTI,

Previous obsessions; 2006 Mustang GT, 2006 BMW Z4M, 5 other Bimmers, Capri V6, Renault 5, Lotus Cortina, Sunbeam Alpine, Ducati Diana Mk 3, Norton Commando
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 05:25 PM
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That seems to be a rather comprehensive list, but (why is there always a but...?) as Kim mentions the definition of "refurbish" can mean different things to different people. It could mean clean off the component to make it look good or it could mean rebuild it to good-as-new condition. I'd try to pin them down to exactly what they think it means.

The chassis brace is a steel frame that bolts on to the underside. It does help to stiffen the chassis but you probably wouldn't notice it unless you are autocrossing the car (in which case it often bumps you up from the 'stock' to the 'modified' class). You can search the Spider section of the BB for threads about them. Here's one: https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spi...stiffener.html
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- -~ 1981 GTV-6 ~
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 06:38 PM
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The list is boiler plate
Quote:
timing belt service
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A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 07:54 PM
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Let us know what you decide.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 07:57 PM
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It's red, it's shiny. I don't like the list... Why spend the money to refinish the 14" wheels? Use that money to get 15" at least. Good 14" tires are getting hard to find. Put in a new vinyl top? With the cost of part and install, the difference to install a canvas top isn't a big percentage change and looks way better than vinyl. They say, remove and reinstall the interior? WTH, who does that, for me that would be too much mucking around with old plastic clips etc. If the car actually needs the Whole interior removed for some reason, don't buy this car, for any price, but that's just me. Might depend where you are in the world. The advice above is good. Drive it yourself, to a third party mechanic/inspector, if it passes that inspection, buy it as is, not refurbished and enjoy the ownership experience.

Cheers,
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 04:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone that is exactly the advice I was seeking!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 07:11 AM
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newtoalfas36: All the advice above makes sense. I spent a year looking for the "right" S4 spider, and am thrilled with the car I purchased. During the search I found a reputable Alfa repair provider nearby that gave me much good advice on what to look for, and where I've had the car serviced since purchasing. I replaced the seatcovers and canvas top after purchasing, using providers recommended by the shop and selecting the materials. I agree with the previous post--worth it to get the canvas top. Otherwise, I have a blast driving the spider, and look forward to bringing it to the AROC convention in Pittsburgh this summer!
Good luck in your search.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:26 PM
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Once you fall in love with Alfa there is no turning back. I bought my '91 Spider Veloce new. It too much fun! It's been a reliable car for me. Maintenance and very few wear and tear items to date. I love the car more and more all the time. It's such a treat to drive a car that is not full of useless gizzies.

I can't comment on the list you posted. I don't know anything. I have an excellent shop that cares for my car. My little car does not know snow, salt or commercial car washes. It went back on the road for the season a week ago. I was smiling all the time I was driving. First drive is always to the mechanic for the spring inspection.

You'll love an Alfa. Good people here will help you select the right one for you. The car in your original post looks nice.

Good luck!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:41 PM
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I sold my 93 and kept my 94 Spider. I put her to bed in the garage in Oct and wake her up in May. I use a battery tender for the winter. She starts first time and drives all summer. I have a mechanic who changes the oil every year, that's about it for maintenance. Of course I get whatever needs to be fixed done but at 48K miles she's just broken in. Good luck with your Spider, if you buy it, they are a lovely car to drive!
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93 Spider-151k km-SOLD
94 Spider CE- 48k miles
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 08:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownie93 View Post
I sold my 93 and kept my 94 Spider. I put her to bed in the garage in Oct and wake her up in May. I use a battery tender for the winter. She starts first time and drives all summer. I have a mechanic who changes the oil every year, that's about it for maintenance. Of course I get whatever needs to be fixed done but at 48K miles she's just broken in. Good luck with your Spider, if you buy it, they are a lovely car to drive!
I remember a few years ago on a thread, you were looking to re-do the wood in your car.

Did you ever get that done?

Thanks

1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium
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