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1984 Alfa Romeo Spider Reliability?

16801 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  RandallM
Hey everyone,

I'm currently in the market for a new car, and a 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider caught my eye. I admittedly know absolutely nothing about Alfa Romeos, and was wondering if anyone could give any insight into their reliability, particularly that year and model. Do they have frequent electrical, engine, etc... problems, are parts hard to find, etc...? Any help is hugely appreciated.

Thanks so much!
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Since no one else has offered an opinion, I'll toss in my 2 cents. I notice that you say you're "in the market for a new car".

Are you intending on using the Spider as a daily commuter? If so, what other 25 (or more) year-old cars have you considered, and if not, why not? Just something to ponder.
I think you'll find that (while some folks do use them as daily cars, most folks have a second vehicle as a back-up.

Alfa's are generally reliable cars, but the problem is (as with any 25 year old car), there are simply too many potential variables for anyone to give you a recommendation without an inspection of that particular one. When you get to a car that old, it's not even about miles any more - it's all about what maintenance the car has had, and what work it's going to need.

If you're just looking for a commuter convertible, and don't know or care much about the mechanical aspects of a car, you're going to be a lot happier with a Miata. Seriously - they're nice cars and (being much newer) are less likely to require anything major. Additionally they still have dealer support for the day you positively absolutely need it.

If you're seriously in love with an Alfa (and it's happened to everyone who posts here), then you would be best served to look at the listing of the Alfa Mechanics at the top of this board and have one of them examine the car before you buy it. $100 or so before hand will prevent any surprises.

So ... other wiser voices will chime in but I didn't want to leave you hanging...

Note: Pictures of the car will attract Alfisti - we love pictures!
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I have an '84 Spider. I drive it to work often. Usually when I'm not driving our '81 GTV6 to work...

IMO, the EFI Spiders ('82-89 L-jetronic & 90-94 Motronic) can be as reliable as any older car can be. But they do require regular maintenance. And if you find one that has been neglected getting it back to 100% can prove expensive. Thus my advice is to pay extra for the best one you can find. It will be cheaper & more reliable in the long run.

I suggest you contact a local Alfa club and seek assistance/advice there. Someone will likely be able to help you evaluate that particular car plus they will probably know of good cars for sale.
I concur with Eric.
The EFI cars, if they are properly sorted or were (and are) properly maintained to begin with, are very reliable. Which for me is a down side. You see, I'm a tinkerer of sorts and like nothing more than fiddling with Alfas. Problem is, our 89 Spider always starts and runs great whether it's my daily driver or it sits for months, everything works and nothing ever breaks.


But that's just me. :rolleyes:
I should've sold you my TR7, Jim. You would've loved it :D
Hi Pepe,

It all depends how well the car has been maintained. It could be a few hundred dollars worth of parts a year, or in my case $5,000 worth of parts over three years. I knew my car was a mess, but the body and interior were in great shape. Since I'm a much better mechanic than body man I made the trade off.

Good luck.
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