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Discussion Starter #1
I am the happy owner of a couple of S4 Spiders which I enjoy but I am also very drawn by the Touring Spiders.

As 1960 is a significant year for me (I'm how old now:crying: ?) I thought it would be appropriate to look for something from that year. That means going for the 2000, rather than the later 2600, which is a shame as I like the idea of a 6 cylinder engine.

I would really appreciate some advice on this - what are the pros and cons of the two models? Are there any significant improvements to the later models that should swing me more towards them?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I am strongly biased in favor of the 2000. Although there were several "improvements" done to the 2600, in my opinion they resulted in a change of character from a svelte beauty to unsuccessful muscle car. I like the curves and baroque design elements of the early car. The 2600 was made slightly more square and shed much of the trim details. Thus, the 2000 was a successful example of its era whereas the 2600 was dated and under-performing by the mid 60's.

Specifically, the 2600 is significantly heavier, so although it has more power, it is ponderous and heavy steering. The 2000 can be heavy to parallel park, but is pleasant when rolling.

There are steps one can take to improve the power of the 2000 engine, if desired.

So... The 2600 has a more opulent detailing in the interior, where the 2000 is more pure to its original design. The 2600 engine is way cool, but I think the net is a reduction in driving pleasure.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Don, that's helpful.

It sounds similar to the differences between the 164 2.0 or 3.0l engines, or the same for the Milano - great engines in the 6 cylinder form but a loss of the smaller engine cars nimble handling.
I loved the V6 in a 164 3.0l I had a for a couple of years but the 2.0 TS was definitely a more fun drive on the bendy roads.

Are there any differences in availability of spares, or other practical concerns, between the two?
 

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S4 v 2000 v 2600

Steve

If you are really interested in a 2000/2600 I suggest you drive on first - you are welcome to have a look at my 2600 but I know of only 2 2000's on the road in the UK.

I agree with Don on his observations 2600 to 2000 and yes I do own a 2600.

However, I would make the same observations between a 102 series 2000 and any 105 series spider (ie the S4)

These 102 and 106 series cars are vintage cars from the 1950's/1960's and make great exhibts at car shows and get many admiring looks on the road but thay do not have the steering balance and feel of the later 105s. The 105 series cars basically killed off the 2600 because of their lower price,much improved handling and road performance.


Price may also be an issue an excellent S4 spider can be bought in the UK for £10,000 the equivalent 2000 or 2600 spider would be in excess of £30,000 now.

Spares are now finally getting easier to find because of a number of specialist suppliers but prices are high as most parts are remanufactured. There are virtually no common parts with the later cars except the exhaust hangers.

Hope this helps

Ian
 

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As Don posted, he is heavily biased towards the 2000. He keeps posting that the "2600 is significantly heavier", but that is factually incorrect: The dry weight of the 2000 Spider is 1180 kg vs. 1220 kg of the 2600 Spider. That is only 40 kg difference -- less than having an adult passenger in the car.

Many people think that the 6-cyl 2600 engine must be substantially heavier than the 4-cyl 2000 engine. I do not subscribe to that notion and would argue that the weight of an alloy block on the 2600 may be about the same as the weight of a steel block on the 2000. While I agree that the 2600 crankshaft probably weighs more than the 2000 crankshaft, and there is probably some additional weight for con rods, pistons and carbs, the amount of fluids (larger radiator and oil cooler on the 2600), that may affect weight and the center of gravity, I doubt that these factors alone make up for 40 kg difference and/or significant changes in driving behaviour.

According to the Owners Manuals, the overall length of 4500 mm and height of 1330 mm are the same on 2000 and 2600 Spider, but overall width is 1600 mm on the 2000 Spider and 1690 mm on 2600 Spider (i.e. the 2600 Spider is about 3-1/2 inches wider than the 2000 Spider). From this data, we can derive that the difference in weight is not from the engine alone -- some of the weight difference must come from additional steel used in the body -- and therefore some of the additional weight must be located behind the front axle (i.e. not all additional weight is on the front axle and loading/affecting steering).

Since the 2000 and 2600 models use the same components for steering and front/rear suspension (with the exception of brakes), I suspect Don's perceived "heavy steering" on the 2600 was either due to problems with the steering box (a common problem for both models), issues with over-tightening of steering components, lubrication (or, more precisely, the absence thereof), tire pressure and/or steering alignment. My point is: Don may have encountered a case-by-case issue rather than a categorical difference. At the end of the day, the steering on both models is heavy at low speeds and on both cars, sideways parking is workout. The difference between perceived heaviness of 102 and 106 cars is certainly less than the difference than could be perceived between 102/106 cars and 750/101 or 105/115 cars.

Perceived heaviness aside, I completely agree that the appearance of the 2000 Spider is more elegant (but that may be a matter of personal taste). Side-by-side, the 2000 looks smaller and lower than the 2600. Walking around the cars, the bling in the 2000 (specifically on the flanks) gives the eye more points to wander to. I would go as far as arguing that the 2000 looks better from more angles than the 2600.

Both cars have European and USA versions that change its appearance. On the 2600, it's mostly lens colors and presence/absence of side indicator lights, on the 2000 it's also different hood scoops and side trim (some of which was offered as an option).

As Bernhard (Touring63) pointed out a while ago, 2000 Spiders are valued considerably lower than 2600 Spiders -- so much so that the cost of restoring a 2000 Spider exceeds the market value. Hence, there are fewer of these cars on the road (and on the market).

What's also worth mentioning is that 2600 Spiders were available from the factory as RHD cars (although only about 103 were built). There may have been some after-market RHD conversions of 102 Spiders by Ruddspeed (they for sure converted some 102 Sprints), but nobody knows for sure if or how many Spider may have been converted.

Last but not least, I completely agree with Ian's advice: Go and drive these cars. Talk to owners how they support the cars locally. Then, let yourself gravitate towards the car you like most with respect to look and feel. Ignore value and/or "investment potential" -- but affordability matters: All of these cars were born with rust from the factory, and pretty much every owner I talked to confirmed that maintaining these cars was more expensive and in some cases much more difficult than they anticipated.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Ian and Ruedi.

Ian, I'm not looking at a Touring in the same light as the S4. I like my S4s and enjoy driving them, and I realise that the Touring spider would be a very different beast. Yes, I figure its going to cost £30k plus so I do see it as an investment as well as a car to play with and work on. Money doesn't work very hard for us in the banks these days so it might as well go on something that could be interesting and potentially rewarding!
I'm active in the Essex section of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club in the UK and one of the members has a 2600 so I am planning on going to have a good chat with him. It would be great to see your car as well so I may take you up on the offer when you're free and I can get round your way (its not too far) , thanks.

Ruedi, your comments are very helpful too. It does seem to boil down to personal preference so I will try to sample the different models. Whilst the 2000 is less valuable than a 2600 it would hopefully make it easier to find an affordable one.
I'm not too worried about LHD, both my S4s are LHD; it doesn't bother me in the UK and is an advantage when I take them over to France :thumbup:

Nick
 

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2000 v 2600 prices

Yes its odd that 2000 prices lag behind 2600 , apparently

This may be corrupted by recent sales -$160k for a 2600 ?

This Hagerty UK price guide

1959 Alfa Romeo 2000 Spider

Fair
£14800
Good
£22300
Excellent
£29100
Concours
£41700

1964 Alfa Romeo 2600 Spider

Fair
£25600
Good
£39800
excellent
£56400
Concours
£78100

Condition 3: Good
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior. #3 cars drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These cars are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. No major customisations have been made. "
 

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2000s for sale

Nick

Good to see you are seriously interested - I think it would be worth a trip over to Holland to have a look at the 6 cars available from Joop Stolze. I might join you just to look at his amazing collection of cars fo sale.

http://www.stolzeclassiccars.nl/classics/1/autos/

If you search Touring Spider 1958 - 1963 you'll find the 5

I particulary like the one for restoration at Euro 18,000


Alfa Romeo-2000 Touring Spider wit to restore | Joop Stolze Classic Cars

Apparently it is fitted with a heavy V8
 

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Yes its odd that 2000 prices lag behind 2600 , apparently

This may be corrupted by recent sales -$160k for a 2600 ?
I think these record prices reflect the cost of a complete restoration ($100-150k for body and paint, mechanical, interior, etc.), possibly including the purchase price of an unmolested car and an upgrade to leather instead of vinyl interior. However, based on some recent sales I know of, I think good cars still have difficulties breaking $100k.

We may see Maserati 3500 record prices go above $400k this year. So far, nobody could convince me that these cars (or Lancias, for that matter) are substantially better and whould be worth more than 2600s. In fact, a friend of mine who's been dealing with collector cars for 40 years recently sent me an e-mail that he thinks 2600s are still undervalued at $160k. Giulietta SS prices have been growing at about the same rate as 2600 prices. Maybe we see 2000 models catching up with that trend as well.
 

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I have no argument with any of the additional comments above, although I believe the real-world weight differences may not be as described in the factory publications. Plus, the long 6 cylinder required moving the radiator forward, so we know that more of the engine's weight is on or in front of the front axle. I've driven about the same number of 102's as 106's, and my experience has been repeated enough to believe that the 106 is less pleasant to drive than the 102. However, I completely agree that both cars are heavy by modern standards, and a comparison of the two is slight when comparing either to an early 105.

Most of my preference has to do with the lower/lighter, curvier looks. You asked for opinions, and I am unabashedly smitten with the 102 looks.

I restored my first one in about 1973 - 74. Parts were nearly impossible to find then, and I worked as the parts manager for an Alfa dealer. They are much easier to obtain now, entirely due to the internet putting us in a world market. I don't think I had to look for more than a week or so for any part when restoring mine. There were NO body repair panels to be had back in the 70's, but there are at least two sources now, both of them credible and reasonably priced. The labor to remove and repair the rust, well, that's perhaps best left undiscussed.

As for market price...

I see little merit in worrying about this year's, or next year's market. What will ANY Touring car be valued at in 10 years? Yep. Big money.

If you find a 102 over in the UK, you will have relatively easy access to obtaining an FNM engine for it. Stock, 149HP, and much more easily available. Plus, it is 99% a bolt-in, and looks the same.
 

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I have a 59' 2000 and personally believe it is one of the most beautiful cars that Alfa produced after the war. I tweaked the motor a bit in the last overhaul and it now performs very nice for what it was made to do. I would not sacrifice its beauty and form for just a few more horsepower.
By the way, for the life of me I don't understand the monumental leap of Mercedes 190SL values given the Italian alternative. Yes, it does look like the 300SL, but does not our 2000's resemble a certain Ferrari?
 

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BTW Ruedi,

Please note I have nothing against the 2600. I just prefer the 2000 as a more pure design. History is full of designs that were just right at the beginning, after which the marketing department decided that fins, or bigger engine, or hood scoop might sell a few more cars. The new cars (and airplanes) were not necessarily better - just different.

As for your width descriptions... I don't know about the widest point on the car being wider, but we know that the rear axle is the same for the 102 and 106, as are the axles, etc. The wheel width is the same, and I strongly suspect the major body and frame components are the same. I believe your assumption (hope?) that most of the weight increase is not in the engine is incorrect. I expect there is some increase in the seats and upholstery, but not so much in the metal of the body. I'd be curious to find a car-to-car comparison done today, making note of the front and rear axle weights. I have observed that small shifts in the center of balance fore and aft in a car can make a noticeable difference in the driving sensation, as well as handling and steering weight.

The 2600 is a cool car, and at least in the American mentality "more power" is widely accepted as a good thing. However, we have decades of European cars that show us that balance and light weight are perhaps better things.

My 1965 Giulia Sprint GT remains one of the great delights among the cars I've owned. Light, no frills, enough power to scare myself regularly.

Of the 5 cars at my home (plus Triumph Thunderbird) only the 2000 was ready and available to run today. It was 40F and bright sunny, with no wind. No worries. Cranked right up, and off I went freezing my face, which was otherwise frozen in a grin.
 

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In the late 80's when I first got a Two Liter Roadster, my friend owned Mercedes Refurbished and they primarily worked on and restored 190SL's. At the time the cars were valued similarly and had more in common than just the Solex PHH44's! I liked both cars but preferred the Two Liter, fortunately, since that was parked in our garage. Having never driven a 2600 I can't comment on how they ride other than, like a Two Liter they require a little forethought when negotiating around gas pumps and parked cars! My first trip to the gas station I came seriously close to hitting one of those heavy 'n' shaped pipes that protect the pump from clumsy drivers. I have also always heard that the 2600 is a more ponderous car to drive, sort of like an MGB compared to an MGC.

I know of a couple of very nice cars selling recently in the US. Jeri Shaff's Two Liter Roadster sold last year at auction for $120K and a car show buddy sold one of his 2600's for just over $140K and it was in very nice condition (took second place Alfa over a certain Blue Montreal). My advice would be to take your time and find the car that is in the absolute best condition that you can afford. To me they are much more enjoyable to drive than to work on. Pick which you like best and enjoy it; you can't go wrong with a good version of either car, as long as you are not trying to make a quick buck.
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the comments.

I know the sensible advice is always to buy the best you can afford but I enjoy working on my cars.
My first S4 was only 7 years old when I got it and in pretty good condition. It needed some work but most issues were routine and I just took it to a garage, like my DD. If anything went wrong I took it back to the garage.
Then I bought the automatic, which was very sound in the body (no rust at all) but a mess elsewhere. Major work that I can't handle has gone to a specialist but I have spent a lot of time working on it myself getting it to where I want it. It has cost me more than I should have paid but I really know the car well now and enjoy it more for the involvement.

Ian, those cars in Holland look interesting although I wouldn't go for a non-standard motor.
 

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2000 on eBay

Did you see the 2000 on eBay right now? Seems like a good place to start for someone that wants to fiddle but is not a complete basket case. Also a good indicator of current pricing? Maybe someone on this forum knows something about the car, maybe even owns it?
 

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There's only so much that can be determined from pictures. I personally don't much like dark colors on these cars as it hides the curvy lines and makes them look heavy.

Anyway....

I've learned to be suspicious when the lower stainless trim strip is missing, as it tends to hint that rust was repaired with gobs of bonds, leaving nothing to attach the trim to. Even when that is not the case, the Touring cars routinely suffer in the sill area.

I'd agree that the black car on EBay might make a good restoration candidate, but the hinted-at price of $67k would make the total cost of the completed car well up into 6 digits. I believe all Touring cars will repay a first-rate restoration within a decade.
 

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When I looked in the engine compartment of the 2600 Spider and saw that twin overhead cam six, it was the first such engine I had ever seen. I had to have it, even though it was in rough condition. That was in 1971 and I paid $725.00 for it and drove it home. I drove it for a year, during which time, a gas tank strap broke and I drove the last block home while dragging the gas tank on the pavement! After that, I started the restoration which took me 30 years of spare time. In my case, I never considered the driving experience.
Larry Bono
 

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Hmmm. I just spotted two missing rivets on one of my gas tank straps. I think I'll get busy repairing them.
 
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