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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have been looking for a car to fix up and I found a 71 Spider 1750 in a garage (Ontario, Canada). It has been parked for 9 years without being started. It looks in good shape, no rust, decent interior, OK roof. I don't know how many kilometers on it. Apparently it has had some motor work done but that would have been 9 - 10 years ago. I approached the owner about selling and he is asking me to make an offer. The problem is I have no idea what it is worth, I was hoping that with the little information that I have provided the experts on the forum could provide me with a ball park range.
Thanks in advance for your help!
 

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what's it worth?

Alfa Romeo : Spider | eBay

shows a 71 spider for restoration, with a bad head gasket, Sold for $3000.

do some homework for sales, ebay Canada, can you search ended auctions, etc.

if you just want to have something to drive, start low, parts car low. Unless you think he will be insulted and refuse to sell to you at any price.

If it is a solid example and you want it and you are going to bring it back better than new, a few thousand $$ for it won't have much effect on the final cost if it is really a solid example and all there. usually way cheaper than buying a shadow of a car to restore and having to source everything.

stored indoors or out?

no matter what, you will need:

5 new tires

the brakes completely gone through with perhaps replacing all four calipers, master, and booster

steering-ball joints, tie rod ends, even if the joints are relatively tight the boots are probably almost dust. trailing arm bushings, springs?, shocks?,

clutch hydraulics

fuel system gone through - Canada = webers, right? <$ than Spica

cooling system gone through

transmission? seals?

engine? does it turn?

drive shaft / differential?

lots of rubber bits all over the place.

roof may come apart after a few uses?

Got a catalogue from IAP, Centerline, Vick, etc? Start adding up the essentials and subtract from the price of a running car.

the math will probably show that he should be paying you to take it off his hands. But a nice 71, with a 1750, (right), will probably always go for more than my 86.


good luck,

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thaks Wayne, great info

Wayne, thanks for the in-depth response. The info provided in invaluable for a newbe like me. Very much appreciate you taking the time to respond, I'll keep you posted.

Thomas
 

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I bought a 71 in condition similar to yours about a year ago. I paid (in the same pricing info vacuum that you're facing) $3900. I would now say that Wayne's $3,000 is about right.

Be sure that you understand what you're getting into - this car isn't going to be a driver for more than a year, even if you throw money at it. My car was running at purchase with the gas tank and radiator flushed.

However, all the rubber bushings, front and rear, were shot as was the top. 3 of the 4 brake calipers had frozen pistons. The brake lines and the radiator hoses, etc were shot. The heater valve also needs to be replaced from age. Needed a muffler. Hell, like any car that's been sitting a long time... it needed almost everything that wasn't made of steel, and if it was made of steel hadn't been in contact with water or antifreeze.

I've purchased the top, new seat covers, new wheels and God knows (but my wife sure as H#ll doesn't!) what else. I figure I'm close to $8K or $9K so far... not counting the car.

I still have to have all the body and paint work done too.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the first year or so, it's not a driving hobby; it's a mechanical disassembly/ reassembly one, and it ain't cheap.

If you're looking for a car to drive right away, then you'll be much better served to buy one that is ready to drive and only needs detail work. Spending 3x as much would put you money ahead.

On the other hand, I'm having a great time figuring all this out with the help of everyone here, and I wouldn't be as happy with ready-to-roll car.

Still, the old rule of thumb is certainly true in that, after I'm all done, the car will be worth about half what it's cost me, and that's doing my own labor.

If this what you're looking for, you're going to have a great time, and eventually a geat car. These are both interesting and easy* to work on, and these cars respond to affection.


(*comparatively)


So, quoting Bianchi, "Don't follow me, I'm lost" but I like it.
Lokki....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All great info, a bit sobering

Thank you Lokki for your feed back. I was considering a two year project, I have given up coaching AAA hockey and need something to do before I go nuts. With that said I don't want to get into a money pit. I am hoping to meet with the seller tomorrow and I'm going to start around 2500 and go from there.

Thanks again,
Thomas
 

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I agree with everything said in the posts on this thread.

One other thing: How's the paint? By far, the most expensive component on a car is its paint. If it's severely oxidized or banged up, a decent paint job is going to cost you 2 - 4 times the numbers that have been bounced around in this thread as a reasonable price for the car as-is. If the paint can be buffed out and made to shine again, that adds to the car's value. If it needs re-painting, bargain hard.

So after all that, what should you offer? Your $2,500 number seems reasonable. Frankly, by the time you get the car on the road, the initial purchase price will be a small component of the total budget. Whether you pay $500, $1,500, or $3,000 won't make much difference. Just don't pay over that range - this car will have needs.
 

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Wanted to add my opinion here....the '71 1750 spider's are sure looking 'collectable'....the most coveted of the early series 2 cars! You've chosen well :) All the best and please photo document your before to after, some of us really enjoy the process!
 

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I bought my '71 off eBay eight years ago for $2500, knowing it needed the engine rebuilt and the top installed. I was an Alfa newbie, and I had no idea just how many parts had been lost by previous owners. I'm still occasionally (though rarely now) finding out that something is missing. The point to be made here is that, if possible, you should have an Alfa-knowledgeable person take a look at the car to make sure everything is there and there are no hidden problems. I wish I could tell you how much I put into my car, but I honestly have never added it all up because I'm afraid to know. My ex probably would have divorced me sooner (hmm, maybe that wouldn't have been such a bad thing . . .). In retrospect, I could have spent a bit more on a better example and saved quite a bit of money.

On the other hand, I tell myself that the difference is "Alfa tuition." I've learned things that I wouldn't have otherwise, and there's very little on the car that intimidates me to the point I won't touch it. "Intimidates" is probably the wrong word--I'd have no hesitation diving into a differential, for instance, if I had all the black-magic tools and materials needed to deal with it, but I don't, so I don't touch it. Another thing to consider in a purchase is how mechanically inclined you are. Are you able to do much of the work yourself, or willing to learn how? If not, you might save a lot of money and headaches (in some areas, finding an Alfa-knowledgeable mechanic is itself a headache) getting a well-sorted-out car.

Should you take this car on, be aware that there are some parts that are unique to a '71. Nothing for me so far has been absolutely unobtainable, but you'll find there are some things that are a little different from later cars. You'll find that in some instances the parts catalogs list parts for '66-'69 and '72 and up, skipping right over '71. As a rough rule of thumb, most mechanical bits of a '71 will be closer to a '69, most body and interior bits more like a '72 and up. But not always. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that while Alfa kept changing US-market cars (not sure where Canada falls in the scheme of things) to keep up with federal regulations, the same wasn't true in Europe, and parts that may only have been used in '71 and '72 in the US were continued up to the early '80s in the European market. One example that comes to mind are the bumper-mounted rear license plate lights. By '73 they had been changed in the US-market cars to those mounted on the back panel, but never changed in Europe, so oftentimes European parts dealers can supply parts that are impossible to find, or are exorbitantly expensive, in the US.

The '71 is a great car, and the 1750 is a great engine. It never fails to put a smile on my face, and sometimes it causes me to laugh out loud. Give it some love, and it will love you back. Have fun with this project if you decide to go through with it.
 

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Wish you all the best with the sale and addiction. Everything worthwhile costs.

I call a John Deere "a Ferrari" because it costs as much to buy and maintain.

1.5 years into Alfa ownership, I've learned a tremendous amount and enjoyed the process of learning... but have spent most of my time in books, on this site, and under the hood. The itch to drive and drive it hard keeps me pushing on, but it will take a significant investment in time and $$ to get it all squared away. Currently, I have time.

Find some Afla nuts in your area. Even the local car club is a great resource, as they know where to go with hard questions.

I bought a car for 4K then decided to double down for a decent garage to work on it in...

No regrets,
Don
 
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