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Hello,

I am considering an Alfa, and am very new to the car. My intention is to use the car as a weekend driver, but mostly as a my first 'part-time' restoration attempt. Please keep in mind I say 'part-time' because I am mostly a poor person and or 'cheap' person; I know this seems in conflict with restoration goals.

I took this 1974 Spider for a test drive today, but I wanted to hear what people thought about the body damage. It doesn't show in the photo, but the front left bumper is very loose as a result of the owner backing into this Spider with his F150.

Observations, in a 20 min initial inspection.
- Body is in moderate condition. No rust underneath (SoCal). Used to be red, horrible paint job. Canvas is in great shape, but rear plastic window is gone of course gone. Interior is in horrible shape; just ugly and torn up. Dash has huge cracks. Tapped in a few key places and didn't see anything else that looked like it was filled. Seemed to drive straight, but has a salvage title!

-Engine had oil leaks around the covers, but nothing i didn't expect to see on a 74. SPICA makes me nervous, but seems like a unique feature. Smelled of gas/exhaust while we drove it quickly around the block. He pointed out that he repaired a fuel line a while back. The 'choke' lever was broken, so I needed to give it extra 'gas' until it warmed. He said it slips out of reverse sometimes, but didn't for me. Crunched a little when shifting into second (read this is typical).

Is this hard for a body shop to repair this type of damage? Is there anything else I should look for? Is $2000 a fair price? Should I be nervous about SPICA?
:confused:

Thanks for any thoughts,
-Paul
 

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A little high for my tastes

Paul
Looking at the amount of work you would have to put in, just to make this car presentable I would say keep looking. I got my 1985 Spider veloce for $3500 the interior was perfect, the body and paint were very good and it came with a new top in a box. I think just body work, paint, and interior could set you back $1000 to $2000 (even doing the work yourself). The other thing is , given the condition of the exterior, I would not expect the mechanicals to be in great shape. Do yourself a favor and check out the for sale listings. you can do better. keep in touch, good luck.

Gabriel
 

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TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!!?? Not even close. Most people would class that as a parts car given the severe body damage (going to need a whole new nose clip welded-in probably (big $$$$), bad paint (at least $2k), shot interior (about $700) and top (about $500 w/installation), and bad mechanicals (total cost unknown). Go to the Carbs & Fuel Injection Topics and read the sticky thread on buying a Spica Alfa. I'd say that car also probably has a bad (internally leaking) Spica injection pump which is about $750 for the part alone.

As far as nervous about Spica, that depends on if you're willing to learn the system and do your own maintenance. If you don't know what to look out for when buying a Spica car, you can get burned for $1k real fast.

I'd say that's no more than a $300-500 car and that only due to the value of the front and rear bumpers (if they're indeed good).

If a seller quoted me $2k for that car, I'd have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.
 

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It's hard to tell from your photo, but the loose bumper isn't as important as having the bumper. Looks like you need the front upper valance, a bonnet(hood) and left front fender replaced along with the metal piece that is the lower left headlight bucket. No rust is good, SPICA isn't a bad thing. Is the car straight or is the front suspension moved back?You can set the steerring straight and measure the wheelbase on each side (center to center) they must be the same or run, otherwise it is still probably at least $1000 too high, salvage title, the bonnet is cheap used, but the rest of the metal and bodywork is what minimum $1k - $2K plus paint and...... Pay a little more, find an Alfa that doesn't need everything!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick responses! Looks like I will keep on searching. He seemed very firm on the price, so I think I will make a counter-offer once I have it looked at. Fortunately, thanks to the links on this site I think I can take the car to this shop. Dan seems to have a great reputation:

Foreign Auto Menders (San Diego, CA). Dan Wells.
13955 Poway Rd., Suite C, Poway CA 92064. 858-486-0350

I will post his evaluation on this site next week; Thanks again for the insights!
-Paul

PS - WTB: Alfa Spider in Southern California. :)
 

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FAM has an excellent reputation with the Spica system. Lots of damage and cost to get that beast looking ok again. Take it to a body shop for an estimate. You might be surprised at what it's going to cost. It's almost always better to pay more for a good car than to go for a fixer-upper, unless the price is very very good.
 

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I bought my 74 a few years ago for $2000. I wouldnt trade it for anything. So far I have put on a new top, exhaust, rebuilt the driveline, replaced the head gasket, changed the hoses, and had two fuel pumps go out on me. mine has delortos not spica, wish it did. still good for a lot of smiles to drive.
the "choke" is not a choke, origionaly had a manual throttle, may have a Shankle Sure Start there now. probably a cable broke.
cliff
 

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71 on the FS page $3500

Paul
Check out this for 71 that was for sale in the For sale section.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/showthread.php?t=44845 this may help you get an idea of what else is available in the S2 model in California. An easier to maintain car would probably be a Bosch /S3 spider though

Gabriel
 
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