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It looks like I'm going to go check out a Alfetta out on the coast (Oregon) this coming weekend and being a newbie to Alfa's I'm not 100 sure if this good car for me to start with. I do like the styling quite a lot (I like boxier look).
I've been building old Vespa's and Lambretta's off and on for years and did play with VW's back in High School. So I kind of know what I'm doing, but have never owned a Alfa. So I'm not sure if thisthe right moedle for a newbie per say.

I know to check for rust in all the likely places.
It's a Spica (78) so I know to try and check that according to what's been posted before. Anyone know if I'll have to smog it here for Oregon?
What else should I be looking for?

Thanks,

JEff
 

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I dunno - I started with an Alfetta sedan 15 years ago, and have owned one or more ever since. I think they're fantastic cars. I think I know the car you're looking at - red '78 sedan, with the aftermarket wheels on it. It looks nice, and I think the guy owns other Alfa's, so it should be at least as good as it looks. Can't help with the smog question - but the current owner should be know. Be critical when test driving - listen for strange/unusual noises or vibrations that seem odd. A tight car will be free of any noise other than engine/exhaust growl and possibly tire noise. Research knowledgeable mechanics in the area and see if you can't arrange to have it inspected (best money spent). Good luck and keep us posted - the car's been offered for a while now, so I'm not sure if it has any issues or just no one in the area is interested.
 

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I dunno - I started with an Alfetta sedan 15 years ago, and have owned one or more ever since. I think they're fantastic cars. I think I know the car you're looking at - red '78 sedan, with the aftermarket wheels on it. It looks nice, and I think the guy owns other Alfa's, so it should be at least as good as it looks. Can't help with the smog question - but the current owner should be know. Be critical when test driving - listen for strange/unusual noises or vibrations that seem odd. A tight car will be free of any noise other than engine/exhaust growl and possibly tire noise. Research knowledgeable mechanics in the area and see if you can't arrange to have it inspected (best money spent). Good luck and keep us posted - the car's been offered for a while now, so I'm not sure if it has any issues or just no one in the area is interested.
Same car I think.

Unforntunitly I don't know of or any Alfa mechanics out that way. Hell the only Alfa mechanic I know lives in Sacromento. May be I should have him look around down there instead and I can come in after he finds something?
 

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Well - talk to the owner and see where he has his cars serviced, and ask if you can take it in to that shop? You may have a long wait on your hands otherwise - very few nice cars come up for sale.
 

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the spica might be a bit much for an alfa first timer although that was my first alfa (77 sedan with spica) and i've lived to talk about it. it's not as difficult as most people think but it is unique and hard to find details about. but see below.

post some pics of the car. i want to see! love the sedans in red.

and if the owner is an alfisti, i'm sure you'll be 100 times better off and have a good chance that the spica is set up properly.

if you get the car and want some spica tune up info, let me know. i found a complete step by step guide for setting up spica online a couple of years ago. it has since been deleted but i think it is the best info for spica i've ever seen. i printed the complete guide when i first found it and i'm glad i did. i need to scan it so others can use it because there's not a lot of spica info out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the add's been up most of the month and expired over the weekend.
I had his email and asked if he sold it only find out he hadn't.
So there are pictures, just none posted right now.

I've read threw the logn thread on the Spica, interesting and my alfa mechanic friend in Sacto has been emailing me about them too.
 

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Wes Ingram published a great Spica manual - you may be able to get one from them: http://www.wesingram.com/

My '77 sedan with Spica was also my first car. Personally speaking (and I have a great mechanic), over the years my Spica systems have rarely needed much if any fiddling (unless you have to get the car smogged). Otherwise - they do just fine getting set correctly once and then left alone.
I've had way more carb issues on Non-Alfas than I've ever had with Spica.
 

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yeah, i haven't really had any problems with mine either. i think the trouble only occurs if something goes wrong and then it's just more difficult to sort out since the system is so unique.

i should have said that the guide i have is simply a way of setting all the adjustments in the correct order to get the system in good running condition. one thing about the spica is that one adjustment affects many other so if you don't go in the correct order, you're just compounding the problems. that's not to say it won't run--but you're just using one setting to mask some other problem. as a result the car won't run as good as it could.

when i got my alfetta, it ran and started ok but was set extremely rich because the cold start & fast idle weren't set correctly. by setting the cold start & getting the fast idle working correctly, i could then lean out the mixture to better levels. now the car starts right up, idles fast until warm enough & then the idle drops and the car runs as it should. and this from a car i only start every couple of months or so.

hey, we should start a first-time-alfa-owner-with-spica club. seems like there's quite a few!
 

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what year is it?..1975 and newwer MUST deq here in oregon..1974 and older just pay for tags and drive!....the exception is if your outside of the DEQ testing area wich has gotten VERY large
 

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Astoria OR Alfetta

Anyone know if I'll have to smog it here for Oregon?
What else should I be looking for?

Thanks,

JEff
You will not need to smog it if you get nonrenew permanent SP special plates. Just don't let the DMV BS you. Insist on them so you don't need the costly renewals and smog checks if you're living in the metro areas. It is NOT true that 75 and newer must go to deq.

The seller seems a nice enough Alfisti who buys them all over the US and does some fix up and resells them based on my earlier contacts with him. I got the impression he is a straight shooter. It looks okay in the photos but I didn't get a chance to actually see it. It might make a darn good driver but I wouldn't count too much on a long term appreciating relationship with this one. $2500 seemed like plenty and hopefully it isn't just for lipstick. Best of luck and maybe you can drive it to the AROO October fun run to Long Beach.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the info.
I'm not looking for a collectible (I have enough Lambretta's after all) but a fun driver that get's better milage then my current nissan truck.
 

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hey RC hiatt did they just change it or something cause my understanding was ALL 75 and newwer cars were REQUIRED to DEQ in oregon........special plates aside......btw SP plates mean your only suposed to drive very few miles and only to special events on very rarely otherwise..as well as giveing officers the right to pull you over for no reason....ive seen ppl get away with daily driving with SP plates tho....also DMV will NOT issue you a set of SP plates unless you have a daily driver registered with them
 

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Thanks for the info.
I'm not looking for a collectible (I have enough Lambretta's after all) but a fun driver that get's better milage then my current nissan truck.
Much more fun and probably better mileage than your truck - but maintainence is going to be more frequent and costlier - so the gas savings will be a wash - and shouldn't really be a consideration. If you don't have a garage or carport to park it, I'd pass on it. I've never owned one that didn't leak somewhere (If he'll let you - ask the owner if you can spray it good and wet with a garden hose! Then check for leaks.), but the '78 - 79 are a little better since they have rubber window gaskets and no windwings. Still, my '79 coupe would fill up with water if I were to leave it outside in a hard downpour for too long. All of which will rapidly increase any rust growth already existing on the car.
 

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hey RC hiatt did they just change it or something cause my understanding was ALL 75 and newwer cars were REQUIRED to DEQ in oregon........special plates aside......btw SP plates mean your only suposed to drive very few miles and only to special events on very rarely otherwise..as well as giveing officers the right to pull you over for no reason....ive seen ppl get away with daily driving with SP plates tho....also DMV will NOT issue you a set of SP plates unless you have a daily driver registered with them
nope

Say, do you work for the Beavertown DMV and recently moved from CA like the last dmv quacker who tried to tell me I still had to go voluntarily to DEQ smog checks with sp plates? (just kidding)! I think SP covers any collector car over 25 years and yes, you may need another vehicle, including probably a scooter, as a daily driver. Frankly, I've yet to get them, but will for sure on both my 73 spider and my 78 Fiat next time around based on many who have them that I've since talked with. Last time I looked I have 7 vehicles getting soaked for DMV and insurance costs and I think the original poster has a few too.

Nobody is going to check how many miles you put on it. When you look closer, officers already pull too many people over for no reason other than to collect their life above earth duty and school zone tolls. It's no more excuse than drifting over the fog line or the proverbial license plate light out. Government bullies are way out of line. Don't get me started!
 

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totaly agree with ya..last time i was in i was considering getting SP plates on my 58 ford..actualy im going to get its pacifica wonderland plates designated as SP plates(yeah you can do it)...i was told that unless the car was 74 or older SP plates wernt availible...first ive ever heard of the ability to get SP plates on a deq car

all tooo true that the *****s pull all to many cars over for nothing...my 21 entries on my own driveing record prove that LOL

guess ill check into getting SP plates on the 83 gtv6 and see since its just within the 25 year...would be sweeet to bypass DEQ considering how few miles i put on a car in a year...frankly ive always made sure i own PRE-deq rigs to avoid the BS..with the exception being my 89 turbo caravan
 

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While we are highjacking the thread, there are many other little known Oregon license money saving possibilities. I understand that you can "transfer" a license (buying a new scooter for sure) from one vehicle to another for a mere $7 instead of the $70 or so that most people pay. You just have to keep your old plate and ask for it. The DMV may not volunteer the info unless you ask for it, if this reliable hearsay is true. I'd be interested if others have more info.
 

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For what it's worth, if you like the looks of the Alfetta and may be worried about Spica injection, how about an Alfetta GTV6? Same style but with the V6 power and Bosch injection.
 

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For what it's worth, if you like the looks of the Alfetta and may be worried about Spica injection, how about an Alfetta GTV6? Same style but with the V6 power and Bosch injection.
The GTV6 I had was more low slung and night and day different than an Alfetta sedan in the CL ad. A Milano is more like this Alfetta, and I liked it better than the GTV6 personally. But yes, something to think about! Milano's are nice and so are GTV6 if your the long low type. I miss my Milano but not the GTV6, but i suppose I'm the aged exception to the rule
 

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RC you have a good point about the GTV6 vs. Milano. I loved my Milano's lightness in the steering and the shifting was updated so it was a bit less work to toss it around. I love my GTV6 but have been batting around the idea of a 3.0 and power steering swap.
 
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