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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Newbie here. I’m going to be checking out an ‘87 spider that may be ‘the one’ next wknd.

Looks like a really nice driver with minimal rust, no synchro issues, and really clean engine bay, undercarriage, paint, and interior for about $6k.

Is there a resource that lists the questions I should ask when I see the car?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Another valuable resource is the members of this forum.
Perhaps post your location and if there is a member near you, they might be willing to check it out with you.
Anyone that has owned a Spider long enough or keeps up with the troubles people have posted on the forum over the years, will know what to look for standing at the car, vs trying to remember off the top of their head and write an itemized list.
Good luck with the purchase!
 

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Where are you located.. the best source of info is the extra pair of eyes and knowledge of a person who owns a car like this. If that is possible get someone who knows the cars to go with you., I've had good success reaching out to local AROC chapters for a chaperone. I've been around these cars for a long time but never owned a Bosch car from the period you speak of .. There are so many nuances to them that need experiences to make a sound judgement on them. If I was to look at a car like this alone it might as well be a Peugeot and I don't know Peugeot's. My best advice is to be careful on the front end of a buy like this. Six grand might sound like a deal but sometimes you are buying a car that is significantly more expensive to get right. 99% of the time a bargain priced car will be a big draw on your wallet when the dust settles and the best way to go is to work with an experienced owner in your area. There are no guarantees but it can be a much more informed buy than reading a check-list.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The car is in upstate NY, in the Catskills. Agree that a trained set of eyes is a big plus.

One thing I did not mention is that I’m a long-time owner (and head mechanic!) of a ‘72 BMW 2002tii.

All my knowledge on the BMW may not translate, but will be a good base from which to ask good questions...And so my original post was geared towards what are the key questions I should ask about this particular car/year, in addition to the long list of questions one would ask for any vintage car purchase. Also, I do plan to drive and crawl under the car while there.

The links from folks responding to this thread so far has been helpful..Thx!!
 

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I agree that a trained pair of eyes is very important when you buy a used car. I would even pay someone to write a car evaluation or send it to an Alfa shop for the evaluation.
 

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go have a look at it, take some photos or at least make list of anything that you don't particularly like and post them here.
Test all the electrics especially power windows (go up like snails, and down like slugs?), heater fan and wipers (check both speeds, kinda slow and really slow), aircon (warm?), mirrors...
seats ok? (expensive to recover); soft top ok? rear window vinyl split (expensive, the rear window comes with a new roof!)

Agree though, anyone who has owned one of these for a few years and has done their own maintenance work could tell you in 10 minutes if its a good'un or a bad'un;)

You get a feel for a good car, a nicely maintained car, just like you can spot a turkey waiting for you on the driveway:)

if you maintain a 2002 Tii (lovely car, very sought after these days!!) you have a head start on most:)
 

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Hi there, it should start easily from cold (foot off the throttle), rev smoothly to redline when warmed up and have a steady idle when hot. Look for signs of head gasket issues. You will probably know even before you pop the hood if your gut is telling you ya or nay just on outward appearances of the guy selling it and the car itself. Should be a fun adventure regardless.

Cheers,
 

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The car is in upstate NY, in the Catskills. Agree that a trained set of eyes is a big plus.

One thing I did not mention is that I’m a long-time owner (and head mechanic!) of a ‘72 BMW 2002tii.

All my knowledge on the BMW may not translate, but will be a good base from which to ask good questions...And so my original post was geared towards what are the key questions I should ask about this particular car/year, in addition to the long list of questions one would ask for any vintage car purchase. Also, I do plan to drive and crawl under the car while there.

The links from folks responding to this thread so far has been helpful..Thx!!
I would not underestimate how much or how little use that car has under it's belt. Garage queens that sit 9 months out of the year and get driven on the 4th of July to a picnic are usually full of issues related to electronics and usual stiicky brakes. I think these cars had an ECU system too that is completely foreign and can prove to be beyond the normal tool kit us 70's owners have.. The Catskills would be marvelous this time of year!
 

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Where are you located.. the best source of info is the extra pair of eyes and knowledge of a person who owns a car like this. If that is possible get someone who knows the cars to go with you., I've had good success reaching out to local AROC chapters for a chaperone. I've been around these cars for a long time but never owned a Bosch car from the period you speak of .. There are so many nuances to them that need experiences to make a sound judgement on them. If I was to look at a car like this alone it might as well be a Peugeot and I don't know Peugeot's. My best advice is to be careful on the front end of a buy like this. Six grand might sound like a deal but sometimes you are buying a car that is significantly more expensive to get right. 99% of the time a bargain priced car will be a big draw on your wallet when the dust settles and the best way to go is to work with an experienced owner in your area. There are no guarantees but it can be a much more informed buy than reading a check-list.


Buy as much car as you can afford. In the end if you buy for 6k and fix as things break or pay 13k for a turn key, in the end you will pay 10 to 13k for your car. Still cheap for an Italian sport car!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Echoing alfaromeoblack....The rules are the same as buying a "cheap' 2002Tii.. Advantage with your target car is the price spread between a lurking "PITA car" vis-a-vis a really good one is pretty narrow as top "turn-the-key" pristine cars still aren't very expensive on the front end buy.
 

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It is a buyers market. As we get into the fall, more will come to market. Look at Bring a Trailer past auctions. Read some of the comments to see why one sells for 6k and another for 18k. If there is anything that makes you pause, walk away. Broaden the search.

It is always great advice to set a ceiling and find the best car at that price.

John

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes, seems to be a buyer’s market. I’ve been combing through past BAT auctions, completed eBay auctions, and CL listings for the last couple of months now. Looks to me like the S3 cars are at the bottom of the depreciation curve.

Much different story for the 2002tii market over the last few years. I’m amazed at what you can get for the money in the Alfa world, actually.

Anyway, will be looking at the spider tmrw morning (‘86, not ‘87) and will report back here.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well took a look at the car last wknd and found it to be very nice despite some issues.

The good:
Original paint in great shape
Minimal rust
Very clean engine bay and trunk
Mint original interior (no rips in leather seats, cracks in dash)

The bad:
Sticky scraping rear right brake
Leaky flexible fuel line
AC not working
Hesitated during drive (due to fuel line?)

The questionable:
Some surface rust in spots on door sills

Here are some pics. In discussion with owner to fix fuel lines and rear brake and drop price to about $5k. What do you think?
 

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To me, rust is the issue, First rust pic doesn't look bad as it appears to be from the surface inward (maybe seat belt dings that exposed metal that was neglected) but hasn't progressed through & through!! Pic2 looks like it's on a seam, could get dodgy!! Pic3 looks like a through & through, STARTING from the inside out, ALERT-ALERT!! One can always fix mechanics...rust is a *****!!! It's got to go on a rack and be seriously evaluated for rust by a knowledgeable individual!! I recommend caution!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks alfaOWL. Pic 2 & 3 are of the same seam from above and below. Looks like rust has gotten to the seam and done some damage there.

Hopefully just a local problem, but hear what you are saying.
 

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Palermo. I know this car, I looked at it myself. I passed on it, but that was at $8,500. At $5k, it might have been a different story. A couple other things that I noticed was that the latch on the driver's side wing window was missing, the front lens on the blinker has a crack, the black on the wing and bumpers looked like it was spray painted. I have a couple pics of the rust, I will post them, it will be interesting to see what others say. The car shifted well, which is a rarity. Overall, its not a bad car when priced right.
 
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