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I am looking to buy a spider. I spent the past two weeks looking at cars listed on the Internet and I need some help. I've read about every model but we just like to find one that has not been damaged or suffers from rust. I'm willing to spend up to $10,000 but just don't know which is the best car or which site I should look for it on. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated. I am so excited to finally step up and buy the car I have always dreamed about. Please help
 

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Gene - Welcome to the Alfa BB! You will find a wealth of info. about your comming "Alfa aquisition" here. Much knowledge and good advice - freely given. Look under Anything Alfa on this site - Advice to New Owners. Also look in the top box above - click on "buying a spider" & "Spider 1966 & up". Good luck! :)
 

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Welcome to the BB, Gene!

$10k will buy a very nice example... Nonetheless, the real key is for you to decide what suits you best. Different years provide different experiences, and are used for different purposes. For example, of my Spiders my favorite is my '84, but it is not eligible for the vintage events that my '74 is... One of the best things you could do is to actually look at the various cars in person. I belong to the NJ chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club (AROC, web site www.aroc-usa.org), and you could benefit by coming out to some of the events and speaking with the members about their cars. Certainly do a search on this forum for threads asking for information by potential owners. In the meantime, click here for a post that contains a PDF that you may find useful.

As far as where to buy, I'd say it is more important to consider from whom you are buying. A meticulous Alfista that has been a long time owner will probably have a car that has been well taken care of, despite its age...

Best regards,
 

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Buying a Spider

Welcome to the BB, Gene!

$10k will buy a very nice example... Nonetheless, the real key is for you to decide what suits you best. Different years provide different experiences, and are used for different purposes. For example, of my Spiders my favorite is my '84, but it is not eligible for the vintage events that my '74 is... One of the best things you could do is to actually look at the various cars in person. I belong to the NJ chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club (AROC, web site www.aroc-usa.org), and you could benefit by coming out to some of the events and speaking with the members about their cars. Certainly do a search on this forum for threads asking for information by potential owners. In the meantime, click here for a post that contains a PDF that you may find useful.

As far as where to buy, I'd say it is more important to consider from whom you are buying. A meticulous Alfista that has been a long time owner will probably have a car that has been well taken care of, despite its age...

Best regards,
Welcome...

There is excellent advice on several different threads on the bb about buying an Alfa. To add to what Enrique said above, if you don't know anything about Alfas, probably the last people that you want to consider buying an Alfa from are ones that have listings that read: "Alpha Romeo," Alfa Romero," and who knows how many other combinations of misspellings. A couple of other clues, a deal that sounds too good to be true, someone that doesn't want to let you see or drive the car, does not appear to be upfront about that $10 dent that has two tons of bondo and is actually a $10k restoration job along with visible rust in addition to not so visible rust, and a chocolate malt color radiator cap interior. In the $10k bracket hopefully you will escape many of these and especially the last two.

A salvaged title or an owner that has title issues is also another hinderance and possible deal breaker. I'm not going to say that it would or should kill the sale, depends on how comfortable you are with a salvaged title or title issues that have to be worked out. I've been through it more than once and we normally didn't close the deal until we knew the title could be cleared. It does take some research and legwork, but worth it if it's the car you want and you intend to keep it.
 

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I have a 1983 Spider for sale. One of the guys on the boards here and I picked it up last weekend and he is doing an inventory now of what needs to be replaced, etc. I'm looking to sell it due to a surgery coming up on my shoulder which will prevent me from driving it for a very long time. Its in parts but has a good body, new tires, new top and good braking system from what we can tell so far. Send me a PM and we can chat about it. It would probably make an excellent car to restore.
 

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Gene, Welcome and congrats (in advance)! I'll second what's been said above: talk to the local guys; read all you can; and be patient - there are such a variety of Spiders out there - wait for "the one" (you'll know).

As was also said, it matters more what and who you buy from vs. where it's at. You are quite likely to find an Alfista on the Board here who either knows the car you're interested in or is local and can look at it for you.

All the best, and let us know of any specific questions on the models or a car you come across.
 

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Sounds like good advice so far. With real estate its location, location, location. With Spiders its rust, rust, rust. Electrical problems can also be more than entertaining. Personally, I wish mine had AC, but then again, that's one less thing to break. Do get to know some owners and see if you can have someone go with you when looking at a car. Spiders are a lot of fun and are relatively cheap. It is often less expensive to buy a well maintained or restored car than buying a project. Happy motoring!
 

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Congrats on the decision for the Spider, we enjoy ours very much. Not to mention 20K cheaper than a new Miata (and much, much more exotic, with a fantastic history).

You cannot research enough before deciding on a model/year Spider. The older ones are going up in value, but no AC or power windows, etc. Some guys would only consider a car with carbs, my FI car starts at 10 below zero without a hitch. The later model Spiders have all the bells and whistles, if thats your bag. Nice to have power mirrors and windows at times, AC is a nice thing also (wish I had it in mine at times). Take your time and really look at the differences between the years before you purchase. Parts are fairly easy to obtian for just about all Spiders. But for certain, get the best condition one you can or are willing to pay for.

Performance can be gained from any year, older models are much easier than Bosch FI, but may need a bit more "upkeep" or "tweeking" to get the most out of the motor. If your up for a resto, there are some 50's and 60's Giuliettas on EBay at the moment that would be fantastic if completed, very nice autos to have, and very valuable/desirable when finished.

There are also a couple nice Duettos available that would be a very nice car to own. Whatever you choose, you won't be dissapointed after you become comfortable with the car, they are a treasure to own and drive. I have a soft spot for 84's also!!
 

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For $10,000 you can get a perfect condition/very low millage (20,000 to 30,000 miles) S-2 or a S-3 Spider and have change left over. For a S-4 Spider in the same condition you would be spending $12,000 to $14,000. Plan on spending $20,000 + for a perfectly restored Duetto. Be careful there are a lot of rats out there with a new paint jobs! I would recommend to buy one from a member of this board. Just Post a WTB in the Alfa for sell section.

There are of couple of nice S-4's on Ebay right now. But Ebay scares me, if you find one you like be sure to go look at it or have a member look at it for you.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Alfa-Romeo-Spider-Veloce-Stunning-Rare-Low-Miles_W0QQitemZ320099486810QQihZ011QQcategoryZ84154QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1991-Alfa-Romeo-Spider-Veloce-Amazing-Low-Reserve_W0QQitemZ220098942097QQihZ012QQcategoryZ84154QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wow, the white one is an automatic I don't know if I would own one myself but it's a rare bird and I hear the Alfa auto TX are very dependable
 

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I am looking to buy a spider. I spent the past two weeks looking at cars listed on the Internet and I need some help. I've read about every model but we just like to find one that has not been damaged or suffers from rust. I'm willing to spend up to $10,000 but just don't know which is the best car or which site I should look for it on. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated. I am so excited to finally step up and buy the car I have always dreamed about. Please help

I can only echo what the other folks have offered. Alfas are truly great cars with a tremendous history. Study, research, talk, visit the ALFA BB. listen, and finally drive if possible. Remember the last U.S. Alfa was 1994, their not new. The best owners are honest as well as responsible with their their cars. This group of owners (AlfaBB) has provided me with a wealth of information and are very accurate with their depiction of the marque.

Regards
Karl
 

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For $10,000 you can get a perfect condition/very low millage (20,000 to 30,000 miles) S-2 or a S-3 Spider and have change left over. For a S-4 Spider in the same condition you would be spending $12,000 to $14,000. Plan on spending $20,000 + for a perfectly restored Duetto. Be careful there are a lot of rats out there with a new paint jobs! I would recommend to buy one from a member of this board. Just Post a WTB in the Alfa for sell section.

There are of couple of nice S-4's on Ebay right now. But Ebay scares me, if you find one you like be sure to go look at it or have a member look at it for you.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Alfa-Romeo-Spider-Veloce-Stunning-Rare-Low-Miles_W0QQitemZ320099486810QQihZ011QQcategoryZ84154QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1991-Alfa-Romeo-Spider-Veloce-Amazing-Low-Reserve_W0QQitemZ220098942097QQihZ012QQcategoryZ84154QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wow, the white one is an automatic I don't know if I would own one myself but it's a rare bird and I hear the Alfa auto TX are very dependable
Murray

Unfortunately the green one on E-Bay (63,000) is mine. CK F/S on the BB

Regards
Karl
 

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Research before buying

I bought my first Alfa ('89 Graduate) about 3 months ago, and love it. I have had other European cars, but this by far is "easier" to work on.

Just searching through this forum gave me insights on the "how to's" and don'ts. I live in the Phoenix metro area and found a mechanic first before I bought my car. They also new the seller whom I purchased the car from so there wasn't a lot of apprehension in making the purchase.

There is LOADS of support on this site along with links to many parts distributors at "reasonable" prices. And as usual get the stats before you purchase....like CarFax, emissions, visual and driving inspections. Heck it might be even worth the $50 from CarDisc to check out a shop manual before your buy to see what you're getting into.

Here's the link for the thread of more responses:
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/showthread.php?t=39896


Well that's my 2 cents.
 

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Gene,
Karl's Spider is a great car, I remember when he bought it I can't see how you could go wrong if you bought it. Green/tan S-4 Spiders are such a great combo.
 

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Dont be afraid to look south for a car too. I am originally from the Boston area and have fixed up a rust bucket of an MGB a friend bought and aTR7 I tried to rebuild. I want to drive and enjoy the cars now and not spend forever just fixing rusty sheet metal. I have a 33k mile 87 spider with no rust and it runs great. Little convertibles dont get driven year round here in Tampa becuase the summer is just too darn hot.
I am selling mine locally - so this is not a sales pitch - for what I paid $4500. Its an awesome experience to pull up carpeting and see the original painted metal without a trace of rust! Good luck and I strongly suggest test driving a wide range of cars. Spiders are fun, but the GTV6 are sweet too.
 

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I recently bought an 88 Graduate for $7000. I may have paid $500 or so more than I should have, but the owner was a nice older fella I trusted, he helped alot with the transfer and it only had 20,000 miles. Like someone said earlier, I just felt it was the right one. You will know too.
 

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What kind of car do you want? I mean with respect to condition. A 1 being a scrap heap and 10 being concurs? interrior condition? exterior condition? options level? Graduates are the most basid. Quadrifolios are the top of the line. Color in mind? Black and red appear to be the most common colors.

I have a black graduate. It runs very nicely, but has a bit of exhaust/gas smell. I'm told the vent hoses need to be replaced. I also may have an exhaust leak. The interior is OK. One rip on passenger seat, 2 usual cracks on the dash and the glove box door has had its hinge screwed in. All normal wear issues. You can spend $150 for a dash cover to hide cracks if it bothers you. Top is in decent shape. A few pin holes and a small 1/2 sq. patch - no leaks though and it looks pretty nice.

As a buyer, you should look at a lot of these cars first. Drive one if possible.
Why?
Have you driven an alfa before? The gear boxes are a bit different from a japanese gear box. Shifting into first means you shift into second first to sync up the gear box, then shift into second. Is this OK or would it irritate you? Also, these cars have kind of flexible frames. If you are lookig to ride on rails, a frame stiffener can be added. Personally, Alfas appear to be far less expensive to maintain than older Brit machines. I also think that they are every bit as much fun to drive. Do you want to do your own work or will you pay for service?
I am not trying to discourage you at all. I am just trying to see where your expectations lie and steer you towards the correct level of car (1-10) to buy. While I can do sheet metal, frame metal welding and mechanical work, I also have 2 little boys who take up my spare time. So I couldnt get a car that would require 100s of hours of work to get going. If you favor mech work as opposed to body work, buy a southern car. Unless you can find a northern car thats been cared for. In my experience, around Mass, there were alot of bondo buckets, with fresh paint, that people wanted too much money for. If you do buy a northern car, defnitely use a magnet, with a piece of felt glued on top protect paint, and slide it all along the rockers. Using a powerful flashlight, get under and check the floors and look for rust in the tops of the wheel arches. Maybe tomorrow I will try to take some photos of my car in these areas to show you what they should look like.
I am a bit nervous selling to a distant out of towner. I know the car could make a drive to NJ. However, I would have to have the exhaust leak looked at and you'd have a faint gas smell to deal with. I also dont want someone to spend airfare to get here and be disapponted. I know people do this all the time on EBay, but I suspect alot of successful bidders leave the process a bit bitter. I have fun with the car because I dont have huge payments on it. I look at people with shiny new convertibles and the funny thing is the spider gets all the looks! It really has classic "bullet" lines that will never be out of fashion. The other thing that I really like is that the car doesnt isolate you from the environment. Going 55 feels fast because it is - you just arent sitting 4+ft off the ground in an SUV. If I can steal time I will try to post some photos.
Cheers,
Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Ken very informative. I have had the opportunity to drive a few. They are definitely the sexiest car on the road. I would love to see pictures of yours and must explain to you that all I want is a car that handles well and has no rust. I am not sure about my restorative abilities and where I live everything is expensive. I have worked on cars before I currently drive an old Jeep that has 188,000 miles on it with the original clutch and original engine. Simply put I take care of my possessions. I am so passionate about owning one of these in the guidance I've received up to this point from this site is truly helped in slowing me down so that I can make a prudent decision. I can't wait until the point in time when I can come onto this site as a competent owner. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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