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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There have been several ads recently asking for Condition this and that cars. I've heard some vague descriptions,accompanied with arm waiving, but never seen this in writing. Could somebody please point me to this Holy document so I can read off the same piece of music? Thanks in advance, B

PS: search = 20 pgs x 25 hits/pg = 500 hits = not useful
PSS: perhaps this could be "Stickied" under Car Restoration for all to see, any comments on distinctions is appreciated
 

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But Mad North-Northwest
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For Alfas?

Condition 1: structural rust, but Bondo'd over well enough that you can't see it
Condition 2: structural rust, owner couldn't afford the Bondo
Condition 3: structural rust, on fire in the pictures
Condition 4: Same as condition 3 except it's set the house on fire as well
Condition 5: pile of red dust with four tires sticking out of it

Or you could check out:

eBay Guides - buying a collectable or classic car condition ratings
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
LOL, so true. For a 5, do the tires have to hold air? ;)
 

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I like it simple and I like the SCM condition rating - I think most here would refer to that rating as well.

1: National concours standard/ perfect (Think Pebble Beach)
2: Very good, club concours, some small flaws
3: Average daily driver in decent condition
4: Still a driver but with some apparent flaws
5: A nasty beast that runs but has many problems
6: Good only for parts

Most classic cars are condition 3, though most of us think we have a condition 2 car :) If you think, that your car could win a Best in Show/ Best in Class or place in class at Meadow Brook, Radnor Hunt, Newport Beach or any other 2nd or 3rd tier concours, then your car is probably indeed in condition 2 or better.

And for Alfas, Gubi's rating is totally appropriate.

I honestly get a kick out of those ratings and the variability and some subjectivity that goes with it (Even SCM analysts rate quite differently - Just like teachers: Some rate strict, some less strict). In the end, I get a bigger kick out of driving my cars - Without too much thought if the car is a 2 or 3 or better or worse ...

Irrespective what anybody says or writes about the condition of a car that you are interested in, a thorough PPI, appraisal, personal inspection and fun run are wise decisions.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mike, I've never paid much attention to it until I saw it popping up in some recent ads. Plus cars, like all, are a balance unless "90+" nearly perfect. Likewise, I believe that a long detailed inspection & report of mechanical and structural condition with as much history as possible, and reliable sources is best. Thanks for the references.

Using your "running" theme, here's how I interpret this:
1. Never run
2. Run occasionally
3. Runs a lot
4. Run into the ground
5. Barely runs
6. Will never run again.
 

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Mike, I've never paid much attention to it until I saw it popping up in some recent ads. Plus cars, like all, are a balance unless "90+" nearly perfect. Likewise, I believe that a long detailed inspection & report of mechanical and structural condition with as much history as possible, and reliable sources is best. Thanks for the references.

Using your "running" theme, here's how I interpret this:
1. Never run
2. Run occasionally
3. Runs a lot
4. Run into the ground
5. Barely runs
6. Will never run again.
Slap my thigh and hold my belly, once again you are right-on
Mon Capitan.......:D
 

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Mike, I've never paid much attention to it until I saw it popping up in some recent ads. Plus cars, like all, are a balance unless "90+" nearly perfect. Likewise, I believe that a long detailed inspection & report of mechanical and structural condition with as much history as possible, and reliable sources is best. Thanks for the references.

Using your "running" theme, here's how I interpret this:
1. Never run
2. Run occasionally
3. Runs a lot
4. Run into the ground
5. Barely runs
6. Will never run again.
Very clever! Put a big smile on my face.

Marc
 

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That's a very good interpretation of the rating and spot on - Working on running them into the ground. beautiful day here in SoCal ...
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Ya know guys. Mine are solid 3+'s and well run and well loved. One for 35 years even. I think I could place in a neighborhood event if it was dark!!

Bill - I've always loved your handle. You know I do, get out there and drive. A bit cool in the Hill Country for the Spider today, so Pinyo got out and did some errands. Brought a smile, and a hard look form Smokey.

PS: attached is a summary of the links and "sound" advice. LOL on Gubi's! Unfortunately so true for so many Alfas . . . "Everyman's Ferrari"
 

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Another good frame of reference of is from Thoroughbred and Classic Cars:

Mint: Shiny and bright, but not concourse condition. Any defects should be small. You'll get a fine example for this money.

Average: Tidy and ready to use, but needing cosmetic attention. You'll have to spend more money if you want it looking really smart.

Rough: Usually a runner, but with an untidy body or needing parts. The extra spending may now be a more serious consideration.
 

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Here is "Hagerty's Cars That Matter" (formerly written/owned by Keith Martin of SCM) car condition guide from a few years ago (I assume it is still the same):

#4 cars are "drivers" with some flaws visible to the naked eye. Examples of flaws that could be present on #4 cars include pitting or scratches on chrome, a chip on the windshield, or a minor dent or chips in the paintwork. The paintwork might also have visible imperfections. You might find a split seam in a seat or a dash crack on the interior, the interior could be of a different type of material from original. No major parts are missing; however components such a wheels might not be stock. A #4 car is often a deteriorated restoration. If too many flaws are present, it is no longer a #4 car. "Fair" is the one word that describes a #4 car.


#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior. #3 cars drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These cars are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. "Good" is the one word description of a Cars That Matter #3.


#2 cars could win a regional show. They can be former #1 that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass, and interior will appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine compartment. The vehicle will drive as a new car of its era would. The one word description for #2 cars is "excellent".


#1 vehicles in Cars That Matter are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the car has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one description for #1 cars is "concours".
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mark, By all these definitions (except for Gubi's ;)) and my long experience with the Alfa community, I'd have to conclude that even a 2 or 2+ is a pretty rare car. I actually find some faulty logic in 1's and 2's, and even 3's: I would not trust a car that is run that infrequently to take a long tour, perhaps even a 3 - "These cars are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses." IME, cars don't like to sit and be started occasionally.

Mike, by these definitions, I'd think a whole lot more of our cars are even 4/4+'s as the issue of "correctness" enters in at that divide, with no distinction of "period correct" (like wheels or a Nardi steering wheel).

This just convinces me all the more to just . . . get out there and drive. But I respect those guys who clean the tire treads too so I can see what it once looked like (a reference standard). Takes all kinds! A fine friend of mine, GiuliaBianca, says he likes nothing more than to see a car's front end covered in layers of dead and dried bugs and the fenders replete with road grime. I do sense a difference in desires with the Euro crowd since I've been exposed more with them here and in person the past year. If you have ever received a car slathered liberally with waxoil and road grime 1/8" thick - all over (undercarriage, suspension, engine bay, engine, headlight buckets, etc., etc.) - you will know what I mean. The attached would probably be considered a nice 2 there (with a few small corrections). It would be interesting to hear from our Euro brothers on this. Bruce
 

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I think the SCM/Hagerty classifications are about as specific as you're going to get. But, as Mike points out, the hyperbole surrounding car classifications often sinks to the level of low comedy. Grade inflation is not only a problem in schools. :)

After too many years of "great" cars turning out to be pices of s**t my first question is always: where is the rust, followed by where was the car hit and repaired?

Tony, my mentor from many years back always said that when cars are as old as ours it very difficult to tell what horrors lurk beneath the paint. In fact you can tell if you're good enough but even the conoscenti can sometimes get fooled. Just consider the fake Giulietta Zagatos that surface from time to time and commanded high prices at auctions.
 
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