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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a long-time collector but have not (yet) owned an Alfa. I've owned (and sold) several cool vintage 1960's Italian cars. They were all beautiful to look at (DeTomaso Mangusta, Ferrari 330America, OSCA 1600GT Zagato), but delicate and parts were impossible to find.

I would like a nice/reliable cruiser for the Texas Hill Country and for possible long-haul drives to Alfa events.

I can't afford a Lancia or Ferrari (Touring) spider, so the 2000 and 2600 have caught my eye as really cool looking cruisers.

I need some advice on which car the more experienced Alfisti would recommend and why.
 

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2000 for looks, 2600 for power. With some modifications (RIO engine), a 2000 can have the power of a 2600.
Also, 2600 seem to have higher values than 2000.
 

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May I suggest you go and have a look at Larry Bono's car in Florida? It broke my heart a little bit when I saw he listed it for sale. It's a well sorted car and Larry has been very helpful member in the 2000/2600 community (going back to Yahoo newsgroup days). He's a no nonsense guy who will tell you all the good and bad about his car.
 
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Ruedi, thanks for the nice recommendation. The ad for my 2600 is also on FerrariChat and I am busy answering questions about the 2600 and some of them jog my memory which helps me remember things that I did long before we had the Internet. My son and I decided it might be time to sell. He can not keep the car when I die and my wife needs a lot of help from me because of her health. It will be a big change for me because, after 45 years, I will have no Alfa to admire while having my coffee!
Larry Bono
 

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There is a 2000 project on Ebay at the moment that appears quite promising. Claimed to be complete, if somewhat disassembled. Has the factory hard top and tool box. Both desirable items.

Ruedi's points are correct. The market appears to be in balance with both the 2000 and 2600, in that the latter will cost a little more, but has a slightly higher resale if/when restored. The costs of restoration are almost the same, except the 4 cylinder engine will definitely cost you less to overhaul than the 6. Both are at price levels where a good restoration can be done without going very far under water.

Having driven both, and owned a few 2000s, I prefer the lighter, and more svelte appearing 4-cylinder. I certainly understand the allure of a straight-six engine. Each to his own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have reached out to Larry. I also concur that the 2000 has a bit more of the Ferrari 250PF or 275 Spider looks, while the 2600 has the desirable straight-6 twin cam. However, I wonder if buying a 2000 for $40K-$50K less than a 2600 and bumping the power with a few tasteful engine mods is the best value?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Larry - I sent you an email. I have to "rescue" (over-budget restorations) too many Italian cars and would like an honest driver.

Maybe the Texas sunshine is the best destination for your car :`)

Steve
 

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Adding power to a 2000 probably won't increase its value. Possibly the opposite. If it is necessary to justify a 2000 or 2600 on the potential near-term resale, it's probably best to avoid them altogether.

On the other hand, if you want to see how a 150HP 2000 drives, stop by northern Nevada, and you can test drive one.
 

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2600 spider, without hesitation.

These cars (2000/2600) are heavy and drawing details of the 2000 does not bring more power to the car...

For the price and presentation, the Larry's car is the great choice. :wink2:
 

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Good grief! This discussion has ME wanting a 2000 Roadster! I am embarrassed to admit that, just after acquiring my 2600 Spider, I removed some parts from a 2000, leaving the rest of the car to rot in a field west of Boynton Beach, Florida. I wondered "Who would want that old cast iron block engine?" I am quite confident that the demise of that 2000 was swift in the South Florida climate, with its 60 inches of rain per year.
Sorry guys,
Larry Bono
 

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Quite apart from the high cost of 102/106 parts, it requires a great lot of work to bring a car to the standard of Larry's. It's a bargain.
 

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Quite apart from the high cost of 102/106 parts, it requires a great lot of work to bring a car to the standard of Larry's. It's a bargain.
I'll second that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Guys - thanks for the feedback. I tend to agree that the 2000 Spider might be just a bit sleeker but sometimes it's about buying the best car available and Larry's car is a solid example. Larry's description indicates the Borrani's are the "weak link" on the car so if I were going to put correct wheels on the car -- can someone direct me to what wheel options would have been correct for the car? (links to sources/pricing would be awesome).

I have used OKP (Germany) to source parts for my OSCA 1600 restoration back in 2009/2010 and I purchased some parts from Centerline Alfa too. Not sure what other suppliers I should put at the top of my "short list" for keeping a 2000 or 2600 on the road for years to come (luckily both of my teenage sons are vintage car enthusiasts).

If Larry/I were to work out a deal on the car, I would want to have the original seats restored and put back in the car along getting a nice set of period wheels back on it.

Steve
 

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When Larry described his wheels as the weak link, I doubt he was referring to their structural integrity. Rather, he thinks they need refurbishment. However, I think he said they were 15" units, which weren't original. If the hub adapters are serviceable and/or restorable, your best bet might be to buy new 400mm wheels from Borrani. Since new production Pirelli 165X400s are about to come to market, you'd be good to go.

There are several European parts vendors. You can get what you need at tolerable prices. Not cheap. Tolerable.
 

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Guys - thanks for the feedback. I tend to agree that the 2000 Spider might be just a bit sleeker but sometimes it's about buying the best car available and Larry's car is a solid example. Larry's description indicates the Borrani's are the "weak link" on the car so if I were going to put correct wheels on the car -- can someone direct me to what wheel options would have been correct for the car? (links to sources/pricing would be awesome).

I have used OKP (Germany) to source parts for my OSCA 1600 restoration back in 2009/2010 and I purchased some parts from Centerline Alfa too. Not sure what other suppliers I should put at the top of my "short list" for keeping a 2000 or 2600 on the road for years to come (luckily both of my teenage sons are vintage car enthusiasts).

If Larry/I were to work out a deal on the car, I would want to have the original seats restored and put back in the car along getting a nice set of period wheels back on it.

Steve

Factory Wheels. The factory wheels on both 102 (2000) and 106 (2600) Sprint/Spider/Berlina cars were 400mm steel disc wheels (probably made by Fergat) with zero offset and 5x 4-1/2 inch bolt pattern. They were equipped with either Michelin X 165SR400 or Pirelli CA67 165HR400 tube tires. Michelin tires are available from a number of sources, e.g. Coker in the USA (see here) and Longstone Tyre in the UK (see here), but Pirelli tires seem to be only available from Longstone Tyre in the UK (see here), who recently championed the case for Pirelli to make another batch of these tires (see this thread). Factory steel wheels have studs on the inside of the rim for static balancing by means of adding/removing washers and nuts. early 106 cars used the same hubcaps as 102 cars, but from about mid- to late 1963, the hubcaps changed to what is generally referred to as dimpled 106 hubcaps. Both types of hubcaps are available as repros from a number of suppliers.
The 2600 SZ was equipped with 5J-400 Borrani Turbo Sport disc wheels (steel center with alloy rim) that were about 1/2 inch wider than the standard disc wheels. These wheels (rarer than hen's teeth) were equipped with either Pirelli 165HR400 and/or Pirelli 175HR400 tires (I've seen sales literature stating both sizes as standard). Neither Michelin nor Pirelli makes 175x400 tires anymore, but Michelin still makes a 185x400 tire that can be fitted on the factory steel wheels, but several owners (mostly Sprint and 2600 SZ) reported they rub on the inside of the fenders under certain conditions.

Wire wheel options. Borrani offered conversion kits consisting of splined hub plus 165x400 Rudge Record wheels (72-spoke with alloy rims) with zero offset. I have conflicting information with respect to whether these wheels were center laced, outside laced, or center laced with reinforced outside spokes. It appears 1900 and 102 cars used Type 42 hubs, while 106 cars used Type 52 hubs. So far, I've seen rims stamped RW 3906 and RW 3582, but a Borrani brochure (probably from about 1965) also refers to a RW 3735 conversion kit. Worth noting is that the splined hubs increase the track by about 1-1/4 inches at each wheel, and therefore cars with wire wheels seem to have a noticeably wider stance that makes the skinny tires look a little less than bicycle tires. Borrani offers wheels and hubs again, see factory web site here and US importer here.
Wire wheels seem to feel softer than the factory wheels. I presume this is due to the fact that, for cars on wire wheels, the weight hangs off the spokes at the top of the wheel, while they "stand" on factory wheels. This may also affect cornering behavior in the sense that the lateral (sideways) forces have only 1x radius to act upon on disc wheels (from the bottom of the wheel to the axle hub), but 3x radius on wire wheels (from the bottom of the rim where road contact is made all the way to the top of the wheel where the load is transferred to the spokes and from there back down to the axle hub). Trade literature from the '50s and '60s indicates that the tension of the spokes should be checked and adjusted (and re-centered) every 1,000 - 1,500 miles. There is also wear and tear on the spokes and splines that limit the life of wire wheels.
Several owners use modern Dayton wire wheels (allowing for tubeless tires) on their cars, which are made on special order and quite a bit less expensive than Borrani wheels. There are several threads on Dayton wheels on AlfaBB.
Last but not least, let me comment on looks, reflecting my personal taste: I think wire wheels look good on 102 Spiders (backed by 4 large drum brakes), they look OK on 2600 Series 2 Spiders (4 disc brakes), but they look absolutely silly on 2600 Series 1 Spiders (front disc and rear drum brakes). I gave up on the notion of wire wheels when I realized how much and how often cleaning will be required (especially on cars equipped with disc brakes). I'm guessing that thorough cleaning (wrapping cloth strips around each spoke, then zig-zagging the cloth strip up and down) probably would take me about 60-90 minutes per wheel.

Larry's wheels. I let Larry comment on why he thinks his wheels and spinners may be the weak link on his car (I don't know why -- may be the condition he states, maybe not). Worth repeating is his statement that his car has 6" X 15" wheels installed, which, to my eyes, look a little bit smaller than factory wheels (but use wider tires). In this context, it would be interesting to learn if installing these wheels required to modify the brake calipers, or if the added track width from the splines hubs cleared them. Fact is, 16" wheels are closer in looks to factory wheels, but more tires are available for 15" wheels. Depending on the type of conversion kit used on Larry's car (bolt-on kit using existing hubs or splined hubs replacing factory wheel hubs), conversion back to factory wheel hubs may require sourcing factory wheel hubs from a parts car.

Seats and seating position. I think there is a big difference between 102 and 106 factory seat (106 seats seem to have better lateral support and therefore may be more comfortable on long rides). Some tall owners (and/or their guests) have troubles sitting in a Touring Spider (the top of the windshield is at about eye level of a tall friend of mine). So, I think it's important for potential buyers to sit in a car and try it for "fit." Most 106 cars had black vinyl interiors, which are available from Paolini in Italy (see this thread and this thread). Unfortunately, nobody seems to make foam kits for the front seats (or rubber straps for the seat bottoms), so restoring them with correct feel (softer in the middle and firmer on the sides for lateral support) may be an ordeal or a function of trial and error for the restorer and the owner.

Larry's seats. I think Larry's seats are a sensible option and, if a buyer doesn't like them, I'll be happy to discuss buying them either from Larry or the new owner.

102/106 appearance and trunk space. I prefer the appearance of 102 cars (both Sprint and Spiders) over 106 cars (I have a 106 Spider). This may be a case (as it happens so often), where the initial version of a new car reflects the skill and taste of the designer, while later versions are influenced by sales strategy and press/market feedback (e.g. let's put some lip stick and Mascara on the Mona Lisa because our marketers believe this is what customers want and sells more cars). That being said, the more square and boxy look of the 2600 Spider (especially the trunk lid) certainly has a practical aspect in the sense that it is a result of providing more space inside the car (i.e. the rear seats nobody ever uses) and in the trunk, which is actually helpful for storing luggage, parts and tools inside the trunk rather than on the back seat on long road trips. (Keep in mind that the fuel filler neck and gas cap are inside the trunk and that refueling may require to move stuff around every time you visit a gas station).

Suppliers. We are lucky that there are more suppliers of parts than 15 years ago, when OKP (in Germany), AlfaStop (in the UK), AFRA (in Italy) and Reoriginals (in USA) were pretty much the only companies with web presence that took the 102/106 community seriously. OKP was (and still is) my favorite supplier based on history: Back then, Christian Ondrak (the "O" in OKP) had a 102 Spider, while Matthias Körber (the "K" in OKP) had a 2600 -- which is where I think their competence (and need) for sourcing hard-to-find parts in Italy and the UK may have come from. I recall vividly that, when I pointed out to Christian (just after he bought his 102 Spider) that RIO 2300 engines supposedly were a drop-in replacement for 102 engines (and where one was available), he wrote me back within 4 hours that he had bought such an engine. Don's restoration thread (see here) indicates that a conversion requires more work than just "drop in" (but is well worth it). A further piece of nostalgia is that, since then, my former 106 Spider parts car that Bernhard Fleischhacker in Austria bought and restored, now lives in their collection (see here).

Car values and costs. Given that the 102 and 106 Spiders share much of the mechanicals and have the same structural basis (and rust issues), costs for restoration of body, drivetrain and suspension are about the same, but engine restoration on 106 cars seems to be significantly more expensive, costing $10-15k in parts alone (goo and have a look at prices for bearings, pistons and liners) -- but even that cannot explain the valuation differential (see Hagerty valuation for 102 Spider from 1961 here and 106 Spider from 1962 here): I bet there is some nostalgia involved (last Alfa Romeo straight-6 engine, Touring going bankrupt, etc.). Several of my acquaintances from professional classic car circles (both sales and restoration) mentioned to me that they think 106 cars are still undervalued when compared to Maserati, Aston Martin, Jaguar XKE, etc. -- but they never mentioned 102 cars being undervalued. In the end, it's a question of supply and demand, and I think we're lucky that 102 and 106 cars so far have not attracted a great number of speculators who treat the cars as investment. People who buy these cars want to drive them and do not hesitate to do so (by contrast, I know of several Maserati 3500s that owners no longer drive because they worry about too much value being at risk -- the same seems to be happening with Ferrari 330 and Dino models, previously poo-pooed by "serious" collectors).

Larry's asking price. (Full disclosure: I have not seen Larry's car in person and I have no personal interest or affiliation with the sale of the car, but Larry did me some favors in the past.)
I believe anyone familiar with these cars can attest to three things:
(a) Larry's asking price is absolutely realistic for a car in very good to excellent driving condition, especially when considering the rare Weber manifold and hardtop,
(b) all modifications Larry made are sensible (making it a better driver in our modern world) and reversible without great effort (but IMO a buyer would be foolish to do so), and
(c) Larry has been a smart, honest and very helpful member of the 2000/2600 community for a long time, going out of the way to share his knowledge and insights for fixing and improving stuff (IMO, nobody will encounter surprises or embarrassment when they show up with Larry's car). Given Larry's track record, I'm pretty sure a buyer can be assured that Larry will gladly answer any and all questions about this car (and 106 cars in general) long after the sale. Although community support for these cars is has been excellent (great community support was the reason I got involved with 102/106 cars 15 years), I believe access to such information from a previous owner is worth a premium that is not reflected in the asking price of a private sale (and, more often than not, this connection is lost when dealers are involved).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ruedi - quite an impressive write up and I'm going to print it out for my Alfa knowledge base. I too have had nothing but impressive interactions with Christina Ondrak (very helpful guy).
 

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Ruedi, it is very generous of you to take the time to post your extensive knowledge of these subjects about our 2000 and 2600 cars. It is nearly a dissertation! I have received questions from several people about some of these subjects and, instead of writing similar responses several times, I thought it might help if I mention here that I have a document with as much information as I can remember about my car. I will forward it to anyone who is interested. It is long and will bore most people. I thought that by posting a for-sale ad here and on FerrariChat.com, I would 'get my feet wet', so to speak and see if there was any interest before advertising it more widely. The response has been mildly promising.

Thanks for your time and knowledge.

Larry Bono
 
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