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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I finally graduated in May. I'm now back in NYC... not driving. I'm heading out to boot camp on Aug 17. I'll probably be done with all my training late winter 2010. At that point, since I'm a reservist, I'll be back in NYC. I'm likely to spend the next four years here getting work experience and/or a graduate degree. After that, no idea.

So here's the problem. I'm barely driving the Alfa right now-- it's not much use in the City and there's no place I can really go nearby for a late night / early weekend morning joyride. In the meantime the parents are paying a lot for parking and insurance. The auto itself is not holding up well. Recently the windshield wipers stopped working. I remember Zunige advising me-- considering the terminal rust damage-- to just drive the Alfa into the ground... I think it's almost there.

So here are the options:
1. Keep the Alfa in NYC. I'll still need a vehicle every once in a while, and I'll need one to get to my reserve station in Garden City, Long Island once a month.
2. Bring the Alfa down to Georgia, where my mother is currently working. (I never ended up making the journey, but I appreciated the advice in the thread I posted).
3. If he wants it, give it to my bro who's still studying undergrad in PA.
4. Sell it. For its guts.

It's tough to consider these options. It's funny how I've bonded with my vehicle more than any other machine-- even if I've used others more (computer, telephone, etcetera). Maybe with thousands of years of riding horses we've just evolved to have affection for our method of transport. That said, it's hard to justify the cost and limited usage.

I'd really appreciate any advice. When I first got the Alfa, I had no idea what to do. Now I'm at another point where I'd appreciate experienced advice. Graduated, living in the City... am I not thinking of scenarios that I would need the Alfa? If I give it up... how does that work? How do I determine the price? How does the process work?
 

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It doesn't really seem to make sense to keep the Alfa in the city, but Alfas don't necessarily make sense anyway. I had a friend in SoHo, and for him, it was much cheaper to rent a car on the occasions he needed one than to insure and garage an owned vehicle.

Alfas like to be driven. Sitting around only being used once in a while don't do them any good.

Sounds like options 2 and 3 make the most sense. (Or you could just lend it to your brother . . .) Option 4 seems a little extreme; mechanical things are fixable. IIRC the body on your car wasn't bad.

When you get to the point when you'll be able to use one again, I'm sure another will become available.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Bob. I'm inclined to agree, but I guess the concern that's nagging at me is that repairs on this Alfa don't seem to be worthwhile.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/spider-1966-up/133338-help-steering-wheel-broke-3.html#post671375

Shows the body damage. And that was before I acquired a license-plate stamp on the front during winter in NYC. :( It's not that I wouldn't mind spending money to fix the car up (especially once I get a job). I wanted to change the top, redo the interior... but if the body is going to fall apart sometime in the future of if it's going to take thousands to repair, is it worth it?
 

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Advertise on this BB for secure dry long term storage and put the car in mothballs for a while. Eventually you will get your life settled (this means you will get married and your wife will be telling you what to do from then on) and you can perhaps retrieve and rejuvinate the Alfa. If you get rid of it, you will be kicking your a-- for the rest of your life for having let it go. I had a 1300 Spider which I wrecked just before boot camp. It might have been fixable, but my life was in a state of constant uproar and I had my Dad sell it for scrap. I still regret not making some effort to keep the car if possible. I certainly could and would rebuild it today if I still had it.

Good Luck, Robert
1988 Black Spider Veloce
 

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I'll be darned, you did keep it.

Me, I'll give the pessimist's recipe (and this is, of course, just my opinion): sell it for the parts car it really is. You know you love the cars now, and just what's involved in keeping them going. Start an Alfa fund, and as a tribute use the proceeds from your sale as seed money.

Then save your pennies. Being in the military, you'll have a few. Once your situation changes, and hopefully that'll include a garage, go hunting. If fortune smiles, you'll have a very nice lump of cash you can use to hunt down the absolute very nicest spider around, one that fits what you're looking for exactly, which will only need maintenance work and nothing major body or soul.

Then you keep that one. Forever, if things work out. That's what I did, and I kid you not there was nothing on my old 74 Spider that was even close to as nice as what was on my new-to-me 71. So I transferred the license plates, which the 71 still wears to this day. I have never once regretted the decision.

Oh, and try not to get your rear end shot off, ok?
 

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First- If you just graduated from college, you should be going to OCS and not bootcamp. However, I congratulate you for serving!

Second, if you complete enough service to retire from the military, you'll have health care and a pension for the rest of your life. I realize that reservist's have to serve more than 20 years and are likely to be activated, but most civilian companies don't offer directed pensions or early retirement health insurance anymore.

Keep the car. Take it to your mother's house in GA and store it inside if you can. I always regret selling two cars I had- the 1967 Nova and the 1966 El Camino. I see what they go for now and I sold them both for less than $3000. Not that the Alfa will ever be worth a bundle in my life, that's not why I bought it. But, its a fun car, and for what the average car costs now its a real bargain.

Good luck, whatever you do!
 

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That's a tough one -you don't want to give up having your Spider, on the other hand, you don't need it.
The fact is, at most of us Spider owners don't need our Spiders, they are hobbies to us.
But, if the bother and money is too much, you're better off selling it. If your brother wants it, sell it to him - or better still, let him borrow it while you are in NYC (you have a reason to visit him often), and have it back then in other circumstances.
What it’s worth I don’t know, I in Denmark, Europe. Not much, I thing, if it’s on its way to the ground. Ask a specialist dealer.
Erik
 

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without going into a long story, i would prob sell it and get something reliable like a honda.

even when you are back in nyc, you prob don't want to be spending your days tinkering with the car when you have to drive somewhere - or do you?
 

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Funny- I have a Honda Civic and an Alfa and would not hesitate to drive the Alfa. Its all a matter of getting to know the vehicle and being able to work on it. For the record, the Alfa is older and has more miles on it, and hasn't had the AC problems the Honda has had. It cost me $1400 to repair the Honda AC system. I put the top down on the Alfa and drive fast for AC on the Alfa. Yes, it does have AC, but I save that for the stormy days.

I would say that it funny that the kid who just graduated ain't answering...
 

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In my opinion, it's a matter of economics. I could've dumped thousands of dollars into my rusty 74 and at the end would still have been left with a rusty 74 not worth a dime more than it was when I started. You usually won't NEED to put thousands of dollars into a pristine one, and every dollar you do spend on it helps it maintain its already quite high value.

That said, it's your car, and your money. I'm just happy to see all these young people (OMG I can't believe I just said that) joining the hobby.
 

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Like igbalfa. An Alfa sitting for any length of time without massive mothballing will rot. There is a recent thread on how to do this. You could not occasionally drive it either. I have no idea what it would do at your mothers so that is a mystery option. If it wits out in the backyard under a tree, it will rot. We see lots of those here on the board. Ask your brother if he wants it but I presume it may take more time and money than he has to keep it running much less keeping it in a good stead state of repair. I'd sell it and buy an 11% preferred stock and replace it later with something nice, if you have any extra rubles then. JMO.
 

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In my opinion, it's a matter of economics. I could've dumped thousands of dollars into my rusty 74 and at the end would still have been left with a rusty 74 not worth a dime more than it was when I started.

Great. Now you tell me. Thanks a lot.
 

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First, congrats on graduating!

If the car will not get driven, then I would sell it for whatever the market will bear. When cars aren't driven, especially after a few years, they do become non-op parts car. The car will be too expensive to bring back to life; much less restore.

If you need a car in the city, then just rent one. If you'd like to join the Alfa club for activities, bring the rental. (The club also has rallies so you could team up with a driver for those events, and even other social events.)

In time, you will be able to afford a very nice Spider, and you won't regret when "maintenance" means washing and waxing her...

Now, the advice that I'm posting here is not what I've done. :rolleyes: Trust me nonetheless, and avoiding learning "the hard way". ;)

Best regards,
 

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I suggest you "sell" (four letter word in my vocabulary) the spider to your brother. There are lots of spiders that are keepers that some one else has put money into. Lots of parts will be available for many years to come. Save the money in a fund to buy a future Alfa, let it accrue interest and add to it from time to time. Until you get a permanent duty station it doesn't make sense to have a car. You will definitely get an overseas duty assignment for a year and you might want to extend that time. The other option is to store it at moms, if she is amicable to that. Then when life settles down, go get the car. You didn't say what year the spider was, or I missed it in the posts.
 

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Greetings:

Pragmatically, I would suggest you sell. One photo in the referenced thread suggests that the rockers have been encapsulated in fiberglass. In short order that will accumulate enough moisture to destroy the frame from the inside out.

- Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hi everyone,

Apologies for the delay in replying. I've been pretty busy getting ready for Parris Island. The closer the date, the more the anxiety, and usually only training/studying helps me feel confident again.

I've been reading and rereading the advice on this thread regularly and thinking about this a lot. I've decided the best thing to do is go ahead and sell. Since I'm leaving in ten days and my parents can't keep paying garage/NY insurance it's possible my mother will take the car down to Georgia. I'm not sure what will happen from there. Either after boot camp or school of infantry I'll get on selling, in the meantime I'll try to educate myself on how to go about doing it.

It's been a pretty hard decision to come to but I think it is the most reasonable one. I think the biggest motivating factor was simply economic. It's a lot of money for-- in the City-- not much value. There were a few other reasons. This was an impulse buy from a parent. I wouldn't have thought of getting an Alfa without it-- but if I'd known-- I would've researched and been much more careful. It was a good starting point in the sense I never would have had the insight that "new is not always better"-- then again, I would've liked a Spider that I could've improved, not, well, struggled to keep alive. It's also been a bit irresponsible, too-- no garage, lack of skills and time, the weather up here-- not the hallmarks of good ownership.

It would be nice to find a way to save it, to bring it back one day-- if it was at all possible. I think there is too much uncertainty and too high cost, though. Some people marry their high school sweetheart and it works out. Looking back, my first relationship taught me a lot, opened up a whole new world-- but it was troubled and took a lot of energy to keep up. With the next one the feelings were just as strong if not stronger-- but it was easier too. With the Alfa too-- I've learned so much; with it come all the memories of passengers, trips taken, places visited. That said, I think it's time to move on.

Again, I really appreciate all the help and insight here. I'll keep this posted as to how things go-- so far I still have a few trips to make and motions to go through. I'm sure I'll have more questions. :)
 

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Good Luck, young Marine. I commend you for your patrioism and your decision to go USMC. No finer outfit, and I am in a position to judge. I served 4 Vietnam years in the USN, and later 19 USCG years to retire out with 23 years. Don't regret any decisions I ever made but none-the-less, have nothing but the higest admiration for our Marines. The best wishes I can pass to you is that I hope you are as proud and satisfied after your service as I am.

(well I did make ONE decision I now regret - did not try to save that 1300 Spider in 1967. The advice to sell now and buy again later is sound advice, with one caveat. What is available now and the price of same, and what will be available later and price of same, may be a whole different story. That 1300 was not particularly rare or valuable in 1967, but look at the story now. A basket case 1300 Spider more or less complete will cost you $5 - 8,000. An outstanding example will cost you $25 - 40,000. Just something to think about)

Always Best Wishes to you and yours,
CWO Robert Hill
USCG ret.
1988 Black Spider Veloce
 

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Oooh-Raaah!!

Semper Fidelis. Served 8 years active duty, including Beirut, Lebanon, Operation Desert Shield/Storm (Hurry Up and Wait).

Thank you for serving. Many American's didn't treat GIs very well after Vietnam, and in general were apathetic about the military until Desert Storm.

I thank you and anyone else past/future service in any branch of the US military. I felt this way even when it wasn't cool.

God Bless you!

Duke
Former GySgt, USMC
 

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dwrz, tough call but the right one (they often are). Give what you are working on at he moment high focus and get it done. Just like wars. Don't leave an Alfa sitting around rotting; cars don't like sitting and will make you pay dearly when you try to resuscitate them. You probably don't need a money pit now or in the near future. When you get established, pursue that car dream for sure. Best of luck and thanks for serving! God bless.
 

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"" Served 8 years active duty, including Beirut, Lebanon, Operation Desert Shield/Storm ""

Duke 58,
I remember a couple of days after the liberation of Kuwit started and the troops crossed the "Line of Death", I looked at my wife and said, "its over, we won" She said what did I mean since the war was still hot and heavy. I told her that we had just won the most crushing military victory in the history of mankind. Then I went out on the front porch and cried.

The politicials had gotten out of the way and let the US military do what they are trained to do, and the result was absoutely stunning. Then I thought back on Vietnam; those rotten bastards LBJ and Robert McNamara, and how so many of America's finest youth had been wasted due to their arrogance and incompetence. It was enough to make any intelligent person weep with pride for you Desert Storm troops, and shame and anger for the tradegy of Vietnam.

Semper Fi GySgt
Robert
 
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