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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks,
I've been looking for what kind of alfa romeo to buy, but have found it hard to decide which model will fit my budget the best. And by the way, my budget is pretty sad:$6,000. So ladies and gents, start shooting out the ideas because i'm all ears.

NOTE: i'm sorta swayed towards the 2000 gtv. any thoughts?
 

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I think it comes down to what model you REALLY like! Is the car going to be your daily driver? Since you are considering a GTV 2000 then you will need to look for a one that doesen't havent any rust. If you really look around i'll bet you can find a decent one for the price you are willing to spend. If you have another car and time to spend you can get a project GTV and spend a little money on it and bring to a good condition.
 

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I agree with John Paul. Decide what you want to do with your car and then get exactly what you want & love. These cars do take some time and money to keep 'em up. So getting a car you love makes the time and money (slightly) easier to commit to.

This philosophy applies to all vintage/collector/sports/racing cars and probably many other hobbies (mental illness?).

Welcome, don't be afraid to ask any questions you have.

Garrett
 

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I see you live in Chicago. In that case and you want a daily driver, you not want a Spider. Spiders are great fair-weather cars, but not good on snow and ice. I live in South Dakota, but I don't expose it to snow/ice, or rain for that matter . . . . which is one reason the body and frame are still very good.

As far as a 2000GTV goes, it's a terrific car, but keep in mind that those cars are aging and will be higher maintenance. They are also appreciating in value due to demand, so you'll probably pay more than you would for a Spider. Another point is that it has SPICA injection unless it's been converted to carbs. The SPICA Fuel Injection is very good, but they are aging. You will either have to learn about it yourself or have access to a technician with ALFA SPICA experience. The same goes for side-draft carbs for that matter.

The key point is that if you're going to own a classic Alfa, you need to have a good deal of mechanical expertise or access to a good mechanic.

Also, take a look at a GTV6 with the 2.5L V-6. I'm always on the look for one of those myself.

Finally, the basic rule of buying an Alfa is to not be afraid to spend the money to buy an example you can find, with a solid body and frame. RUST is you're primary concern.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Understand that though i live in chicago, with whatever purchase im gonna make it will be driven very little in snowy times. As for Italguy, i respect the spider lovers, but for small convertibles they just dont do it for me. Im sure someone will respond with a "what the fuc*?", but that's just how i feel. I like the alfa coupes much more (except for the early 60's alfas, which dont make daily drivers).
 

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"what the fuc*?" :D :D

GTVs are really wonderful cars and you've received some very good advice so far. The biggest thing about getting a 30 year old Alfa is to have a good sense of what you can expect maintenance wise.

I think many people are dazzled by their design but aren't aware of the realities of Alfa ownership.
 

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In Hampton Roads, I have helped many new Alfisti get into nice Alfas. The biggest issues as I see it are:

1. Go join the club before you buy. The Chicago AROC is a very good club! They will help you a lot!

2. Ask to drive some of the members' cars...they'll let you! Trust me!

3. Whatever you do, stay away from a car that is already rusty. Mechanical issues are easy to fix...bodywork is very costly, time-consuming and hard to do correctly unless you really know how!

4. I usually recommend getting the newer cars for 'newbies'. That way, you can get used to an Alfa without getting too frustrated finding the parts, etc.

5. Some good examples of recent purchases by new Alfisti include: '91 164L w/new sport shocks/springs and performance brakes $3500 ($2000 + a few needed repairs), '87 Milano Verde in really nice shape $4300, '86 GTV6 in great shape $4900.

6. Some recent purchases that will be a challenge for their owners include: '74 Spider w/ rust issues, bad exhaust, some mechanical repairs needed and a rough interior $2100, '73 GTV 2000 in great shape (but expensive to buy) $9500 (not a good daily driver - too nice!).

Anyway, I wish you luck! Go meet with the club! Start getting to know the folks there and you'll have all the help you need!

Cheers,
 

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Alfa Romeo's are wonderful cars to drive, but also to own. The styling, performance, and mystic are hard to resist. They are relatively rare and getting rarer since Alfa stopped exporting to the US in 1994. As alluring as they are, Alfa's are not for everybody. Since the cars are aging, they require more care and maintenance than newer and more technologically advanced cars. The potential Alfa owner should realize this, and either have a good degree of mechanical expertise or have close access to a good mechanic with Alfa-specific training and experience.

Speaking of mechanics, Alfas have received an underserved poor reputation for reliability. Owners that experience poor reliability are usually giving their cars poor preventative maintenance. Alfa DO NOT suffer neglect without complaint.

A great source of information about the various models and years of Alfas is readily available in several standard publications. Here's a few I recommend.

1. Alfa Romeo Buyer’s Guide. by Joe Benson. ISBN 0-87938-163-9. Motorbooks International

2. The Alfa Romeo Owners Bible, by Pat Braden. Robert Bentley Publishers.
ISBN 0-8376-0707-8. Available through Amazon, Borders, etc. I bought mine off-the-shelf at a Borders Bookstore. About $30. This is an OUTSTANDING reference, especially for a new owner, but as a long time Alfisti, I still refer to it often. It has an excellent section about the SPICA fuel injection with detailed photos, systems description, troubleshooting, and tune-up. Pat Braden is a legendary Alfisti and probably forgot more about Alfas than most people will ever know. Sadly, he died several years ago.

3. Original Alfa Romeo Spider, The Restorer’s Guide to 1300, 1600, 1750, and 2000 Models 1966-1993. by Chris Rees. MBI Publishing Company. ISBN 0-7603-1162-5. About $35. Lots of excellent full-color plates of exterior and interior views of cars restored to original condition.

Do some serious homework before you go "looking." The cost of these books is chump change compared to buying a car that is a rust-bucket. With these publications, you'll know exactly where to look for rust as well as have a much better idea of the relative worth of the car. Also, you'll be able to ask relevant questions of the owner and probably sniff out any deception.

Check this site: http://hem.passagen.se/arspider/RAM02.htm
There's a good concise buyers guide on that site.
 

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I am not likely to be near Charlottesville anytime soon, but if you can make it out closer to the Coast, I am sure that I can arrange a few test drives!

I'd meet you there, but I am changing jobs at the end of August, so it's a busy time right now.

Cheers,
 

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I drove by this dealer earlier in the week, and they had a nice 84 GTV6 that they were asking $8,000. It was low mileage (<50,000) and rust free which is rare in Chicago. The car drives nicely and everything worked, even the AC. The only thing wrong that I saw was that the front camber is all screwed up and the passenger side window didn't work. The transmission shifted as nicely as any transaxle I have driven, but the engine didn't pull as well as other GTV6's. If hadn't just bought a 74 GTV, I would have made an offer on this one. No relationship whatsoever with the dealer.

Memory Lane Motors Inc
1231 Rockland Rd, Lake Bluff, IL 60044
Phone: (847) 362-4600
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Isn't 8,000 pretty high for that model? I saw one in excellent shape that was selling for about 5,000. Granted i didn't drive it, but I =haven't seen one for that much.
 

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$8000 for a GTV6 is an AWFUL large price! The going rate for nice examples (with everything working) is usually more like about $5000. I would expect a super-nice Maratona or Ballocco might command a bit more (another $1000ish), and I would expect a nice Calloway to cost lots more (another $3000ish), but I would only pay $8000 for a GTV6 if it had a perfect interior, all records, everything working, completely original and low-mileage!

Cheers,
 

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My first Alfa was an Alfetta, which was an interesting car to learn on. All the disadvantages of the early cars (SPICA, rust) and the disadvantages of the later cars (transaxle problems, rust).

My mistake was to not have joined the club at the time, back in the '80s. If I had did, I would have known about the crank plugs, and would have replaced the one I found (didn't have a clue at the time), Joe would have helped me tune the SPICA (always backfired), and I would have gotten help chaning the clutch/ Giubos. Even with all that, I'm still into the cars...

I now own a '73GTV.

Besides the SPICA (later), the early GTV's are super easy to work on- I have gone over the entire suspension by myself, rebuilt all the brakes myself, repack an axle by myself... I could go on.

The engine can be a little intimidating, but done once, its not bad the next few times (I've got projects). As mentioned, be more afraid of rust than a bad engine.

SPICA can be a problem, but is easily dealt with. If it's got it, send it to Wes Ingram for a rebuild, have it installed by Mike Besic, and never (never) touch it. I've not done anything to mine except change its oil filter in 5 years.

On the other hand, GTV6's are serious refinements on the Alfetta. Much better platform, probably better with the rust, and if all the electronics work, well, all the electronics work. Working A/C is a bonus. The biggest problem on any of the Bosch cars are not well taken care of electronics, normally caused by faulty grounds.

So in the end, both the early 2000GTV and the GTV6 are great cars. It comes down to which do you want to own!

So, as usual, not a terribly helpful post... ;)

Eric
 

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believe it or not, a good GTV6 will still bring close to $10K if it's nice. 1986 model years in perfect condition sell in the $8K-$10K range. if you were to get one, get that year, they seem to be the only ones that hold their value. and oh yeah, make sure you keep it mechanically and cosmetically perfect so it stays worth what you pay for it.
 

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Alex Csank said:
$8000 for a GTV6 is an AWFUL large price! The going rate for nice examples (with everything working) is usually more like about $5000.
Good luck buying a nice example in Chicago for $5K. I had been looking off and on for a coupe for more than 2 years and even the cars that were advertised as "no rust" had significant amounts of body cancer or the "restorations" were hatchet jobs. There is currently a GTV6 offered for sale in the market for $6,500 with a significant amount of body rot in the engine bay. Besides, the $8K is an asking figure at a dealer. If you like the car, you can make him an offer. This guy deals mostly in old British cars and I sensed he really didn't know the Alfa market well.
 
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