Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I recently purchased my first Alfa Romeo - a 2020 Misano Blue Alfa Romeo Giulia base model (see photo below). I love this car and have instantly become an avid Alfisti. I am beginning to look into the possibility of purchasing a Red Series 3 Alfa Romeo Spider. The hope is to get one in "good" running, mechanical, and cosmetic shape at a reasonable price. I could then do minor repairs and maintenance as a hobby, along with having an iconic little tourer.

I have begun scouring the internet want ads (Hemmings, Car Gurus, etc.) for Red S3 Spiders. Since I live in Louisiana, where Alfas are rare, I am forced to "look" long distance. What I would like to do is to eliminate any cars that have major issues.

So, what I could use some help with is for forum members who are familiar with these models to point out to me any known issues and problems that I should inquire about with the seller before seriously considering moving forward with a purchase. Are there leaks, electrical problems, etc. that are common for these cars? I know that rust is a potential serious problem. Can someone tell me where I would look (or have the seller take a photo) for common areas of rust? The hope is to narrow down my search to a few candidate vehicles that I could then travel to and inspect and test drive.

Any help that you can give would be greatly appreciated. I have found that members of Forums are the best source for honest, detailed knowledge and assessments. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Wayne

1661114
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Congratulations! You're hooked now. I've been through this whole process over the past 9+ years of restoring my Spider. Fortunately, my car did not have any rust, which is the biggest killer of these cars. You will want to personally inspect (or have someone competent inspect) the rocker panels, the spare-tire well, the floor panels (from underneath) to see signs of rust. It can be difficult if the seller has recently painted the car. If you are handy around the shop, the cars are pretty easy to work on, parts are available (mostly), and there is a ton of helpful information (and people) on this forum.

You can post a "wanted" ad on the classifieds section of this board, and check ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. I find that there are better deals to be found on more pedestrian sites than Hemmings and Bring a Trailer.

1661123
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,237 Posts
Welcome aboard! You seem to be going about this backwards - at least compared to how most of us do it. The usual thing is to fall in love with project car and then spend the rest of your life (and your kid's inheritance) getting reality to meet dreams!

Anyway, distance is the least of your concerns. A good example far away will probably prove a better value than a rough one nearby. I suggest getting in touch with an Alfa club member (see: AROC--USA) who'd be willing to look over any distant prospects. Then pay for a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection). An hour or two of a knowledgeable mechanic's time will be worth the money spent.

As you surmise, rust is the biggest killer of our cars. The Spider's unibody (no separate frame) gets most of its strength from the sills/floors. Rust there can be expensive to repair. A good rule is to triple any rust you see to estimate how much might actually be there. Then double it. If the seller allows, jack the car from one of the jacking points and see if the doors still open & close properly. If the seller won't allow it, walk away... Mechanically, they are pretty stout. Deferred maintenance can get expensive to catch up on. If the seller drives the car regularly & has records for routine maintenance (oil/coolant changes, valve adjustments, etc) that is a plus. A Series 3 Spider will have Bosch EFI. It should start easily cold or warm and need no throttle to do so. I'd suggest replacing any original rubber fuel hoses - they are long past their use-by date.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome aboard! You seem to be going about this backwards - at least compared to how most of us do it. The usual thing is to fall in love with project car and then spend the rest of your life (and your kid's inheritance) getting reality to meet dreams!

Anyway, distance is the least of your concerns. A good example far away will probably prove a better value than a rough one nearby. I suggest getting in touch with an Alfa club member (see: AROC--USA) who'd be willing to look over any distant prospects. Then pay for a PPI (Pre Purchase Inspection). An hour or two of a knowledgeable mechanic's time will be worth the money spent.

As you surmise, rust is the biggest killer of our cars. The Spider's unibody (no separate frame) gets most of its strength from the sills/floors. Rust there can be expensive to repair. A good rule is to triple any rust you see to estimate how much might actually be there. Then double it. If the seller allows, jack the car from one of the jacking points and see if the doors still open & close properly. If the seller won't allow it, walk away... Mechanically, they are pretty stout. Deferred maintenance can get expensive to catch up on. If the seller drives the car regularly & has records for routine maintenance (oil/coolant changes, valve adjustments, etc) that is a plus. A Series 3 Spider will have Bosch EFI. It should start easily cold or warm and need no throttle to do so. I'd suggest replacing any original rubber fuel hoses - they are long past their use-by date.
Great advice. I am 73 years old and only fair with a wrench, so I may not have a lot of time to if I bought a true project car. I like your suggestion to find a AROC-USA member to look it over. If I got a good report and PPI, I would still probably go personally to do a final inspection and drive the car home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Congratulations! You're hooked now. I've been through this whole process over the past 9+ years of restoring my Spider. Fortunately, my car did not have any rust, which is the biggest killer of these cars. You will want to personally inspect (or have someone competent inspect) the rocker panels, the spare-tire well, the floor panels (from underneath) to see signs of rust. It can be difficult if the seller has recently painted the car. If you are handy around the shop, the cars are pretty easy to work on, parts are available (mostly), and there is a ton of helpful information (and people) on this forum.

You can post a "wanted" ad on the classifieds section of this board, and check ebay, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, etc. I find that there are better deals to be found on more pedestrian sites than Hemmings and Bring a Trailer.

View attachment 1661123
I'll see how eBay looks. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good suggestions, although I will have to cast my net pretty far geographically speaking!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
18,237 Posts
And of course you can also ask here for someone close to the car's location to check it over. I did that before I bought our GTV6. A BB member checked out a car near Houston TX & gave it a good report. I then had a shop do a PPI. When it passed that, my wife & I flew down to Texas and drove the car home to North Carolina.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
You might try Bring-a-Trailer. Right now, there's a duetto, an S2, an S3 and an S4 on there. Only the S4 is red.

There are a few in the classifieds of the latest Alfa Owner. I assume they are also on the AROC-USA.org website.



Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: wvedec

·
Registered
'84 Spider Veloce
Joined
·
758 Posts
Spiders are somewhat of a budget sports car, so many have been run 'on the cheap' by one or more previous owners, which can bite the unsuspecting buyer. Documentation of continuing long-term care is a very good sign.

They can be enticing in their beauty . . . Look at several cars and don't jump till you've found a good one. I looked almost 9 months for mine.

David OD
Laguna CA
 

·
Registered
it's almost a alfa romeo spider
Joined
·
11,518 Posts
try craigslist in california.. less chance of getting a rusty car 83 to 85 best cars.. no monopod
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
Facebook marketplace has a decent selection as well. In my opinion buy one that has had the same owner for many years so there should be documents on what has been done to the car over the years and like others have stated check the car over for rust very carefully. I bought my 87 spider and first spider I may add from a lady that had inherited it after her father had died and he bought it 2 years prior at an auction. I should have went to see the car but relied on her photos and was unhappy with the condition when I had the car shipped to me. It was in worse shape that I had thought and took me a long time to sort it out and get it back on the road and wished that I had spent more and got one that was already in tip top shape. I took a gamble and it kinda paid off but took a long time to get there and I have more into the car now than it is worth. In hindsight if you have your eyes set on a series 3 buy the best one that you can afford if you plan on keeping it for awhile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,260 Posts
Facebook marketplace has a decent selection as well. In my opinion buy one that has had the same owner for many years so there should be documents on what has been done to the car over the years and like others have stated check the car over for rust very carefully. I bought my 87 spider and first spider I may add from a lady that had inherited it after her father had died and he bought it 2 years prior at an auction. I should have went to see the car but relied on her photos and was unhappy with the condition when I had the car shipped to me. It was in worse shape that I had thought and took me a long time to sort it out and get it back on the road and wished that I had spent more and got one that was already in tip top shape. I took a gamble and it kinda paid off but took a long time to get there and I have more into the car now than it is worth. In hindsight if you have your eyes set on a series 3 buy the best one that you can afford if you plan on keeping it for awhile.
Agree - if you can afford it top price in really good condition will cost you $13k. No matter what your starting price is, in the end you will have $10k in after all the repairs. Just saying!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,463 Posts
Where in Louisiana are you located?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,463 Posts
Ah, strawberry festival area! I grew up in Algiers. West bank of New Orleans.
One of the vice-presidents from Studebaker, Ed Reynolds, retired down there but I am sure he passed away years ago.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top