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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1989 Alfa Spider Graduate, ALL ORIGINAL, 23,000 miles. Car, including engine compartment, is mint as if it just came off new car showroom floor. Expertly maintained by collector. Perhaps good enough to be show winner. Upgraded alloy wheels but original steels included. A/C upgrade, Convertible top boot cover, bra, driving lights, tool kit, all books with manuals. This a Veloce less leather seats and power windows. Is it worth $9,900? I have a chance to buy it. Need advice.
 

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Well, without looking at the car, or at least good pictures, it is not possible to tell how much it is worth... Nonetheless, I'll share some of my experience. I do know several owners of documented concours competitive Spiders and I know that none of them would consider selling their cars for that price. I have also never seen a concours quality Spider that is that price range. That said, I have seen many Spiders whose owners claim that they are concours competitive, and they are in fact very nice cars, but if inspected using something like the AROC Concours Manual, then they do not reach the high points that an exceptional car does. Hence, if you do have the opportunity to purchase a true concours car, then that price range is a bargain and a half.

Best regards,
 

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Post some DETAILED pictures and Many members will weigh in on what is right and what is wrong with the car.

Good Luck,

Kevin
 

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I agree with EZ. If the car has less that 10,000 miles, I would put a value of 20-25,000. You probably can find a buyer in the high teens for the same car with your mileage. They aren't making these anymore.
 

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A few years back I owned a 15000 mile 1989 Graduate. It was a great , fun car. Concours or not, if this is a real 27K no issues car $9900 seems a good value. How many of us seriously compete in concours anyway?

Before I bought my '74 about 3 yrs ago I searched for this very car and all I could find in my area were tired examples with no maintenance histories.
A truly nice, well maintained Spider that can stand up to a thorough PPI is well worth the money.

I actually prefer the grads, the vinyl holds up well and the roll up windows never slow down,
One caveat is that I think 30k is a big service interval, valves etc, so you may want to check that service is up to date.

Good luck,
 

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... Car, including engine compartment, is mint as if it just came off new car showroom floor. ...
Okay, I see you posted pictures...

First, let me say that from the pictures, this looks like a very nice example, and if there are no surprises, then in my book, it is worth the asking price.

That said, it is not "mint as if it just came off new car showroom floor", and I'm putting on my flame suit as I type... Looking at the first picture, the top has been replaced. The original convertible top was vinyl. This one has a canvas top, like the ones found on the Veloces. The license plate is totally on the wrong side of the car, and very poorly installed. The wheels are Veloce wheels, but they were available for Graduates, so they are considered a correct option for this 1989 edition.

Moving on to the second picture, the gasket in the area right in front of the hood latch is deformed. Those are OEM hoses, but they are also faded, and whatever is bright blue in the lower left hand side of the picture is not original. Now the third picture: look at the headrest of the driver's seat, and also at the side of the passenger seat. Fourth picture: the steering wheel and shift knob match, but they are both aftermarket. The inside of the top seems to have some discoloration. The last picture doesn't show enough detail to say anything one way or the other, but the emblem to the left of the license plate is not original... (In general, pictures don't really show minor flaws and sometimes they also make a car look worse than what it is.)

Please don't get me wrong... This is a very nice car, and could probably be brought up to an exceptional standard with relative easy, but in it's current state, it is not going to win any national shows. I'm sure it would do very well at any local or regional show, and certainly any owner should be proud and not hesitate to display it. I just wanted to illustrate that there is a significant difference between concours cars that truly look like they just came off the showroom floor, and other cars. Hence, the significant difference in price that prompted my comments about never having known or seen concours Spiders in this price range.

Again, I will say that if there are no surprises, meaning the car has no hidden issues and the undercarriage looks good, the price is not unreasonable at all. And as car that is not driven much, even if maintained as claimed, there could be other minor issues, but I would think that this is already accounted for in the asking price. Last, I will also say that Spiders are still priced considerably lower today than they were 3 years ago (before the financial crisis), and I don't think that prices can go anywhere but up from this point on.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Okay, I see you posted pictures...

First, let me say that from the pictures, this looks like a very nice example, and if there are no surprises, then in my book, it is worth the asking price.

That said, it is not "mint as if it just came off new car showroom floor", and I'm putting on my flame suit as I type... Looking at the first picture, the top has been replaced. The original convertible top was vinyl. This one has a canvas top, like the ones found on the Veloces. The license plate is totally on the wrong side of the car, and very poorly installed. The wheels are Veloce wheels, but they were available for Graduates, so they are considered a correct option for this 1989 edition.

Moving on to the second picture, the gasket in the area right in front of the hood latch is deformed. Those are OEM hoses, but they are also faded, and whatever is bright blue in the lower left hand side of the picture is not original. Now the third picture: look at the headrest of the driver's seat, and also at the side of the passenger seat. Fourth picture: the steering wheel and shift knob match, but they are both aftermarket. The inside of the top seems to have some discoloration. The last picture doesn't show enough detail to say anything one way or the other, but the emblem to the left of the license plate is not original... (In general, pictures don't really show minor flaws and sometimes they also make a car look worse than what it is.)

Please don't get me wrong... This is a very nice car, and could probably be brought up to an exceptional standard with relative easy, but in it's current state, it is not going to win any national shows. I'm sure it would do very well at any local or regional show, and certainly any owner should be proud and not hesitate to display it. I just wanted to illustrate that there is a significant difference between concours cars that truly look like they just came off the showroom floor, and other cars. Hence, the significant difference in price that prompted my comments about never having known or seen concours Spiders in this price range.

Again, I will say that if there are no surprises, meaning the car has no hidden issues and the undercarriage looks good, the price is not unreasonable at all. And as car that is not driven much, even if maintained as claimed, there could be other minor issues, but I would think that this is already accounted for in the asking price. Last, I will also say that Spiders are still priced considerably lower today than they were 3 years ago (before the financial crisis), and I don't think that prices can go anywhere but up from this point on.

Best regards,
I'm basically echoing what the seller has told me. It's his language. That's why I've asked for advice and you have certainly given it to me. I've got more pictures and can send them to you if you provide email address. I was limited to but 5 in the posting. I really appreciate you scrutiny and the time you spent in responding. Many thanks. - John
 

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John,

The BB does have a limit of 5 pictures per post, but one can post an additional 5 pictures in a second post, then 5 more in a third post, etc. Have you seen the car in person?

Best regards,
 

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Could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that high gloss on the cowl duct indicates a respray, or at least someone wanted that part shiny regardless of it being a matte finish from the factory.

The blue thingies at the lower left are wire T-taps where someone spliced something in for whatever reason, and would certainly be worth questioning as to the why~for of thier presence, especially if its been supposedly maintained to a very high level.
Was it doen because something stock failed or an aftermaket whatever was added? Certainly a professional or someone trying to maintain orginality wouldn't use such pieces, nor would they claim show worthy with such an obvious cludge job that that type connector represents. (they are like half a step above twisting wire ends together and wrapping that in duct tape)

Looking at the little ribs visible on the side of the block under the exhaust manifold, it's either a trick of the light, or someone couldn't quite get old leaked oil residue out of there. If the former, no worries, if the latter, one would wonder what, and for how long it leaked.

I'm kinda confused about the "This a Veloce less leather seats and power windows" statement though when it's obviously a Graduate. If it was mearly used for a comparative then one could say it was a Graduate with AC and power mirrors and be just as accurate :shrug:

Curious about the console switches in there though. I see the hazard switch, but can't tell what the other is for. Is it for the fog light, or perhaps defog for the hardtop (which wouldn't be standard on a grad)
 

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I'm betting the switch is for fogs and that would explain the wire taps. Look at the front picture it looks like fog lights screwed on with covers over them does it not?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm betting the switch is for fogs and that would explain the wire taps. Look at the front picture it looks like fog lights screwed on with covers over them does it not?
Those are "driving lights" and I think you're right that's the reason for the taps. I haven't seen the car but will next week. I wanted to be loaded (with info of course) before I inspect it. You all have been great.
 

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I'm not sure of the reluctance.. You obviously are not an impulsive buyer and unless your credit cards are maxed out; your wife is packing up the kids and leaving you and she is the bread winner; your only pair of shoes are shower thongs; .... GET ON WITH IT for crying out loud!
 

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I'm not sure of the reluctance.. You obviously are not an impulsive buyer and unless your credit cards are maxed out; your wife is packing up the kids and leaving you and she is the bread winner; your only pair of shoes are shower thongs; .... GET ON WITH IT for crying out loud!
OKAY, OKAY. Your quote made my day. It's pretty darn accurate. Couldn't stop laughing.
 

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Good ..you made my day...it is my birthday you know.. Most times i would have pissed off someone with that diatribe but at least you have a sense of hummer.. It reminds me of Cher's line in Moon Struck...(slap to the face) Snap out of it!
 

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Ah, OK, I didn't see those fog/driving lights due to my monitor settings, but the wiring clips are still a way cob~job way of doing it.

Even with the things discussed, it does look like a pretty good car overall, and if the body is as true as the pics indicate and the gearbox isn't just sawdust and metal flakes or something else equally horrific, then you'll likely be doing well as the bit extra spent will be saved by what you don't spend fixing such things on your own dime.
EG: decent prep and paint alone can set you back 3~5 grand.

And it IS black, so it'll be faster right out of the box besides!

BTW, when you hear it run it is quite normal for the valve train to clatter somewhat at idle, or at least more than you'd possibly expect if conditioned to more modern cars.
Kind of a smooth but clicky sewing machine rythmic sound. If it sounds like a bag of bolts in a tin can rolling down a hill, there might be issues :) (there's vids on youtube with good soundbites of engines idling if you wanna mabe get an idea)

If the L-jet system is in good order, the engine should fire right off in like half a second of turning the key, though depending on condition of the auxillary air valve, air temperature, thermal time switch and a couple other variables, it can take up to say, 3~5 seconds to get going. Much more than that and something is possibly out of tune, not working right, (old cap/rotor/wires/plugs can contribute for example) or there's 'possible' engine issues that may need investigation.

'Possible' because there's actually a lot of other things that it could be too.
Suffice to say that it shoud be really easy starting I guess.

Oh, and if/when you go see it and take it for a drive, make sure the AC works (prolly does) also the heater (sometimes not so much in warm areas where it gets little to no use) and especially its blower fan. (AC fan and heater fan are seperate on seperate switches and part of seperate systems, don't let anyone sucker you into believing that if you hear a fan turning it'll push warm or cold air, 'cause it won't)

AC can be a bit tedious, but as long as the pump spins and all the parts are there it can generally be restgored to working.
A stuck heater fan can sometimes be real simple (spin it by hand once) or evil (take half the interior apart to get at it) and a clogged heater core can also be simple (backflush) or evil (take half the interior apart to replace a leaker).
So, if the core or fan is bad and you end up in there anyway, the best thing to do would be replace both while it's apart. Not overly expensive in the grander scheme of things, but only having to get in there once is priceless.
None of that should be a dealbreaker I'd think, unless it's obvious you're being lied to in regard to such things.


@divotandtralee:
Happy one year closer to death :D
 

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Good ..you made my day...it is my birthday you know.. Most times i would have pissed off someone with that diatribe but at least you have a sense of hummer.. It reminds me of Cher's line in Moon Struck...(slap to the face) Snap out of it!
Happy B'day. Loved that movie and they didn't use one "blue screen" to make it. I'll follow up next wek on how things went.
 

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