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Hi, long time lurker (i like looking at the pretty GTVs!) anyways i have posted a few random questions in the past but I think I'm starting to realize that although I really want a Alfa ASAP, I'm being a dick about it and hurrying the process. Is this possible? I feel as though i probably don't yet have all the mechanical skills necessary to keep a Alfa in tip top shape, and although i know i love Alfa's i still have no idea which one is best for my potential budget. Realistically I've heard i need to save at least 5 grand if i want to do it right. I am always tempted by all the cheap Alfas floating around, but i suppose i'd rather wait and have a good experience with Alfas then force myself to get something in hopes that it will satisfy my quest for a super soulful car.

Anyways is this a good way of doing it? So far all the cars I've bought in a hurry have ended in tears (I'm 20 years old, so somewhat impulsive i suppose), and i don't want to do that with Alfas. So should just accept the fact it will probably be a few years until i get a Alfa?

Thanks!
 

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Buying an Alfa is the same as buying any other car, if you buy one in poor condition it is going to be troublesome but if you buy one in good condition you won't have any dramas. Get the car serviced when scheduled, you can do it youself or get a (good) mechanic to do it for you. Even if you just change the oil and filters over yourself and get a mechanic to do the actual "tune up" is perfectly adequate. Don't buy one and then be tight when it comes to maintenance. All the unreliable Alfa's I have ever seen have been soley because of the owner, not the car. There may be a few lemons out there but every make has them. Of coarse you would need to choose an Alfa that is suitable for everyday driving if that is what it would be used for.

Your biggest challenge as you have stated is waiting for the right one, that is essential unless you have enough money to rebuild.
 

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I would also suggest having someone check it out for you BEFORE you buy it. I don't know how many times I have had customers bring me a car and have it checked out after they have already bought it. Pretty stupid in my opinion. I had a lady bring an '03 Volvo S60 that had body filler on just about every panel including the roof. She was shocked because she bought from a neighbor of hers. It turns out that one of the kids wrecked it and the father just paid for it to be repaired instead of doing it through insurance. When the lady went back to them they said she never asked if it had been wrecked. Too bad so sad!

Paul
 

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It really depends on what you are looking for from your buy. Will it be a daily driver? That requires more of a commitment and you want a car in good condition. If its a weekend car, you can take more risks, and buy more with your heart. If you really want one, go for it! Obviously, we are a little biased here! Welcome to the crazy house!!!
 

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Ottobon - I think that you are doing the right thing! Take your time - learn the car, the different model years and what each has to offer. If you are looking for a daily driver - be prepared to spend more than if you were buying a car that you could work on over time if not your primary source of transportation. This BB is a tremendous and valuable resource and you will find a ton of info from some very talented individuals to help you along.

How will you know? Everyone is different - I knew what I wanted and was lucky enough to find a beautiful un-molestered Quad with just over 16,000 miles on it. When I looked at it the lightbulb went off and it was love at the 1st sound of the exhaust note. No need to be in a rush to get one right away. For me, much of the fun came in the form of researching and hunting down the car I wanted.

Parts are hardly a problem - just make sure you know a mechanic in your area who is familiar with these cars. I've heard lots of horror stories about others who took their cars to non-Alfa mechanics and things got messed up pretty bad.

One friend of mine who has since learned his lesson, received a bill from his mechanic to change out his alternator on his "Alpha Romiero". He has found a knowledgeable guy since.

Good advice from Paul (gt601) If not familiar with Alfas yourself, bring along someone with you who is.

Good luck!
 

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How will you know when you're ready for an Alfa . Have you even woken up at night looking like this?
 

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How will I know when I'm ready for an Alfa?
If you have to ask, then you're not ready.

Or you're ready for several. That's the case for most people on this BB. They aren't sure, either, so they buy a half dozen Alfas to find out.

Me? I was sure, so I only bought one. But as time goes by, I'm becoming less sure.... :eek:

"Always Looking For Another"
 

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I am a bad boy! I say GO FOR IT!!! At your age, you can buy a cheap Alfa (any model you can find) and learn all about it. Then, eventually more will find you.

In the end, the only regrets you will really have will be the things that you should have done...but let them pass you by!
 

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I was about your age when I got my first Alfa.....actually my first car, not counting the POS that I bought in a bar for a beer and lasted three weeks:p
Never looked back. They can just have their quirks, but will put a smile on your face everytime you start 'em
 

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Wow, those responses were all hilarious. After all my laughing, my wife things I'm (more) insane now. :D

Well, I had wanted an Alfa for years before I took the plunge and bought one. I'm now wondering why I waited so long, and wishing I had acted sooner. However, waiting did put me in a position to be able to NOT daily drive it, and to afford all the maintenance. Those two aspects of my experience may be really contributing to my enjoyment of the car.

YMMV.
 

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I agree with the Other Posts!

I you are looking for a daily driver with minimal mechanical or cosmetic problems, you should spend your time doing a lot of research, especially if you are looking for a GTV. These cars in decent shape are getting increasing more expensive as time goes by.

If you are just looking to own an Alfa and are willing to learn and work on it for a while (serveral years!) then you can purchase an Alfa on a whim. But be prepared to use this BB on a regular basis to get it into decent running shape! The BB members will be more than willing to help you along the way. But it will be a spirtual and physical journey.

So the choice is yours. Only you know your heart as to what you want. Find that out first and you will be satisfied. Don't listen, and you will rue the day you bought an Alfa.

Good luck in your search!
 

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Do you have a particular model in mind? This way the experts, pundants and hacks (me among them) can maybe give you pointers for that model and share our experience.
 

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Anybody lurking arround here is plenty ready for an alfa.
Don't even think about it. Buy one now!!!
The only regret you're gonna have is that you didn't do it sooner. Buy something you can afford, let say half of what you got saved (plus the second half which is what you can beg, borrow, cheat or ste... :). Keep the third half you got saved as you'll want to dump it back in real quick.

Drive it as much as you can (or as much as it will let you). But just keep within the 100 mile range so that your new AAA card will enable you a free tow home when it breaks down :D.

IMHO i'd recommend getting your hands on one of the older models (lol, as if they have newer ones here in the us, pre-1980 to be more specific) as they are very easy to work on. My first alfa, at the age of 20, set me back just about every penny i had. It ran and looked very ok - beauty's in the eye of the beholder afterall.
Don't ask me how many hours i spent working on it, or the money involved, how many times it decided to give a little attitude and not want to behave or justed stopped entirely:mad:, or wouldn't stop running:) (with the key in the ignition and all the doors locked), that little beauty still puts a smile on my face when i think back over some of the times we shared together.

Buy one now and it will become the perfect one later.
 

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I would test drive a few, you will know right away. I found mine in a local paper, had heard of the name Alfa Romeo, and knew it was some kind of Italian sports car, called the guy and went to check it out the next day. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it. It didn't run, and I ended up stripping it out, soon to be rebuilt. :) I say it sounds like you've done your research, now go and seriously look at cars in your price range, find out what you like, by then you will know...
 

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im kinda in the same boat as this guy except im only 17 and i live in australia. I don't really know anything about mechanics but i can do the simple things with my dad. i was thinking a 75 would be appropriate though ive never actually seen one in the flesh but it seems an appropriate car in my price range. Are the costs of running this car really gunna be much worse than any car of that vintage?
 

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Both of my Alfas have been under $2000, just as three out of dour of my BMWs have been under $1500, and they are still good cars. You just need to know what to look for, and don't buy the car emotionally before you really consider all of the good and bad points rationally.

I'm 21 and I have lots of wrench time, but I don't consider myself to be a master of any sort... there are still lots of jobs on my cars that I have not done, but I'm not scared of them. I really don't think you can be too young, just don't be stupid while shopping for one.

And just for the record, my Milano (75) was my longest owned car so far. About 3 years, compared to a little over 2 years owning my first Euro 635CSi, and a year and a half owning my 533i. It was very reliable and I definitely learned a lot by having to work on it.
 

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Do you want a project, or a well-maintained driver? If you're into working on stuff at all, don't be afraid of a "fixer upper".......but know what you're willing to get into and be realistic about your abilities and finances. Fixing one up and learning its systems will cost you money now, buying a nice one that you don't know how to work on (and thus have to pay to have an Alfa shop work on) will cost you for the life of the car. The most cost-effective route probably is paying a higher price up-front for a well-sorted machine, and doing the maintenance yourself.....but fixing up a not-so-great car is so much more fun. :)

Do you have another car as your daily driver? A few months ago I bought my Spider as a pure "fun"/project car, and can afford to leave it in pieces in the garage for weeks at a time. This allowed me to buy something on-the-cheap (relatively) and fix it up as I had time, which allows me to enjoy the car a lot more. I suppose an Alfa would be a cool daily driver, but I think you'll enjoy it more if you can pick and choose when you drive it, and have the luxury of pampering it and taking your time diagnosing/fixing things when they go wrong....or just fixing the car up the way you want it. Also, you tend to get a lot braver about tearing into the car when you know you won't need it to get to work the next day........

Make sure you check out any potential buy really well. Bodywork is $$$, and rust repair is MAJOR $$$. Mechanical stuff can be pricey, but usually not as bad as those two, and definitely less trouble. Mostly just a matter of diagnosis, sourcing and replacing parts, and turning wrenches.
 

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I bought my first GTV6 at 17 and it was my daily driver. I paid around $2500 for it. The paint was shot and it was a rusty east coast car. Mechanically it was in great shape and only left me stranded once. Over the corse of 3 years I think I dropped another $3k into it for maintenance and repairs. It was a great car and I wished I had taken better care of it. I didnt have the money to get all of the rust repaired and in the end, it eventually killed the car. Buy a cheap gtv6 or milano and work on it yourself. The cars arent exactly rare, so if you crash it or blow the motor you can always find another. Find a good mechanic in your area and get to know him well. Have fun with it, and dont baby it. Drive it like you stole it and it will treat you right.
 
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