Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It seems you need to be either:
- a panel beater
- a mechanic
- a welder/boiler or tool maker/engineer
- rich

Is it realistic for an average wage earner to contemplate owning a 1960's - 1970's Alfa Romeo as a daily drive?.. or perhaps weekender?

The only vehicle maintenance I've ever carried out is filling the petrol tank. Having said that, I don't mind getting my hands dirty if required - With my budget I'm guessing I'll need plenty of soap!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Find yourself a good solid example, that might need mechincal work & take someone who knows them along to inspect any candidates. Took me 12 months & £7500 to find mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
788 Posts
Hiya "Gee" - clearly you are a sensible person if you are after a 105 coupe.

Short answer to your question: YES! You can have a 105 daily driver. I actually used my 1972 GTV for work, out and about all day. I barely spent a cent on it over two years, and I got back what I paid for it when I sold it.

My GTJ is another story but I bought badly, so I have seen both sides of the coin.

I would look for a car with a good body that if it needs any work it's mechanical - body work of any magnitude will cost you more time and/or $$$ than you want to pay for a daily driver. Be serious with yourself about what you want - if this is a relatively short-term proposition you can live with the knowledge that hidden from sight your sills are slowly dissolving...

You will also be surprised what you can do yourself with basic skills and some guidance - with help I have rebuilt my car's motor completely and I am now restoring the undercarriage.

Also remember this about these cars - unless they have been seriously messed with very recently, they have had 40 years to get sorted. Minor wear and tear like bulbs (and those **** fragile toggle switches!) will keep you happily occupied on the occasional weekend (married? perfect:D), and every now and again you will have a bigger bill for suspension bushes or oil seals or something. But your car will not depreciate and so the cost equation isn't so bad.

If you really want to minimise risk, and can afford it, buy from a specialist (like Cileberti or Autodelta here in WA) who will sell you a well-sorted car and help you maintain it well.

And you will forget it all as you are belting around town with a grin plastered across your face.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
It seems you need to be either:
- a panel beater
- a mechanic
- a welder/boiler or tool maker/engineer
- rich
I too am none of the above. Though I'm happy to attempt basic maintenance / repair which requires time more than skill. My view is that it is easy to get a distorted view of GT ownership from the BB. There are many lengthy and impressive restorations from experienced and committed owners / restorers and some beautiful cars on here. And they get arguably disproportionate coverage in the same way that the best of anything does.

But there's an awful lot of us (probably a great deal more) running average cars on average budgets. And there should be no embarrassment about that. Yes, I know my car isn't the best out there, but its perfectly OK and delivers me great pleasure.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
883 Posts
I too am none of the above. Though I'm happy to attempt basic maintenance / repair which requires time more than skill. My view is that it is easy to get a distorted view of GT ownership from the BB. There are many lengthy and impressive restorations from experienced and committed owners / restorers and some beautiful cars on here. And they get arguably disproportionate coverage in the same way that the best of anything does.

But there's an awful lot of us (probably a great deal more) running average cars on average budgets. And there should be no embarrassment about that. Yes, I know my car isn't the best out there, but its perfectly OK and delivers me great pleasure.
Very well said. I'll second that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Ideally, I'll be buying for the long haul - Something I can hand down to my son in 18yrs time ;)

Therefore, sounds like a healthy body should be my priority - Makes sense!
I have a reasonable idea thanks to this BB on where & what to look for in this regard but what I'm yet to grasp is exactly how to check 'the sills'.
Is this something I can inspect myself or do I need a professional?

I like the idea of buying a car that's already well sorted with confidence - I'm in Melbourne but I will investigate your suggestions cucinando - Thanks!

The 105 coupes are such beautiful looking cars [hope they are to drive as well!!]. I wonder if there are many others out there in the same position as I am that would love to own one, but are a little apprehensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
I too am none of the above. Though I'm happy to attempt basic maintenance / repair which requires time more than skill. My view is that it is easy to get a distorted view of GT ownership from the BB. There are many lengthy and impressive restorations from experienced and committed owners / restorers and some beautiful cars on here. And they get arguably disproportionate coverage in the same way that the best of anything does.

But there's an awful lot of us (probably a great deal more) running average cars on average budgets. And there should be no embarrassment about that. Yes, I know my car isn't the best out there, but its perfectly OK and delivers me great pleasure.
thirded...well said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Ideally, I'll be buying for the long haul - Something I can hand down to my son in 18yrs time ;)

Therefore, sounds like a healthy body should be my priority - Makes sense!
I have a reasonable idea thanks to this BB on where & what to look for in this regard but what I'm yet to grasp is exactly how to check 'the sills'.
Is this something I can inspect myself or do I need a professional?

I like the idea of buying a car that's already well sorted with confidence - I'm in Melbourne but I will investigate your suggestions cucinando - Thanks!

The 105 coupes are such beautiful looking cars [hope they are to drive as well!!]. I wonder if there are many others out there in the same position as I am that would love to own one, but are a little apprehensive.
you are absolutely spot on about healthy body !
Owning and driving an old car requires some commitment but your life does not have to revolve around it.
There are many people that are not pertrolheads but enjoy use and ownership of a car such as you lust for.

Being in Melbourne, I would suggest you join AROCA, it can be a great resource for you. There are many owners of Giulia coupes happy to share and help. Many good cars never get advertised but change hands within the club.

There is an additional benefit that you will be able to register your car under a club or historic registration scheme which allows quite generous use of an old car for a fraction of the usual registration cost.

In Melbourne we also have number of workshops run by genuine enthusiasts of the Marque and Giulia Coupe in particular. Again through the Club you can figure out which one would be most suitable for you.

In general terms, more you spend more likely you are to get a well sorted car not needing anything but a regular maintenance.

BTW, i am in Melborune and have way to many 105 coupes for it to be a "healthy" obsessions. Feel free to contact me if you want a chinwag about all things 105.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Branko!

I actually am already a member of the AROCA - Albeit not active due to various other commitments. I've owned an 83 GTV6 for the last 13 odd years and it's been really kind to me! I guess I wonder if I'll be that lucky again should I take the plunge & add a 105 to the garage!

There are so many cases of botched DIY Alfa repairs, modifications & homemade patch up jobs - It's frightening!

I really should make an effort to attend more AROCA functions. Probably a better chance of finding a sorted car for a reasonable price OR at least learning the truths about the vehicle which is vital!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
I have enjoyed reading the thread. I too am in the process of restoring a 1969 1750 GTV (Euro model). My goal is not to build a show car but one that is clean, solid and one that I would enjoy driving everyday. The body shops that I have interviewed quoted prices from the low end of $8000 to a high end of $15,000. That is with me supplying all the new body panels. The car was bought without a drive train but I was able to find a good running 2litre engine from a Alfa specialist and transmission. However I would need to rebuild all the suspension, brakes as the car has been off the road since 1981. My budget for this restoration is around $25,000.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,775 Posts
....I too am in the process of restoring a 1969 1750 GTV (Euro model). My goal is not to build a show car but one that is clean, solid and one that I would enjoy driving everyday. The body shops that I have interviewed quoted prices from the low end of $8000 to a high end of $15,000. .... However I would need to rebuild all the suspension, brakes as the car has been off the road since 1981. My budget for this restoration is around $25,000.
I have been following this thread with mixed feelings: While I don't want to discourage anyone from diving into Alfa ownership, I also don't want to "sugarcoat" the expense & time committment of classic car ownership. A few thoughts:

- Owning and maintaining vintage cars is an expensive hobby. Sorry, it just is. Whether you collect MG's, BMW's, or Alfas, you are going to need to shell out money when you first buy the car, and continue spending to keep it on the road.

- Building a show car certainly costs more than building a driver. So yes, you can save some money if winning trophies isn't important. But that doesn't mean that it's cheap to restore an Alfa to driver quality - it just means that it's exhorbitant to build one to show quality!

- Restoring a rough car will generally cost more than buying one in good, driving condition. A $25,000 budget for a full restoration (e.g., one involving professional body & paint) is tight. Those body shop estimates - $8K to $15K - don't seem unreasonable. However, I am puzzled why the numbers vary so much - have you gotten more than two quotes? Did the shops do a hands-on inspection of your car, or just throw out a number based on a description of what is sitting in your garage back home? If the latter, that $8,000 estimate could well turn into $15,00 (or more!) once the guy sees the car.

- In addition to body & paint, upholstery and replacement parts are the other components of a restoration budget. No one believes how much more it costs to build an Alfa part-by-part when you are buying every bushing and gasket new. Go through the Centerline or IAP catalog and tally up the price of every part that's worn or cracked on your car - prepare to be amazed. Add in the cost of new tires, battery, fluids, alignment, .... Sure, none of these are significant individually, but collectively they add up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
The $8000 figure is from a bodyman who works in a small garage behind his house and so his overhead is low. The $15,000 number is from another bodyman who works in a bigger shop. Mind you that is labor only and on top of that there is about $1500 of sheet metal that I have to buy.

Mechanically, I do not have to rebuild the engine or transmission because I bought the drivetrain from an Alfa specialist who will be involved in getting everything together once the body has been roughed in, that is all the rust has been cut out , new sheet metal has been welded in , primered but short of painting.

I do understand that going over budget is a possibility but spread over 3-4 years, even if I am out by $5000-7000 it is not going to be a big deal. Will I ever get my money back, probably not. But then for me, it is a car that i have always wanted since I was a kid 40 years ago and so for me it is more a labor of love. This car has been sitting for the last 20 years waiting for someone to come along, crazy enough to sink money to get it running. At the very least, it saves it from being parted out and sent to the crusher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
96 Posts
It's been said before but buy the nicest example you can afford (body, interior, and trim intact) and don't defer maintenance. My Stepnose was my daily driver for 2 and 1/2 years. In that time, it only failed me twice (once electrical and the other brakes). Because of the frequency of use, seals, exhaust leaks, and gas fumes were at the top of my list. The hardest part of fixing these is the time to track down the source, this is something that nearly anyone can spend time tracking down.

Like you, I wasn't the one turning the wrench when something went wrong. When something major needed attention (complete rebuild of the braking system) the cost can hurt. What I try to remember, the car hasn't lost value, the relative cost of ownership is "okay" and the shape of the car never gets old.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,775 Posts
The $8000 figure is from a bodyman who works in a small garage behind his house and so his overhead is low.....Mind you that is labor only and on top of that there is about $1500 of sheet metal that I have to buy.
Be sure to price primer, paint, hardener, and solvent before calling your budget done. The price of automotive paint is simply astounding.

The rest of what you wrote makes perfect sense. I'm certainly not trying to talk you out of owning and restoring an Alfa. Just want to be sure you go into it with realistic expectations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,119 Posts
u r right the costs if u r not 1 or 2 of the list are high but on the positive side u learn new trades.

u forgot also

owning a garage
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
797 Posts
Yes, paint is going to cost you a minimum of $2000. Then there's any body work that's needed and it usually is:).
All those bump, dent and abrasions that happen over the years can add up in the scheme of things and then of course the government has to get their share in taxing your financial pain:mad:.
If you love the marque, then go for it.
These GTV's are great cars and Bertone's highest achievement IMO:cool:.
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,632 Posts
I paint my cars myself and use the Omni PPG brand which is a very good upper mid grade paint and not super expensive, about a 125 bucks a gallon which will do two cars. If this is a car you have wanted for 40 years it should be a daily dirver for your enjoyment so all an $8k paint job is going to to is freak you out every time you see a road chip or normal wear all the while having your blood pressure spike each time you approach your car after you've parked it in a public place. just my 02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I guess if I do decide to go ahead I'll need to work out exactly what the application will be - Sunday driver, daily driver, a little track work maybe,..... all the above?

I could probably get away with a 'good from far but far from good' example for sunny weekends. However, the emphasis for commuting would be more related to mechanical order rather than aesthetics.

But I want it all :(
Realistically for my budget, I would prefer to own an honest & in tact original example that I can drive immediately & work on slowly if/when required.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
In my small town, I can get good work done quite affordably and so can get my body and paint done for about $7000-8000 with me supplying another $1500 worth of body parts. My mechanicals will be done a really good mechanic who was a mechanic at the recent Goodwood festival in UK taking care of a Formula Ford. He was flown from Canada to UK by the owner. I just have to give him a workshop manual . It is car that I want to enjoy driving and owning.
 

·
Premium Member
71 Berlina 74 GTV 17 Giulia Q4
Joined
·
6,632 Posts
add money and stir:)
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top