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I am thinking of buying a 1979 Alfa Romeo Spider. It has 100k miles. Is there anything that I should know about this car? Any problems with this year or model? Or anything I should inspect on it before I buy it?

Also, I used to have a 1979 Fiat Spider and I was wondering how it might compare to that...

Thanks!
Jacob
 

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Hi, welcome to the BB.

Does the '79 have SPICA? It is a great system but not well known by those outside of Alfa-land. When it is set up right it runs great. But it is not a system for the unlearned to 'fiddle' with. The parts are made with extremely close tolerances and can be expensively ruined if mistreated.

General Alfa buying advice is to look carefully for rust. The inner sills, rockers & floorpans make the main structural strength of the uni-body. If you see rust double or triple it (or more) to estimate what there is. It's all fixable but can be expensive so a 'cheap' car can end up costing more than one that is in better condition.

Mechanicals are quite sturdy if given regular maintenance. Your best buy is a car that gets driven regularly and gets regular service. Be wary of very low milage cars - they don't like to sit unused (and stuff deteriorates with time so you should plan on replacing hoses & rubber bushes etc unless the seller has proof they were done recently).

I suggest you contact a local Alfa club. You can get some help from knowledgeable members to check out the car. And they are likely to know where the good ones are that might be for sale. (Some Alfa owners actually do sell a car from time to time. Usually to purchase their next one. Alfa stands for Always Looking For Another...)
 

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Here's a couple of threads for starters. Body/paint condition is very very important. Rust is a major issue. Typical rust areas are spare tire well in the trunk, rocker panels, underneath the carpets/mats, and quarter panels. Convertible top condition is important.

Do a search on the BB. There are probably 20-25 other threads on what to look for when shopping for your first Alfa. Take your time and look for the right car. A "cheap" deal could turn out MUCH more costly than spending a few thousand more and getting something in much better condition.


http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/anything-about-alfa-romeos-alfabb-com/2133-advice-new-owners.html

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/carburetors-fuel-injection/5825-pre-purchase-inspection-spica-injected-alfa.html
 
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