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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am thinking of buying a series 2 Alfa Romeo spider (1971-1974) since I like the euro bumpers more. I have searched around on the web and local listings and I found out that you can buy a Decent/VG condition alfa spider series 2 for around 10k. So my question is, if I buy a series 2 spider in a VG condition to just take it for a spin once or twice a week and do not do any spending on the exterior or interior (rims, new paint, etc.), how expensive it is to maintain this car mechanically to just drive and enjoy it?
I will greatly appreciate your help.

-Araz
 

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Welcome.

You're doing this backwards. Most everybody falls in love with the car first then later finds out what it costs to be owned by one.

A well-sorted Alfa would not need more maintenance than any other car. But they will suffer from deferred maintenance. Fluid changes (engine/transmission/differential & coolant) on a regular basis are needed. And like a good mistress - regular attention keeps them happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for replying gnhl.
I agree with you, but I need to know at least what type of costs will wait for me if I get the car I like to see if I will be able to afford it or I should be sad by letting it go later haha. So from what you told me I understood that they are affordable to maintain mechanically. I have heard their engines are well made and pretty sturdy unlike some other classic cars from 70's (Golf, Mini,...they give a lot of problems).
 

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I couldn't really answer directly - I have a Series 3 Spider - Bosch EFI. It has been very reliable. I bought it as a near basket-case so I rebuilt the engine, new brakes, new clutch and have have basically been driving it with little more than scheduled maintenance for the past 10 years.

I will take the liberty of moving this thread to the Spider section. More 'traffic' there and that should help get more replies.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I see, well the series 2 that go for 10k are also equipped with a rebuilt engine, new brakes and some other new things. So I guess it should be reliable, thanks for answering though, I will take the thread to the spider forum.
 

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They aren't any more expensive to maintain than any average car.

But that assumes your 10k specimen has recent suspension bushings, water pump, fuel pump, shocks, hard and soft fuel lines, etc. All that stuff is 40 years old and it doesn't last forever.

Engine rebuilds are expensive. It's probably cheaper to buy a used engine.

Every part you need is readily available on line.

Rust is the killer of these cars. Don't buy a rusty one. You'll have a nice selection in Cali. Rusted rocker panels is a killer in these cars. They are structural and are three layers thick. By the time you see rust on the surface the insides are toast.

I've had two SPICA cars. Both have been very reliable once all that worn out stuff has been replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Boccaccia, thanks for all the info.
I like this car but I don't have much info about them.

Last week there was a rust free 1974 with rebuilt engine and new brakes and stuff for 10k but it got sold, so I assume that is the average price for a decent one, is that right? (not talking about the ones that are in original condition and go for 15k+, I saw one for 19k)

It is good to know what to look for when buying one, your info helped definitely, I gotta research more about that.

But I am glad to hear that after replacing those worn out stuff they are reliable. That's not the case with some other classic cars in the same class.
 

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Like most things, it depends on CONDITION CONDITION CONDITION. If your car was owned by someone who did all the things which an Alfa spider needs during the course of it's years, then you will not have too much to do when you assume ownership. But if the previous owner(s) defered mainenance as Eric mentions, then you will end up being the guy who has to play (and pay) catch up. On an Alfa that old, or just about any Alfa since even the youngest is now in the 25 year old age bracket, you can expect to have to replace most of the rubber components which have not already been replaced. Rubber generally has about a 20 year life expectency before it degrades due to exposutre to the oxygen in the air and ultraviolet degradation. The life expectancy of mechanical parts is more dependent on actuel milage. Most 20 to 30 year old cars will be needing a repaint unless this has already been done recently. So as I say, it is condition and regular maintence done or ignored which would answer your question.

My best advice is to have the prospective Alfa evaluated by an experienced Alfa mechanic or owner/maintainer. And the vast majority of Alfa owners are self maintainers. There are far too few qualified Alfa mechanice and they are too far flung to be able to depend on finding one close by.

Best wishes and good luck. If you buy one, join the BB and keep us all informed.
 

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Don't kid yourself that a 40 year old car will be maintenance free. For uninvolved ownership you will be better to spend your $10K on a Miata. That's most likely to get you a car where you just get in, turn the key, and drive away. Every time, every day, all year. You must budget some time and money for an Alfa. Even a well maintained 71-74 Spider is going to need something within a year or so simply because of normal wear and maintenance cycles. Alfas are indeed reliable in that things that you have repaired tend to stay repaired, unlike Brit cars, and they don't usually hold any deeply hidden nasty surprises unlike (Cough -Porsche Boxster ) some cars. However, they are not impervious to the laws of age and wear.

Go into the affair with you eyes wide open - you're not buying a vehicle, you're buying a hobby.
 

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Go into the affair with you eyes wide open - you're not buying a vehicle, you're buying a hobby.
Exactly.

Don´t forget that doing maintenance and little improvements on your Alfa are really part of the fun of owning one.

If you look around on this board you will find that some people buy a second (or third) Alfa once their first one is in perfect condition just to keep on doing just that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The condition and how it was maintained before it will be sold to me definitely play the most important role. I know that a 40 year old car won't be maintenance free, no any other car is. I just wanted to know how reliable they are (depends on the condition as discussed) and if something breaks how expensive it is to repair it. How expensive the parts are generally?
By the way, I don't like miatas, they are not comparable to alfa, and the alfa I am looking for is going to be a Sunday car/hobby and not my daily driver.
Lokki, I defintely agree with you, buying a classic car is like buying a hobby. I love cars and I am a mechanical engineer, the main reason I went into that major is because of cars and I would like to get my hands on my classic car so spending time on the alfa will be a labor of love. However, I have never worked on one but I guess that is not going to be problem if I spend some time on it.
 

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I love cars and I am a mechanical engineer, the main reason I went into that major is because of cars and I would like to get my hands on my classic car so spending time on the alfa will be a labor of love. However, I have never worked on one but I guess that is not going to be problem if I spend some time on it.
If you are a mechanical engineer and love cars, you will do well as an Alfa owner. I cannot think of any better qualifiers for a prospective Alfa owner/maintainer.

And you have already discovered this BB. THAT is the greatest assistance you will ever find for owning an Alfa.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, Yeah I can't wait. I am looking for a 1971-1974 red one. Hopefully I will be able to find a decent one.
And yes I am glad I found this BB, it is very helpful.
 

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Nothing like promoting red as the "only" color for an Alfa spider to start a post war on the Alfa BB!!!
 

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A series 2 for 10k is most likely going to need some work. "Rebuilt" engine doesn't necessarily mean anything unless you see a bunch of documentation on what was done and how it was done. "New brakes" probably means pads. Again, doesn't mean much.

Aside from that the cost of ownership is no different than any other used car - depends on what breaks while you own it.
 
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