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Discussion Starter #1
Fellas -

I'm active duty US Army, currently stationed in Seoul, SK. Moving to Italy (Naples) at the end of June. We're taking the wife's car over - 2013 Infiniti SUV - so we'll have something reliable for road trips. Wife is ok with me buying an older Italian car for commuting, wrenching, etc. Would like to buy something 25 years old or older so I can bring it back to the states after my tour.

My budget is $30k US, but wouldn't like to spend that much. Will have funds to sink into a car, if necessary. Won't have to take out a loan if I blow up an engine.

Plan to live in a gated parco (subdivision) with a garage. Have an extensive collection of tools, and can do just about any mechanical job, including rebuilding engines, transmissions, etc.

Here's what I'm interested in -

-Alfa GTV 1750/2000 (late 60's early 70's). Looks like I can get a pretty nice one for about $20k US. No shortage of these on subito.it

-Fiat Dino Coupe 2000/2400. About $25k for a nice coupe; the Spiders are way out of reach.

-Sunbeam Tiger. Pretty rare in Europe, but may be able to find one in my price range. Could also buy an Alpine and drop in a SBF, but that's a fair amount of work. Far from a bolt-in.

-Ferrari/Dino 308 GT4. Price starting to climb, but can still be found for around $30k.

-Alfa Montreal - Out of my price range unless I buy a complete beater.

-Lamborghini Urraco - Rare, but could possibly find one in my price range. Probably a dumb move - likely unreliable, tough to find parts for.

-Maserati Merak - Would be another dumb move but may be able to find one in my price range.

-Lancia Delta Integrale HF - Will probably end up with one of these if I decide to buy a later model car.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Scott
 

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Your sentence below kills all the exotics. Any Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini will cost you deeply over $10K if you have any engine mishaps. Besides, to look after any of these, I have a feeling it will be harder in Italy than it would be in the US to find a professional mechanic who will not assume you are a billionaire. Exotic/vintage cars are more of a status symbol in Europe than they are on this side of the ocean. If you disregard this, go for the Ferrari. Reason: about 50 308s to 1 Urraco made, parts availability for Lambos is much worse than for the prancing horse. Maserati barely better.

A Montreal in your price range would now be a miracle. And it's almost in the exotic range for maintenance. Fiat Dino no better. Parts availability for the engine is OK; the rest of the car is pretty much unobtainium.

Tiger; I wonder if there are any in Italy! Large displacements were and are heavily taxed... Anywhere, a real, clean one is double your budget. A swapped Alpine would be illegal in many European countries.

Remains the GTV, a rising value - buy the cleanest one you can find. Or the Delta integrale, also rising.

May I suggest finding a real clean GTV6 or 75 3.0 (Milano)? They are getting scarcer... should fit your budget easily...

Also bear in mind the price of gas in Italy... $1.75/liter = $7/US gallon

Fiat cinquecento?:grin2:







Fellas -

...My budget is $30k US, but wouldn't like to spend that much. Will have funds to sink into a car, if necessary. Won't have to take out a loan if I blow up an engine. ...
Scott
 

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Good luck with Naples. It's chaos in random motion. Traffic is legendary. They drive on the sidewalks. Traffic lights are advisory only. Watch out for thieves.

I would not drive a nice car around there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your sentence below kills all the exotics. Any Ferrari/Maserati/Lamborghini will cost you deeply over $10K if you have any engine mishaps. Besides, to look after any of these, I have a feeling it will be harder in Italy than it would be in the US to find a professional mechanic who will not assume you are a billionaire. Exotic/vintage cars are more of a status symbol in Europe than they are on this side of the ocean. If you disregard this, go for the Ferrari. Reason: about 50 308s to 1 Urraco made, parts availability for Lambos is much worse than for the prancing horse. Maserati barely better.

A Montreal in your price range would now be a miracle. And it's almost in the exotic range for maintenance. Fiat Dino no better. Parts availability for the engine is OK; the rest of the car is pretty much unobtainium.

Tiger; I wonder if there are any in Italy! Large displacements were and are heavily taxed... Anywhere, a real, clean one is double your budget. A swapped Alpine would be illegal in many European countries.

Remains the GTV, a rising value - buy the cleanest one you can find. Or the Delta integrale, also rising.

May I suggest finding a real clean GTV6 or 75 3.0 (Milano)? They are getting scarcer... should fit your budget easily...

Also bear in mind the price of gas in Italy... $1.75/liter = $7/US gallon

Fiat cinquecento?:grin2:
Ok, maybe I'm a glutton for punishment. In graduate school (New Orleans, late 1990's) I drove midyear Corvettes. Not terribly practical with no A/C, one had a modified 427 with solid roller cam, 4 sp, 4.11 gears, loud side exhaust, etc.

As for mechanics, I really don't see anyone else working on my vintage car. As stated in my original post, I'm quite capable of doing all of my own work, including complete engine and transmission rebuilds. I have an extensive collection of tools; would just need to find a capable machine shop if I tackled an engine rebuild.

As for the Urraco's, Merak's, etc., I certainly don't think it would be a wise decision to buy one, but I've never been accused of being practical. In a perfect world, I would have a Delta Integrale HF for daily transportation and a Merak or Urraco to wrench on. Probably not an option unless I sell my GTO convertible or Fairlane GT convertible.

The 308 GT4 is a viable option. Prices are starting to rise, but they can still be found in my price range.

I guess my biggest concern with an Urraco, 308 GT4, Merak, Dino Coupe, etc, is availability of sheetmetal in the event of an accident. I think you would almost have to buy a parts car/shell if that happened, wouldn't you? Can't imagine it's easy to find a quarter panel, fender, hood, etc., for one of these.

I found one Tiger in Italy. I think the asking price is about double what it's worth. [For Sale] sunbeam tiger 1965 - FerrariChat.com These are much more common in the US. Can still find a decent driver condition car in the upper 20's/low 30's, but values are rising on these, too.

Not a big fan of the GTV6 or 75's. Nice cars, just don't really appeal to me.

Agree with you on the GTV -- it seems to hit the sweet spot on price, character, parts availability, number of available cars for sale, etc.

I'll have gas coupons, so my fuel prices will be substantially less than $7/gallon. But I would still buy a V8 car and drive the wheels off of it at $7/gallon.

Thanks for the input!

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good luck with Naples. It's chaos in random motion. Traffic is legendary. They drive on the sidewalks. Traffic lights are advisory only. Watch out for thieves.

I would not drive a nice car around there.
I've seen the youtube.com videos of driving in Naples. Pure freaking anarchy. Sounds like fun!

Seriously, that's a concern for me. I've lived in several different countries and continents, and I think Naples will be the most challenging. Having said that, Seoul is pretty intense, too -- zero traffic enforcement, very aggressive drivers, taxis and buses yield to no one, and scooters all over the sidewalks, driving in between lanes, passing on the right shoulder, etc. I think Naples will be worse, but Seoul should be a pretty good warmup.

I'm definitely worried about theft. I'm not going to lose any sleep if someone steals my sunglasses from the center console, but don't want to have a car stolen. Have had two cars stolen in the past -- 66 Corvette convertible in New Orleans - never recovered; and Jeep Cherokee in Hawaii - recovered a few hours later, so it's not my first rodeo.

I should live in a gated parco - not impregnable, but difficult to break into and steal a car out of my garage. Will be working on a military installation; not a high crime area. Parking on the street will be minimal.

Still need to figure out what I can do to better mitigate chance of theft.

Thanks

Scott
 

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You've left out Lancias, some of which are still under valued in my opinion.
A Fulvia for example would meet your price/parts availability criteria.
And don't forget sedans make cool classics too and are priced below sports variants i.e. Fulvia Berlina or Alfa Super or Berlina.
 

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In European streets and traffic a compact car is a plus. A GTV is definitely your best reasonable bet, but wait until you get there and see what strikes your fancy. But also bear in mind there are lots more Italian exotics in the US than in Italy...

Eurospares in UK breaks down exotics on a regular basis; such shops are your best friends if you bend sheetmetal. Again, Urracos are a lot scarcer than 308GT4s.

The Tiger at 46,000 yurros is not excessive IF nice and genuine.

Too bad the Isos and De tomasos with US V8s have taken too much value... I'm sure you'd love one.
 

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You should have no trouble finding a nice car for under 15k euros. A newer 1990-2000's Alfa Spider or GT, Fiat Barchetta or Spider. In Naples I would stay away from the exotics. Naples is like Detroit of Italy lots of thieves!
 

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My two bits worth: I'd go for a '93-'94 model Maser 424 (4-door) or if you like 2 doors, the '94-'98 Ghibli Cup. The 424 is 2liter 245hp and the Cup 2liter, 306-320hp. Now if you tweek the boost up a bit... Prices are VERY reasonable for these cars, performance is excellent and the interiors are just grand! We have many excellent examples here and they are truly exclusive cars. Here are some examples:
Offerte
Offerte
We spent 5yrs (two NATO stints) in Naples back in the '60's. I was in my teens and I have a soft spot for that city.
Jim K.
 

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personally I've always liked the 308/4 (because it is Bertone and V8!) but you won't even get near to one for 30k$ (27k euro) anymore, I'm afraid.

a Mondial on the other hand is always within that price bracket (don't like em much though, personally)

a 2600 alfa sprint might just fall within budget (though rather hard steering for narrow neapolitan streets!)

one of the best websites over here...also lots of italians advertise there:
mobile.de ? Gebrauchtwagen und Neuwagen ? Deutschlands größter Fahrzeugmarkt

as well as
https://www.classic-trader.com/uk/cars
 

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Hello Jim

I didn't think of those Maseratis.Did you ever get an opportunity to play with them? On this side of the ocean, the early carbureted biturbos gave this whole generation of Maseratis a bad name.

Scott, if these Maseratis appeal to you, Jim's suggestion sounds interesting... " besides he knows a thing or two about tweaking engines...
 

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Thinking to your budget, you can afford a Fiat Dino coupè 2400, an Alfa GTV 2000 (or a 2000 spider), a Lancia Delta integrale and nothing else drivable.

The best source in Italy for a second-hand car is: AutoScout24: Auto usate e nuove - Il mercato in Italia e in Europa

In my opinion a good option might be a late '90/early '00s Maserati, like a 4.2 Coupè or a 4.2 Quattroporte, both with manual gearshift.

Think about where is the nearest assistance garage. Naples isn't the best place to service a car, especially if you don't speak Italian....

And remember that the pre-1995 cars can't circulate every day because the pollution.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You've left out Lancias, some of which are still under valued in my opinion.
A Fulvia for example would meet your price/parts availability criteria.
And don't forget sedans make cool classics too and are priced below sports variants i.e. Fulvia Berlina or Alfa Super or Berlina.
Not a huge fan of the sedans.

Fulvia's are nice looking cars, but front wheel drive, right?

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In European streets and traffic a compact car is a plus. A GTV is definitely your best reasonable bet, but wait until you get there and see what strikes your fancy. But also bear in mind there are lots more Italian exotics in the US than in Italy...

Eurospares in UK breaks down exotics on a regular basis; such shops are your best friends if you bend sheetmetal. Again, Urracos are a lot scarcer than 308GT4s.

The Tiger at 46,000 yurros is not excessive IF nice and genuine.

Too bad the Isos and De tomasos with US V8s have taken too much value... I'm sure you'd love one.
Wow, Eurospares has some serious inventory!!! Think I saw 1 Urraco and a few GT4's.

The Tiger is heavily modified, has a cage, etc. It would take a fair amount of work to get it back to original condition.

Not terribly familiar with the Isos, but am quite familiar with the Panteras. Not a big fan of the other De Tomaso's. Anyway, the days of $30,000 "driver" Panteras is gone. Too bad.

Thanks

Scott
 

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Fellas -

I'm active duty US Army, currently stationed in Seoul, SK. Moving to Italy (Naples) at the end of June. We're taking the wife's car over - 2013 Infiniti SUV - so we'll have something reliable for road trips. Wife is ok with me buying an older Italian car for commuting, wrenching, etc. Would like to buy something 25 years old or older so I can bring it back to the states after my tour.

My budget is $30k US, but wouldn't like to spend that much. Will have funds to sink into a car, if necessary. Won't have to take out a loan if I blow up an engine.

Plan to live in a gated parco (subdivision) with a garage. Have an extensive collection of tools, and can do just about any mechanical job, including rebuilding engines, transmissions, etc.

Here's what I'm interested in -

-Alfa GTV 1750/2000 (late 60's early 70's). Looks like I can get a pretty nice one for about $20k US. No shortage of these on subito.it

-Fiat Dino Coupe 2000/2400. About $25k for a nice coupe; the Spiders are way out of reach.

-Sunbeam Tiger. Pretty rare in Europe, but may be able to find one in my price range. Could also buy an Alpine and drop in a SBF, but that's a fair amount of work. Far from a bolt-in.

-Ferrari/Dino 308 GT4. Price starting to climb, but can still be found for around $30k.

-Alfa Montreal - Out of my price range unless I buy a complete beater.

-Lamborghini Urraco - Rare, but could possibly find one in my price range. Probably a dumb move - likely unreliable, tough to find parts for.

-Maserati Merak - Would be another dumb move but may be able to find one in my price range.

-Lancia Delta Integrale HF - Will probably end up with one of these if I decide to buy a later model car.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

Scott
Hi Scott. You should try a website in Italy called Auto Usate in Italia - Offerte Macchine Usato - AutoScout24. Lots of Italian cars and you can chose the area you want to buy a car. Cheers
 

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Autoscout is great... I found you a Lamborghini well within your budget. Should be a reliable one as well.

I only found a handful of Mondials below 30,000 yurros. 40,000 brings a 348. Any other Ferrari is more. Perhaps you should get a 308 in the US, run it during your stay and sell it when you leave Italy.... they say driving a Ferrari in Italy makes you feel like being the Pope for a day. (Which means some people will hate you as well)

No other Lambo, but the Maseratis suggested by Jim seem to be a dime a dozen. Worth thinking about...

NSX???
 

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I have driven a 424 and was given a ride in a Ghibli with increased boost... Amazing cars! As for their engines, they are jewels: V6, 4 cams, 24v, efi, 2 turbos. Exceptional features: 6-speed (for Ghibli), Torsen diff and electrically adjustable suspension firmness at the press of a button! Just as a point of curiosity, if you ever get the chance check out the liners! They are pieces of sculpture! I don't know if these cars were ever available in the US -a real pity and loss to classy performance car lovers!
I never worked on these 2liter V6's but was once associated with a Maser repair shop and had the opportunity to study these jewels up close. Then, as if the 2liter lumps are not enough, there are the 2.8liter variants...
Jim K.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You should have no trouble finding a nice car for under 15k euros. A newer 1990-2000's Alfa Spider or GT, Fiat Barchetta or Spider. In Naples I would stay away from the exotics. Naples is like Detroit of Italy lots of thieves!
I'm sure they are nice cars, but none of them appeal to me.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My two bits worth: I'd go for a '93-'94 model Maser 424 (4-door) or if you like 2 doors, the '94-'98 Ghibli Cup. The 424 is 2liter 245hp and the Cup 2liter, 306-320hp. Now if you tweek the boost up a bit... Prices are VERY reasonable for these cars, performance is excellent and the interiors are just grand! We have many excellent examples here and they are truly exclusive cars. Here are some examples:
Offerte
Offerte
We spent 5yrs (two NATO stints) in Naples back in the '60's. I was in my teens and I have a soft spot for that city.
Jim K.
Jim -

Interesting cars, and solidly in my price range. Will do a bit more digging on these. Not a fan of the 424, but Ghibli Cup and 224 are nice.

Thanks,

Scott
 
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