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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Since looking at the 86 last week (thread is on here) I started looking at Alfas on a casual basis. I found another one I "might" be interested in. It is a 84 (I know - Bosch so some will hate it right off) Spider. I haven't seen it in person but have several pictures (attached) and have spoke with the owner several times. He says it runs and drives great and would trust it to go anywhere. It has two year old paint , fairly new top, either the seats have been recovered or if they are original, the are in great shape for 27 years old. It also has a new fuel pump.

The known issues are:

1) speedometer isn't working - stuck at 20 MPH, mileage stuck at 90xxx
2) Wipers aren't working - says he thinks it is the motor(s) and has replacements - he says he never drives in the rain so it hasn't been an issue - been this way since he bought it
3) dash has some cracks
4) rust free except some in the battery tray - mainly surface - no eat through
5) the carpet is in good shape but has faded (I figure a good dye job would take care of that )
6) rear rubber spoiler needs a little work - sun fade, etc.

The car is about 4 hours from me so I haven't seen it in person yet - sort of planning on going this weekend but before I decide I would like some advice.

How big of a deal are the issues I have mentioned? He wants $2500 for it - don't know if that is good or bad Was asking $3000 but came down to $2500

BTW, the seats are actually redder than teh pictures show - when I transferred them to my computer they darkened

Thanks

BOB
 

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The passenger seat has the seatbelt shoulder yoke on the wrong side.
Dunno about the drivers seat as I cannot see one at all on that.

Could be a result of someone swapping the seats left to right to decrease wear, a reskin getting put back together wrong (wrong back on the wrong seat for example) or any number of other possibilities.

Not a deal breaker by any means, but something to consider when looking at the whole picture. ie: if that 'slipped by' whomever, what else did?

Color, although faded and pattern otherwise appear spec to my weak eyes.

Does the AC work? If not, do you want it to?
It can get costly depending on what specifically does or doesn't work.

Power mirrors function?

Odd that it seems to have the switches for power windows, but there's also a crank handle on the drivers door proper.
Perhaps an indication of parts being conglomorated, or someone just saying screw it when the power windows quit and opted to just put manual rigs instead. Or, mayhaps the door got changed out with whatever was handy at some point after rust or accident. :shrug: Dunno, but perhaps worth asking about.

A few bits and bobs missing that shouldn't be too difficult to locate replacements for, like the climate slider knob, bezel around the ignition switch, and lense for the warning lights on the console.

Speedo may require a replacement head, as speedo needle normally would not rest at 0 as there's a pin to stop travel down in the 5~10mph zone somewhere though 20 could indicate a issue with the gauge proper, but ensuring the cable drive is functional would be the way to go first as there's common issues with the little junction box on the inner fender where the 2 cables meet.

Define 'some rust'.

Is it worth it?
Depending on the rust and AC along with a few other items, it looks like it could be, but unless you intend on driving it just the way it is it will require some more $ put into it to get it back to normal (as in 'everything there and working', not 'concours show car')

Engine and undercarriage pix would help.

I dunno, I'm terrible at this type of thing actualy.
 

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If it is as rust free as stated it seems like a good deal for $2500. There are some details that may not be right and things to fix but, IMO, rust is the biggest killer. Make absolutely sure there is no rust in the sills/rockers/floors. That combination makes up the main structural strength of the Spider's unibody.

Even though you may not drive it in the rain I suspect you'll need functioning wipers for a roadworthy inspection. It could either be a faulty motor or combination switch. Price out a new combination switch if you want to see how fast repairs can add up...

I'd suggest contacting a local Alfa club and seek assistance from a friendly Alfisiti. They can see problems easier than we can via the internets. Plus they may know of good cars for sale.
 

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Tifosi,
I don't see the crank handle you talked about...looks like straight power windows to me.
Good catch on the passenger seat!

I've seen this car on the Atlanta CL. Not terrible at $2500 IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Even though you may not drive it in the rain I suspect you'll need functioning wipers for a roadworthy inspection. It could either be a faulty motor or combination switch. Price out a new combination switch if you want to see how fast repairs can add up...
Ouch - just checked on the multi switch :eek: I definitely would want the wipers to work. We don't have inspections here but I don't want to have to worry about getting caught in a summer shower with no wipers.

He said the AC didn't work but had no idea what the issue was. This is another thing I would want to have working - too hot here in the summer for no AC. If I want a convertible with no AC I will stay with a MGB (although I do have one with factory AC - it isn;t great AC)
 

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I don't see the crank handle you talked about
rhettthere in the grene sirkl

I see now that the hand brake handle is cracked up too.
 

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Driver side door card is from an older S2 model, that's why it has a window winder on it. I bet it was damaged and someone replaced the whole door with a door from an older S2.

Seat covers are not original, but appear to be in good shape.

Check the bodywork, if it is straight, good panel fit and good paint the rest is pretty normal stuff that can be fixed.
 

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Seat covers are not original
They look all but identical to that which came in my 85 Grad.
Well, mine had tears in the base cover, but AFA color and pattern they look correct.

Or do you mean they are correct but in way too good a condition to be the orginals?

Unless its a trick of the light, the (apparent) uneven fade they have does look like the seat bases were redone but the backs not.
 

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They look all but identical to that which came in my 85 Grad.
Well, mine had tears in the base cover, but AFA color and pattern they look correct.

Or do you mean they are correct but in way too good a condition to be the orginals?

Unless its a trick of the light, the (apparent) uneven fade they have does look like the seat bases were redone but the backs not.
Seat base: the bolster area from the left around the back and to the right is all one piece on the originals, on some repros they are 3 pieces like these. Also stitching is slightly different from originals.

Leather/vinyl texture looks coarser on both upper and lower than originals, although I think you are right the color looks different from upper to lower.

Does any of this matter to 99.999% of people?, no :)

The more I look at this car, the more mix-n-match stuff I see, I'm downgrading this to a $2k car :D
 

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If it runs well, has a new top, and has no structural rust $2500 is a good deal. What else can you buy for that sort of money that'll be that much fun?

Speedometer and wipers aren't rocket science and can probably be fixed reasonably easily.
 

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This is definitely a car that was not cared for. It is easy for a dash to crack on a series 2, but on the series 3, not so. Together with the replaced door panels, it is an indication that the car was left exposed to the elements for a long time, and moisture definitely got in. Everything has been "fixed" in the cheapest way possible. The seats have been re-covered, but seams have been sewn into the seat portion in a way that no pro would ever do. The center console side panels have been replaced with those of a later year, and if the power windows don't work, it is an indication that the center console was taken apart and not put together right.

If it drives well and has a solid body, the price is fair by all means, but in today's very depressed market, you can buy a much better, and much more cost effective car, for an additional $1k.

I was always say that 1984 was the last year that Alfa truly placed it's best Spider foot forward, as it only produced one USA version, and that was the Veloce. (No Graduates, no Quadrifoglios, both of which were envisioned to expand the Spider appeal and increase sales without doing anything more than cosmetic changes.) The '84 had the best that Alfa could offer back then, and it is put together very well. I would strongly recommend that you have a look at other Spiders of the same year, and see how they compare to each other based on their asking prices.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well as with the other one, I am going to pass on it. Think I better stick with British cars - I know them well and hopefully won't make a major purchase mistake
 

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Well I better stick with British cars - I know them well and hopefully won't make a major purchase mistake
Whatever you do, do not drive a well sorted Alfa. You will be spoiled and likely catch the Alfa affliction (Always Looking For Another).

I have two MG's - 1960 MGA & 1978 MGB. I enjoy them both. But the Alfa's are a definate step above. I do think that the Alfa's suffer more from deferred maintenance. It is not that they need a lot more - they just don't tolerate being ignored. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
 

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i wouldnt give up just yet...i have a tr6 and the spider currently. have owned more brit cars over the years than i can count including a couple of Stags, an xjs, and numerous tr6s, gt6s, spitfires etc. Have had a new gtv6 and the current quad. The alfas IMHO are much better daily use cars.I love the sound and looks of my trailer queen tr6 but tire easily of driving it for anything other than a sunday drive to the mountains or such. as for the alfa, i drive her most every day and look forward to driving it home with the top down after a long day of work. the interior is comfortable, relatively, the heat and a/c work well. the 5spd is nice and the nice road manners and lack of rattles due to mono construction makes a much more pleasing ride. The gas mileage and easy starts of the bosch ljet is nice too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Since I was in Atlanta over the weekend, I decided to check the Alfa out. I figured it really didn't cost me anythign to look and if I liked what I saw I might buy it.

Well, let's just say it looked better in the pictures than in person. The driver's door had indeed been replaced - not justthe panel because it was a manul window and the passenger was a electric. The paint job was actually decent, the seats were "okay" (two driver's seats), lots of missing items on dash. I didn't even drive it as I was basically not interested after looking it over.

He came down to $2000 but still didn't interest me
 
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