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Discussion Starter #1
Well, obviously I'm new here. *waves*

That said, I've been into cars my whole life. To that end, I've owned an '84 VW Rabbit GTI, an '84 VW Jetta GLI, two Mazda pickups (the real one, and one of the Ford POS ones), then a couple of Jeeps built for offroading (Cherokee and Comanche). Finally, today sees a 2001 VW Golf TDI (modified) and my wife's 2006 VW Jetta.

Now, the Golf is going away as we move from Eastern Canada to Seattle/Redmond, and I suspect a hunt may be underway for another ride for me.

Thus I find myself thinking of the cars I've always wanted to own...a 911 Porsche, a nice, older BMW, an Alfa Spider, etc.

After some quick price hunting, I see that 1990+ Alfa Spiders seem to fit the price range I'd like to spend on a second car (my wife will either keep her Jetta or we'll buy her a new one when we arrive).

So, I throw myself upon your much more knowledgeable mercy.

Now, I don't mind tinkering - kind of goes with the territory I figure, but I won't have a personal garage handy, which means relying on local mechanics for most things.

I *can* do the work, though prefer to drive as opposed to wrench, to be 100% honest.

I guess my biggest question is this:

If I buy a decent, newer (1991 - 1994-ish) Spider, will it be a reasonable second car to commute with (again - Seattle/Redmond area)? I'm not expecting Maybach levels of luxury or refinement and I realize it's a drop-top. My biggest concern is basically reliable transportation.

I could buy a Corolla (well, no, I couldn't, but you see my point), though I prefer things with a bit of personality and payback.

So, Alfa Spider - decent second car, or more likely to remain a 3rd car?

...and I do expect the car to need things from time to time, but the good news is when you replace a part, it's new! Eventually, the major bits get figured out... ;)

...and I do insist on paying for an inspection by a reputable, model-knowledgeable mechanic before I buy.

Thanks for your time.

Duane

PS - feel free to point out good Euro-centric garages or Alfa mechanics in the Redmond/Seattle/Tacoma areas. I have model specific garages I deal with here in Halifax, and they flat out rock!
 

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Welcome to the BB.

A well-sorted Spider that gets routine maintenance is certainly as reliable as any other car. The '90+ Spiders have Bosch Motronic FI/ignition which has proven quite reliable. Keep in mind that a Spider will not beat a 'rice rocket'. They are a lot of fun to drive & they handle well. But 120HP is about all you get to play with.

Rust is the big killer of our cars. The earlier models had very poor rust prevention (some say they were made with pre-rusted steel...). By the mid-eighties rust prevention had improved.

Have a look in the 'Anything About Alfa Romeos' section for the suppliers thread - a long list of A-R part suppliers. And scroll down to the Spiders section and join us there.
 

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Welcome

Duane -
Welcome to the BB and Welcome (in advance) to Seattle.
While seeing no reason why a newer Alfa Spider could not be a reliable commuter car, I would remind you that - It Rains Here! Spiders are fun to drive top down a few months (weeks?) of the year, but ...
Rust is not so much of an issue because we get little snow and the DOTs do not use salt when it does. You'll likely find newer rust free Alfas if you do some checking around when you get here.
That said, I hope you'll look up the NWARC and maybe attend a chapter meeting or two, which might help you get introduced to owners and possibly sellers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Eric - Gord - thanks guys. This was just the sort of welcome I'd hoped for in this forum, and if you two are any indication, it confirms my feelings about Alfa lovers everywhere - helpful and friendly.

I'm a big fan of local clubs of like minded folks - best way to find the nifty bits and locate hard-to-find parts/services as well.

As for rain and convertibles - you mean to tell me that Spiders don't have drain plugs in the floors like Jeep TJs? ;) LOL Just kidding.

I figure it's a lot like having an older car or bike - not something that sees use every day, but a whole load of fun when you do use it. ;) if the soft top does nothing more than keep my head dry for 280 days a year, but I get to enjoy it, say, 50 or so days in total, IMO, it's worth the trade offs. What price can you put on the perfect sunset drive along the coast with the top down? Even once a year THAT is worth it...

Duane
 
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