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Hi, this is my first post to the Forum and I just joined today. I don't even own an Alfa yet, but I am looking at purchasing a 1991 Alfa Spider Automatic with 90,000 miles on the car in good condition and possibly a 1991 parts car (5 speed) with just over 10,000 original miles on the car. I went to look at the parts car today and it looks almost new but it has a salvage title and was fixed then wrecked a second time. The parts car looks like the frame is bent and the front end metal needs replaced (i.e. both front fenders-inner and out, front nose complete up to radiator and hood). Basically the entire front body section needs replaced to the doors. Engine looks fine and was untouched but windscreen damaged. Interior looks brand new and the trunk looks new. Both doors are fine and the entire rear of the car is perfect. The soft top and soft top frame look factory new. I have no idea what to offer for the parts car. If I purchase it I would have to strip it quickly and then get rid of the leftovers as quickly as possible. I'm not supposed to have things like this in my neighborhood. The owner of the parts car thinks he has a restorable car and was asking around $3500 but has dropped the price. I still think he is asking too much but I have no idea how much to offer for the car. I could sure use the parts to make the 1991 Automatic car look like new. Could sure use some advice on all this. TIA
 

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Welcome to the board Alfateen:

The parts car is a hard call. You might inquire to streetfame here on the bb as he purchased a rough shape spider for his v6 project. Closest thing I have was 3-4 years ago a very nice 91 yellow spider with a clear title sold on ebay for $1800. It had the nose flattened and rolled the hood and likely bent the upper radiator support. Didn't get the front bumper and didn't get the fenders. I think the price of $3500 is high. It likely has that much in parts if you stripped it....but salvage title and the extent of the damage probably drops it to a sub $2k for consideration. You'd be better off walking away from that idea and focus on the idea of taking all of your available funds and applying it to a better series 4 altogether that doesn't have any issues. And be aware of this...very common for the cluster on these series 4s to have been changed. So one with 10k on the odometer may have 10K + a bunch more. Carfax may or may not catch it.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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If you opt to buy the cars, find someone to lend you a garage and help you strip it out. Then get someone to come pick up the shell and crush it, or cut it up with a torch/saw and take to a metal recycler. The price the guy is asking is high IMO, about half that would be a fair deal. Cash talks.

I don't know if you can strip a car at a storage place? I know you can't have fluids or leaks of any kind in the units. If you could find one for a months rent, you can have your car and a place to put the parts. :) Two guys can strip a spider to a bare shell in two days or one long day with some beer to improve stamina. :)
 

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... The owner of the parts car thinks he has a restorable car and was asking around $3500 but has dropped the price. ...
This owner does not have a "restorable car"... and the salvage title, plus the second hit really put the last nail into this Spider's coffin... Yes, anyone can argue that the car can be fixed, but the $$ needed make no financial sense. To arrive at what this car may be worth to you, make a list on an Excel spreadsheet of everything you would want, including the price of these parts. A good rule of thumb is that used parts go for about 50% of what new parts go for. These are parts that are sold off the car, so there is no work involved in removing them. Of course, in this particular case, you would have to adjust (down most likely, unless this car has many other good parts that you could sell off) for the overall issue of taking on a car, stripping it and then disposing of it.

Best regards,
 

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Sounds like you're getting in a little over your head here...no disrespect intended. I've been in these situations before and it can be difficult in the best of cases to do what you plan on doing, but with the local restrictions I would say don't do it. Buy as nice a spider as you can afford and then little by little fix what you find and what you want to improve upon. The other way will just be headache after headache. I want you to enjoy this experience, so take it easy. good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I really appreciate the input guys and am thrilled at how active this forum is. You have almost talked me out of purchasing the wrecked car unless the owner comes down in price to below $2000. I have photos of the car, but I'm not sure if I can post photos to this forum. I'll check when done writing. The good car I'm considering purchasing has just over 90,000 miles on the odometer and it has new paint, and seat covers. The car looks good in the photos and I was sent a small clip so I could hear the car start and run. It is one of the 1991 Automatic Spiders which would work well for my son. The owner has sent me every photo I have asked for--inside, outside, topside, and bottom side, trunk side and engine side. Well you get the picture. He even added a clip so I could see the instrument panel as he started the car and could hear it run. I didn't think to ask for that but he did it on his own. The car just passed the California emissions and smog check and I have copies of the Title, registration papers and the emissions report. I ran a carfax report on the car and it came back clean. The mileage seems like it is original based on the carfax report and past emissions reports. The owner has reported that there is a small fuel leak in the fuel pressure regulator at the vacuum connection and the fuel pump is making a high pitched noise but so far is still working. The owner says he plugged the vacuum port on the fuel pressure regulator and that stopped the fuel leak and the car still passed the emissions check. He also reported that the airbag was disconnected and was left disconnected. Something about the bag is there and functional but it's not connected electronically. Not sure what that means. I can get the car at a very good price so I'm seriously considering purchasing the car.
 

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In a public forum, I wouldn't post photos of a car unless I had explicit permission from the owner to do so...

About the automatic Spider... It sounds like a good car, and certainly the airbag issue is common to all the series 4 Spiders. (A bit of pain, but doesn't make the car bad or less desirable.) Just be aware that the demand for automatic Spiders is very limited, even though the more expensive automatic transmission was only offered in the series 4 cars, and it is not common. This should not stop you from buying the car, but just be aware that they are not as easy to sell as the standard Spiders.

Best regards,
 

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I second the above comments about an automatic. Unless your son cannot drive a manual shift, consider letting this one pass and waiting for the right manual car to come along.
 
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