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I have the chance to buy a 1985 Spider Graduate with 71,000 miles on it. It has been in a garage for three years. It does not run at present, but the owner said it did when he parked it. It was a project car for him that he lost interest in completing. The body is run free with a few small dents. The paint is faded. I found no leaks from the engine, but the fluids were really old. Everything was original. The top was ok, but was missing the plastic back window. The interior was rough. Cracked dash, loose everything on the center console. Glove compartment barely closed. Seats were so-so. Anyway, he wants $1000 for it. I've always wanted an Alfa, but I don't want to get into something that is just a huge loss. Any advice from you all would be appreciated. Would you buy it for $1000?
 

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Or you could buy lotto tickets with the $1000.00 . That way you would only be $1000.00 in the hole.;)

I would decide how much I was willing to spend on getting into usable shape then see what I could buy with that money.

Are you going to do the work yourself ? Or have a shop do it?
 

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do a search on this forum.

there are many topics of discussions with people similar to yours.
 

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but realistically, my guess without pictures, you will be putting a minimum 5k into it at least.
 

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I would buy it but I like projects... Kinda like making payments first and driving it later! I paid $1000 for an '84 Spider that hadn't be run for 2-3 years, interior OK, new top that was not installed, paint fair and 99% rust-free body. I think I did OK but I do all my own work and don't pay myself shop rates or plan to sell it.

If you want to consider it realistically, look at what various condition similar model Spiders actually sell for then add up what it'd cost to put that particular car into similar condition. For example, say a 'driver quality' Series 3 Spider ('82-'89) sells for ~ $5000. You car will need a new top ($500-$1000), new interior ($500 - $1000), all new brake/clutch hydraulics ($500 - $1000), new tires ($400 - $500), and we have no idea about the condition of the engine/clutch/transmission/differential... ($1000 - $3000+). So, the $5000 driver quality Spider becomes a known quantity and is likely the better buy.

I would suggest you contact a local Alfa club (look on the Alfa Romeo Owners Club website for a link to local chapters) and ask for club members assistance in evaluating the car. They'll know what to look for, be able to point out the good & bad points plus they are likely to know of better cars available. ALFA stands for Always Looking For Another so sometimes an Alfa owner will actually sell a car in order to buy their next one!
 

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..photos....photos....photos....:)... are you handy with tools? can you use them?... are you willing to part with some of the 'red' stuff, running thru you body?..are willing to look endlessly thru this board?.. are you willing to take some kidding from the peanut gallery here?...if so you can be a alfa romeo owner..:):)
 

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I've only been into this for about a year, so I'm not the most experienced Alfa owner... I got an '88 Spider for free, and have about $1900 into it so far. See the attached list, and figure on doing anything on the list that involves a piece of rubber or has anything to do with clutch or brakes. My car still leaks rainwater, the top is still shot, and the front end paint is eggshelled and faded. But man-oh-man it's a blast to drive!

T
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I read everyone's comments, which I do appreciate, and weighed the costs of getting it to 'driver quality', and it seemed like it could exceed the price of a Spider in decent shape.
I offered the seller $500 cash and the offer to tow it away, but he refused. He wants the $1000 minimum. He says he will clean it up a bit and get $1000 - $1500.
So thank you all for the fast response. I do really appreciate your help.
 

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No one has mentioned the key ingredient of Alfa Life, driving them. If you buy this car, you will be taking a chance on only how much you will have to spend to make it a fun car, but once you do so, you will definitely have a fun car! So if it's not rusty, go for it.

This is one of those cars that has no positive value, only potential value. The buyer should actually pay you for taking it away, but he wants some traditional token payment for that privelege. The truth is that $1,000 is just the start. It might take $5,000 more to get it into good shape--though rubbing compound works wonders on paint--but once you get into this project, you will see results quickly and start to enjoy the car. If you like it, wonderful. If not, you can flog it to one of us hopeless Alfa nuts.

Frank
 

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I'm close to selling my 86 Quad, as my 1959 102 Roadster is very nearly finished, and I don't need two convertible Alfas. 102 or 86 Quad? Which to keep? Yeah, right.

I hope I get north of 6k, but know that is unlikely in this market. It has the following new items, new and good paint, tires, Koni shocks, leather seat covers, battery, water pump, both fuel pumps, injectors, fuel regulator, fuel lines, hoses, belts, and re-done radiator, plus all the mundane tune-up stuff and others I haven't listed. I'm not trying to hi-jack the thread, but my point is that 5k - 7k will get you a nice S3 Quad that is running and de-bugged. Your seller will probably find someone to pay $1000 without checking out the AlfaBB first, so he is probably not motivated to give it away. If you want a project, go for it, but you'll be well past what will buy a ready-to-go and good looking car.
 
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