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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1971 Alfa Spider living in my garage. I drove the car throught the 80's and absolutely love the car, but parked it permanently about 10 years ago for a possible rod knock. The car is in need of body work on the right front fender, and needs a new right front light assembly, new carpet, seats, and top. The car's original fuel injection was replaced with dual Weber racing carbs, and a roll bar (when we used to time trial). I need advice on approximate cost and resources in the Los Angeles area (So Cal) for restoring this car to a nice driving vehicle vs. just parting it out so I can purchase one in ready to drive condition.

All advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 

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71 is a really rare year, in my VERY unbiased opinion quite desirable. Still, it all depends on what you want. If you appreciate the marque and expect to keep the car for a REALLY (like, passing down to your grandchildren) long time, restore it.

If it's rusty, half-complete, & smashed two or three times in its life, well, to be cold, it's a parts car (and send me some pix! I need parts!) But if it's just got One Hundred Little Things wrong with it, and has never been hit hard in its life, that's a candidate.

If you want a car to drive, even an Alfa to drive, sell this one and get something from the mid 80s. If you want something rare and special, and are willing to drop some serious $$$ to get it, well, you've got a start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for responding! I definitely want to put the money into this car, and honestly didn't want to part with it. I would love to find a mechanic who would like to barter professional services (if such a thing exists:)
I own a custom invitation business, and will be happy to create a stunning invitation ensemble for anyone wanting to trade for mechanic or body work... Anyone planning a wedding and in need of such services?
 

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I like '71s as well . . . rare, yes, but I'm amazed at how many owners of '71s are on this board! I agree with what dscottj says, and would also add that "rust" seems to mean different things in different parts of the country. I've seen photos of cars from the southwest, described as "parts cars," that would be considered daily drivers here in the northeast. Do you have any photos?
 

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You'll likely not find a professional willing to trade in kind. However, the early spiders aren't particularly complex cars, especially if they're in decent shape to begin with. If you have a garage, and feel like learning, well, here's your start. If I were to start from scratch, I'd first make sure a) I had a garage, b) it was prepped with proper lights and a treated floor and c) I got one of those floor-standing tool boxes. From this foundation, many good things can be built. :)
 

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I'd let a 69 sit awhile, awhile too long, and I'm in the neighborhood of $20k for thorough mechanical rehab ($14k), where engine and tranny were strong and not touched, but I "diddled" everything else, and then did a thorough interior and top rehab ($6k). It still needs some minor body work and paint, and complete suspension bushings. I'll be lucky to get out under $25+k. Goal is a very nice, RELIABLE, driver. Much of the mechanical work was done out as I did not have the time, and in some cases the tools and expertise. As dscottj says, you can do a lot yourself if you have the time, tools and some expertise. And lots of skin on your knuckles and patience, and time, and. did I add, an understanding family. So . . . . don't expect to be "rightside up" in a rehab/restore. Parting out sounds like a hassle. Selling stuff on the BB or elsewhere is a hassle if you've ever tried it. I like the idea of a trade or sell as a whole project. Use it as seed money for something you want, whether that be another Alfa or ?? There it is, fair and balanced on cost; you make the call.
 

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Post some pictures. Parts are readily available including body panels. Also, that body style was built for over 10 years so there are plenty of donor cars if you need to go that route. Mechanicals are a breeze and not too crazy cost-wise. Body work can really nick you if you are not willing to roll up your sleeves. Interior can getting pricey too but again used parts are available through the usual channels.

Where I would consider parting it is if the car sags when both doors are open. The inner rockers are structural and if they are seriously compromised it's time to look for another car...


This one is a keeper:
Automotive tire Tire Vehicle Crash Car



This one folded in half when the doors opened...
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive tire Tire


Good luck!
 

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Those "sell this car" guys on Discovery Theater sure do make it SEEM easy. It would appear that, once you actually learn to weld and get comfortable with it, it's no harder than, say, R&R of a big component like an engine or rear end. Easier even, in some ways.

But that's just on TV.
 

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Funny, my son has been bugging me to learn how to weld. I've tried it and I am absolutely horrible. I figure if I really worked at it I could get myself up to bad. Anyway, after holding him off as long as I could I finally let him try it. His first pass was better than anything I've ever done (not that I'm any kind of gold standard). He seems to be a natural at it.

Given the right equipment, materials and setup I think today's welding is easier and more forgiving than it used to be but it is still an art in my opinion.
 

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... possible rod knock. The car is in need of body work on the right front fender, and needs a new right front light assembly, new carpet, seats, and top. ...
If that is the extend of the issue and the car has been in CA all its life, I'd strongly suggest you undertake a restoration. The used market has tanked due to the economy, so I would not expect the car to command much as it sits. I would personally be interested excepting the transcontinental shipping costs these days.

- Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the feedback! I really love this car and from what I am reading, it sounds like a restore-to-good-driver is in order. The car is virtually rust free (lived in So Cal all its life) with only a couple of dime sized surface paint bubbles...and the repair items I mentioned in my original post. The car was well cared for and co-owned by one of the guys from A R Ricambi, before it came to reside in my garage. I planned to return it to daily driver status many times over the years, but a lack of project money and time have made it "temporarily" impossible. (Funny how 10 years can be a "temporary" period of time - but that's how it is when you are passionate about a dream.) My dream is to fix this car up and drive it to satisfy my upcoming mid-life crisis! The current reality is that I am closing my storefront and need to move my business back to my garage. There goes the garage space Dscottj talked about! I will be cleaning out my garage next weekend in preparation for the move, and will post pictures at that time. If anyone is interested in buying it, (complete with original set of cromodoras) please let me know.

I was looking for an old photo of my 71 spider in it's hey day. Couldn't find one, but did come across pictures of my '73 Berlina (my first car out of high school) and my Milano. Enjoy!
 

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