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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Alfa Gurus -

Went to see a super clean 1975 spider today. The engine looked really well kept, as did the rest of the car.
Just a few questions before I make an offer:
We did a cold start without the choke (I felt the engine and it was ice-cold) and it fired right up. He said he never used the choke and had no idea if it even worked.
Is the choke necessary? If yes, how would I know if it is working or not?
Next, I took it for a drive and the clutch and transmission felt fabulous. I went through all the gears and it shifted like butter.
While driving, I did notice though an odd squeaking type of sound coming from the rear when I went over bumps in the road, on a flat surface is sounded fine. Maybe the suspension needs some lubrication? What type of rear suspension is on a 1975 spider?
Next, the drivers side window doesn't roll all the way down, it stops about 1/2 inch above the door (the passenger side was perfect). Maybe just remove the door card and adjust?
Next, the turn signal works (all the lights blink as they should) but the stalk does not return automatically (you have to return it manually). Maybe just a bad spring?
The brakes, horn, engine, lights, heat, seats, fabric top, wipers all work perfect.
The exterior color is red/with a hint of orange (see pics). I couldn't find any clues of respray anywhere. Does this look like an original red color?

Please give me your thoughts on the choke, the squeak, the turn signal and the window.

Thanks

engine.jpg
front.jpg
 

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We did a cold start without the choke (I felt the engine and it was ice-cold) and it fired right up. He said he never used the choke and had no idea if it even worked. Is the choke necessary? If yes, how would I know if it is working or not?
There is no manual choke on a Spica injected Alfa as there is on carbureted cars. The mechanical injection pump uses something called the "thermostatic actuator" that tells it how warm/cold the coolant is. Since the car "fired right up", the cold start system appears to be functioning.

While driving, I did notice though an odd squeaking type of sound coming from the rear when I went over bumps in the road, on a flat surface is sounded fine. Maybe the suspension needs some lubrication? What type of rear suspension is on a 1975 spider?
Impossible to diagnose over the internet. There are no chassis grease fittings on a '75 spider. Could be a worn bushing, could be in the shocks, could be .....

Next, the drivers side window doesn't roll all the way down, it stops about 1/2 inch above the door (the passenger side was perfect). Maybe just remove the door card and adjust?
The windows are cable operated, the cables fray with time and can produce the symptom you describe.

Next, the turn signal works (all the lights blink as they should) but the stalk does not return automatically (you have to return it manually). Maybe just a bad spring?
Yes, though it's not the sort of spring you are picturing. Alfas use a pretty unique cancelling system that can be temperamental.

The exterior color is red/with a hint of orange (see pics). I couldn't find any clues of respray anywhere. Does this look like an original red color?
Again, no one could answer this over the internet; colors look different between your monitor and mine. Alfa did offer a bright red color ("501" red) and sure, that could be it. Here's a clue: if the color of the engine compartment matches the color of the exterior, then the exterior probably is the original color; few people would go to the trouble of re-painting the engine compartment if they were just tweaking the shade of red.
 

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Yes, looks like the original red color. Jay is correct on the other items. The window regulators go bad and just need to be replaced. The turn signals return sometimes but not always. Just live with it.
 

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The thing that is of the utmost importance is the condition of the body. Has there been any crash damage? Has there been any rust repair?
Ossidiseppia is spot-on here: fixing little mechanical things, like suspension squeaks or windows is trivial in the grand scheme of things. Rust repair is by no means trivial. A professional, pre-purchase inspection would be prudent. It would be good for a pro to get it up on a lift to examine the condition of the floors, rockers, wheel arches and other common rust areas, as well as to check for accident damage. Assessing the engine's condition - even with just a simple compression test - would be good too.

The car is super clean - looks like it has been soaking in Armor-All since 1974. Make sure this isn't lipstick on a pig!
 

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Looks like a well-kept car, generally. How is the interior ? And the top ? Headlights and covers are not quite right, but 'liveable' in the scheme of things. Must have been much-loved. Someone has lavished a lot of care on the car, as you rarely see such a tidy engine bay. Proceed cautiously, especially with regards to the body work. Pop the boot lid, lift the spare and check the spare tyre well for corrosion, then check either side of the car on the sills beneath the door, and the jacking points below these, for signs of repairs or corrosion. The mechanical/electrical niggles you mentioned are not deal breakers, but good ammo for negotiating a bit of money off. They are the sort of things that are fun to do on a rainy Saturday.
The mechanics sound encouraging...no crunching of gears, clutch works well, brakes pull up nice and straight ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I couldn't resist and bought the Alfa today. I did thorough inspection for rust on the underside, the spare tire area, under the floor mats....everywhere possible and I couldn't find anything. Underneath was the cleanest 1974 car I have ever seen (see pics). It looks even better than my 2019 Mini Cooper! I am going to bring it home this week and take more pics.
Question for garwood1 (Chris), you mention that the headlights and covers are not quite right. How should they be?

Also, where is the best place to buy parts for this car in the USA?

3.jpg
9.jpg
 

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Congrats. That does look clean. For parts, you have some choices:
Centerline (US based)
Classic Alfa (UK but ships via DHL so very fast)
Alfaholics (UK)
OKP (Germany)
Highwood Alfa (UK)
Heinbrand (Germany)

I probably missed a few.
 

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Congrats. That does look clean. For parts, you have some choices:
Centerline (US based)
Classic Alfa (UK but ships via DHL so very fast)
Alfaholics (UK)
OKP (Germany)
Highwood Alfa (UK)
Heinbrand (Germany)

I probably missed a few.
Vicks is also good...(Cleburn Ft Worth area).
 

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Color seems to match mine....mine was resprayed w orig color 25 yrs ago...I think you canfind a color decal in the trunk, on the lid , close to the rear window...

the lights you asked about that someone said weren't "correct" , are the "covers" added....those are from other year model , but many add them for looks, just not stock for 74
Turn sugnal lever , auto return, probably broken...mine is too, I just manually return it , can be fixe I just haven't worried about it
 

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where is the best place to buy parts for this car in the USA?
There is a list of Alfa parts vendors somewhere on the BB, though I'll be darned if I can find it. Centerline, Alfa Parts and Vicks are the three larger US-based suppliers. You might want to read this thread about Vicks: Bad experience with Vick Auto

There are also numerous Alfa parts vendors in Europe who carry a wider range of parts than the US suppliers. Shipping from the European suppliers is roughly the same cost and speed as from the US-based companies, particularly for smaller/lighter parts.

Congratulations on your new purchase!
 

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Re headlights...when the clear covers are fitted, the headlamps themselves are usually recessed into the wing (fender), and there is only a slim stainless rim around the edge of the headlight cutout, and not the larger chrome trim rings fitted in this case. It's only something the purists would worry about. Drive and enjoy !
 

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carello plexi covers won't fit over the normal chrome headlight trims.
Either you had to set the headlight back inside the fender (and adjustment therefore was from inside the fender, a small chore) and used the stainless trim as in Chris's photo

or you fitted these special small chrome rings to headlights fitted outside the fender and then the plexi fitted over that...
Headlight 1.jpg
 

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Regarding vendors, I have had good experiences with all of them. The biggest surprise is that Classic Alfa in the UK gets me my parts just as fast as any USA vendor with very good pricing.
OKP and Del-Priore sometimes have some odd parts that I have not found at other vendors.
 

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Hello Alfa Gurus -

Went to see a super clean 1975 spider today. The engine looked really well kept, as did the rest of the car.
Just a few questions before I make an offer:
We did a cold start without the choke (I felt the engine and it was ice-cold) and it fired right up. He said he never used the choke and had no idea if it even worked.
Is the choke necessary? If yes, how would I know if it is working or not?
Next, I took it for a drive and the clutch and transmission felt fabulous. I went through all the gears and it shifted like butter.
While driving, I did notice though an odd squeaking type of sound coming from the rear when I went over bumps in the road, on a flat surface is sounded fine. Maybe the suspension needs some lubrication? What type of rear suspension is on a 1975 spider?
Next, the drivers side window doesn't roll all the way down, it stops about 1/2 inch above the door (the passenger side was perfect). Maybe just remove the door card and adjust?
Next, the turn signal works (all the lights blink as they should) but the stalk does not return automatically (you have to return it manually). Maybe just a bad spring?
The brakes, horn, engine, lights, heat, seats, fabric top, wipers all work perfect.
The exterior color is red/with a hint of orange (see pics). I couldn't find any clues of respray anywhere. Does this look like an original red color?

Please give me your thoughts on the choke, the squeak, the turn signal and the window.

Thanks

View attachment 1658183 View attachment 1658184
Make an offer and just buy it!
( Spica injection never had a hand choke- Shankle ages ago hand made a “ hand choke” kit that replaced the thermostatic actuator.)
Look under the carpets at each foot well and behind the seats- look around the windshield, the jack points, the spare tire well. The creak could be one of the suspension rubber joints or the. Upper T bar joints needing grease or replacement. Check the trans support bushing.
Other than rust - every item you mentioned is relatively minor.
 
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