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Hello all.
I've been lurking the past few days, and figured it was about time I made my intentions known. Firstly, introductions. My name is Ben and I'm from Hobart. For the past few years my automotive obsession has been Saab 900 Turbos (not very Italian, I'll admit). However, having recently started a new business, money-draining vehicular obsessions have been put aside for the interim. Even the motorbike got sold aswell and now the garage is almost completely devoid of fun, save for the 4Runner, which like all Toyotas is utterly reliable but completely soulless.

Anyway, in 12 months or so time things will be looking up - dollars-wise too, hopefully - and I'll be able to start filling up the garage once again. Invariably the Swedish sleds will return, but I'm hoping to take the opportunity branch out and indulge in another marque I've held a long interest of sorts in - Alfas. I'm not quite sure where the interest was sparked; possibly somewhere between watching the local hooligan in Dodges Ferry charge around the gravel roads in his ratty GTV6 like an Italian Dukes of Hazzard... and doing 170kmh from Vienna to Maribor a couple of years back in a friend's 156 JTD! The new stuff doesn't really interest me however (maybe if the 3.2L Brera was cheaper), and while I still have a soft spot for the 80s GTV and GTV6, I'm thinking more towards a late 60s Giulia GT Veloce or similar 2dr coupe from that era (2000 GTV, GT Junior, etc).

I stumbled across the following on Carpoint - http://www.carpoint.com.au/used-car/ALFA ROMEO/GIULIA/Victoria/csn1212688.aspx - and at $7,500 is pretty close to the sort of thing I'd be keen to start off with.

Now, some questions, if I may:

1. Is this price range indicative of the current local market for these models? I don't want a fully restored car (actually I'll rephrase - I don't want to spend that sort of money), nor do I want a bucket of rust needing restoration.... instead something reasonably original, well running and unmolested, suitable for fair-weather Sunday driving and the odd club event... which can be slowly fettled and improved over time.

2. What are the main things to look for when buying one? I guess I'm asking for a Buyer's Guide... I did try and find something this online but kept on finding a US$20 book ;-) Obviously finding something free of rust is a good start...

3. What is parts availability like for these cars?

4. Ongoing running costs? I wouldn't be doing competitive rallying or using the car as a daily driver... just cruising and the occasional spirited blat up in the hills. Obviously they're not Hondas so one shouldn't expect to be too tight (hey, I had an '88 900 Aero with over 300,000km on the clock... every month something needed replacing), but are we talking 'you'll get to know the local parts supplier quite well in time' or 'you'll be bankrolling his new swimming pool'? ;-)

5. One for the Taswegians... is Club Motori Italia where all the Alfisti in the state congregate, or is there a dedicated Alfa club here?

Any help or 'light shed' would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!
Ben.
 

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Hi Ben,

Don't wait, buy it.

When I bought my car the guy was asking nearly $6,000 for it so I thought it would be half decent. It was a bit of a basket case with a nice interior so I walked away when his wife said it had to go, eventually I offered $4,000 and they put in nearly $1,000 to get it registered. I still paid too much. That one seems like a really good non-original car but with the bits to go back if you want.

Your questions:
1. This one seems cheap. I would expect something obviously wrong (but not terminal) for that price. I'd say $10,000 is for a really nice, no problems car. $5,000 for something obviously wrong and rusted. $20,000 for nicely restored and double that for a concourse special. I would expect some rust in the advertised car but not heaps.

2. 3 things to look for... Rust in the sills, rust under the glass (under all of it but paticulalry the rear windows), rust in the body (anywhere), then do a quick check for rust. If you go to the GT forum there are comprehensive buyer's guides on there just do a few searches with different words in it.

3. You could build an entire car from the parts you can buy. You just have to look for them. That's the beuaty of the "good old days" when model runs were measured in decades and not months. I think over 40,000 were made so there is a good market for parts. Price is reasonable for their age but still not cheap.

4. Ever bought a lemon from the factory? You could be lucky and have years of trouble free driving (they are simple machines) or need to replace almost everything in a couple of years. If well maintained they are reliable (almost bullet proof) things, you must love the cars or they'll turn on you (they are Italian).

5. I did visit there a few times but can't help.

6. Check out the different models before you decide on which one. They all have their own character. Some love the later 2000 for their engines and others hate them for their "try hard" dash and attempts to be modern. The early ones (like the one you posted) are full of character but a bit crude. The mid-range 1750's are a compromise between the two. (My opinions only) I have the 1750.

7. Be careful, it is addictive.

Maybe others can give their opinions but the one you showed seems to be a nice car at a good price.

Andrew
 

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Ben, hi. I viewed this car last time it was for sale, 18+ months ago. I posted some comments in another thread (below). Remember with these cars, Its pretty much always better to spend some more money getting a better car than buying at the bottom of the market like this car. I would recommend this car if it was for $5000 max, it is entirely a buyer's market!!

Wow... I very nearly bought that red 1600GTV back in... ooh... August 05??

I therefore feel obligated to give some commentary.

The car is fairly complete, but pretty much EVERYTHING needs some work.

- 3 different shades of red...
- 1600cc engine (the spare) had an internal failure of some sort if i remember correctly, whether it was head gasket or something more serious I dont remember. I just remember thinking to rejuvenate it would be expensive.
- The dash is incredibly peely.
- As you can see in the photos, the two smaller gauge faces are seriously opaque, the middle ones look ok in the pic but i remember thinking they needed replacement too, maybe that has been done as an RWC concern already.
- The seats are the original ones, but have been done in a crushed velour kind of cloth with grey piping.. Why oh why do people inflict this on beautiful cars.
- Both bumpers were shot and had copious amounts of rust
- Pretty much all the brightwork was original and as such had seen 40 years of pitting and dulling.

On the upside, the car had receipts for over $3000 worth of rust repair...
The 1750 engine started straight away and sounded 100%...
Pretty much everything is there, except If I recall it was missing some carpet around the place.
And.. it had the original boot lining.

A good buy at 7500?? Hmmm.. You'd have to like 1600GTVs I guess, it would certainly need a respray and some interior work. Depends what value you place on things like a known history etc.

The thing that puzzles me, the PO had it originally for $5800, then dropped it to $5500. She was also very negotiable, which means it probably went for closer to $5000. So... seeing as 105 values aren't increasing THAT steadily, where does this guy justify the extra $2500...
 

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I'll just clarify my statement a bit. I think this particular car is overpriced, because I've viewed it in the flesh and I've databased 105 prices since March 2005.

I think if you saved a bit more and waited for a good value car between 10-15K you would save yourself a lot of heartache and money in the long run.
 

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Thanks py,

Just goes to show that you need to see these in the flesh and a few photos taken on the right day doesn't mean too much.

I agree totally that if you want a good driver that just needs a tidy-up and some tweaks then you should start at about $10k and head up from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies guys... that pretty much confirmed my suspicion that it was probably wasn't a good example. $10K still sounds quite reasonable for what is - I'd assume - a car that's not really going to lose value provided its well maintained.... and one that looks that sexy ;-)

When it comes to rust, do cars that have spent their lives in Sydney or in similar sub-tropical/humid areas suffer much worse? Reading about the corrosion issue made me recall a long conversation with a fellow club member who'd lived and worked in Sydney most of his life... apparently the place just kills car bodies and he was surprised just how better preserved cars here in Tasmania were.

If this is the case, then perhaps sourcing a car locally or from Melbourne/Adelaide might make sense?

One last question - fuel injection. I'm not very good with carbs, but I am cluely with electronics and computers and always planned to convert my recently departed Saab to a standalone Megasquirt fuel+ignition system (standard Bosch LH system is limiting when you get into serious tuning). The purpose of converting a Alfa wouldn't really be about chasing power (though a few more liberated horses never goes astray) but simply more about reliability, ease of starting, not worrying about fuel going stale in the float chambers while the car isn't being used, etc. etc. Is this something people do or is it utterly shunned upon as detrimental to the purpose and value of the car? Of course, if the original carbs setup isn't problematic in the first place...

Cheers, Ben.
 

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Thanks for the replies guys... that pretty much confirmed my suspicion that it was probably wasn't a good example. $10K still sounds quite reasonable for what is - I'd assume - a car that's not really going to lose value provided its well maintained.... and one that looks that sexy ;-)

When it comes to rust, do cars that have spent their lives in Sydney or in similar sub-tropical/humid areas suffer much worse? Reading about the corrosion issue made me recall a long conversation with a fellow club member who'd lived and worked in Sydney most of his life... apparently the place just kills car bodies and he was surprised just how better preserved cars here in Tasmania were.

If this is the case, then perhaps sourcing a car locally or from Melbourne/Adelaide might make sense?

One last question - fuel injection. I'm not very good with carbs, but I am cluely with electronics and computers and always planned to convert my recently departed Saab to a standalone Megasquirt fuel+ignition system (standard Bosch LH system is limiting when you get into serious tuning). The purpose of converting a Alfa wouldn't really be about chasing power (though a few more liberated horses never goes astray) but simply more about reliability, ease of starting, not worrying about fuel going stale in the float chambers while the car isn't being used, etc. etc. Is this something people do or is it utterly shunned upon as detrimental to the purpose and value of the car? Of course, if the original carbs setup isn't problematic in the first place...

Cheers, Ben.

Ben firstly welcome. US spec 1750s and 2000 had SPICA fuel injection system. You probably need to speak with some of our US colleagues about the pros and cons of SPICA fuel injection on 105's. I cannot really comment as I have always known carbs on ALFAs. Aussie 105s are Euro spec all Euro Spec 105s were not injected.

I know many US guys prefer Euro spec cars (carb fitted) imported ito Canada but not the US, but there are many issues involved here including asthetics about the US spec verus Euro spec.

Here we are usually concerned with the fact that ALFA used three carb manufacturers to supply carbs for the 105. Webbers, Del 'Ortos and Solex. You can have three cars with sequential vin numbers and they can all have a different brand of Carb, don't worry they are all of the same spec. Webbers are most people preference, Del"ortos are also not bad, but most people flick the Solex carbs in preference of one of the other two.


I can imagine it would be a lot of unnecessary work and it would not be a wise thing as far as resale values are concerned. I know personally that a conversion to injection would turn me away or at least provide me with a chip to try and bargin you down on. carbs on a 105 are all part of the ALFA experience. Don't change em you will only end up regreting it.

By the way there was a really nice 1750 GTV for sale on ebay from hobart, only sold for $7000 ish, I looked a much better car than that veloce you linked us into.

My advice, don't rush it, take your time look at a selection of cars, Pete's right its a buyer market pretty much. if you have the time go to melbourne or Adelaide and see what is on offer over here on the mainland.

All 105 rust pretty much. Unless that car has lived its whole life in Alice springs you can expect some rust. Its just degrees of rust . Aussie 105's are not to bad for rust, compared to East US cars and UK cars which are full of tinworm due to snow, salt on rds damper all round conditions. Cannot comment on Tassie 105s though, that might be a different proposition.

I am just stripping my 1750 for restoration. Now that car spent the majority of its life in Forbes in western NSW, its pretty dry out there and I am still brushing the Bulldust out of the boot of this car still !! The car then lived in Sydney in Drummoyne(2 years) and was quite close to salt water and now in Brisbane (not near too much salt water), I am finding rust in her but not the really scary stuff that we see from the northern hemisphere. The good news is that the rust we get here is usually fixable, the degree of rust they get in the UK/US is often so severe that the car is only good for parts.
 

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Ben:

If you find a later 2000GTV with Dell'Ortos, you can basically set and forget! Webers need a bit more attention regularly, but thats nothing a decent mechanic cant do and they are quite reliable and rarely need any major componentry replaced. Most Webers or D/Os would have been rebuilt on most 105s by now.

Any old car like this has a high chance of ending up away from the state it was initally delivered to, so just because you buy a car in Sydney doesnt mean its spent all its time there. Cases in point - My 2000 GTV was delivered in Perth, went through 2 owners there, was brought to Melbourne by one of them and then sold onto me. It is now down near Geelong.

My Berlina was a NSW Riverina car its whole life until my ownership in 2006 and as a result is rustfree.

Like Phil said - be patient and learn as much as you can, and you'll begin to see whats good value and what isnt.
 
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