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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all...I'm new to the board and am looking to get back into the Italian car realm. I've owned several FIATs and have always loved Alfas.

I'm wanting to buy something to use as a daily driver as I learn about these wonderful cars and would love to know what model would be a good starting point. I am a fairly competent mechanic, and having read Greg Gordon's page feel confident I could sort the FI.

I think I've boiled my choices down to a Spider, GTV6 or Milano(leaning towards the Milano because of the low cost of entry and the similarity to the GTV6) and would love to have some input from experienced owners before I take the plunge.

BTW...I was given the Alfa itch from a poster on my "other" forum, Audiworld..she goes by April/Verdegrrl over there in an obvious homage to her beloved Milanos.

Any comments/advice welcome.

Thx, Bill
 

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if you need 4 seats - then the spider should not be a consideration.

consider the 164 as well - most people that own them use them as a daily driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
if you need 4 seats - then the spider should not be a consideration.

consider the 164 as well - most people that own them use them as a daily driver.
I don't really need 4 seats as I have the Audi.

I briefly considered the 164, but not sure I want FWD. Is there any reason to pick the 164 over the others? Perhaps drive the 164 until I find a good GTV6 and then swap the 164 motor into the GTV6?:)
 

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If you are keeping the Audi and just looking for a fun reliable car then a mid 80's Spider would be a great choice. Where in the world you live can also be a factor..........
I've had GTV6's and Milano's as well. Great cars!

Tough choice, buy one of each...that's what most of us do!!:cool:

.
 

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The 164 is every bit an Alfa, but being a much more modern car it is very comfy, a lot heavier than a transaxle car (GTV6 or Milano) and a great daily driver. However, it is a much more complicated car to work on, and much more expensive to maintain. Being a fairly competent mechanic, I don't think you would have any trouble servicing it, but it is very different from the prior generation Milanos. The transaxle cars feel lighter and also have a nice power band, especially the Milano Verde with its 3 liter engine. It is not unusual for owners of transaxle cars to upgrade their powerplants with 164 components, such as cams. This is a fun process, which is part of the appeal of owning an older Alfa.

The Spider is completely different from the 116 cars. The Bosch injected cars are not particularly fast off the line, but once you get the RPMs up they are great fun. They are unbeatable in the twisties, and of course have a lot of style. Just as an FYI, the only Spiders that have more of a go-kart feel of the line are the examples from the pre-smog era: 1974 and earlier.

You can use any of these Alfas as a dd. It's just a matter of choice. I'm a Spider guy, and those are the keys I always reach for first, but I must confess that I did upgrade components on my favorite one to extract more power. I do enjoy the Milano a lot, and think of it as a very practical vehicle, since it is very much at home both on the street or on the track. The 164 is just a very plush ride, but my favorite 164 is the low-production Q, which has tremendous power. The 164s are my wife's favorites now; the Spiders used to be.

Last, I would encourage you to use the search function to find some very informative threads regarding impressions on the various Alfas as daily drivers, and how they compare to each other.

Best regards,
 

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Ha! I thought I recognized the screen name, and then you mentioned your Audi... I'm another cross-addicted Audi/Alfa guy. There are a surprising number. Where are you located and what do you want to use the car for? If you're in the SF Bay area, we can arrange test drives, I'm sure. April lives nearby and there are lots of Alfa nut jobs, as well as Audi geeks. ;^)

-df
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ha! I thought I recognized the screen name, and then you mentioned your Audi... I'm another cross-addicted Audi/Alfa guy. There are a surprising number. Where are you located and what do you want to use the car for? If you're in the SF Bay area, we can arrange test drives, I'm sure. April lives nearby and there are lots of Alfa nut jobs, as well as Audi geeks. ;^)

-df
Hey DF...I knew about April, but didn't know you were an Alfa guy too. I'm in New England, a little far for a test drive, but I may wind up sourcing a west coast car because of the rust issues. Maybe I'll ask you guys to take a look for me if I see something in the bay area.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you are keeping the Audi and just looking for a fun reliable car then a mid 80's Spider would be a great choice. Where in the world you live can also be a factor..........
I've had GTV6's and Milano's as well. Great cars!

Tough choice, buy one of each...that's what most of us do!!:cool:

.
Can't I buy 2 of each??;)
 

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I'd go for a Spider! That's exactly what I'm doing and I have two 164's and a GTV6. I also had a Milano as my first Alfa. The 164's are much more modern and comfortable then the Milano and they are a fun car. The Milano was great, lightweight, and of course RWD but the build quality is not as nice as the 164's but oh so cool. I love my GTV6 but wish it had the Milano's power steering (I'm purchasing the conversion stuff bit by bit). So since like you I have the closed top cars covered for now I'm picking up a Spider in the next few weeks to have top down fun I've missed for many years.
Either way you go welcome and enjoy!
 

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It's extremely hard for "novices" since there are so many choices. I drive a GTV6 every day, my wife drives the 164 everyday, I've owned 2 80's spiders and loved both of them also. It's really kind of "apples and oranges" to compare the spider with the V6 cars. The GTV6 is very tractable as is the Milano. If your commute is about 20 miles in each direction, I think that either will be fine although I find the clutch on the GTV6 is kind of tiring if I have to sit in bumper to bumper traffic for a long time (as I do many days here in San Diego county).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for all the help and advice! I think I've got a direction. Emissions concerns have me looking for a pre-84 car and I'm leaning towards the spider because I really miss having a convertible. For now, I plan to continue reading, learning and maybe asking an intelligent question or 2 while scouring the BB and the classifieds for my new car.

Of course, as is usually the case with old cars, my plans could totally change for that car that's "too good to pass up!"
 

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... Emissions concerns have me looking for a pre-84 car and I'm leaning towards the spider because I really miss having a convertible. ...
I think you mean a pre-1975, right? Anyway, don't rule out the Bosch injected Spiders (1982 and later), as these have decent power and have no issues passing emissions.

Best regards,
 

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I think you mean a pre-1975, right? Anyway, don't rule out the Bosch injected Spiders (1982 and later), as these have decent power and have no issues passing emissions.

Best regards,
Enrique..

Actually, I do mean pre 84...in MA cars are exempt from emissions testing if built before 1984. I figured it would be one less thing to worry about while sortingt the car. I guess maybe I lived in California too long as my first concern is alway passing the smog check.
 

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Enrique..

Actually, I do mean pre 84...in MA cars are exempt from emissions testing if built before 1984. I figured it would be one less thing to worry about while sortingt the car. I guess maybe I lived in California too long as my first concern is alway passing the smog check.
Ah, yes, once the 25 year mark is reached, it's historical and emissions exempt... All my Spiders are on "collector plates", and hence they are also emissions exempt. Since the '84 & '87 are not eligible for historical plates yet, it is nice not to have to worry about this. Oddly enough, I still make sure that they all meet emissions, and I do have them tested every couple of years or so. (It's very nice nonethless to not have to worry, if one were to fail....) It's just another factor that shows how well the cars are doing, and I like knowing that I'm doing my part in keeping our planet a little greener. :)

Best regards,
 
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