Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am wondering how many of you trust your Spiders on road trips. These cars, at their youngest, are 13 years old and not exactly repairable in any small town garage along the way. But I am going on a 12 hour round-trip next month to visit a friend and am tempted to take my 90 Graduate. It will be largely Interstate freeway driving (65 mph) so, aside from some leg fatigue, I wouldn't think of much that could go wrong along the way. Since owning the car, I've done 6 hour weekend round trips and it's done fine.

Any words of encouragement? Or horror stories?

Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Trust In Alfa

I have driven from San Diego, California to Portland, Oregon (and beyond) twice in the past 3 years with lots of side trips along the way. No problems at all. 2k+ miles each trip. Took Highway 1 along the beautiful CA coast both times. Lots of twisties:D. The trips were a blast. Relaxing, fun, top-down almost all the way - the exception was coming back down Highway 5 through the San Joaquin Valley in 110 degree weather.

Check the stuff that's most likely to give you problems: radiator, tires, oil, etc. Prior to each trip I had the car thoroughly gone over by both the Dannys at Foreign Auto Menders in Poway (north of San Diego). They're great!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
2000 ks

Just did a trip to southern Maine and New Hamshire
1960ks no problem 50% at 65MPH and the rest 45MPH and temp and oil pressure remained OK. Drove in one rainy day, no water inside to talk about

One afternoon, it really got hot outside (97 degrees) we closed the top and ran the AC and went fine

Just love this car, I also have an 89 930S Porsche and I wouldn't have tried this in it


Very dependable, even if I was a little worried at first, but then after 200 miles I settled and the trip was just great

Did not trusted the car at first, because I wasn't sure that the PO maintained it OK

Enjoy your ride and your trip
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Aaa

Might think abt Gold AAA card, unlimited towing. I always carry extra fuel filter, belts, coolant, and enough tools to replace. I am sure someone out there has put together a recommended bag of Alfa stuff to have on any long trip, probably for each type. Anyone? hw3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Drove my Spider from Simi Valley, CA to Asheville, NC. Some of the trip was along route-66 the rest interstate, not a single problem from the '82. Prior to my trip I had Santo update transmission mount, fuel pump and hoses, new tires and battery, and lots of cigars. It was a delightful trip that I would undertake again without a moment's hesitation. If you take care of the basics: electrical, fuel, rubber parts, your trip should be mechanically uneventful and spiritually cleansing. Do it. You're not getting any younger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,087 Posts
A well maintained Spider is very reliable. I drive my '84 regularly between NJ and OH (> 640 mi. ea.way).

Best regards,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Finding Monica

In March of this year I found a 93 Spider for sale in the LA area through Craig's list. My brother and I flew from Jacksonville, FL and picked up the car around 10 pm local time. Early the next day we started to drive her home. We did cross country with a car that was leaking transmission and differential fluid as well as no A/C and no windshield wiper fluid...etc, etc,etc. We kept an eye on the fluid levels and with our fingers crossed and made it back safely. Since returning home she's been going through a full strip down cleaning and repair. Hopefully by the time it cools down enough to enjoy the fall weather she'll be ready for the road. Can your car make it on a long drive? Well it depends on the car and how well you pay attention to her and just plain luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
Went to Munich, Germany, bought my 1970 model and drove it home to Copenhagen, Denmark, in freezing cold January, 800 miles. Apart from very poor headlamps all went very well. Felt very warm inside.
After sorting some electrical issues and a service, took it for summer holydays around eastern and central Europe, 2400 miles. Small leak from cam cover (partly fixed en route) was only issue.
Go for it.
Erik
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,056 Posts
I would take mine on that trip. Don't forget the cel phone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Long trip

I have several old sports cars. Besides the obvious things like spare belts, hoses, etc. I always carry a spare electric fuel pump (actually, on the Alfa S3 there are two fuel pumps--and I carry both).

The only failures I have had in 20 years of driving old sports cars is the electric fuel pump failing and a shorted battery cable. The first time I was able to replace the fuel pump on the side of the road in an MGB, the second time I needed a tow (also in an MG). I have had the fuel pump on my Alfa fail, but it actually did it in my garage so I'm not counting that.

I also carry ignition cables, fuses, a complete set of metric tools, hose clamps, various nuts and bolts, and other bits and pieces. The space under the spare tire and the area where the jack goes are good storeage nooks.

Jay Leno once said something like half the fun of driving an old car is the suspense of whether or not you are going to get there. Just remember, there are far worse things than breaking down and if you do, roll with it. Also don't forget the two most important spares--cell phone and credit card.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
308 Posts
expect the unexpected

Check the tires
Replace due to age, not wear.

I drive from DC to NY in my 1985 2x each year. Car loves the trip, I try to take back roads as much as possible through PA and MD.

My 1981, driving from Dallas to Dulles blew a tire in Shrevport LA

Fortunately, on the way down we didn't hit any other cars, trees, rocks, etc.
Scary, but no damage to car / driver / passenger.
Had the car shipped the rest of the way.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,909 Posts
picked my Duetto up in San Diego and drove her home to Austin, almost 1400 miles. She made it home safely, although barely. Now that she's been sorted, I can drive her anywhere
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,015 Posts
Done 2 good road trips in my spider;

up to Scotlands Highlands - 1200mile trip - the gearbox developed a crack & bled gearbox oil all the way home.


down to the Cornish Coast - 900 mile trip - the exhaust snapped - but got it fixed on route.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,811 Posts
For repairs.

Always carry duct tape, bubble gum, and bailing wire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,627 Posts
If you drive your car on a regular basis, then you know the car enough as to whether it can make the trip or not. If something fails,it was going to and you were not aware of it. Take what you think you need should you have a repair issue, the rest is AAA or a U-haul to get it home. Worst case would be cracking the sump on a rock or bump in the road you didn't know about. The rest is having fun with the top down and making everyone else envious that you are driving a car from the movie, "Under the Tuscan Sun". :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
187 Posts
I agree with VeloceDoc, I don't see a problem with any roadtrips with the spider, but you should have a feel of whether there will be any issues with the car. If you've kept up with all the required maintenance + a pre-inspection before the trip to look out for worn out hoses, belts, fresh and good coolant, oil, I don't see why you should be unduly worried. I believe the experience of driving the spider will leave you lasting memories others will be envious of.

My experience: I celebrated my wife's birthday a couple years back at Monterey Bay, she always wanted to stay in a bed and breakfast, and my dream had been to drive up the California central coast in my spider. Turned out that both of us had our dreams fulfilled! I thoroughly enjoyed the drive and got to brag getting an average og 28 mpg out of my 26 year old Alfa to my friends ;p ! There's always risk with adventure, but with proper preparation, chances are you'll walk away the winner. After all, many other non-car related things can go wrong in a vacation too!

Andre
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top