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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde

I looked at it a while ago, at the time it was $5k, but the price has dropped a bit. The body really is as nice as it looks in the pics, the interior is ok other than the drivers seat, and the gauge cluster is not functioning at all. It also has a momo steering wheel and shift knob. The shifter linkage is worn very badly, but it does shift without any bad noises from the gearbox. The odometer reads 225k miles, I forgot to check if it was still working when i drove it though. It has momo wheels, koni red shocks, and the tires still look ok. The engine runs alright, but it it kinda noisy (maybe needs a valve adjustment?). When I asked about maintaince recoreds, the guy just said that you should expect to have to do some work on a car that old and it was rare so it was worth the price. It also pours gas out on the ground from the cap if you corner hard. I was kinda thinking about calling him up and offering a price more in line with what its actually worth, since it has been over 6 months aince he started advertising it. Id think about $1k-$1200? I bought a milano gold with less than half the miles than only needed some fuel and coolant lines for $1750 so...
 

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IMO, it is very hard, to the point of being unfair, to place a value on a car with needs, based on a description from either the seller or a potential buyer. When a car has issues, it needs to be inspected. It's easy to see the interior in pictures, but the mechanical condition and especially the condition of the engine are crucial. A car with bad cosmetics, and a bad engine is worth a heck of a lot less than a car with with bad cosmetics and a solid engine. That said, $1000 - $1200 is what a complete parts car goes for, so unless you believe that this is a parts car, I would say that your valuation is low.

Regarding the model... The Gold was the second most basic of the editions, and came with a 2.5 liter engine. You cannot compare the desirability of a Milano Gold with the top-of-the-line 3 liter Verde.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honestly, that car really is probably a parts car. Normally I think subtracting 1/2 the price to pay to have the problems fixed from the price of a clean example is a good way to judge the value of something like that, and since there was a nice one one here for $3200 that hasnt sold yet either it seems thats not too far out of line for the price. I guess a verde is more rare than a gold, I didnt really care much either way when I bought mine other than i really didnt want a sunroof.
 

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Enrique is right, $1,200 is way to low for a running Verde without any obvious body damage.

Generally, unless it's rusty, banged up, or has a blown engine, a fair "low" value for a Verde is about $3,500. Good condition drivers generally bring about $5,000 and exceptional and low-mileage cars are $7,500+.

Joe
 

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To me, a parts car is one that doesn't run, and is not worth restoring because there are too many issues, such as rust, or missing parts, etc. A project is also a non-running car, but one that is still worth restoring. (A project will always cost more than a pristine car, but one is investing in the experience of the process and they satisfaction of the finished product.) A car that drives and can be registered is worth much more than one that will take a lot of work to make roadworthy. Even if ugly, a running car may be used as transportation.

It is normal when trying to purchase a car to look at transactions or offers that best suit one's valuation. A buyer looks at low $ deals. A seller will look at the opposite realm of the spectrum. In either case, extremes don't really change one reality: That is that it is much more cost effective to buy the best car that one can afford. That said, JoeCab's figures are current, and a decent Verde at $3200 is an extremely good deal. This time of year, when people don't want to drive cross country in bad weather, good deals do come up.

Best regards,
 

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FWIW, although I just bought my first Milano I spent the last five or six years (since I bought my 164) keeping track of prices, looking for the right deal for me. What Zunige said seems consistent with what I've seen.

When you're buying rare or oddball cars, "fair" value isn't easy to come up with. A Camry that needs a bunch of work may not be worth much, but you can always find another Camry for sale. Any Milano - much less a Verde - is stuck in that unfortunate position of being a very rare care with a very small market. Prices will fluctuate pretty wildly as a result. There are probably only a couple Verdes for sale in the US at any given moment, but not so many buyers, either. I watch the market on 164Qs as well - one day they'll be getting $6k, the next $14k. If you want one now, you pay the dough, if you've got time, wait for the next downswing.

Bottom line: If you want the car, pay the price. It may be a while before you find another one available. If you want a $1200 Alfa, that's another matter entirely. (Fortunately, I was one of the latter group... :D )
 

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Travis:

I think you're about right. 225k is an appalling mileage plus the known issues, so this running Verde can only expect the price for a parts car. $1500 is fair mostly for those Momo stuffs and a good body.

If you only have $1500 to spend, then this 225k Verde is your rare chance. Otherwise, I'd rather spend couple thousands more for a roughly 75k-mile-younger Verde with some records.

I keep tracking Milano sales on EBay and oddly enough, the supposedly rare Verde appeared reasonably frequent. My memo is that there've been far more Verde for sale than Platinum, and about the same as the Gold. The rarest Milano on the market now is the Platinum or Gold with auto transmission - if someone really needs an automatic Milano for city commute, such as in my wife's case, his/her shopping could be indefinite.

2 years ago I missed a Canadian Verde with 110k mile, worn driver's seat, and a few other issues like your find. The guy dropped price from $2000 to $1600, 3-times Ebay listing, finally it went for just under $2000. The buyer happened to be in the same city where I am. A year later we met by chance and he told me that car did not end up quite a bargain...

A low-mile solid 164S can go as high as $8K, a high-mile or beat-up one as low as under $1k; so is the reality of Milano Verde.

Good luck.
 

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225k is an appalling mileage plus the known issues, so this running Verde can only expect the price for a parts car.
Appalling?

Again, I would disagree and think this is far from a parts car.

I know of clean Verdes with high mileage that drive nice and tight, and also East Coast Verdes with less than 50k that have terminal rust.

To really determine the health of the car, I would recommend:

1) a compression/leak down test to determine engine condition
2) a look underneath at the driveshaft and brakes/suspension

While this car will probably never be pristine, it can probably be brought up to the level of a nice driver fairly easily.

Joe
 

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Appalling?

Again, I would disagree and think this is far from a parts car.

I know of clean Verdes with high mileage that drive nice and tight, and also East Coast Verdes with less than 50k that have terminal rust.
For sure. If anything, a reasonably well running car with 225k on it is a sign - to me - that at least the owner cared. A neglected car probably wouldn't do half that mileage and still start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The main problem i can see with that car being worth much over $1500 is that it is a very limited production car, and while the body is nice, the rest of it really isnt, and you could get a much nicer one for less than it would cost to fix that one. It really at the least would need the timing belt changed to be able to drive it, the guy said he had it for 5 years and never really drove it, so its been at least that long since it was done. I could see if someone really wanted a milano verde with a nice body it would be worth something to them, but to me it wouldnt be worth more than $1k. I already have a perfectly good milano, and honestly i dont like the sunroof and recaro seats so I will probably just wait until i see something better.
 

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while the body is nice, the rest of it really isnt, and you could get a much nicer one for less than it would cost to fix that one...I will probably just wait until i see something better.
Exactly! You're a logical shopper. I was actually thinking you're right on the mark: $1-1.2K:) Well-cared 225K-mile car is one thing, 225K mile with a rough engine is another... The only sensible thing to do with this Verde is either leave it or buy it for $1K, play with it till it breaks apart, but don't waste anything on it, there're worthier candidates for restoration, then sell those Momo rims and wheels and other parts, you might get all your $1K back in the end.

Interestingly, this is the 1st time I learnt of 200K-mile+ longevity on a Milano. I know Alfa's could be just as enduring as those typically harder-working Euro marques like VW, Saab and Volvo. I read off somewhere a 164L did 250K miles, but for Milano this really is big news to me.

Alfa's tend to have lower mileage than Saab & VW of same vintage most likely because they're loved and cared more? The latter seem easily abused because people treat them as workhorses so 200K mileage for them is a norm, whereas 200K on an Alfa seems a bit scary:p

My 1st car was a rusty 200K mile Saab. I did 50K miles in 3 years till its tranny gone, total expense including initial purchase price was $8-9K; The 164S I have now was bought at 55K mile in pristine condition, I've done 50K miles in 5 years, total expense as of today including initial purchase is $15K.

It is only $6K more than running a rusty Saab for 3 years, but the 164S shines throughout 5 years and still has plenty life ahead.

In the end everything is about VALUE. If you need at least $3K to bring that veteran Verde to decent state, why not just pay $7K to get that nice Verde on EBay right now?

I bought my Milano Gold with 96K mile in pristine condition for just over $1K. A year later it suffered a collision and my insurance buyback payment is $8K due to Veloce body kit upgrade. After restoration with Evo replacement, it is now appraised for $9K. This is how I deal with the intricate worth of these cars...
 

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I think that the location of the vehicle can also determine the price. I have a nice Verde for sale in Reno, NV, which I bought from California. Its not a rust bucket. I have it listed for $3200 on the BB.

Several east coast people are interested but the cost of transporting the car seems to be a large factor. I don't think I could get more than $2500 selling the car back east. I might get my asking price out west.
 

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I think that the location of the vehicle can also determine the price. I have a nice Verde for sale in Reno, NV, which I bought from California. Its not a rust bucket. I have it listed for $3200 on the BB.

Several east coast people are interested but the cost of transporting the car seems to be a large factor. I don't think I could get more than $2500 selling the car back east. I might get my asking price out west.
You are mistaken... A dessert Verde in the East coast goes for a lot more than $3200. An average, I do mean very average driver in NJ goes for no less than $4000. You do realize that the winter months are the worst time to sell a car, don't you? The potential market is reduced to the local area, as the weather really creates a barrier, even to plan a trip to inspect a car... Most of the time, during this time of year you don't even get an offer. There are other factors besides the shipping expense. One of those is that here on the BB, most buyers are looking to do their own work. By comparison, someone who isn't going to be wrenching on the car would jump at the $3200 price, since he/she knows they'd have to pay a mechanic a lot more to get a not so good car to a decent level.

Best regards,
 

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I'm just telling you my actual, recent experience. You're right about the guys who want to wrench on the car. Purchase a car for $1500, put in $3-5K to get the car back to presentable condition, then try to get $3200 for time, effort, parts, etc. Did the same on an '87 BMW325is.

These 20 year old cars aren't real expensive cars, so I don't plan to make any monies on them. If someone really needs one, I don't think a couple of hundred bucks either way should be a big deal, as long as you get the car you want. Right now, it doesn't look to be a big demand for Milano's.
 

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Oh, I dunno. My very first Alfa - a Milano Verde, had 150k on it and it ran like a bear! -And was almost mint. Funny thing about the 116/119 cars is that you really have to keep after them if you drive it every day. I wouldn't disspell a 3.0 just because it has 225k. You really have to get a driving impression from it. Just to get there, you KNOW it's gone through timing belts, water pumps, 3k oil changes it's whole life, alternator, starter, maybe a rack-n-pinion, giubos, rear calipers, clutch, & most likely valve guides (after around 150k). The bottom-ends have excellent longevity. I suppose the rear main might need attention - If you care about leaking on the driveway. So, it could very well be that the the interior is the worst thing he's looking at. Maybe A/C, and ABS. You just never know. I prefer to make a good looking car run better, but making an ugly, good running car look better is a PITA IMO. ...Depends on whether you're more mechanically inclined or body-work inclined I reckon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The problem with that car is the current owner has not maintained it at all, it has just sat in his garage for years. For the cost of the repairs it would need, you could buy that milano verde that has been for sale for $3200, and probably another base model one as well.
 

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But, on the upside, you'd have a lot of new parts and recent work, and could expect a decent lifetime from them. There is something to be said for buying a car that you know needs work and doing that work yourself. You'll sleep better at night knowing the timing belt/head gasket/valve guides/whatever are done, instead of worrying about when they'll finally go and leave you stranded.

It's been literally a decade since I've purchased a "good runner." I buy a car that needs work, throw $2000 into it, and drive it for years and years before it needs anything other than oil changes.

I'm not saying that's the right approach for you, only that there is some value in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Honestly, if I was going to buy a car that needed that much work, it rather buy a $500 base model milano and save it from being scrapped, rather than a more expnesive car thats nicer but still needs just as much work.
 
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