Re: Advice on buying 2nd Hand
I bought my 146 1.6TS (alloy top, March 1997) off these guys at the end of February 07 and I have to say (touch wood!) it's proved to be a great buy. Bought with 70k on the clock and now up to 91k with only routine maintenance; better tyres, spark plugs, lights, regular oil change and weekly oil level check. It came with a year's MOT so I only had to put it through in Feb this year - all it needed was headlight re-alignment (I think the adjustment mechanism has had it, common problem?).
Reliable (not left me stranded once - I'm going to regret this post I can tell), cheap to run and maintain, I have the master key, nice driving experience. Puts a smile on my face whenever I'm driving it! My first Alfa - the one that got me hooked - I can't see me ever needing to drive another marque.
Bad points (minor niggles really):
Remote central locking doesn't work, variator and cambelt are up for renewal again shortly, handbrake freezes on - found out last winter, heater was stuck on re-circulate - another common problem with 10 minute DIY fix.
Good luck with it if you do go for it and Enjoy!