Ahhhh.... something tells me I'm really up the creek now... at first I was JEALOUS when my friend the parts specialist dragged in an Alfa Romeo Spider for half the price of mine about a week or two ago... jealousy turned to mirth when I took one glance and knew that my Spider was at least twice as good
Then, other guys that work there started asking about my Spider... no, not my yellow Spider, the red one... what? Seems I had become the de-facto owner!
It finished with a phone call that went something along the lines of "Hi Alex, someone asked me for the wiring loom of the driver's door, either I go and take it off that Spider and that's the start of wrecking the car, or I can't be bothered - so what will it be? - $3000 and it's yours..."
I said I still didn't want it and surely you could find someone else and... $3000? The price seems to have halved again! Umm, well I don't have the money handy... oh, next few months you say?...
So let's take a look at what I've ended up with...
No, neither Ducato thank goodness... It's over there in the corner...
It's Reasonably Red! Not too pink except the hood cover... There's a deep white scratch down each side... could be touched in and polished up but I think it might be worth a respray instead... that will mean loads of filler I guess, but at least I have a D/A sander these days, imagine a quick respray (like, less than a week...) <ahem>, I'm getting ahead of myself.
Just look at the selection of other vehicles on offer in the wrecking yard - Multipla, Marea, Tipo, Punto, 156, 147, even 166... Coupe, ancient 125, and a strange superleggera X1/9... Secretly in my heart I think the Spider might be more special than the others...?
I wonder if those grilles in the bumper are supposed to be red, I've never seen them painted before...
Can't wait to clean that wheel. I think all four wheels will clean up quite well with only the mildest kerb rash (my hands, on the other hand, will be a different story).
Apparently, the engine has a blown head gasket. Bottles of water in the boot attest to this, but why is the coil cover off? (it's in a box inside the car). Maybe the cylinders were full of water. Maybe it's bent a rod...
Strangely, the cooling system appears to be full of green liquid, which isn't what I might expect if it has been topped-up repeatedly.
Interior is phase-one and quite different in lots of ways to my phase-two, obviously. This particular interior has a nasty steering wheel cover (over the worn-out wheel). There is also the standard sticky-and-scratched soft-touch coating on the centre console parts.
Driver's seat is ruined and clearly crying out for a re-trim. I haven't seen that grey cloth before - it must be really rare? I've only ever seen leather seats in Spiders. I wonder what I should replace it with - looks fairly generic... Maybe some other funky cloth, like tiger skin...?
Moderators didn't approve some of these photos including this one, which is why not all the photos are available in the AlfaOwner gallery...
The soft-top/hood/roof/whatever you call it has these little slits. Hopefully they can be stitched up, though the damage has gone through the grey headlining too. I've put the obligatory piece of duck tape over them in the meantime.
Well at least the rear window could be worse, it's only dusty... and the hood is crying out for a hot soapy scrub.
These are the main paint problems - a clearcoat problem on the top of the left rear, and those lengthy scratches. I'm thinking this warrants a repaint... what do you think? Are these cars supposed to have a clearcoat over the solid (non-metallic) colour, or 'pastel colour' as the Italians call it? In other words, do I paint it with 2K paint or base/clear?
Maybe I shall get it running first!
Stepping on the clutch brought an unexpected surprise - the clutch in my yellow Spider is plainly stuffed as it's about twice as heavy as this...
Hooking up a jump starter pack verified that most electrics work. The pegs under the rear window release and the hood cover unlatches, but the pump does not run. What was a surprise, though, was the period-correct Pioneer stereo with a CD left in it... suitably creepy music played as soon as I turned the key! (Night On Bald Mountain, by Erich Kunzel - 1989) IMG_3053.MOV - YouTube
The car has had only the one owner, and was sold new in NZ. There is the original handbook wallet with some history within... It seemed that it had only done 110-odd thousand kms, climbing to 137,000 when I got the electrics livened up, but then I realised it's in miles! The cambelt was replaced last year, so it will be interesting to find out the true condition of the engine.
Underneath looks OK (reasonably dry) with the usual split inner CV boot. This gearbox will have to come off as it apparently has a chipped reverse idler gear and makes horrid noises in reverse. At least I've been offered the parts to fix that for free...
So all in all it was worth the 20-minute trip to take some photos of what I've 'bought', pity I have too much work to do this weekend to get it home... still, with three cars here and another elsewhere, I need this Spider like a hole in the head