So, after looking at GTs seriously for a couple of months ( most for sale about 3 hours away so it took a while ) I kept coming back to GTV'S. Why?
The GT was too practical (
)..... And I always felt the GTV was a better looking car anyway! ( GT close behind )
So anyway, seeing as this was a bit of a "seize the day" situation, away I went and picked up a 99 2.0 TS in metallic red with a cloth interior .... Gorgeous !
I got it for not much more than what others were paying for ones for parts because...
In no order of importance
1. Engine not reving above 4,500
2. four different tyres
3. Slightly uncertain service history in the last three years
4. No radio
5. Misc small scratches in the paintwork
6. Rear light cluster had a crack in the centre of it.
7. Crash/bang when going over big divots at slow speeds from what appears to be the back left suspension.
8. She was absolutely gorgeous and I loved the cloth interior when I saw it in the flesh!
Subject to the car not being a rust bucket I made an offer and it was accepted.
She's due to be inspected by the Irish authorities next week for tax purposes ( uk reg ), then by the local Alfa garage ( recommended by the local alfaowners chapter ) to see what it will get them to do ( cam belt and the suspension I'd guess, in order to get it well sorted so I can maintain it).
The 4x4 is for sale and I'm driving a 98 Saab 900s as my daily car at the moment......
So ..... I got my insurance swapped for the weekend so that I could take her for a few spins, play with the MAF, see what else is wrong , etc.
So what showed up.
1. I got a new friend, I was feeling slightly left out, but no, once I removed the bit of black insulating tape that he was hiding under, there was everybody's friend - the airbag light! .... Class! I only spotted the black insulating tape on the dash when the sun happened to make it in the car at such an angle that it showed the different colour in the panel.
2. The engine temperature hunts up and down - never more than 90, sometimes just hovering around the line thats just above 50.
3. Additional creak/rattle from somewhere behind the steering wheel
4. When I was on the ground doing my rust inspection .... The handbrake cable ( the armoured section ) is being pinched by the suspension on the right hand side at some point in the suspension travel
5. The gaiter at the top of the front shock is shot to hell on both sides - the silver part of the shock looks fine for the moment.
6. At one point the central locking was possessed and refused to open .. Kept lifting the spigots in the door and then dropping them straight away ... But only if I tried to unlock at the passenger side!
7. Boot lid doesn't always stay up.
8. When going around a right hand bend if I hit a divot of some sort the car feels unsettled - no such problem on the left handers.
9. Slow puncture back left
10. Drivers door inside handel, doesn't quite go back flush ( bit of play before it takes up the slack in whatever cable/linkage is in there)
11. Creaking noises from the suspension
So, would I still have bought it ..... Dear God yes!!! Have I mentioned that she's gorgeous and when I'm driving, apart from my butt being slightly clenched courtesy of the uncertain age of the cambelt, I have a massive grin on my face.
What's the plan?
1. Take some pictures for you all.
2. Disconnect the MAF sensor and see what happens.
3. ReMove the back left tyre to have a closer look at the suspension there.
4. Go for another drive, and another, and another, and another, .........
Get her taxed, sorted mechanically, NCT'd (MOT).
Paintwork tidy up
Power flex bushes
Front shock gaiter
Four new tyres . ( Bridgestone S0001 for the quietness going by the threads I've read here - have you driven a 4x4 for twelve years ... I have no hearing left! )
Alarm/ remote central locking
Rear light cluster
Windows to open slightly and then close after you close the door.
Fix the rear boot lid not staying open issue.
Bigger paint job ( if needed )
Any other mods/maintenance that's needed .. I don't care!
Thanks to everyone that has ever posted an answer here .. I have had great fun reading half the posts ( for that Alfa " experience" ) and found the other half really helpful for explaining the mechanical/electrical gremlins.
Last night, pint in hand, I found the Top Gear Alfa special and watched it again ... All the reasons I wanted to buy one were there.
1. Nothing looks like an Alfa
2. Nothing drives like an Alfa
3. Nothing makes you feel like you do with an Alfa
( plus the maintenance appeals to my internal grease monkey)