Re: Seriously thinking of buying a Spider
Hi, I have a July 1995 left hand drive Spider, one of the early personal imports before the GTV/Spider was officially released in 1996. No doubt you’ve read all the Buying Guides etc with regards to the GTV/Spider, but in my experience a short list of musts for a Phase One car (1995-98) would be:
1) Yep cambelt/balance shaft belt/all associated tensioners & idlers. If this is done recently that’s great, make sure there’s an invoice to prove.
2) Suspension. Another red flag for these cars. Try and find one where the shocks/springs/bushes have been recently replaced. Listen for squeaks from the rear when driving or even when you get in/out of the car. If there are noises then the bushes in the trailing/springpan arms are on the way out or even shot to pieces. If you really like the car, you could negotiate a reduced price, then consider some replacements/upgrades for the suspension, but this won’t be cheap.
3) The air conditioning on the early cars is not great. If it’s still working, it will soon pack up. Best to ignore it anyway, why need it when the roof is down?
4) Check the condition of the tyres for uneven wear. Another indication of rubber bush wear. Also, getting the tracking right on these cars is notoriously difficult. Even some specialists are unaware that the rear toe in/out is adjustable. If tyre wear is even then it’s a good sign the car has been looked after and the suspension is reasonably ok.
The list could go on. Hope this helps, and good luck.