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(Post Link) post #1 of 27 Old 12-06-13 Thread Starter
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Would I be a Friend?

I have been tasked by a Friend to sort out something sporty with enough rear seating for two kids as a second car as I have history of buying and selling doer uppers.
I have several 156 and Sportwagon which we use as our daily transport (home mechanic) and have owned GTVs in the past.
His budget is limited and only gives him access to older Celica, MX5 and MR2 but could get him into 1999-2002 GTV 2.0. I think there are a lot of Alfa misconceptions and find them reliable transport if looked after and you buy the best you can afford.
Would I be risking the end of a Friendship by getting him in a GTV, I know he would love it but not sure he would look after it enough to avoid large bills as he is not mechanically minded which is strange for a Design Technology Teacher?
Have suspension prices come down for GTV? I had one almost new in 1998 and it was a bottomless pit with expensive rear suspension repairs.
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Hmm. Unless he's planning on putting them in the boot, I don't think an MX5 or MR2 would qualify as having 'enough rear seating for two kids,' haha.

And the recommendation of a car should never be cause for concern when it comes to the strength of a friendship. I bought a GT largely due to the recommendations on here; it has since cost me a fortune in bills, but, I don't have any issue with that - it's luck of the draw at the end of the day.
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Not sure what 1999 2.0s go for, but it sounds like his budget is low - a grand or two. Any car at that price has the potential to be very "interesting", and "interesting" becomes expensive if you can't do the work yourself.

You are likely to be able to check the obvious things, but he needs to be aware that a £1000 car can drop its guts all over the road at a moments notice, and that he needs to budget for this as well.

if he can't fix it himself, I would be looking at something newer. £1000 cars are great projects, but not much fun at the dealer.
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Here is a car you have missed from the list
406 coupe

Can be had for very little money, I have one as my second car in v6 form
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I'm always put in the same position by family and friends mate.
Once they drive or have a ride in an Alfa, they get interested in owning one.

I simply tell them the truth...
Yes they are reliable but only as long as the owner is willing to put the effort in being reliable with weekly checks.
Unlike any other marque, you enter a mutual benefit deal with an Alfa Romeo, "look after me and I will look after you"
It's somewhat easy to convert a non technical car owner to someone who actually can do the basics and find it rewarding and interesting... As we all know, when an Alfa works well, it cast's it's spell and then they get interested in lifting the bonnet for a change. It works every time.

Introduce them to the forum, both of you decide on what Alfa would suit their appeal and do homework and ask questions on them....
The tricky bit isn't recommending an Alfa, it's getting a good one and you being brave enough to tell them to walk away when it's a bad one....

Once that's out the way the car will do all the work on the new owner to convince them it was the right one for them. All you have to do is hold their hand for a short while, point them in the right direction for advice and introduce them to an independent Alfa specialist.

Your friendship will never be in question as long as you helped them to decide on a well looked after Alfa, they will be hooked and want to put the effort in themselves after that.

My sister is a girly, girl...long nails and the make up etc... She never lifted the bonnet on any car she owned previous to my dismay
When she got my old 156 TS, imagine my surprise the first time I serviced it for her when she was offering to learn how to change the oil and plugs....

Now we have family service days where we all chip in together... All these family members were all Anti Alfa at one stage and inept at the basics of just a simple oil level check.... How times change...

Like I said... The car does all the work on convincing, not me
 
(Post Link) post #6 of 27 Old 12-06-13 Thread Starter
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Started to look at 2 seaters until his Wife said it would need to do the occasional School run. He hasn't given me a spend figure but I know its not going to be much above a grand. I suppose that I am so use to running around in stuff which I pay very little for and also enjoy adding value by tinkering, that I tend not to go near the high end stuff. I have bought minters with full history for top dollar which then go bang and dogs for a few quid which turn out to be absolute jewels, I AM NEVER DISAPPOINTED WITH A CHEAP MOTOR ONLY PLEASANTLY SURPRISED, even if its because I have found the odd pound coin when cleaning it out or an old receipt for a full cambelt and waterpump change. I think that what ever he ends up with will burst his mechanical cherry. We do have an small garage in the village that loves all things Italian, I just think the owner is a total t"%t but that shouldn't put anyone else of using him and his rates are low, depending on how much money is in his pocket. I will have a look at the competition, hadn't really thought about Peugeot but they are a bit humdrum and then it highlights other coupes and we start moving away from sporty to a tarted saloon.
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Garage
If he wants a three door coupe with some performance I had a Citroen Xsara VTS for nearly nine years which I only got rid of because it was the main car and used for European holidays and at nearly ten years old I felt it was a bit long in the tooth. Cared for they seem to go on to 125k or more. Alternative would be the VTR version not so much poke but stil faster than the standard Xsara. Mine sold for less than a grand
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The 406 v6 coupe is anything but humdrum or a tarted up saloon!!!
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(Post Link) post #9 of 27 Old 12-06-13 Thread Starter
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I have owned most things over the years including 406, compared to a GTV or similar... show of hands please? Humdrum and tarted refers to your family saloon with a makeover to grab the empty nester. When the engine choice is a wheezy 2.0, diesel or a large motor which struggles to get over 200bhp, then it is trying too hard.
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How about a Peugeot 106 GTi / Citroen Saxo VTS? You'll likely pick up a VTS easier than a GTi at that money but they have space for the kids in the back and are great fun. Embarrassed many a Vectra driving rep who didn't realise my 106 was the GTi.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightenout View Post
How about a Peugeot 106 GTi / Citroen Saxo VTS? You'll likely pick up a VTS easier than a GTi at that money but they have space for the kids in the back and are great fun. Embarrassed many a Vectra driving rep who didn't realise my 106 was the GTi.
lol, would love to have seen the reps' faces.

I had a brief go in a 106 Rallye once and that thing was pretty fun.

Had a go in a Saxo VTR, too, but was far less impressed.
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Originally Posted by GazzyG View Post
lol, would love to have seen the reps' faces.

I had a brief go in a 106 Rallye once and that thing was pretty fun.

Had a go in a Saxo VTR, too, but was far less impressed.
I think the VTR just had a 90bhp 1.6, you needed the VTS to match the 120bhp of the GTi. Around 7.3s 0-60.
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What about the breadvan? Sorry I mean, 145 Cloverleaf, pick them up for peanuts, prob same engine as GTV, but 4 seats and will give the driver the Alfa smile. I think you can get them for well under 1K and then spend the saved money on a few parts to make it better? It's not a soft top though

Cheers
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Aye! '45 is a pretty good ship..

But you'll have to help him get "mechanical". "Design Technology" is a pimped Art teacher.. not an engineer.


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(Post Link) post #15 of 27 Old 19-06-13 Thread Starter
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Don't anybody laugh! I have bought a Porsche 924 in guards red 72k, fsh. This is my thinking, looked at Fiat Coupe, cougar, volvo c70, 406 coupe, celica and newer hyundai coupe. He is driving a Saxo at the moment and looks like a monkey riding a tricycle and didn't want another hatch, hot or not. Here's my logic, he isn't ready for an Alfa, the 924 is VW and Audi, second hand parts are plentiful (£22 cambelt kit and an hour to fit), it aint going to try and kill him, classic insurance and at the right side of £600 it can't get any lower in value and prices are on the rise. If you didn't laugh at that you will now, I have taken a Proton Coupe 1.8i as a P/X. Recaro seats, momo steering wheel, 0-60 8secs, stuck it on fleebay as I don't know what to do with it and the Alfas need some love before their MOT and I have stumped the cash for the Porker, I will have it if he doesn't
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Originally Posted by goose View Post
What about the breadvan? Sorry I mean, 145 Cloverleaf, pick them up for peanuts, prob same engine as GTV, but 4 seats and will give the driver the Alfa smile. I think you can get them for well under 1K and then spend the saved money on a few parts to make it better? It's not a soft top though

Cheers
Goose
Seconded. Great suggestion. The Cloverleaf version in particular is a little honey of a car especially in metallic yellow.
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(Post Link) post #17 of 27 Old 19-06-13 Thread Starter
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Nice little car the 145, seem to be more coming up for sale and enthusiast owned unlike a lot of 156 and GTV around on various sites at the moment. There is a bit of me which didn't want my mate to have an Alfa.. "only gay in the village" soon everyone would have one! Friends take the **** about reliability but its not my £9000 Audi which needs a new engine, offered the SW as a runabout until their car is fixed or scrapped! I think Alfas suffer from the modern car curse of too many sensors which go wrong before the bloody thing they are sensing. Shame they can't make a non cat non injection 156 or 159. Have to say that after being on the Proton forum this site ROCKS!!
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I love my GTV but even kids are highly theoretical for those rearseats in my opinion.
I wouldn't wanna place anything else but bags and jackets on those seats.
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(Post Link) post #19 of 27 Old 20-06-13 Thread Starter
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GTV or should I say Alfas are like STD's, you know you are going to have fun but boy will you regret it afterwards and you will never stop applying the cream. I have come back to them and luv 'em, can't say why, just do! I found my GTV made perfect sense and at the same time none at all, weird or what? I have never bought cars based on what my head says, life is too short and my 8 year old thinks its cooooolllll to have such a mix of School taxis when the other parents are in their functional boxes and complaining about service costs and the latest mobile tablet ipod thingy which they use for twitterbook!
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Don't anybody laugh! I have bought a Porsche 924 in guards red 72k, fsh.
I'm not laughing - the 924 is one of the best bargains around at the moment, thanks to its "not a real Porsche" image.
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(Post Link) post #21 of 27 Old 20-06-13 Thread Starter
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That's what I thought, he can use it as a daily drive/second car, tinker with it at the weekends and it won't break the bank when a grown up needs to work on it. Spares seem endless and like the Alfa there is a good group of enthusiasts willing to help.
924 have been around long enough to highlight their problems, washed out fuse boxes, dodgy switches and fuel pumps. Why didn't I think of it sooner?
I think the vast majority of punters wouldn't know enough to see it as a budget motor, just as a Porsche. I know that when a college friend bought one in 1993 I wet myself laughing while he told me the virtues of his purchase but I think that was to do more with his car history than the Porker and there was a slight pang of envy as I was driving a very cold and uncomfortable series I landrover. He traded his hyundai with 3 working gears, no brakes and the back window held in with gaffer tape and boiled sweets.
I think the 924 poor mans Porsche image has started to fade as they earn more classic status, if you think about the stuff which commands big money now, which in my youth where considered ordinary... Escort mk1 and 2, Cortina mk1-4, Carlton, Mini the list goes on... I think it was the envious that called it the poor mans Porsche, Rich mans Capri? I was one of those who scorned as I huddled for warmth from my lental porridge and mumbled... poor mans Porsche.. poor mans Porsche... van engine... bah humbug!
I find that my choice in vehicles is not unique and that there is a pattern with chaps of my age who like all things mechanical. We tend to have owned Landrovers, Jags, Alfa, Motorbikes and all those things that people tell you to stay away from cos they are rubbish or will fall a part, what doesn't kill you first will only make you stronger.

Last edited by guntomyheadalfa; 20-06-13 at 10:59.
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145QV a real hot hatch and a hoon to drive enthuastically, had one for 3 years and loved it.

If his budget is below £1500, he wants sporty (Coupe looks) and occasional back seats and you have concerns about ruining a friendship, then probably best to point him in the direction of anything Jap / Korean, Honda Prelude, Hyundai Coupe, Toyota Celica. It should be more reliable on the proviso that anything of that age can and will break down or fail an MOT.

The Hyundai Coupe would get my vote as you can get a hell of a lot of car for your money and they come with plenty of toys and leather interiors can be found easily.

Ex 164QV, 145QV, 156 2.0TS Modifica, 159Ti, Maserati Ghibli GT.....sob, I want it back mummy Brera S Modifica
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(Post Link) post #23 of 27 Old 20-06-13 Thread Starter
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I am hoping he will go for the Porker or this Proton Coupe, if not then the Hyundai would probably make the best sense.
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My brother has just bought a mint V6 Cougar, 70k, fsh, X pack, for £700. Not my choice but a cracking buy.
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(Post Link) post #25 of 27 Old 26-06-13 Thread Starter
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They do make a good buy and seem very overlooked, not sure why as its all mondeo running gear plus tried and tested engines? I have seen low milers with fsh t n t going for as little as £300? The x pack puts a few quid on with leather, but still very cheap for a solid motor.
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