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Discussion Starter #1
Hi - hoping that someone can assist and apologies for all the questions....

I've been lurking on and off for a while. I think i have just about convinced myself that I would like an Italian classic and it is coming down to either a Lancia Fulvia or a 105 series Alfa. This would be my only car and as I tend to cycle to work most days it would be driven maybe twice a week at most.

I currently drive a Fiat Coupe Turbo LE (which I have just spent a fortune on and it looks gorgeous...god knows why I want to sell it)....but I'm more than happy to forgo the performance for something a little older and more characterful. So....I'm looking out for either a GT Junior 1600, a 1750 or a 2000: it has to be a twin headlight model so I'm thinking that means a later one?

I guess the first question is where to look? I have been scanning Classic Cars for sale, Ebay, Carandclassic, AROC etc....is there anywhere else to look? My budget would be around £7-9K and ideally I would like something that had recent enough body work done to know that it will be sound for a good few years. Oh, and sound mechanicals too.... Is my budget realistic? What do you think it would buy?

A few of the cars I have seen have webasto sunroofs which I find oddly worrying....any issues?

In terms of ongoing maintenance I would anticipate using a specialist dealer. I live in Glossop, near Manchester - is there anyone reputable in the North West? I currently have my Fiat serviced in Birmingham so I don't mind travelling but more local would preferable...

I think I know the answer to the last question but I'll ask anyway....Is it absolute folly to consider keeping the car on the drive, rather than in the garage? Let me explain....despite having a nice modern double garage, custom and practice has meant 2 wheelers go in the garage and 4 wheels on the drive. I have 2 Vespas, 2 Lambrettas, 1 large BMW motorcycle and an embarassing number of bicycles....don't ask...It just happened...and they all live in the garage

I guess I could rationalise the 2 wheeled vehicle collection and make a car space but it wouldn't be for a few months....Are car covers worth considering...do they do anything worthwhile to significantly protect the car?

Finally I have seen reference to a buyers guide for the 105 series in some posts but I can't find it. Am I being a numpty? Does it exist on this site or can someone point me towards it?

Thanks in anticipation.
 

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There are a couple of nice cars within your budget advertised on our website:-

Alfaholics Cars for sale - Road Cars

There are no real issues with Webasto roofs provided they're in good nick but I've never liked the look of them, at high speed they tend to "balloon" upwards causing a rather odd looking bulge. It's not a problem having a tumescent roof but looks a bit weird!

Mangoletsi in Cheshire know a bit about these things maintenance wise but they're pretty simple so anyone with basic tools ought to be able to change the oil, plugs, points, brake pads etc.
 

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Well I'd have thought your budget would get you something OK. You'll get a better body for your money if you go for a late 1600. But you'll get more performance with a 1750 or 2000, which you might otherwise miss.

Twin headlights were from 1750's originally, then 2000 and finally also on 1600's.

That nice Mr Dawg has some good cars on his site but you might want to also check out Classic Alfa and Ian Ellis plus a few of the other specialists. Worth a call to all of them because they'll sometimes know of cars for sale. Keep checking AROC mags etc and if you are a member stick a wanted ad up.

The Bremner and Tipler books on 105 series Coupes give some good buying advice, the latter particularly detailed. I'd recommend one of those books anyway if you're serious about the cars. Check the normal web book sellers or AROC bookshop. There's a spider buying guide on 105 series section of AROC site which is very common to the coupe. But I reckon the books are better.

Sunroofs I've always been a bit suspicious of (all that extra potential for water drains to get blocked/ corroded). But probably not too much to worry about.

No idea on local specialists. Sorry.

Short term I think you'll be OK going outdoors for summer if you have a good quality cover, but I really think you wouldn't want it left outside for the winter. So if you think you can sort yourself out in a few months with garage space You'd be OK. Car cover is OK but you can only put it on a dry car.
 

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I personally wouldn't recommend outdoor car covers, they cause more bad than good. First the damp is collected under the cover, then in a wind they move about and put minute scratches all over the paint (because in winter you cannot always wash and wax your car before putting on the cover, so it will inevitably once in a while be slightly dirty, dusty etc). Sure you can get so-called breathable covers, but I had one on my merc and it only kept the bird poo off the car! Id rather leave the car uncovered and let the air circulate. But, really I wouldn't leave a classic (especially an alfa which has not got a good rust protection reputation) anywhere but in a garage.
 

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Living in Glossop it would be a nice trip over the Snake to Hope for a service with Peak Alfa, Rogers being doing my servicing on the Junior for last 5 years.

Mine spent a winter under a car cover just before I bought it and I just had the results (micro blistering under the paint work) removed at much expense so I would always go for the garage if you can.

There's a coupe buying guide by Keith Booker, that I've seen recommened by other people. I have not read it myself, but Keith himself helped me buy mine and he was very helpful/knowledgeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the detailed replies, and I note the caution about car covers.

Mound Dawg - roof tumescence, mmm nicely put:lol:

The red GT Junior advertised on Alfaholics appears a nice car but I would have to get over my desire for twin headlamps...

I now have the Keith Booker guide on order.

Another quick question - do all of the 105 series have the wooden dash and centre console? I have seen photos of a blue GT Junior for sale and it looks like this strip isn't wood:confused:

Thanks again

Nick
 

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Hi Nick.
A note about webasto's. I have two GT's a 1750 with a Webasto and a 2000 without one. The one in the 1750 leaks very occasionaly in really heavy downpours but I think it's curable, I do find it quite nice to open it and have a bit of fresh air, but on balance I prefer the cars without Webasto's.

The balooning affect mentioned by Jim definatly happens, but more than that you get a lot more windnoise... compared to a modern car, you will really notice windnoise and you don't want to make it worse. I also think the roof knocks the top speed off too, the extra drag probably takes 10 to 15MPH off which may or may not matter, but if there is that much drag the fuel economy can't be good either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Nick.
A note about webasto's. I have two GT's a 1750 with a Webasto and a 2000 without one. The one in the 1750 leaks very occasionaly in really heavy downpours but I think it's curable, I do find it quite nice to open it and have a bit of fresh air, but on balance I prefer the cars without Webasto's.

The balooning affect mentioned by Jim definatly happens, but more than that you get a lot more windnoise... compared to a modern car, you will really notice windnoise and you don't want to make it worse. I also think the roof knocks the top speed off too, the extra drag probably takes 10 to 15MPH off which may or may not matter, but if there is that much drag the fuel economy can't be good either.

Many thanks Mitch - you have confirmed my suspicions and helped narrow the search. Mind you, I don't know why I'm being so picky about soft roofs, I had a 2CV once:lol:
 

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I have a webasto roof on my GTV. I have not had any problems with it and it has not leaked. When I had the car re-sprayed I removed and re-fitted the roof myself without any trouble.
I can recommend Classicarco ( Classicarco - Classic Car Restoration) in Worsley, Manchester. I bought my GTV unseen and these guys collected it and checked it over as it had not been driven for 5 years. They did a thorough job and I thought were reasonably priced.
Chris
 
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