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D-String

Newbie moving to Sydney and poss buying a Spider V6 3.0

Hi All.

Great forum - I hope to be getting more involved in the next few months.

I am moving to Sydney in a few weeks - can't wait - and after considering lots of options I have decided to look for a V6 Spider - I think I have found what looks to be the perfect car and so just need some reassurance that it is a good choice for a daily driver.

I drove a GTV 2.0 when it first was launched and remember being quite underwhelmed by the performance but I had just stepped out of a 2+2 Lotus so perhaps an unfair comparison to make. I have always loved the look and heard so much about the amazing V6.

I mentioned it on Pistonheads and immediately got some negative responses such as horrible scuttle shake, engines blow up, parts are too expensive out there, ride is awful on bad roads etc.

To be honest the purchase and upkeep cost are not going to be a problem - so I will be buying the best example I can and then lavish love, attention and if necessary sensible upgrades on it (any recommendations? - I will search the Mods section too).

The car I am currently looking at is a 90km 2001 example - clearly very well cared for and run mainly for club events. I will use it as a daily driver as will my 'recently passed her test girlfriend' (I know it is a lot of car for a new driver).

So really I am just looking for honest (although I guess on this forum there will be quite some bias) reviews, your experiences and hopefully make some friends in Oz.

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Welcome. I used my V6 spider very often and it is a great daily driver. Our GTV gets used daily.

Off course the chassis is not so rigid as a coupe. But certainly not so bad that it is a huge turn off.

The V6 sound and the design are the strong points. There is plenty off space and the build quality is very good.

With the top down, sunshine and a full tank of fuel, you cannot stop smiling the whole trip.

Try the 916 Spider V6, you will fall in love with it.

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I mentioned it on Pistonheads and immediately got some negative responses such as horrible scuttle shake, engines blow up, parts are too expensive out there, ride is awful on bad roads etc.

 

 

 

There is some truth to all of this but they are car's like any other and if you buy a good example, look after it then you should have little problem if any.

 

As you've seen there isn't many on the market down here & they are very expensive (as is everything else here in Oz). I think the one you're interested in is listed below ...

http://www.carsales.com.au/all-cars/results.aspx?silo=stock&vertical=car&q=%28%28%28%28%28%28%28%28SiloType%3d[brand+new+cars+in+stock]|SiloType%3d[brand+new+cars+available]%29|SiloType%3d[Demo+and+near+new+cars]%29|SiloType%3d[Dealer+used+cars]%29|SiloType%3d[Demo+and+near+new+cars]%29|SiloType%3d[Private+seller+cars]%29%26%28Make{%3d}[Alfa+Romeo]{%26}Model{%3d}[spider]%29%29%26Service%3d[Carsales]%29%26Cylinders%3d[6]%29&sortby=TopDeal

 

To be honest the seller sound like a wanker and his copy/verbiage should be used for selling perfume not cars. Apart from mention of timing belt being due there's not a lot else actuall mentioned about it's service history. For a 2001 year car, even with low Km's you'll want to know what else has been done recently and if not set aside some $'s as suspension, exhaust, radiator, alternator, brakes etc might be due or near the end of it's life. Lucikly we don't have as much rust issues down here like in Europe but check the cars for bad bodywork repairs or if they live close to the coast. I wouldn't hesitate to suggest a Pre-purchase inspection with a reputable Alfa specialist prior to purchasing - it could save you a lot of $'s in the long run and help as a bagaining tool for bringing the price down.

 

ausalfa.com is a local forum and I'd scour there for info about servicing and mechanics. That'll be the hardest part unless you can do the work yourself. Most Alfa enthusiasts from downunder order and buy their parts from Europe (forget about paying locally unless you like 3 times the price).

 

Drive as many as you can, get to know the cars well and buy the best you can as often it will be much cheaper in the long run. I personally would make sure I have off street or secure under cover car parking for this kind of car overnight. The soft roof is just a target for idiots/thieves. 

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Spirito - yup, I think we are looking at the same one. I have asked about all the things you have mentioned (thanks to this site for all the info). As you rightly say the description is light on 'need to know' info and heavy on frills but I will withhold judgment until I hear back - so far 3 days without a response, so perhaps it is no longer available.

I was hoping to have a car, checked out, serviced, tinkered with and ready for me when I arrive - so I would need a very trustworthy garage and specialist - but I can see that I will be hiring a run-a-round whilst I get a few test drives under my belt.

I just watched the old Top Gear clip of the Spider from the late '90's. It has confirmed to me that I should definitely pursue this current whim.

I was going to ask about the potential for vandalism in Sydney. I have parked both my Saab 9-3 and BMW 330 convertibles on the street in central London without a issue for the past 2 years - it would suck big time if I had a top ripped open out there, where owning a convertible actually makes sense. I am not sure where we are going to live yet but a car space is high on the list.

Evoman - how on earth do the front wheels deal all that power on the 9-3 - it must be a blast when it gets off the line though. it was in the 9-3 that I first learnt what scuttle shake feels like. I found the trick to be - drive slower or get an Elise. Sadly I just sold my Saab with a leaking oil cooler for less than £500, everything else was near perfect - probably a $5000 car in Oz!

Thanks for the tips guys - no doubt I will have more questions.

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I just watched the old Top Gear clip of the Spider from the late '90's. It has confirmed to me that I should definitely pursue this current whim.

 

 

Without doubt it's an iconic car and much undervalued. They sold for about $63,000aud in about 2001 and when you consider the are now selling for about $9,000 to $14,000 for the average V6 Spider in good condition it is somewhat of a bargain. Becuase of their relatively low current price many original and current owners haven't sunk the $'s into them becuase they know they'll likely never recover their costs. This is were you'll need to be careful .. they can be cheap but with an used car it's not what it costs but what it might cost you. Without physical receipts, corresponding log books that match and known history discount anythig a seller might tell you.

 

But there is nothing like them and amongst the hustle & bustle of Sydney traffic you'll be glad to have the V6. Sydney is more or less top down weather for most of the year & becuase there's so few of the 916's down here they always get much attention.

 

Sit on your hands and wait for the right car. No matter how good the history or the mech's report I'd advise buying one only when you have seen & driven it yourself. Put some feeler's out on the Ausalfa forum. Don't worry about renting as there's a relatively easy car share program down here that's worth joining if you need a car to get about and test drive etc http://www.goget.com.au/

And whilst there's a few independant mechanics in Sydney the all have their pro's and con's (I've used them all). As an all rounder, someone who does good work, is trustworthy and is amenable for owners supplying their own parts I'd recommend Andrew Palumbo  @ http://www.alfamotive.com.au/p/ He did the pre-purchse on my car when I bought it & is quite thorough.

 

Re: local vandalism. Perhaps  not more than anywhere else but keep in mind it's not likely anyeone local will have a soft top roof to suit your car if it's damaged so if it is hacked then you might have to wait 2 weeks or so till you source another. Factor in the bird & bat shit, baking hot summer weather, car parking that's a little touch and feely & you'll be spending lots of $'s or repairs, washing and detailing just having it looks it's best. That's why I mentioned having somwhere to park is a nice luxury (not the least to avoid parking fines etc).

 

 

As for mods: Quaife/Q2 is a wise investment. Most cars are running on their original suspension so new shocks, wishbones and bushes is very worthwhile doing as 916's benefit most from this. Timing belts tend to get changed here every 3 or 4 years as our weather is quite extreme. Replenishing all the fluids is a good move with any car purchase so you have a good basis of maintenance whilst in our hands.  

Edited by Spirito

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Perfect. I had budgeted, in my head, to spend at least $5k on having the car prepped and bits replaced as required. All the items you have mentioned were on the list. I guess I will have the benefit of buying in £'s and shipping the parts over - when I come to do this I will put a shout out to see if anyone wants in on the same shipment.

The exchange rate moved another 2% in my favour today and looks like it might make 1 : 1.90, so since I made my decision to make the move out to Oz, approx a year ago, it has improved by 46% - best pay raise ever! Naturally my gains will go to benefit the Australian auto service economy!

Thanks again for the tips and recommendations.

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The exchange rate moved another 2% in my favour today and looks like it might make 1 : 1.90, so since I made my decision to make the move out to Oz, approx a year ago, it has improved by 46% - best pay raise ever! Naturally my gains will go to benefit the Australian auto service economy!

 

 

Lucky you. Good time to be moving ;)

 

Sound like you've got most things covered. You'll have a ball here in Sydney.

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What Spirito says is spot on. Also consider organising a strut brace if your final choice isn't already fitted with one. It greatly improves the scuttle shake.

Welcome to Australia and yes, Sydney is a great city. Enjoy the sunshine.

 

Cheers. 

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Ooh ... perhaps I should mention that our national speed limit is 100km/h with the exception of interstate highway's where it's 110km/h. Sounds boring and it is. I feel I needed to point this out as I live my Busso V6 & it's so much fun but becuase of our draconian speed limits, speed camera's and average speed camera's (yes section's of the highway are timed) it sometimes feels like the most frustrating thing in the world. Our highway roads are generally good but I've been on interstate trips (which is why I bought the GTV) and felt so locked up & stifled knowing I can only see redline in 2nd gear before I have to back off (or get locked up).

 

I love what i have and wouldn't change a thing. The busso engine is so musical, so involving but if I was buying again I'd seriously consider a twin spark so I could feel like I can push the car a little harder, perhaps get a few more kicks. Just putting it out there so you know what you can expect (sorry for the boring info).

 

 

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post-750-0-81517700-1390703010_thumb.jpg

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110km/h on highways?  :icon_eek:

Its 130km/h in Croatia, but you can get away with 150km/h. But there are lots of roads hidden away from cameras :D

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110km/h on highways?  :icon_eek:

 

Yes, 110km/h max. So many people agree and studies suggest that raising the speed limit would actually make things safer but it's all about revenue and in my state speeding fines range from $106 to $2341 (+45km/h over the limit). Not only fines ... 30km/h over = 3 months suspension, 45km/h over - 6 months automatic suspension & can mean jail time.

 

It's ridiculous & such draconian laws actually promote people to switch off and take less care whilst they're driving. My trips to Eruope and in some states of the USA have been dreams come true when I can actually drive fast & remain legal.

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Yeh. I managed to get a ticket when I drove from Sydney to the Gold Coast. It was exhausting constantly watching for the changing speed 90 - 110 - 100 - 110 - 90. It seems as soon as the road has the slightest bend in it you are asked to drop your speed for fear of hurtling off into the bush. I am not a stupid speed freak on the roads and every ticket I have had was for just being a touch over the limit - I have been caught when driving an MG midget, Smart Car and a Citroen DS - hardly hoonmobiles.

It will be a bit tricky not 'enjoying' more of the potential - although I might be in the market for a track day car at some point, so perhaps this will help keep things under control.

I should be getting a run down of the service history tomorrow. All the pictures are saying the right things and the owner is an Alfa nut so I am sure it will all be in order. Just an inspection to go and I should have some new metal.

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I should be getting a run down of the service history tomorrow. All the pictures are saying the right things and the owner is an Alfa nut so I am sure it will all be in order. Just an inspection to go and I should have some new metal.

 

Very cool. Hope all goes well ;)

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Hi,

V6 Spider for a daily car, that is serious! And you wouldn't have another car, right?

The car is cool and you will have very enjoyable travel to work for sure :thumbsup:  . Hope you will experience much more driving than waiting   ;) . Good luck with the car.

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So, I have seen the pics, seen the service history, exchanged e-mails with the owner (nice guy) and despite not having driven or In fact even seen the car - I have put in an offer (could this be termed Alfestinfatuation?)

I am confident that the current owner has cherished the car and done all the right things at the right time and more. It has been a weekend and club run car so has done smallish milages each year.

The belts will need to be done due to age (last done in 2007 but only 50km's ago) and the service booked is stamped from the previous owner.

It is more than I initially expected to pay (mainly due to them being so ridiculously cheap in the UK) but I would be happy at my purchase point.

Now just to hope it is accepted and he can hold it until in get to Oz.

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The car is mine!

Almost a clean bill of health from the pre-purchase inspection. It just needs the split boots replaced and I will be replacing the flexi air induction with a silicone piece from Autolusso. A belt change and service will be done before I collect. I might also treat myself to a shiny new gear knob. Happy days.

post-755-0-32297600-1393660209_thumb.jpgpost-755-0-58007700-1393660324_thumb.jpg

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Greetings and many happy moment with the car!

Black with red leather looks good.

The muffler was changed. What it is?

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