Used buying guide car: Alfa Romeo Spider

The nation’s classified can be gripped by the classic cars of the fever, a condition that drives prices even the worst of the old tat through the roof, but there are one or two models about the future demand of the classic’ does not seem too far-fetched. The Alfa Romeo Spider 1995-2006 is one.

There are only about 1000 examples of the 916 series Spider remaining, most of them 2.0 Twin Spark 1999 to 2005 vintage. (The 3.0 and 3.2 24-valve V6 cars are rare species of birds.) Prices range from € 1000 to € 5000 but around £3500 is enough for a decent car. There is a coupe version, also called the GTV. It is less numerous, but you have a better chance of finding a V6 example.

See Alfa Romeo Spider for sale on PistonHeads

Both versions were styled by Pininfarina, and both have aged very well. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but most observers anticipate that the Spider has the advantage over the GTV. Crucially, both have galvanized bodies with a wide use of plastics, especially in the front. The corrosion is rare and that you do see is likely to be the result of poor accident repairs.

They were launched in 1995 and is based on a modification of the Fiat-Type chassis with MacPherson strut front suspension. Fear not: multi-link suspension set-up in the back, super – quick steering and a rigid body means that you are a huge fun of driving.

The Spider, the focus of this guide, is powered by a 150bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder Twin Spark engine, so called because it has two spark plugs per pot. Remember that when you are on a budget for the 60,000 miles service. The power goes to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. There is no auto option.

In 2001, he was accompanied by a 220bhp 24-valve 3.0-liter V6, this time with a six-speed gearbox. He was subsequently replaced in 2004 by a 240bhp 3.2. This last is one of the best engines Alfa have made: soft, and to his blessed with a chilling exhaust note at full tilt.

It is also free from tension of questions that bothered the Double spark plug, and forcing the Alpha to the bar that the engine belt change interval from 72,000 to 36,000 miles. That said, the TS is a strong, responsive and smooth engine. To make check and you should have nothing to fear.

The Spider was facelifted in 1998 (new center console, small tweaks to the TS engine), but these cars are now very rare, most being scrapped due to the low values and high maintenance costs. Another facelift in 2003 was more bold (a new nose, and that the 3.2 V6). Production ended the following year.

Levels of equipment are standard, Turismo, Lusso & Lusso Final Edition. Most of the surviving cars seem to have the most important of all leather-trimmed. A Spider’s silver with contrasting red leather looks stunning. You can see a little of the right-hand drive Japanese imports in their travels. They are expensive, but, in general, in better conditions than the uk cars. Find a good Spider Twin Spark, beat the seller by mumbling something about the tensioner and the bag is a future classic.

How to get one in your garage:

An expert’s view: JAMIE PORTER, ALFA WORKSHOP- “The Spider is a great sports car: sharp and agile in Twin Spark form, beautiful sound and effortless in V6. The V6 is heavier and not as sensitive as the TS, but it is my favorite. A pity they are so rare. An afternoon of board 3.2 is a true collector’s item. Saying that, I see all 916-series values going through the roof. The first cars to rust around the rear arches and jacking points, and some parts are difficult to source. Replacement of the bell in the liberation of the engines, for example, are non-existent, so make sure that the bell works.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE – Check the oil level because he likes to take a drink. The oil pumps are prone to failure. Timingbeltshouldbechangedevery 36,000 miles, 2.0 TS, every 60,000 on the V6. A rattle could be the cam variator. Low power may be the mass air flow sensor. Check the status of V6 oil cooler pipes. The hunting on tickover it is a mistake to control engine idle.

TRANSMISSION Clutch and the gearbox are reliable, but a high bite point means the clutch is givingup. Check the good changes; a notchy fifth could be a loose nut.

SUSPENSION – Check for excessive wear on the inside edges of the front wheels, possibly caused by worn front lower wishbone. Rear suspension can be annoying, one of the problems of being in the 2.0 TS where the steel inserts into the bushes rub against the subframe out of aluminum. In rare cases, the subframe may need replacing.

HOOD – Check that it works, and is free from tears and leaks. The power of the bell is controlled by computer and the problems should be indicated by a light next to the switch control. Check for hydraulic leaks.

BODY – Rust should not be a problem later in the cars, but any find could be a bad repair.

INTERIOR – In the start-up, check ABS, airbag and engine management lights are turned down. An inactive air conditioning system may need a new radiator (expensive). Annoying squeaks may be the location of the pins of the hood. A little grease should cure it.

Also worth knowing:

Alpha offers original and refurbished parts for older cars, which can help keep operating costs down. The Classic Line plan of Alphas more than five years of age and provides filters, belts, brake pads and so on. Meanwhile, the refurbished Parts schema for supplies of cheaper remanufactured parts.

How much to spend:

£1200-£1995 – After (2002) 2.0 TS cars in need of care, rising to £1995 for a 116k miles 02-reg with recent new parts.

£2000-£2995 – Sub-100k-mile of the first cars in good condition, arriving at a beautiful 02-reg TS with 60k miles for $ 2995.

£3000-£3995 – a Lot of options, including an 02 TS with 60k miles for £3500, a 05 2.0 JTS with 80k for £3695 and a mint 02 TS with 80k and full history £3995.

The £4000-PLUS – A Japanese right-hand-drive 01-reg 2.0 TS import with 42k miles for £4750, and a good 04 TS with 75k miles and full service history £4995.

One of the following:

ALFA SPIDER 2.0 TS, 2002/ 51-REG, 60K MILES, £ 2995, This has its two keys, partial service history and a ‘guarantee’ of low mileage, but not so low that you worry about cold, short-trip problems. Leather Interior has polished up well and the reinforcements seem to be free of cracks. You still have ‘the Araña’embossed mats.

John Evans

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