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The real value of "old" cars?



  • One thing you'd enjoy---the convertible top is a brilliant design. A 5 year old child could easily raise it and fasten it.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    That was easy on our 63 Fiat 1200 Spider, but with a factory steel top, it still leaked onto the passenger side floor. Fun little thing if performance wasn't expected. :)
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,681
    edited September 2010
    The 124 Spider puts out decent performance, a very nice ride, comfy seats, plenty of cockpit room. What makes it nicer than an MGB is the comfort level. The B has a very low windshield and if you are anywhere near "tall", the wind blows your baseball cap off every time. Also the MGB suspension is about as advanced as a Roman chariot. Nonetheless, the MGB handles quite well on even roads.

    Most hassles with both Fiats and MGs regarding electrics are the bad grounds. Just cleaning battery cables, or replacing old ones, and buffing up fuse box terminals, improves reliability considerably.

    Downside on the Fiat is accessibility in the engine bay---it's tight in there. The MGB you could fix with plumber's tools from Home Depot. Few cars on the road today are as simple to repair as an MG. This presumes a modicum of knowledge, basic tools and a workshop manual.

    I would definitely consider buying a Fiat 124, simply for the comfort level over other 60s or 70s open style sports cars---but never EVER buy a rat.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,358
    Teh one I looked at yesterday wasn't really a rat but it was rougher than it should have been. It had been stored outside under a tarp. This is never a good thing especially where it rains a lot.

    I sat in it and I didn't realize hoe cushy the seats were compared to an MG. This interior was nice with no rips or dash cracks.

    The paint and rust was enough to keep me away.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,681
    edited September 2010
    Yeah all that and the fact that those electrics were exposed to weather, as was the braking system, various cables, nuts and bolts, etc. You can see where I'm going with this.

    If you start with this $1800 Fiat, and calculate what it would take to make it look like a really NICE 124, you simply can't get there from here.

    Here's the 124 you want---I bet with cash in hand you could get 'er for $5K or $5500. Looks like it's fuel injected, too. All the better.

    Compared to THIS, the one you're looking at for $1800 seems crazy to me. I know you aren't seriously interested, but on that particular car, I see no upside or happy ending.

    Here's another, even CHEAPER that looks very decent and has had a good home:

    THIS is what old Fiats with "needs' are really worth:
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    If the Palo Alto Fiat were up here, I'd offer our 77 SeaRay 17' 302 I/O in trade. His four kids should learn to water ski.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,358
    A couple of nice cars!

    No, I'm well aware of what a decent paint job alone costs these days. It's staggering.

    Thank you for your insights on Fiats. I've never driven one and until yesterday I never even sat in one.

    I do remember when I was in the tool business, the shops either refused to work on them or they hated them and called them junk.

    There was a shop in my hometown that had Pat's Fiat. He was the only guy in town that I know of that worked on them. His lot was always PACKED with cars.

    You paid his price and waited weeks.
  • People tend to have contempt for what they do not understand. I have been guilty of this myself, but often, once I come to know a car, I change my mind---not ALWAYS, however. Sometimes I was right the first time.

    Fiats are fine if you have your mechanic and your parts sources lined up. Sure, the switchgear is cheap and the upholstery is made of cardboard, but you get what you pay for---if you wanted a higher quality interior, you bought an Alfa Romeo.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,358
    So, what do you think of Alfa Spiders?
  • I really like Alfa Spiders. Of course, they come in many varieties, and those varieties have quite dissimilar characteristics, but overall, there's not one Alfa Spider I don't like.

    If you want the "pure" Alfa experience, I'd have to say 60s Spiders and perhaps the very early fuel injected SPICA cars of the 70s (Spiders and Coupes). I'd tend to skip over mid to late 70s cars, and then jump back in on the more sedate and less thrilling Bosch Motronic Spiders of the 1980s. In terms of styling, I don't like the whale-tail spoilers so much, so I'd tend to go for the last versions of the RWD Spiders, in the early 1990s.

    Given proper care, these Alfas can be very reliable and pleasurable cars, with no grievous faults beyond the usual electrical glitches (usually bad grounds).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    edited September 2010
    As long as we're talking Italian brands, what's your general opinion about Lancias? That brand never caught on in the U.S., but they were highly regarded in Italy. I'm referring to before Lancias became upscale and/or rebadged Fiats.

    The Appias and Aprilias were well well engineered cars, with numerous innovations, but they go way back. I'm guessing that the Lancias of the '60s and '70s were more finicky and higher maintenance than their Alfa Romeo counterparts. I also think Lancia stressed luxury and comfort while Alfa stressed speed and sport. Your take?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,681
    edited September 2010
    I think you have it all just about right. Lancia coupes and convertibles of that era (50s and 60s) can be quite valuable, depending on equipment and coachbuilder (Zagato). The little Appias and Aprilia sedans are beautifully built and appointed but not so valuable.

    I would love to have an Appia but I don't want to pay the kind of prices people ask (and usually don't get anyway).

    We in the USA usually only see the Fiat-era Lancias, which are not worth even talking about IMO.

    Probably the last truly credible Lancia was the 73-76 Stratos.

    The Lancia Aurelia B24 Spyder America is an interesting car you can google. You can pay more than 1/2 mil for one of those!

    Most affordable "collectible" Lancia? The Fulvia coupe1965-1973. Nice little car.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,305
    Having driven both in the same manner, reasonable and prudently, the Fiat was more dependable by far. That Plymouth had a 301 V8 w Torqueflite (5 buttons) & from the get go I thought the noise was the speedo cable, but sadly found out it was the tranny chewing itself up. It was repaired twice before 25,000 when the engine blew. What a POS! :mad:
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,358
    OK guys, I need your opinion here.

    Still kinda looking for a "fun" car that won't get a lot of use except on nice days.

    A couple in our neighborhood has a NICE 1994 BMW 325i. It is near flawless.

    All maintenance has been done either by the dealer or by a speciality shop that only works on BMW's. Not a scratch on it and it's always been garage and babied.

    It's a 5 speed and everything works as it should.

    Asking 3400.00.

    The catch? 188,000 miles!!

    Any BMW experts out there?
  • That's a boatload of money for that car, nice though it may be.

    What makes you think it would be "fun" if you don't mind me askin'?

    Is it a convertible, or has mods or something?

    But ANYWAY, I'd make sure to check out the usual BMW suspects---radiator, water pump, thermostat, control arm bushings, scored rotors, electrical malfunctions, non-working AC.....

    if it's just a sedan, I'd save that kind of $$$ for a convertible.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,358
    Oh, I remember my 1989 325i and althought it wasn't a convertable, it was "fun" throwing it around twisty roads.

    BMW's can be quirky. I know that especially when it comes to the electricals.

    Not a sedan, just a coupe.
  • Oh well a coupe might be more fun---depends on how dead the suspension is after all those miles. The car could end up throwing *you* around. Might be worth checking out. Be nice if you could get it for less $$$ though. Them's big miles and the car has zero chance of ever appreciating in value.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,358
    Yep, I agree.

    It has new struts and brakes and a bunch of other stuff.

    Our son lives nearby so he stopped to see it.

    He said it's a "20 footer" but in excellent shape. Sid the front spoiler has been cracked and taped up. The interior is the worst part of it. Leather worn with a six inch slit in the drivers side and a lot of wear on the passenger's side.

    Sounds like a 2500.00 car to me on a good day.

    Oh, it needs tires too so maybe closer to 2000.00. Don't ya think?
  • More like $1500 the way you describe it. We aren't expecting perfection at this price so we can forgive the spoiler, but re-covering the seats and 4 new shoes, that's chunk o' change.
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