March 8, 2012 10:28 a.m.

I was cruising Craigslist this morning and came across a really nice 1987 Alfa Romeo Milano with all the right options for really, really cheap. It appears to have zero rust, a nice interior, and had been garaged all its life. It even runs and drives! I'm sure a few of you on here either have one or have had one in the past. What's the deal with these cars?

I'm very Italian, and have promised my self that I must own an Italian car at some point in my life, whether I like it or not.

March 8, 2012 10:33 a.m.

If you can live with the styling they drive fairly well. They are not inexpensive to keep, and require a fair amount of maintenance every 30k miles wth a timing belt and water pump replacement. The 2.5 liter cars are not all that fast, but the 3 liters do pretty well.

It depends on what you want in an Italian car really. They are the last of the real Alfas before Fiat changed everything.

93EXCivic SuperDork
March 8, 2012 10:49 a.m.

Do it!

Raze SuperDork
March 8, 2012 10:58 a.m.

In reply to SilverFleet:

This one?

Rusted_Busted_Spit SuperDork
March 8, 2012 11:00 a.m.

the only answer is - Get it. One of the high points in my automotice life was running my GTV-6 with no exhaust after rebuilding the driveshaft.

March 8, 2012 11:01 a.m.

Y'all a bunch of enablers... I love it.

SWMBO already said no, mainly because I already own 3 cars. She did, however, agree that an Italian car may be in our future plans. I think these are cool, even though they are a little frumpy looking.

March 8, 2012 11:12 a.m.
Raze wrote: In reply to SilverFleet: This one?

Nope, this one's in MA.

I want it BAD. What's a cooler car: my 1979 WS6 Trans Am that has a built Pontiac 400 and needs some work, my 1987 Shelby Dodge CSX that is all apart, or the possibly running Alfa? I'm speaking hypothetically here....

m4ff3w SuperDork
March 8, 2012 11:13 a.m.

I had an '87 2.5

They are absolutely wonderful cars. Maintenance parts are not that bad, just keep on top of timing belt service.

I miss mine.

Raze SuperDork
March 8, 2012 12:43 p.m.

You should buy that one, right..................NOW!

March 8, 2012 12:59 p.m.

Tell my wife that.

Travis_K SuperDork
March 8, 2012 1:11 p.m.

I used to have one, I would agree that they are pretty good cars, although far from perfect. They arent hard to work on at all, and most parts are easily available, but some of the parts arent cheap, and the cars are pretty much worthless.

The reasons I no longer have mine are as follows:

  1. the headlights are terrible, and the high beams didnt work on mine and I couldnt figure out how to fix them, so it was too unsafe to drive at night in places that wernt well lit.

  2. The heater blower motor is held in by a plastic part that has broken by now on pretty much all of them, so the blower didnt work either, so the windows would get too foggy driving in the rain or cold weather.

  3. The last time i changed the timing belt the front seal was leaking quite a bit, and it is an engine out job (according to the service manual) to replace it, but I did it with the engine still in the car and the front of the oil pan leaked quite a bit after that. At least it stopped the oil from getting all over the timing belt though, which was why I did it.

  4. The input shaft seal on the transmission starting leaking bad enough to steadily drip while it was running, which would have meant removing the transmission and splitting the case to replace it, and I didnt have the time.

A few other things: Windshields are ~$750 installed. The clutch is sold as an $1k assembly ready to install (which i believe are all NOS parts, no longer produced, but I could be wrong), or just the disc. If anythiing else breaks (like the throwout bearing on mine did), the only other option is a used one. Window regulators are NLA, and will break if used too much. When you get one, all the fuel lines must be replaced (~$200 or so, there are a lot), the timing belt, water pump and tensioner, etc. The exhaust is designed to be removed to service the driveshaft, shifter linkage, clutch, etc, so if it has been replaced with one thats welded together, or has gotten too rusty to get apart, it will need replacing also.

The good things are for the most part they are pretty simple and reliable, and they are quite fun to drive, like a miata with more room, or a non boring E30. Also, there are tons of aftermarket performance parts still available, quite a bit more than for many more popular cars.

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