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  #1  
Old 12-31-2014, 07:50 AM
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Alfa 4C, a Rant, and Thoughts

Alfa Romeo is coming back to the U.S. with the 4C. In short: Me want:. There's a "but" coming, however first I'll post a few links about what makes me like this car:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnuNv77rB0Q

Note the Euro version has the radio, AC, and adjustable passenger seats as optional extras. Quoted weight of 925 kg with 240 bhp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI-E8qjfqQ0

But:

The U.S.-Spec Alfa Romeo 4C Is 342 Pounds Heavier

342 pounds

Rant:

Why is it so difficult to get a minimalist enthusiast driver's car in this country? Yes, it's possible to get an Ariel Atom or a Caterham (Lotus) 7 as a kit car. Yes you can build your own by stripping something that was built with a bunch of extraneous parts, or you can spend A LOT of money for something like a GT3 RS. Why isn't there an affordable car made without all the things that don't make the car stop, change direction, or go?

Thought:

Or is it? I already own a vehicle that has roughly the same raw performance numbers (aside from top speed) of that Alfa, and I paid the princely sum of $1500 for it when it had a hair under ten thousand miles on it. BTW, it averages about 50 mpg. Aircon? No. Airbags? No. Radio? No. Crash protection of any kind? No. Curb weight? About 440 lbs. What is this wonderfully minimalist inexpensive high performance rig? A 2007 Kawaski Ninja 650R. If I wanted to go even lighter and faster, Suzuki offers the GSXR 750 for an MSRP of $12,299. For this price you get about 145 bhp and a curb weight of around 410 lbs. Even if you figure in the weight of a geared up rider (call it 175 lbs), you get a power to weight ratio of about 495 bhp/ton. This is shockingly close to what you get in a Pagani Huayra for a lot less money. Bikes are clearly the way to go fast for cheap. But what if I want to haul more than a backpack full of groceries? What happens when it snows? There should be some middle ground.

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83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 362,xxx miles
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2014, 09:35 AM
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I see your $1500 motorcycle deal- but I think you got an outlier - I dont search for 600 supersports much but $1500 sounds pretty low for anything fuel injected 600 in decent shape.

It almost makes me want to buy a vw rail buggy and throw a stack of Benjamins at the motor...except those have the worst weight distribution possible....

old Fiero with engine swap ?

Toyoda MR. 2 ?

I see more and more Can-Am Spyders on the road - those 3 wheel things that sit up like a mcycle - I'm not sure how they handle, but the performance numbers dont seem to be horrible- My neighbor growing up was a motor cop in Cincinnati and rode is 350cc 3-wheeler 365 days a year- He said that the full windshield made a big difference.

Ural Patrol ? - there is a capable snow machine...You'd have to help the motor though (which isnt tough if you know what an "airhead" is)

I am with you - It'd be nice to have something smaller and lighter to enjoy driving in.

-John
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2014, 10:03 AM
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You'll see the difference when someone runs a red light and t bones you in an intersection.


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  #4  
Old 12-31-2014, 10:22 AM
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get an early S30 and throw some Franklins at the engine in the way of a turbo & intercooler.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:36 AM
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Primarily, it's the dealership system in the US that results in "fully loaded" vehicles on the lot to choose from. Stripped down versions, like the handful of sub $31K CLA250 that were sold, isn't going to pay the bills.

As for any Alfa . . . it's best when you're the first owner.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-2014, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel View Post
I see your $1500 motorcycle deal- but I think you got an outlier - I dont search for 600 supersports much but $1500 sounds pretty low for anything fuel injected 600 in decent shape.
Not a supersport, just sport. About 40 more pounds and 40 less horsepower. Still faster than most cars. I did find a motivated seller and buying in January helped. If I wanted I could sell it this spring for more than I bought it for even though I've put 20,000 miles on it

Quote:
old Fiero with engine swap ?

Toyoda MR. 2 ?
A friend actually has a first gen Mr. 2. The engine looks like it goes to a lawn mower but because the car weighs approximately four pounds it still goes like hell. We need something like that on the market again.
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Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 362,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 30,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 92,xxx miles. I should be in the garage now.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2014, 05:04 PM
Redefining normal daily
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
Not a supersport, just sport. About 40 more pounds and 40 less horsepower. Still faster than most cars. I did find a motivated seller and buying in January helped. If I wanted I could sell it this spring for more than I bought it for even though I've put 20,000 miles on it



A friend actually has a first gen Mr. 2. The engine looks like it goes to a lawn mower but because the car weighs approximately four pounds it still goes like hell. We need something like that on the market again.
Miata. Always the answer.
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Old 12-31-2014, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramonajim View Post
Miata. Always the answer.
If they offered a coupe there would probably be one in my garage right now.
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Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 362,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 30,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 92,xxx miles. I should be in the garage now.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2014, 11:28 PM
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Fortunately, limp-wrist options like A/C and side airbombs are easy enough to remove. One could probably also replace the passenger seat with a non-adjustable racing seat.

Can't do much about the thicker tub, but a different seat, no explosives, and no A/C would likely be good for 100 lb, maybe 150 lb.
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2014, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI View Post
Primarily, it's the dealership system in the US that results in "fully loaded" vehicles on the lot to choose from.
Time to get rid of antiquated franchise laws (give the parasitic dealership owners 6 feet of rope and instructions on how to tie a slip knot as compensation). Then allow factory ordering of any vehicle configuration, financing arranged online if needed, delivered to one's door by auto rack.

Last edited by spdrun; 12-31-2014 at 11:42 PM.
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2014, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tbomachines View Post
You'll see the difference when someone runs a red light and t bones you in an intersection.
If you're buying a sports car, you shouldn't expect a damned SUV. I'd rather by T-boned without a side airbomb. At least death from a smashed skull is quick as opposed to half surviving and lingering on pissing and crapping on oneself for the next 50 years.

Last edited by spdrun; 12-31-2014 at 11:41 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2015, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
Fortunately, limp-wrist options like A/C and side airbombs are easy enough to remove. One could probably also replace the passenger seat with a non-adjustable racing seat.

Can't do much about the thicker tub, but a different seat, no explosives, and no A/C would likely be good for 100 lb, maybe 150 lb.
True enough, but why should I have to buy a bunch of parts which I then have to spend time removing as opposed to them never being installed in the first place?

Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
Time to get rid of antiquated franchise laws (give the parasitic dealership owners 6 feet of rope and instructions on how to tie a slip knot as compensation). Then allow factory ordering of any vehicle configuration, financing arranged online if needed, delivered to one's door by auto rack.
Excellent idea. However the dealers and their lobbyists are already fighting that.
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Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 362,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 30,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 92,xxx miles. I should be in the garage now.
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  #13  
Old 01-01-2015, 02:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
If you're buying a sports car, you shouldn't expect a damned SUV. I'd rather by T-boned without a side airbomb. At least death from a smashed skull is quick as opposed to half surviving and lingering on pissing and crapping on oneself for the next 50 years.

Id rather live


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  #14  
Old 01-01-2015, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdrun View Post
Time to get rid of antiquated franchise laws (give the parasitic dealership owners 6 feet of rope and instructions on how to tie a slip knot as compensation). Then allow factory ordering of any vehicle configuration, financing arranged online if needed, delivered to one's door by auto rack.
Fine, if you are going to mail back your car when it needs warranty service, updates or recalls.
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  #15  
Old 01-01-2015, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skippy View Post
If they offered a coupe there would probably be one in my garage right now.
Consider the Scion FR-S or Subie BRZ.

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