1 2 3 4
frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/20/20 10:50 a.m.
Clarty said:
mad_machine wrote: the alfa is heavier? My Fiat spider only weighs in around 2100 pounds after I removed the heavy federal bumpers.. the first gen Miata is the only MX5 to be close to that weight. What does the alfa weigh?

Looked 'er up on "the Google." Alfa Duetto (late '60s) spider weighed 2196 pounds, according to Wikipedia. Elsewhere on the internets I discovered the first-generation Miatas weighed 2100 pounds. I figure the Alfas just got heavier throughout the 70s and 80s, so I imagine a Miata would be signifigantly lighter than a late-80s Alfa.

Be careful about weights. 60's cars didn't have the bumper rules which even if you toss the bumpers (etc) the chassis got heavier to take a 5 mph impact without failing. Plus then the side door guard beams were added which adds even more weight than the beams themselves. (Hinges, stronger door jams etc) 

However I agree that the Alfa is way cooler than the Mazda.  If those were my choices I'd get an older Alfa. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/20 10:54 a.m.

Since we're revisting 11 years later, how does this hold up? 

alfadriver said:
JohnW wrote: I think the Alfa is more classic and certainly more exclusive. Despite those intangibles, the Miata is pretty much better in every way. The deal breaker for me? I rarely see Alfa Spiders for sale that have more than 100k miles. That worries me.

When the Miata hits 40, then lets see how many high mileage cars are still on the road.

We're not at 40 years yet, but we are at 31. And from what I've seen, 200k+ NA and NBs are not all that uncommon or all that scary. I have a couple in my own garage that are well north of 100k and there's no indication that they're suffering in any meaningful way.

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/20/20 10:55 a.m.

Alfa, I would never buy anything Mazda, they never give us Americans their best. The NC11 Miata was made for the RX8 drivetrain with even more tire clearance than the RX8, but never went in. Not to mention the last RX7 platform was perfect for a Miata and had amazing potential, pulling 1g on 225 street tires, not even Porsche or BMW has accomplished that. So yeah, Alfa all the way.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/20 11:17 a.m.

Our American ND Miata pulled 1.07g on street tires in Car and Driver testing ;) That car started at 2300 lbs wet, too - the ND dropped weight compared to the old NC.

NC wasn't made for the RX8 drivetrain, they shared a platform. Not the same thing. And the only Miata thing the US never got was the 1.5 ND.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/20/20 11:40 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

The US also didn't get the 1.6L NA8s and NBs that Mazda made for certain markets as a detuned option. ISTR those weren't that unpopular in some European countries where insurance classification is/was done by engine horsepower, and the detuned 1.6L fell into the 90bhp class. I think the detuned versions may also have been available in Japan.

And while the FD is a great car (or at least a great chassis to people who don't like rotaries), I'm pretty sure that it's not economically feasible to "dumb it down" to essentially the production cost levels of an NA or NB.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/20 11:53 a.m.

Yeah, I'm aware of the 1.6 NA/NB cars, but they weren't really a desirable option. We weren't missing out. Same with the small engined NCs. The 1.5 ND is what Mazda insiders consider to be the "true" ND, so it's a bit more of a loss.

The FD is an old chassis, it dates back to the same era as the NA. It stayed in production for a long time but by this point it's well outdated. I'm not sure how it would have worked with the top cut off, either. It would have been bandaids on bandaids.

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/20/20 12:21 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, I'm aware of the 1.6 NA/NB cars, but they weren't really a desirable option. We weren't missing out. Same with the small engined NCs. The 1.5 ND is what Mazda insiders consider to be the "true" ND, so it's a bit more of a loss.

The FD is an old chassis, it dates back to the same era as the NA. It stayed in production for a long time but by this point it's well outdated. I'm not sure how it would have worked with the top cut off, either. It would have been bandaids on bandaids.

I have to concede coupes to convertibles isn't as good as the opposite, but the FD chassis was timeless and much better than anything made since. People never seen it's true potential because of tire clearances. A friend of mine has an LS swapped FD with a GTO tranny and it only clears 285/30R18s rear and 255/35R18 front, nothing compared to the GT1 set ups for RWD cars today. If anyone is near the Ryder in Bridgeport, CT, it's always parked outside.

All Mazda had to do was keep the FD in production with bulging fenders and a Renesis version of the 20B and that would quickly replace the F355 as my best car pick.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/20 12:39 p.m.

Can you quantify "much better than anything made since"? What's your metric? 

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/20/20 12:52 p.m.

I only read the first post, and I know this is an old thread, but "The graduate" Alfa was not an '83-90 as the op states... pretty sure it was a late 60's boat tail ... much nicer ;)

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/20/20 12:53 p.m.

And yes, I would pick a boat tail over any Miata. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/20/20 1:02 p.m.
svxsti said:

I have to concede coupes to convertibles isn't as good as the opposite, but the FD chassis was timeless and much better than anything made since.

The FD chassis was certainly ahead of its time and it's a beautiful car (which is why I own one), but it can't compete on stiffness & other performance standpoints with modern hardware.

 

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/20/20 2:29 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Can you quantify "much better than anything made since"? What's your metric? 

Good question, but to use 1 metric wouldn't be fair. To be fair to other manufacturers the new car tests on OE tires is 1. I can't think of any car produced near the RX7 R1's msrp that pulled over 1g. The other metric is lap times. Fast forward 15 years to the ideal Porsche Cayman with 60 more hp and it only tied the RX7's lap time at Willow Springs. In Japan it was faster than the more powerful and AWD R34 at Tsukuba. For 27 years I never lost sight of the RX7. Yes, the RX8 drivetrain wasnt made for the nc11 Miata, it was made for the nc11 Coupe that was never built, but as some people know it bolts right in with better clearances than the RX8, almost like the RX8 was suppose to get a 4. 

That being said, if I had money to burn I would put a 20B in a RX7 with a GT3 set up. All the power, all the time, at 9k rpm, I'm pretty sure it would best a ZL1 Camaro on the skidpad without all the nannies.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/20/20 2:36 p.m.

If you want a car, then the Miata is the only answer Its the cute girl next door.

 

If you  are like me and like cars as art almost more than as transportation, then the Alfa is the answer. Its the supermodel with the  coke habit.

BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter)
BoxheadTim (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/20/20 2:50 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

Nah, supermodel with coke habit would be a BiTurbo Spider or a newer Maserati Spider.

Alfa Spider is more the hot Italian chick next door that drives you to drink.

Trent
Trent PowerDork
11/20/20 2:54 p.m.
Slippery (Forum Supporter) said:

I only read the first post, and I know this is an old thread, but "The graduate" Alfa was not an '83-90 as the op states... pretty sure it was a late 60's boat tail ... much nicer ;)

The car in the movie was a Duetto. However in the late 80's the cam tail spiders were sold with a "Graduate" badge on them and a portion of the population still refers to the cars as such.

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/20/20 3:21 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Since we're revisting 11 years later, how does this hold up? 

alfadriver said:
JohnW wrote: I think the Alfa is more classic and certainly more exclusive. Despite those intangibles, the Miata is pretty much better in every way. The deal breaker for me? I rarely see Alfa Spiders for sale that have more than 100k miles. That worries me.

When the Miata hits 40, then lets see how many high mileage cars are still on the road.

We're not at 40 years yet, but we are at 31. And from what I've seen, 200k+ NA and NBs are not all that uncommon or all that scary. I have a couple in my own garage that are well north of 100k and there's no indication that they're suffering in any meaningful way.

Our 91 NA has 180K miles on it, runs like a top, no rust never been rebuilt. So if they have been kept out of the weather and not living in the rust belt, these cars have a long life expectancy. Agree that Alfa's are sexier and I do still want one at some point in life. But I hate rust and don't want to have to rebuild the entire car, so will probably buy one that is not a project but already been restored. This article from Classic Motorsports did  not help. Honestly since I have a FM modified MSM Miata, Miata's are capable of performance that will not be achieved in an Alfa. But Alfas have their own charms, with awesome looks, character and are enjoyable in their own ways. Honestly, my next Alfa will be a GTV6.

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/20/20 3:51 p.m.

I have to say the Alfa GTV6 is one of the best sounding all the power all the time engines.

NOHOME
NOHOME MegaDork
11/20/20 4:04 p.m.

Forgot to ask if the OP has driven any Alfas? I wont say that I hate it, but the shot leg and straight arm ergonomics are a thing.

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/20/20 4:24 p.m.
Trent said:
Slippery (Forum Supporter) said:

I only read the first post, and I know this is an old thread, but "The graduate" Alfa was not an '83-90 as the op states... pretty sure it was a late 60's boat tail ... much nicer ;)

The car in the movie was a Duetto. However in the late 80's the cam tail spiders were sold with a "Graduate" badge on them and a portion of the population still refers to the cars as such.

I had no idea there was an actual Graduate trim! I still like the boat tail more. 

Slippery (Forum Supporter)
Slippery (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
11/20/20 4:31 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Since we're revisting 11 years later, how does this hold up? 

alfadriver said:
JohnW wrote: I think the Alfa is more classic and certainly more exclusive. Despite those intangibles, the Miata is pretty much better in every way. The deal breaker for me? I rarely see Alfa Spiders for sale that have more than 100k miles. That worries me.

When the Miata hits 40, then lets see how many high mileage cars are still on the road.

We're not at 40 years yet, but we are at 31. And from what I've seen, 200k+ NA and NBs are not all that uncommon or all that scary. I have a couple in my own garage that are well north of 100k and there's no indication that they're suffering in any meaningful way.

I know this will bite me in the ass, but my 1990 short nose Miata with 198k miles spends 90% of the time between 5k and 7k rpms with zero problems. 

It will use one quart of oil at a track day which is not bad considering the mileage. 

This is what it does best:

svxsti
svxsti Reader
11/20/20 5:20 p.m.

.....but doesn't it feel like wearing a Speedo?

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/21/20 7:25 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Since we're revisting 11 years later, how does this hold up? 

alfadriver said:
JohnW wrote: I think the Alfa is more classic and certainly more exclusive. Despite those intangibles, the Miata is pretty much better in every way. The deal breaker for me? I rarely see Alfa Spiders for sale that have more than 100k miles. That worries me.

When the Miata hits 40, then lets see how many high mileage cars are still on the road.

We're not at 40 years yet, but we are at 31. And from what I've seen, 200k+ NA and NBs are not all that uncommon or all that scary. I have a couple in my own garage that are well north of 100k and there's no indication that they're suffering in any meaningful way.

I honestly don't remember the context of that post. By 2009, I had well over 100k on my 99, well on its way onto 200. 
 

Maybe it was about value??  Dunno. I do know that Alfa's have crept out of challenge money- it will be hard to find a solid $800 car to take to Florida. 
 

The Miata is a better car, but I prefer the Alfa for other reasons. 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
11/21/20 7:27 a.m.
Slippery (Forum Supporter) said:

I only read the first post, and I know this is an old thread, but "The graduate" Alfa was not an '83-90 as the op states... pretty sure it was a late 60's boat tail ... much nicer ;)

Fun fact, one of the actual cars used in filming "The Graduate" is a vintage racecar out of Colorado. Does not look anything like the movie anymore. 

mblommel
mblommel Dork
2/6/21 12:29 p.m.

Zombie thread revival continuation:

What's the consensus on the weak points of these cars as they age and increase in mileage? There is an '89 that looks to be in nice shape locally. Owner is asking $5990, but it has 160k miles.

I've owned 3 NB miatae, and enjoyed them although I dont really fit well at all. 

alfadriver (Forum Supporter)
alfadriver (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/7/21 8:17 a.m.
mblommel said:

Zombie thread revival continuation:

What's the consensus on the weak points of these cars as they age and increase in mileage? There is an '89 that looks to be in nice shape locally. Owner is asking $5990, but it has 160k miles.

I've owned 3 NB miatae, and enjoyed them although I dont really fit well at all. 

Alfas or Miatas?  Although, for 89's the #1 issue for both cars is rust.

1 2 3 4
Our Preferred Partners
wnHiImmhhhG0eMhr6vxcCf3ZP5n0KhhzMTAXczCMS0oDiz6Pa0B405HzNf3YJs9a