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Be patient or bite the bullet

  • Wait for another few weeks

    Votes: 1 5.9%
  • Wait until a good one is out

    Votes: 15 88.2%
  • Buy the nearest one I can find

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone, happy holidays. I have been trying to find a 'collector grade' 4c in the UK for a while (say 3 weeks
馃ぃ
) but so far no luck. Any tips - should I be patient or should I just bite the bullet and get the nearest one available? I don't mind either the coupe (60kg lighter) or the spider (better in any other way for my taste).

If I find a good one I'm probably just going to keep it. I live in London and the 4c is not going to be good in town. It will also have to share sunny weekends with my bikes too so I'll be lucky to put 1,000 miles on it each year.

My current criteria are (a) sub 拢15k miles, (b) no more than 3 owners, (c) 2016 onwards, (d) no bodykits or non-OEM wheels and (e) immaculate bodywork - I'm open for critique on these!

So far seems like the last one was the hardest to find - do 4cs have softer paint than an 'average car'? I've seen one with more than 20 stone chips all around and scratches on the driver side from getting in and out...
How / when did you get your 4c in the UK? If you had it as used it would be good to learn your experience too.

Tire Wheel Vehicle Car Automotive design
 

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Good luck sir in your search. As time move on unfortunately the cars that are as you have mentioned "collector grade" will become more and more difficult to find as with any car who had low production numbers and no longer produced. I myself purchased my 4c in 2018 from an Alfa Romeo dealer here in the USA which was owner by a collector prior. I see other comments from folks here looking for low mile cars in good condition and lower prices point but really find that more and more difficult a task also. You came to the right place here in this forum as there are many in your region who might be able to help and or provide advise. Not sure if importing is an option but if so let me know if i can help.
 

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Here you will likely find the rational voice to "wait for the goldilocks one" since it seems you won't do any modifications (the 4C is one of the best platforms for DIY modification, much like a composite D90) and you're looking for one you will be happy with over the long term, furthermore given your criteria means zero track/abuse time.

Carbon roof/halo, carbon italian flag mirrors, rare colorways like black on the tan or grey on red stitching, Akrapovik (whatever) exhaust, and halogen headlights (trust me here, the bixenon means a bunch of now outdated code, wire and chip harness, and plastic headlight shrouds that now with laser amd LED headlights are obsolete in the bad way) are the biggest boxes your 4C should tick. Apart from that, the "2020" Tributos, meaning Red-Tint Carbon Tubs (your picture shows one), are the ones to let the checkbook blank for if you find one.

Eventually, you will break in to dabble in the koshi and scara carbon bits because they flat out make sense and are perfectly reversible with 3M tape, or are bolt in replacements which actually maintain those oem wear items. Then the right wheels and tires will not only let you store the oem from harm's way, but also correct many factory issues, drive MUCH safer in the wet and dry, so there's that. Since you said 1k a year at most, might as well upgrade the brake fluid, slotted over drilled rotors with TarOX, and your favorite low-dust pads too, so you keep the car out of trouble and cake up the wheel wells less.

That's when you'll realize that there is no real way to "just drive it a spot here and there"... Nor worry much about "matching numbers". Not saying that everyone should go full @Nimo but also unless you own more than one, it's unrealistic to think the 4C won't seduce you with theater and noise and race car behaviors on a daily basis.馃崁 The 4c isn't the latest Porsche or usual exotic or low-production that one just parks and raises a glass at once in a while. Just a heads up馃槈
 

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@ericinlondon Probably you are already aware that the last new 4Cs to be registered in the UK were back in 2019, and then there were only 6 Spiders. Going back to 2018, there were 12 Spiders and 13 Coupes; so only 31 4Cs which are around 5 years old. In 2016 and 2017 combined, there were a further 310 new 4Cs registered, but you are looking at 6 or 7 year old cars. Very few UK 4Cs had full PPF from new, some had part PPF on the front and side; so paint "wear and tear" is to be expected. You don't explicit rule it out, but be aware a significant number in the UK will have had the Alfaworks front steering blocks and Stage 1 ECU modifications.

Adding up all these factors, IMHO it is going to be a challenge to find a low mileage, near immaculate, stock specification 4C in the UK. Also, most will be on the 2nd or 3rd owners (since any PCP or lease cars will have been sold off) and in most cases these owners intend to keep and drive their 4C. Hence why there are so few on the market.

I see you have already posted the same question on the 4C Register group on Facebook. If you haven't already done so, you can try reaching out to Mark Gunston at Midland Car Sourcing and Joe Quinn at Supercar Sourcing, as they are the most active 4C dealers in the UK.

Good luck with you search.
 

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Coupe or Spider (or does it matter)? I just didn鈥檛 see that in your criteria, and that choice either doubles or halves the field.

I鈥檇 wait. The car is a keeper, and there WILL be the right one on the market on some point.
Rushing into a collector type car is an oxymoron. Rushing into an investment level car is also folly (not that the 4C likely qualifies, but the profit in any resale is usually made in the purchasing - a good example, at a good price).

Were you to track it or even daily the car, my advice would be different.

Be patient.
 

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Unless you're going to buy ultra-low mileage to stick it in a garage under a cover for investment, I never understand the "must have low mileage" approach to cars like this - I used to see it a lot in the Lotus circles and it never made any sense.

Buy on condition, not owners or mileage. Always.

Mileage has never been a factor for me - in fact, the best/most reliable cars I've owned had high mileage; most issues have usually been sorted, flakey parts have already been replaced and so on..... Cars left sitting is never a good thing unless properly stored (newsflash - most aren't) and even then, it's never good. The bigger factor for me is how often (and with who!) has it been serviced, what grade of parts has the owner fitted, etc.

In other words, you're potentially looking for a unicorn. They're incredibly reliable cars, buy one that's been looked after, has the important options you want (for me, it was leather dash, 18/19 wheels, newer lights and Rosso or Comp Red) and roll with the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Drive one. You鈥檒l know what you鈥檙e prepared to compromise on.
It was so interesting that you said this - my original plan was to buy the Alpine a110s (2023 model) - drove it, was nice, but similar to the Audi TTRS that I used to own.

Then I test drove one of the 4c's as a 'back-up' - boy I fell I love straightaway. Absolutely love the rawness and the go kart feel! People complains about 'tramlining' and 'goes to the nearest ditch' but I love it! Not going to go on touring in it but a perfect toy for an hour or two weekend blast!

Sadly that makes it even more so a keeper so I am desperate to find a good one :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@ericinlondon Probably you are already aware that the last new 4Cs to be registered in the UK were back in 2019, and then there were only 6 Spiders. Going back to 2018, there were 12 Spiders and 13 Coupes; so only 31 4Cs which are around 5 years old. In 2016 and 2017 combined, there were a further 310 new 4Cs registered, but you are looking at 6 or 7 year old cars. Very few UK 4Cs had full PPF from new, some had part PPF on the front and side; so paint "wear and tear" is to be expected. You don't explicit rule it out, but be aware a significant number in the UK will have had the Alfaworks front steering blocks and Stage 1 ECU modifications.

Adding up all these factors, IMHO it is going to be a challenge to find a low mileage, near immaculate, stock specification 4C in the UK. Also, most will be on the 2nd or 3rd owners (since any PCP or lease cars will have been sold off) and in most cases these owners intend to keep and drive their 4C. Hence why there are so few on the market.

I see you have already posted the same question on the 4C Register group on Facebook. If you haven't already done so, you can try reaching out to Mark Gunston at Midland Car Sourcing and Joe Quinn at Supercar Sourcing, as they are the most active 4C dealers in the UK.

Good luck with you search.
This is golden Ian. Yes I checked the numbers out at How Many Left? and know its only going to get harder to find, hence the conundrum!

Mark G listed a 16 or 17 Spider with 12k miles a while back but it was gone before I can see the car! I'll probably give him a call if I'm still stuck in a week or so.

I'm not big on the Alfa workshop mods personally - I don't mind them. Test driven 2 originals and felt they have enough power already, and I don't mind the tram lining at all - some how gives a more direct feel of the surface camber :LOL:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unless you're going to buy ultra-low mileage to stick it in a garage under a cover for investment, I never understand the "must have low mileage" approach to cars like this - I used to see it a lot in the Lotus circles and it never made any sense.

Buy on condition, not owners or mileage. Always.

Mileage has never been a factor for me - in fact, the best/most reliable cars I've owned had high mileage; most issues have usually been sorted, flakey parts have already been replaced and so on..... Cars left sitting is never a good thing unless properly stored (newsflash - most aren't) and even then, it's never good. The bigger factor for me is how often (and with who!) has it been serviced, what grade of parts has the owner fitted, etc.

In other words, you're potentially looking for a unicorn. They're incredibly reliable cars, buy one that's been looked after, has the important options you want (for me, it was leather dash, 18/19 wheels, newer lights and Rosso or Comp Red) and roll with the rest.
You are right - I'm most relaxed on the mileage as a criteria. Sometimes ultra-low milage also means its probably spent more time on track than on the road.
 

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It's because he's looked at three and is weighing up his options :)
I just took a look at my brochures for the Coupe and Spider and was surprised to see the weight difference quoted between the two as only around 10kg; 1044kg for the Coupe and 1055kg for the Spider in Aussie guise.
 

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Drive one. You鈥檒l know what you鈥檙e prepared to compromise on.
This. Mine isn't perfect and that doesn't bother me. I would never collect cars - there are better investments. So I'm going to drive this thing because it's so much fun, and not worry about the mileage. It's not my way to just look at it and hope it appreciates. It may, or may not, but I'll take good enough care of it for either scenario.

Find what you like and drive it. Just look for a car with a good history. It doesn't have to be perfect or super low mileage. Some weren't even perfect when they left the factory (i.e. my Rossa Alfa paintwork)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@ericinlondon , From where did you get the 60kg heavier value for the Spider? It鈥檚 more like 20kg.
I鈥檇 wait. The right one will eventually turn up.
I googled "how much is alfa romeo 4c spider heavier than coupe" and found this:

"Alfa Romeo has worked very hard to make the 4C Spider lightweight, using materials like titanium and carbon-fibre throughout the car to make it just 60kg heavier than the standard 4C coupe"

.

Its either UK/EU regulations adding weight to everything, or poor journalism.
 

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I googled "how much is alfa romeo 4c spider heavier than coupe" and found this:

"Alfa Romeo has worked very hard to make the 4C Spider lightweight, using materials like titanium and carbon-fibre throughout the car to make it just 60kg heavier than the standard 4C coupe"

.

Its either UK/EU regulations adding weight to everything, or poor journalism.
My bet is poor journalism, but maybe with good intention.
The comparisons might have been between otherwise non-similar cars (leather vs plastic/vinyl, etc)???
 

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Depends on Country sold and options. Here in the US and identically equiped spider will wiegh 24# more than the Coupe....so negligible.
As far as low mileage cars......a car NEEDS to get exercised. Otherwise you have issues such as leaking seals, rotting rubber, contaminated oil, gas, water from not getting refreshed. I am not saying a car with lots of miles is better....but I would take a car with moderate mileage and with good service records every time.
 
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