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Old 13-03-2008   #16
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by baldrick500 View Post
These reputations are hard to shift. I have run Alfas for the last 9 years and never had an electrical issue. Even the auto wipers on a 156 were still auto wiping 4 years on when I sold the car! Yet still the jibes about rust and Italian electrics stick.

Alfa want to be like BMW but no matter how they improve quality the perceptions have to change which take years and years.

I'll get down off the soap box now

Cheers
Baldrick
i had 5 bmw's ALL of them had a headgasket problem ( all 6 cyl all under 70,000 miles )
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Old 13-03-2008   #17
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by white 500 View Post
i had 5 bmw's ALL of them had a headgasket problem ( all 6 cyl all under 70,000 miles )
Reality and perception can be so different though. Do a straw poll on Alfas vs BMWs and you will probably be told that Alfas look nice but bits fall off and they break down. Whereas BMs are both fast and dependable. Heck I had a conversation with an intelligent guy who asked if Alfas still had a rust problem...

Alfa management keeps changing as new guys promise to turn it around each time but they are fighting against a perception that will take a longer time to change than the timescales each new management are given or promise to make changes.

Cheers
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Last edited by baldrick500; 13-03-2008 at 19:41.
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Old 13-03-2008   #18
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

I dont get this perception though with the rust issue... heres my point. In the 60s everything rusted badly, Fiat, BMW, VW etc all of them rotted very fast. In the 70s Fiat and all other Italian cars, as well as most UK stuff rusted even quicker... however so did VW, BMW etc... in fact nothing from the 70s has survived well. In the 80s VW pretty much slowed the rot right down, look at how many 80s Polos, Golfs are still going strong with rust free bodies, however come the late 80s Fiat was getting to grips really well, rusting slower than most other makes, by the 90s they had got things well sorted on the whole and now in the 21st Century Fiat have one of the best protected bodies you can buy... yet people still say they are rust buckets... what about all the Ford Fiestas and even the Ka is showing really bad rusting problems now. Weird.
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Old 13-03-2008   #19
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by nuovapanda View Post
I dont get this perception though with the rust issue... heres my point. In the 60s everything rusted badly, Fiat, BMW, VW etc all of them rotted very fast. In the 70s Fiat and all other Italian cars, as well as most UK stuff rusted even quicker... however so did VW, BMW etc... in fact nothing from the 70s has survived well. In the 80s VW pretty much slowed the rot right down, look at how many 80s Polos, Golfs are still going strong with rust free bodies, however come the late 80s Fiat was getting to grips really well, rusting slower than most other makes, by the 90s they had got things well sorted on the whole and now in the 21st Century Fiat have one of the best protected bodies you can buy... yet people still say they are rust buckets... what about all the Ford Fiestas and even the Ka is showing really bad rusting problems now. Weird.
Can't argue with any of that.
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Old 13-03-2008   #20
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by nuovapanda View Post
I dont get this perception though with the rust issue... heres my point. In the 60s everything rusted badly, Fiat, BMW, VW etc all of them rotted very fast. In the 70s Fiat and all other Italian cars, as well as most UK stuff rusted even quicker... however so did VW, BMW etc... in fact nothing from the 70s has survived well. In the 80s VW pretty much slowed the rot right down, look at how many 80s Polos, Golfs are still going strong with rust free bodies, however come the late 80s Fiat was getting to grips really well, rusting slower than most other makes, by the 90s they had got things well sorted on the whole and now in the 21st Century Fiat have one of the best protected bodies you can buy... yet people still say they are rust buckets... what about all the Ford Fiestas and even the Ka is showing really bad rusting problems now. Weird.
I quite agree but... Some of the worst offenders were Alfasuds (made of cheap Russian steel, they were rusting at the docks before delivery) and Lancia Betas (engines falling out due to rusted mounts) and made big news at the time, even though British cars only managed a few years before rusting. This is what sticks in the mind and is very very hard to shift.
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Old 14-03-2008   #21
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

True enough, back in the day they were all awful, and life with any older car was a constant battle against rust. I remember once jacking up an Austin A110 at the garage where I worked and not noticing until it was too late that the jack had cut straight up through the rotten sill rather than lifting the car (the Austin being no more than ten years old). Car magazines were full of articles on rust treatments, filler and fibreglass "repairs". But it has to be said that the Italians were particularly bad for a while - the Alfasud has already been mentioned, and how many X1/9s do you see on the road now? The manufacturers got away with it because the cars lasted the three years that most new buyers kept them for. After that, it was tough luck sunshine. Whereas my 16 year old Peugeot 205 has no bodyshell corrosion at all - which amazes me, and shows what can be done.

John
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Last edited by John R Smith; 14-03-2008 at 09:11.
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Old 17-03-2008   #22
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Filled up the little red demon at the weekend after 200 miles and was able to do my own fuel mileage calculations, which came out to just over 41 mpg since I picked the car up. Not too bad at all, considering there was quite a bit of traffic crawling included, and no motorway or dual-carriageway miles. I think on a decent run I would easily get 45 mpg, and considering the performance available that is excellent. Interestingly, the on-board trip computer seems to be slightly pessemistic at 38 mpg overall.

John
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Old 18-03-2008   #23
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by baldrick500 View Post
I quite agree but... Some of the worst offenders were Alfasuds (made of cheap Russian steel, they were rusting at the docks before delivery) and Lancia Betas (engines falling out due to rusted mounts) and made big news at the time, even though British cars only managed a few years before rusting. This is what sticks in the mind and is very very hard to shift.
You are as bad as the people who say that Italian cars still rust. Fact, not one Lancia Beta engine fell out of one car. It's physically impossible and was made up by the Daily Mirror.

Yes, Lancia did use Russian steel which was of poor quality but it was more in the name of recycling than doing things on the cheap.

The truth is that Lancias were no worse than any other car of that era. I should know as my Dad ran Betas before, during and after this "rust" scandal and we still own a 25 year old Beta HPE and you still see older cars than this for sale in the classifieds and running around.

What sticks in your mind and what you perpetuate is utter b0ll0cks made up by the UK press who never let the truth get in the way of a good "story".

Shame on you.
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Old 18-03-2008   #24
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Rust prevention seems to be one area where Fiat really do very well indeed, ive seen many Tipos, Tempras etc with not a spot of rust on when 02 reg Mk5 Fiestas rust terribly, my mates R plate Punto is clean as a whistle, as is another mates W reg Bravo where my mates Dads T plate Merc CLK is rusting away around the arches, and my Grandmas A class is bubbling in the arches too, mind you Mercedes are crap anyway lol...

The best has to be Peugeot though, everything mid 205 production onwards just doesnt seem to rust, with the exception of accident damage/replaced wings etc they just dont seem to rot out, ever...
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Old 18-03-2008   #25
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by Nero500 View Post
You are as bad as the people who say that Italian cars still rust. Fact, not one Lancia Beta engine fell out of one car. It's physically impossible and was made up by the Daily Mirror.

Yes, Lancia did use Russian steel which was of poor quality but it was more in the name of recycling than doing things on the cheap.

The truth is that Lancias were no worse than any other car of that era. I should know as my Dad ran Betas before, during and after this "rust" scandal and we still own a 25 year old Beta HPE and you still see older cars than this for sale in the classifieds and running around.

What sticks in your mind and what you perpetuate is utter b0ll0cks made up by the UK press who never let the truth get in the way of a good "story".

Shame on you.
I offered it as an explanation as to why the perception still exists. The family have owned 6 Italian cars in recent years so I certainly don't perpetuate the myth.

Regardless Alfasuds and Betas were made of recycled Russian steel which formed part of a deal with Lada. Early Betas had subframe rusting issues that caused the engine to drop backwards. Lancia tried to buy back the cars and dispose of them but the Daily Mail exposed the problem. In a sensational manner of course, hence the "engine falling out" memory.

You are right though in that all cars were pretty crap at rusting back then, however Alfasuds and early Beta saloons were some of the worst of a bad bunch. What made it more sensational for the media is that these cars were nearly new when it happened, it was "acceptable" for a car to rust after a few years. So you had company execs complaining to the media of nearly new Betas being replaced which helped to bring the attention to the general public.

To compare that with modern cars is of course nonsense, but my point was these perceptions stick regardless of accuracy. As is so often the case the general perception will differ from the informed.

My son and daughter had a '96 Punto and a '97 Ka. The Ka had to go because of severe rust underneath. I was shocked as I didn't think any cars rusted these days. The Punto is rust free...

Cheers
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Last edited by baldrick500; 18-03-2008 at 13:49.
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Old 18-03-2008   #26
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by baldrick500 View Post
I offered it as an explanation as to why the perception still exists. The family have owned 6 Italian cars in recent years so I certainly don't perpetuate the myth.

Regardless Alfasuds and Betas were made of recycled Russian steel which formed part of a deal with Lada. Early Betas had subframe rusting issues that caused the engine to drop backwards. Lancia tried to buy back the cars and dispose of them but the Daily Mail exposed the problem. In a sensational manner of course, hence the "engine falling out" memory.

You are right though in that all cars were pretty crap at rusting back then, however Alfasuds and early Beta saloons were some of the worst of a bad bunch. What made it more sensational for the media is that these cars were nearly new when it happened, it was "acceptable" for a car to rust after a few years. So you had company execs complaining to the media of nearly new Betas being replaced which helped to bring the attention to the general public.

To compare that with modern cars is of course nonsense, but my point was these perceptions stick regardless of accuracy. As is so often the case the general perception will differ from the informed.

My son and daughter had a '96 Punto and a '97 Ka. The Ka had to go because of severe rust underneath. I was shocked as I didn't think any cars rusted these days. The Punto is rust free...

Cheers
Baldrick
OK Baldrick - it was just the way it read. Lancia only offered to buy them back as a gesture of goodwill to anyone who was worried and it was any Beta not just cars affected. There were no engines falling out onto driveways. Some dealers were buying them up at the time for next to nothing and then selling them on to those in the know about what good cars these were. Perfromance and hadleing wise

My Dad sold a Beta HPE to make way for a new one and when this story broke the chap who bought the car came back wanting his money back. Was there a problem with the car? No. Why did he want his money back? Because of what he had read and in case it happened!
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Old 18-03-2008   #27
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by Nero500 View Post
OK Baldrick - it was just the way it read. Lancia only offered to buy them back as a gesture of goodwill to anyone who was worried and it was any Beta not just cars affected. There were no engines falling out onto driveways. Some dealers were buying them up at the time for next to nothing and then selling them on to those in the know about what good cars these were. Perfromance and hadleing wise

My Dad sold a Beta HPE to make way for a new one and when this story broke the chap who bought the car came back wanting his money back. Was there a problem with the car? No. Why did he want his money back? Because of what he had read and in case it happened!
No problem Nero. I was an impressionable 17 year old at the time the news broke. The Beta coupe remains one of my all time favourites along with the Alfa GTV of the same era and also the Fiat 850 coupe. It took me until 1999 to get my first Italian car and we have owned 6 in the family. Yet I still get comments on reliability and rust.

The current Fiat range is making strides though to improve the image, it just takes time.

Cheers
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Old 18-03-2008   #28
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by baldrick500 View Post
No problem Nero. I was an impressionable 17 year old at the time the news broke. The Beta coupe remains one of my all time favourites along with the Alfa GTV of the same era and also the Fiat 850 coupe. It took me until 1999 to get my first Italian car and we have owned 6 in the family. Yet I still get comments on reliability and rust.

The current Fiat range is making strides though to improve the image, it just takes time.

Cheers
Baldrick
Cool. I saw the new Lancia Delta at Geneva in the metal and I was seriously impressed. The stand was packed too and even the guys from Audi were down having a look.

Also found out that my local Alfa dealer will be selling Lancia when they come back next year.

Will probably sell my 5oo to get the new Delta.
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Old 18-03-2008   #29
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by Nero500 View Post
Cool. I saw the new Lancia Delta at Geneva in the metal and I was seriously impressed. The stand was packed too and even the guys from Audi were down having a look.
I loved the look of the concept Fulvia, they may make something like that after the new HPE. I do hope so!

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Old 18-03-2008   #30
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Re: My 500 Sport is on the road

Quote Originally Posted by baldrick500 View Post
I loved the look of the concept Fulvia, they may make something like that after the new HPE. I do hope so!

Cheers
Baldrick
FIAT Group Politics and brand positioning have probably and unfortunately scuppered that. Apparently loads of people contacted Lancia wanting to put down deposits when that concept was first shown.
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