> What is an Alpine basket case worth these days? I drove past one sitting
> on a driveway the other day. All of the tires were flat; it looked like
> it hadn't moved in at least threee years. The body was straight, the top
> needed some work, but it looks as if all of the pieces are there. I think
> it is a Series 5 Alpine, there was a ``1725'' badge on the fender and it
> didn't have the giant fins on the rear fenders. I'd like to approach the
> owner about giving him some more usable driveway space, but I'd like to
> know what is a reasonable price first.
The '1725' indicates that it is definitely a Series 5 Alpine. You
might want to check and see if it is the original engine. The ID
number on the body and the engine were the same when new. Locate the
engine ID plate low on the the engine block (I forget which side).
The body ID plate will be just under the bonnet, right in front of
the windshield (I forget what the part of the body between the
windshield and bonnet is called). If the numbers aren't the same,
it's not the original engine, and it will be worth less as a
collectible, but it won't affect the price as a fun driveable car.
There must be something inherently wrong with Alpine engines,
something which I have been unable to determine, because no Alpine I
have seen has had the original engine. Eddie the Eagle has a
different engine, and the parts car has no engine at all. Nothing I
have read gives any clue as to why this might be. Is the same true
for 4-cyl cars of the same vintage (e.g. TR4, late MGA, early MGB)?
As far as price goes, Alpines tend to be somewhat lower than MGBs and
TR4s, mainly because fewer people are familiar with them, so the
demand is lower. (Every time proudly I tell someone about my car,
they invariably respond with one of these two questions: a. "What's
that?", or b. "Is that the one with the V8?" AARRGGHH!). After you
determine the condition of the car (does have an engine, does it run,
interior, electrics, rust, all the normal pitfalls of a 25-year-old
LBC), check your area for the prices of MGBs in similar condition. In
my area (North Alabama), the few Alpines offered for sale in the last
2 years or so seem to be priced anywhere from the same to 20% less
than equivalent MGBs. I could be wrong, but I attribute this to
Alpines are a featured model in the November '88 issue of 'Restoring
Classic Cars' magazine. If you want a copy of the article, drop me
e-mail with your postal address and I'll send it to you.
T.J. Higgins uunet!ingr!higgins (UUCP)
Intergraph Corp. M/S CR041 firstname.lastname@example.org (Internet)
One Madison Industrial Park
Huntsville, AL 35894-0001 "Well-weathered leather, hot metal
(205) 730-6191 and oil, the scent of country air"