Product Type: Alfa Romeo cars
Newest Review: ... etc - make sure you test everything, nothing is unfixable but you can use to get price down. Tyre wear - 164's need very close atten... more
Awesome car for naff car money
Alfa Romeo 164
Member Name: Mikeroo
Alfa Romeo 164
Date: 17/07/03, updated on 17/07/03 (601 review reads)
Advantages: Fast, Good looks, Exclusive
Disadvantages: 24v needs skilled mechanic, More maintenence needed than alot of cars, Poop dealer network
I have owned a 1991 2 litre TS and currently have a 1996 24v Cloverleaf.
The 164 does not rust as a general rule, some older cars are showing a few signs of rust but in all the places you would expect it after 12 years or so.
The 2 litre TS engine is based on a 1950's design but is one of the best 2 litre 4 cylinder engines ever made in my opinion being virtually bomb proof. The earlier Ts models had a timing chain so no worries about cambelts breaking and there are alot of very high mileage 164's out there which is a credit to the engineers who put them together.
Stories of electrical problems are failry well founded (much improved on later 164's)), most often due to very poor quality switches but these problems usually only effect the electrical toys in the car rather than stopping you driving it.
The 3 litre 24v engines are simply glorious with a real kick in the back at 4,000rpm and a truly legendary sound (try a freeflow exhaust system). Cambelts on 24v models MUST be changed every 36k miles and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You simply must be prepared to maintain this car as per factory specs so only buy one if you are prepared to spend on maintenance what you would be prepared to spend if it was a new car. That said, try if possible to stay well clear of main dealers, they have totally lost interest in such an "old car" and most of the mechanics have never worked on one, in other words be prepared to drive a few miles to a reliable specialist. (I have heard of a few main dealers who still offer a good service but they are VERY few and far between).
Handling on these cars is suprisingly good with loads of grip on tap, TS a bit lighter at the front so understeers a little less. 24v Cloverleaf came with electronic suspension control with two settings - Auto and Sport.
Cloverleaf is basically a Super with bodykit, suspension control, leather as standard (Recaro's optional
and rare), 16" Cloverleaf specific alloys, 230BHP vs 210BHP for Super.
Cost of parts - well people say they are high but if you buy a 150mph sports saloon you simply cannot expect to get parts for Ford Escort prices. Most of the parts are very reasonable in my opinion and they are still freely available from both main dealers and independent specialists like EBSPARES (cheaper).
Things to look for if you go to view one:
Service history - it really should have a very comprehensive one and if not then expect to see a big bunch of receipts at least. I actually bought mine with no service history and no receipts but I knew the cars and I could tell it had been well looked after in pretty much every way.
Aircon and heater controls - Often not working, check thoroughly.
Electric seats and sunroof etc - make sure you test everything, nothing is unfixable but you can use to get price down.
Tyre wear - 164's need very close attention to tracking and general wheel alignment so if you have uneven wear on tyres expect to get that done and possibly suspension bushes as well.
Prices as of July 2003 shameful, you can pick up a pretty well maintained/condition 24v Cloverleaf for 2-3 grand now (expect to pay more for an A1 example owned by a true enthusiast as it would have cost him/her thousands to maintain and keep tip-top). Bargain of the century. Older 2 litre and 3 litre models can be bought for virtually pennies.
If anyone ever needs any advice, feel free to drop me a mail, I am a confirmed 164 nut.