1991 Alfa Romeo 164L

Many believe that Alfa Romeo INVENTED the Sport Sedan back in the sixties, with its popular Berlinas. They were four-door five-passenger cars that were responsive and fun to drive, with room for the whole family. The 164 is the latest (at least in the USA) of a series of great Alfa Sport Sedans that carry on the tradition.

We bought this car new in April of 1991 and haven't regretted it for one instant - it is a marvelous car! It's quiet, fast, luxurious, and has been one of the most dependable cars we've ever owned. It has been Vi's primary driver and has only something over 63,000 miles on it (the 60,000 mile major service has been completed). Our black-on-black example is especially attractive (at least to my eye) - the lower body panels blend into the car's design so nicely.

The 164L has a 3-liter 183HP V6 engine, a 5-speed transmission, and front wheel drive. The FWD, coupled with galvanized body panels, make the 164 an Alfa you can truly drive year-round. The car has a top speed of over 140MPH, although this one has never seen 90 (at least Vi never told me if she did). It has ABS brakes and a driver's airbag. Our 164 is completely stock, as it came from the factory.

In 1991, the L model had the same mechanicals as the base model, but with many refinements (the L stands for Lusso - Luxury). These include full leather interior, power heated seats front and rear (!), alloy wheels, climate control, power sun roof, keyless RF remote, factory alarm system, etc. etc. It has a good factory stereo cassette radio and power antenna. The car had a sticker price of $29,785.

Tires are Yokohama Avids, about 10,000 miles old. The clutch is fine (yes, Vi knows how to use it). We have maintained the car by the book, except for more frequent oil changes, and have always used AGIP semi-synthetic oil. We have the original window sticker, manuals, tools, and all service records. Recent service has included water pump, brake rotors and calipers. Mechanically, I know of nothing that it needs. The car gets 23-24 MPG.

Problems? We've had very few. The 164 has a stainless steel exhaust system, and we did have to replace the rearmost section a couple of years ago. Once, it didn't pass emissions, and the air flow meter and O2 sensor were replaced; you couldn't tell there was ever a problem by driving it. 164s are reputed to have a weak spot in the climate control: there are stepper motors whose gears have been known to strip, and repair by a mechanic costs several hundred dollars. Ours have not been repaired, nor do they show any symptoms of needing it (clicking from the stripped gears).

The interior is in excellent condition. There are no cuts or tears in the leather, and hardly even any wear (we apply mink oil to it every year). The dashboard and rear deck are perfect (the car has always been garaged). We purchased four floor mats when the car was new, and the carpets are in great shape.

The body has a few dings (mostly those damned grocery store parking lots) but is generally in great shape - there is zero rust. The close-up photo of the headlight above was taken to show some dings to the right front bumper - the headlight was replaced and there's a little dent just above the turn signal. (Oh - and the headlight washer doesn't work, although neither of us had ever thought of using it anyway.) Also, when the car was two months old, I backed into a post (doh!) and had to have the right rear fender and bumper fixed and repainted; you can see a spot on the bumper where the paint has chipped; otherwise the repair is fine.

As I said, this has been a marvelous car - quiet and luxurious like a BMW 5-series, yet you get all those wonderful sounds and sensations from the famous Alfa engine when you put your foot down. It's far more unique and attention-getting than a BMW. But because of market conditions, we can only ask about half of what an "equivalent" BMW costs. We are looking for something close to $7500. We're selling it because Vi, the artist, often needs more room to haul her larger stuff, for which she sometimes uses our Cherokee, but that vehicle is getting old and is a bit rough-riding, so it and the 164 will be replaced by something new.

Yes, there's a duck standing on the end of our dock in a couple of those photos.

I'm sure I've left out some of the info that you're interested in, so please feel free to contact me by email at dave@dvpratt.com or by phone at 781-320-8208.

Thanks -


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