Friday, March 2, 2018

Italian Cheapskate: 1991 Alfa Romeo 164L

Two thousand pages of Uncle Sam's greenbacked promissory notes doesn't buy much in a car these days. Just about anything that passes your local inspection requirements and can be driven home is worth more than $2k...but what if I said you could get a future classic for $2k that comes from Italy and has a manual gearbox? Find this 1991 Alfa Romeo 164L offered for $1999 in Santa Cruz, CA via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

From the seller:

For sale: 1991 Alfa Romeo 164L
~164,200 miles
5-speed manual
Blue with tan leather interior
Owned by same family since mid-1990s

Passes California smog.

Has new fuel pump, new spark plugs, new distributor cap and rotor, new brake pads, and new brake rotors. 

Has recent timing belt (August '16).

This 164 was my daily driver until mid-2006 when I bought a Corvette. The Alfa has mainly sat since then.

Purrs like a 26 year-old kitten!

- car runs, drives, etc.
- body is straight
- nothing major is missing
- 5-speed gearbox shifts well

- European-market Speedline 16" wheels (p/n 60611391). These wheels were original equipment on 1990s Alfa Romeo Spiders and GTVs (non-USA). They fit the 164 perfectly without modification and allow use of more modern 16" tires. Hard to find in the United States
- original 15" wheels included, too 
- AlfaPro brass stepper motor gears installed
- relatively low miles on gearbox, rebuilt in 2002 by Phil Mason

TLC is in order:
- paint is throughly shot
- interior is tired
- tires flat-spotted from being parked
- all or most of the row of warning lights illuminate occasionally, apropos of nothing, as if the TEST button were depressed. This tends to happen more when cold and can be made to go away with a light tap on the side of the cluster
- usual old car wear items

Includes veritable treasure trove of new old stock OEM spare parts:
- brake hoses (p/n 60564765 x 2)
- radiator hose set
- power steering pump belt
- dog bone engine mount bushing
- oil pressure sender

Plus a spare new Beck-Arnley cast iron brake master cylinder. I find that the Beck-Arnleys are less prone to drag one of the circuits than the aluminum Bendix.

Great car for the Alfisti who can put in some maintenance.

See a better way to drive Italian for $2k?


  1. Very attractive price. Surprisingly high miles for a car with an "Italian reputation". Like DT says, what else can you buy for $2K that is even vaguely interesting?

    Odd way to market a 26 year old car, with more photos of wheels and spare parts than actual photos of the car. For example, he says the paint is shot, but none of the photos let us assess that (OK, maybe that front 3/4, but you have to blow it up). Similarly, he says the interior is tired, but the photos look pretty good.

  2. “Purrs like a 26 year old kitten.”

    Ummmmm, I suspect the seller is more correct than he knows.


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