Friday, August 17, 2018

Arachidi! : 1992 Alfa Romeo 164L

In the post quantitative easing world, 600 bucks doesn't buy much.  A double-tall venti machiato chia tea latte, a pair of sustainable, ethically sourced, artisan jeans, reusable, turtle friendly, anodized titanium drinking straws...  Or, you could pick up a classic Italian Berlina that was the love child of a joint project of FIAT, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and SAAB.  Find this 1992 Alfa Romeo 164L for sale in Auburn, WA for $600 via craigslist.

The 164 was the last of the Tipo quattro quadruplets to emerge from the joint platform project between FIAT, Lancia, SAAB and Alfa.  The project also spawned the FIAT Chroma, Lancia Thema and SAAB 9000.  The 164 in the U.S. made its debut in 1991 and was motivated by the legendary Busso-designed V-6 in its single cam, 3 liter form.  The V-6 's Achilles heel was the timing belt & tensioner and that it was an interference engine, so belt or tensioner failure equaled new, expensive engine.  As a rule of thumb, change the belt every 3 years or 30K miles. This car features a grubby engine bay, but the stickers are still there meaning it hasn't been crashed really hard.  No mention of the timing belt in the ad, so I'd go in with the thought of new belt as soon as you hand over the 600 clams.

Inside the interior is similarly ratty.  The period magazines in the U.S. used to complain about the numerious, confusing buttons on the center stack, but if you drive 3 different cars per week, of course you want the lowest common denominator as you can't be bothered to RTFM.  I owned a 164 for 10 years and figured the buttons out after a day or so. Curious how many gauges and buttons work as the ad mentions an alternator/charging issue.

Here is the seller in their own words:

Hello, Selling my 1992 Alfa Romeo 164L 
Inline 6 / 3.0L
Gets pretty good gas mileage. 
Really Great Car, sad to see her go but I need to get rid of it. Got a new car, don't want to see it sitting and collecting dust, rather have someone drive and love it like I did. 
Gears shift like butter, no engine leaks or weird 
160,000 Miles 
5-Speed Manual 
New Spark Plugs 
Coolant Flush 
Just installed a Brand New Clutch 
New Battery 
Fresh Oil Change 
Transmission Fluid Flush 
Tires 75%
Rims are in great condition, no curb rashes!
Brakes Are Good and Pads have lots of life left. 
Just needs a little bit of love and it will take you anywhere you want. Has alternator issues. Will take you home a full battery which I'm currently always have on charge. Also has a slight power steering leak. That's it. Other than that runs and drives amazing!

$600 OBO 
Runs & Drives 

If your interested or have any questions, feel free to call/text me at xxx-xxx-xxxx Anytime!

See even cheaper macchina? email us here:

Gianni is Daily Turismo's Pacific Northwest correspondent and resident Alfa owner.-zealot.  He attended public schools and is hoping the comma enforcing commenter will show up and help with the punctuation.


  1. It SEEMS like a great deal and could be a nice project for someone, but I'm curious what part availability is like for models this old. I doubt a local Alfa dealer stocks anything for this. Does anyone have any experience?

    1. Cernterline Alfa in Colorado would be your friend. Some stuff for the 164 is becoming unobtainable thought. FCA doesn't have much interest in the old stuff except for soaking you for a "Certificate of Authenticity" that you used to be able to just email Storico Alfa for.

  2. Great cars but a cheap Alfa's going to cost you in deferred maintenance. Rebuilt steering rack (a pain to change), timing belt and water pump, and a new alternator (cheap and easy) are going to cost you a lot more even if you do your own wrenching. Also check out the gears on the climate control and all the other electricals that will need be fiddled with. Oh yeah its a V6 so we know the current owner has no idea on the maintenance.

  3. My dad had one of these, we both loved it. I would say for 600 bucks if you were able to drive it in anger for a week before it blew up you would not feel like you got a bad deal.


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