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i have never driven a 164, but they look kind of like an acura or worse yet, the rover that came out that actually WAS an acura.

can someone please sit me down and explain the virtues of this car ? i understand the alfa appeal up to the milano, but am having a difficult time understanding what makes the 164 and their ilk desirable ? why not just buy a BMW ?
 

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Like most Italian cars, the appeal is visceral. Roll under one.
Look at the casting and finish work of the aluminum. The large-diameter exhaust and tubular headers ('94-'95). Start it. Listen to the induction sounds, unencumbered by committee-designed plastic engine covers favored by so many. Drive one. Precise steering and effortless power at speed. Powerful, direct brakes.

If you just want to be transported, buy a Honda.
 

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:rolleyes:It's an Alfa isn't it:cool:
 

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Take a 1991-1993 525 or 535 for a comparison drive and you'll see. The Beemer does not engage me like the 164 does even with the rwd. I've owned one BMW and it was an 88 750il and while the V12 was fantastic and it had a good chassis I perfer the 164. If you don't like the styling than I wouldn't get one because you'll never be happy.
 

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Just drive it.

A Q if you can, or any 5 speed 24 valve - even just a well-maintained 12 valve 5 speed - just go and drive one and you will see...

If you ever have a chance, drive a 156 V6 next...
 

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To be honest, u can't ask this question without actually getting hands on one of them, then u wont be having any of these doubts revolving in ur head... I mean it :). Go out and take one on a drive and then drive a beamer, you will feel wht u r missing in the later from the earlier one in no time. If you are still no where in understanding wht it is, then comeback here.

-Pavan.
 

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Alfa 164 appeal

IMHO, the biggest difference between Italian cars and German or Japanese cars is that Italian cars have pesonality.
German carmakers are all about efficiency. They built machines, period. BMW, Mercedes and Porsches are all like this. C'mon they have not changed the 911 look since the 1950's! You feel like you are sitting in a lean efficient machine. Practicality and efficiency is what it's all about. Japanese are about copying European cars. You can never truly be a legendary carmaker if all you think about is how to catch up to somebody else.
Italians treat their cars as a piece of art. You cannot appreciate them if you look strictly at raw numbers, like bhp, torque, zero to sixty. Each Italian car feels like a person with its own distinct characteristics. Again this is just my opinion.
 

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Pininfarina styling, Italian car handling and speed (on the interstate at least, not so much off the line), a high quality leather interior, cheap to purchase, unique in the States anyway, parts are not that hard to get or exceptionally expensive. Should I go on? The sound that the engine makes, when you get on it. Did I mention, I got my car for free? What's the appeal, I don't know? I NEVER pass myself on the road. :D If you don't get it, just go spend a PILE of cash on a Bimmer, seriously, a PILE. ;) Alfas are generally undervalued and under appreciated. Why be like everyone else, though? Not everyone thinks a Camry or an Accord drives like a car should drive. Why drive a car with the driving experience set to the lowest common denominator (read, for the masses)? :confused: Sure it's esoteric, but that's what I like best about it. :D
Charles
 

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i have never driven a 164, but they look kind of like an acura or worse yet, the rover that came out that actually WAS an acura.

can someone please sit me down and explain the virtues of this car ? i understand the alfa appeal up to the milano, but am having a difficult time understanding what makes the 164 and their ilk desirable ? why not just buy a BMW ?
Well Acura copies alfa, even till this day, have u seen a TSX or TL, strong Alfa cues. The 164 wedge shape was ahead of its time, Pininfarina designs cars that are a decade ahead, combine that with their legendary V6 and a good overall package and you have a winner, youll have to drive one and see what I mean, better yet, take any euro competitor of the era, from a Volvo to a Bimmer and the alfa has the most unique package.
 

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I have recently purchased a '91 164. When you look at it you understand that it was about a decade ahead in styling. The 1998 Volvos especially have a similar design. Does that mean the appeal is that they were ahead of their time? No. It just points out that it was.

The appeal is that it remains classy 16 years later. Isn't that the appeal of a classic car?
 

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I saw nucleonic's question posted last night and was just itching to see what the rest of you folks said. His question was SO like what is called trolling that I didn't dare answer it myself. But the things I'd have said echo the things others have posted above. I'm not a competition driver, nor a stunt driver. I don't leave valuable carboniferous trails behind me on purpose. I just drive the cars and enjoy them. The 164 is precise in its handling when set up right. It costs money and effort to keep that way (strut boot/bumpstop maintenance, heater cores, tie rod ends, etc) but the car is delightful to drive and has real margin for acceleration even at speed on the freeway. I can see how it would have been a screamer on the open and unlimited road. (And its costs for maintenance are much less than acquisition costs for equivalent products from other marques.)

Michael
 

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all i can say is like what you drive and drive what you like

i have many different cars and driven many different cars (i have a friend letting me drive his 02 bently later in the week :D) and they all are great in there own ways, comparing cars to me is like comparing aples to oranges there are two many differences to even try to compare

but why i like alfa is for the pure sweet sound that the 24V6 makes, it puts a smile on my face every time, but who am i to say what, because i love the sound of my 84 Mercedes 300sd too
 

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I have recently purchased a '91 164. When you look at it you understand that it was about a decade ahead in styling. The 1998 Volvos especially have a similar design. Does that mean the appeal is that they were ahead of their time? No. It just points out that it was.

The appeal is that it remains classy 16 years later. Isn't that the appeal of a classic car?
look at the 164 carefully and observe the crease that runs along the side of the car to the back thin tail lights, giving the car an agressive yet elegant squat, pretty much every japanese car has that cue now, from a Mazda 3,6, Acura TSX, TL, Mitsu Lancer etc........even Audi couldnt resist the Alfa rear light treatment and prominent nose. Pininfarina is a master of timeless design, just check the new Maserati GranTurismo
 

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another area of appeal, sit in a 91 Bmw 535, MB E300, Audi, Volvo 740 or Saab 9000 and you will understand, the Alfa was lightyears ahead in design and driving pleasure, nobody is saying its the best built or reliable, its just an Alfa.
 

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One more thing; the appeal is also much about the fact that this is/was the last and latest model available to many of us here on the BB (those of us living in the US...)

If Alfa withdrew after the first few years of 156 production, this question would have been "What is the allure of a 156...?")
 

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I have recently purchased a '91 164. When you look at it you understand that it was about a decade ahead in styling. The 1998 Volvos especially have a similar design. Does that mean the appeal is that they were ahead of their time? No. It just points out that it was.

The appeal is that it remains classy 16 years later. Isn't that the appeal of a classic car?
One of the biggest appeals:

Drive it! Then come back to us.
Here is my appeal 164S 12V 3.0L :


Here is some other photo's that help with the appeal factor:
164S:


164L 12V 3.0L models:

164LS:



164 Q: (Q4 shown but as far as looks they are the same)

Look at the picture post for more pictures.

The styling is ageless! I still get yahoo's on a daily basis ask me if that is brand NEW! I get thumbs up on road from random people who think the car looks fantastic. The engine music is amazing, the handling is amazing. I have driven spiders all day long and they are good for what they are (IMO they bore my pants off, not to offend just my taste) , if you want performance, luxury, something different the 164 is the car.
I have a smile on my face every time I drive. It is clearly the best touring car I have driven. It absolutely LOVES the highway, that 60-100 punch is amazing. Like glass on the highway, smooth and powerful not to mention quite and comfortable(even when lowered with KONI's) !

I take customers or others who have never been in one and they change their minds immediately!! Most of them had the same question's and most owned spiders. They tell me ahhh it is fiat, ahhh it is FWD, ahh it is a pain to work on and parts are expensive! I said hop in! After they peed their pants with excitement they tell me they want one. I said, I of course you do!;)

Just go test drive one of your choice.

Remember that the 164L is 183hp, it is a great car, luxury and power.(low end power to mid)
164S sportier, sport seats, electronic suspension, spoiler kit etc.. 200Hp
(power band is different, more mid to high end power car)
164LS similar to L but a 24V refined interior, 210hp subtle styling like the L
164Q similar to S but a 24V motor with 230 hp (sound like a ferrari V8), utterly fun to drive them all for what they are.

One major appealing factor of these sedans besides being able to fit people in them with luggage is that it is NOT an ACURA regarldess of the copied design! Even the copy does not come close to the real thing.

Lets not forget that Enzo Ferrari had a 164L as his get around car. That should say something!

Try it. It can be addicting! I have also noticed most of the negative reviews about the 164 are from people who have never owned one or driven one. They are a very nice car for the money.

J
 

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Jason how you rattle on but I agree with you 110%. I drove my son's 91S yesterday for a 50 mile round trip as he just picked up his 3rd Range Rover a 96 4.6 HSE and had it stashed at my beach house until I figured out a way to get transfer case out of low range (that is why he got it for a song). Anyway he came over in S to get Range Rover so I drove S and followed him back to his place.

After driving my 164B models both 5-speed and automatic it takes a bit getting used to S clutch and gearing. Lower final gearing reminds me much of our Lancia Betas and Scorpion as engines were busy even in 5th gear.

Even though I liked pushing the S I like my taller gearing in 5-speed B model.

I guess with a little practice I could probably get a speeding ticket in S, too.
 

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i hope it takes _lots_ of practice to get a speeding ticket. That would mean it will take longer for me to reach that point. But the 164 is just fun to drive.
 

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