Alfa Romeo Forums banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Lately I haven't been around here much, with all my attention focussed on my 2000 Alfa Spider. I bought this about a month ago for big money (roughly ten times the price of a 164 here) - it's in good condition. You can see it in the first picture below. It's like a distant cousin of the 164 - the Proteo concept spawned the GTV/Spider as a kind of 164 Coupe/Convertible duo... Mine, however, is more FIAT than Alfa since it has the same FIAT-based Twinspark engine as my 156. Lots of people said I should have got the more-common 3.0V6 24V version of the Spider. They were probably right. However, the Twinspark is a lot more efficient than the V6 - 50% of the fuel for 75% of the power...

No sooner had I got this than a second Alfa Spider arrived at my door for me to fix and sell. I haven't even started on that one yet, I've been working on respraying a FIAT Punto for a friend. That friend has owned the car since new - his parents bought it for him as his first car, and it has been his only car for 17 years... amazing.

Anyway - this week I decided I really had to get to the snow. My 164 came back after being out on loan as a courtesy car for six months - two different jobs - I hadn't seen it for some time. The Warrant Of Fitness was due, and there was only one advisory - front brake hoses perished. They weren't the originals but I had to agree they weren't in great shape. The female-female configuration is a little rare so I ended up with genuine Alfa 156 GTA brake hoses at NZ$50 each. Fitted perfectly.

Faced with the three-hour drive in patchy weather, I left the Spider at home and jumped in the 164. It slowly dawned on me why I like the 164 so much - it's a smooth ride (no shakes and wobbles), it's quiet (can enjoy the stereo), and the knockout blow is the high performance - it runs rings around the Spider. Hmmmmm. Yet again I have spent thousands and not bettered the old 164...

So the drive was delightful - not even a single false warning light as you can see. Mountain conditions are great - still good snow. Hardly any people! I've decided to stay in Ohakune, near the Turoa ski area. In this small village, I popped into the supermarket and just look what I saw in the carpark! Same colour, same spec, same year. Amazing.

You can even fit a snowboard in the 164's luggage compartment.

It's been a couple of years since I got this car on the road and the reliability/low maintenance continues to amaze me. How many cars over 20 years old could you lend out for six months with nothing going wrong?

I really ought to get around to respraying the outside and making it look nice, it was embarrassing to see a 164 in better condition than mine today. The clearcoat on my roof is now completely shot. I haven't even got around to taking off the 'Parents With Prams' sticker. As they say, the cobbler's children go barefoot...

Cheers!
-Alex
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
A few more pics of the day, all snapped with my iPhone.

The beautiful day was tinged with sadness, as I browsed Facebook - again on my iPhone, over lunch - and learned of the passing of Steve Jobs. A great guy who brought innovation, quality, and showmanship to the table, a fine American. He was the same age as my mother in her final year, life seems so unfair. I'm certain he will be greatly missed.

-Alex
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,765 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Thanks Neville, PM me when you are coming to NZ, I'm sure I can help ;) The car rental companies don't do Alfas...

Trailer hitches - the ones in NZ are not the European detachable type but are instead locally-made out of very thick steel. The standard ball is 1"7/8ths rather than 50mm. Officially, for the towing capacity to be the limit stated in the handbook (1400kg I think, for the 164), the towbar must bear the original maker's plate stating the relevant NZ standard. Otherwise, for an unmarked towbar, the rating is 500kg if I remember correctly.

Lots of 164s (maybe half?) had a towbar fitted when new in NZ, made by a local company. I've never seen the detachable type here.

Now, towing with a 164... I've towed car trailers with mine - one problem is when stopping in gravel, going uphill, traction away from standstill can be a problem! Another limitation is the soft rear suspension of the 164 means that the drawbar weight needs to be 30-50kg. Otherwise the 164's back end will bottom out... One more thing, I've found that oil consumption increases under the extra load and it's worth topping up first.

Otherwise, the 164 does a great job of towing!

Thanks for the kind comments all, I had my first 164 in 2003 and didn't really dream they would reach bargain-basement level. It's just so much car for the money. Speaking of towbars (trailer hitches), to get a towbar fitted to my 156 would cost more than buying my latest 164 did.

-Alex
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top