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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am new to this forum. As you probably already know, given my username, I am from Minnesota and given that I live in such a state, Alfa Romeos are very hard to find. Winters are extremely harsh and most cars don't survive.

Regardless, I am determined to find an Alfa Romeo 164 or Peugeot 505 wagon. I've always been fond of eccentric cars. I have done quite a lot of research on what to look out for when buying a 164 and wanted some feedback on a car I may consider buying. What do you all think of this vehicle? Price wise and anything else?

By the way, if anyone within a 500 mile radius of Minnesota is selling an Alfa Romeo 164, I may be interested in your car!

Thanks

Reina International Auto:: 1994 Alfa Romeo 164LS -

Internet Price:$4,995
Year: 1994
Make: Alfa Romeo
Model: 164LS
Mileage: 124389
Engine Size: 3.0
Transmission: Manual
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Black
Vin: ZARED33E6R6291011
 

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No offense, I'm sure Minnesota is a beautiful place, but I wouldn't buy a 164 within 500 miles of there. You get winter and salt on the roads. There are 164s available in other parts of the country that are salt free. Enjoy a vacation and go get one:)
As for the one in your post...are the windshield washers there? Are the fog lights there? Is there a maintenance record showing when the timing belt was last changed? What's the mileage? Have you seen it in person?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've not seen this car in person. The dealer claims this car is a single-owner vehicle so it has probably spent it's entire life in Milwaukee whose climate does not differ significantly from Minneapolis. For a Northern car, it does seem to have held up well but again, one should determine that in person. The mileage is 124389. Anyone else have a 164 for sale? :)
 

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What kind of 164? A 12v "L" or "S"? Or a 24v "LS." Big difference.

What kind of condition are you willing to accept? Price range?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, I should be more specific.

I would prefer the 24V 94-95 models but any 164 would realistically do due to their rarity. Transmission flexible too. No preference on LS/S/Q4/Etc...does not matter.

I would prefer something in decent shape. Something decent would be rust free, little body work needed, no major mechanical or electrical problems, and something that has been maintained in mostly original condition. A service history would be nice or at least, a date when the timing belt has been changed.

My price range is 5-7K. Let me know if any of you have one for sale around MN!
 

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for 5 to 7 K

you should be able to find a pretty nice one and either have it shipped to you, or take a flight out and enjoy a drive home, AND have a few extra $$ to do some maintenance ! Rust free is key! Most anything else is easily (relatively) fixed.
 

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The white one at Reina International you posted looks really nice, actually. A 164LS 5 speed is rather unusual and white on black looks good. Borbet wheels are a nice looking upgrade. It does look like it hasn't been driven recently/needs brakes (very easy, not expensive to do) based on wheel photos.

If the car was used sparingly in winter and washed/cared for then climate is really a non-issue on a 164. They are very weatherproof compared to any other Alfa. Yes, there are some that suffered in the rust belt but that doesn't mean all did.

Get records. If timing belt and other maintenance recent on the one you mentioned that car looks like a good buy.

Q4 was not sold in USA. Big difference between 91-93 models (L, S, base) and 94-95 models (LS, Q).

If truly no preference then go for nicest condition you find convenient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the input! I didn't know the Q models weren't sold here in the states. I wonder whether that white Alfa was owned by a forum member...would anyone know? Regardless, I will look at that Alfa as well as others if anyone has one for sale!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
An Alfa Romeo 155 in the USA!? Is this car legal for US roads? It looks very intriguing...

1993 Red Alfa Romeo 155 2.0 Ltr Turbo Diesel 5 speed Sunroof, power brakes, steering, front windows, sunroof ,factory alarm and more 102000 Kilometers Very rare runs drives and looks perfect, recently major service completed. Texas title.call 214 991 5801 or e mail or have a look classiccarsofplano.com

Price US$ 9250

Special Now $ 5950

1993 Alfa Romeo 155 Turbo Diesel
 

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Are you sure you prefer a 24v car?

Also, I would NOT recommend buying a car then driving it a long ways home. Put it on a transporter. I recently bought a 164S and had the air conditioner bearing seize 4 hours into the drive home. Almost two weeks to source parts and get it fixed. I'm going to have it transported the rest of the way. I broke my own rule of not driving a car that I don't know long distance. Just the labor of getting it fixed enough to drive will probably have covered the transport to begin with, and without all the hassles of a tow, getting home, etc. Especially with an Alfa. Hardly any mechanics are familiar with them and if you break in the middle of no-place USA, it's gonna cost you. IMHO, Alfa's are not long haul road cars in the US anymore.

As far as that 155TD goes, judging from the engine output, I'd say it's woefully underpowered. And luxury and performance-wise, not even close to a 164.

Plus, you have to be very careful about buying gray market cars, even with some dodgy title. And parts. Forget it. They'd have to come from Europe. Call your insurance company and see what kind of answer you get as well.
 

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The Q4's weren't imported to the US, I believe the Qs were. The Q4 is the awd version of the 164. There are only 3-5 in the US. The Q is the 1994-1995 version of the "S" model from 1991- 1993.
All I have is Alfas. I have the 1991 164S that was rear ended last week, but still drivable. The rebuilt motor has less than 3,000 miles on it. When I did the engine, I did brakes, tires, exhaust, checked out suspension, Fuel pump and hoses, etc, etc. I wouldn't hesitate to drive it anywhere.

Have you done enough research to know the difference between the 1991-1993 12 Valve and 1994-1995 24 Valve models. You know the 24v engine has a more complex timing belt system that is more expensive to replace on routine maintenance. It also has coil packs for each cylinder that sometimes fail and are expensive to replace. Will you be doing your own repairs, or having a mechanic do them? 164s are not cheap to maintain if you are paying someone else to do the work. If you can afford to pay someone to do the maintenance, that's fine. If not, you need to be mechanically able to do the work yourself.

I've worked on cars in eastern Canada, Wyoming, Florida, and the pacific northwest. There is no comparison in cars from salt road climates and non salt roads. I bought a 1991 164B in WA state that spent less than 5 years in Wisconsin. It's not rusted out, no holes anywhere, but everything underneath has some rust. Every bolt you turn is a chore. Check out Steve's post on the Black 164S he's restoring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have researched the 12V vs. the 24V and note that much of the power of the 24V comes at higher rpms so in everyday driving, there may not be much of a difference. They do run hotter and yes, as you mentioned, are more complex.

I intend to have a shop do all the work. There's a shop in Hopkins called Foreign Affairs where I can have the work done. I don't mind shelling a penny or two to keep it in running condition.

Hopefully it won't be any worse in reliability than the 98' BMW 540i I owned for several years which will make me a lifelong detractor of BMW...

Does anyone have an opinion on the Alfa Romeo 155? There's one for sale in Texas...linked above.
 

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If the shop you used for your BMW has worked on 164s before, you may be in luck, if not, they are in for surprises and it would be good if the had a manual. My pristine Black 164S had no problem with a BMW 5XX series one time in FL:)
I'd love to have the TurboDiesel, but they were never imported into the US. The link says it has a TX title, but I'd walk pretty carefully on that one. They can't be imported without a lot of work and money.
 

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Alfa 155 was never sold in USA so this car is probably not really a good choice to be considering. It may not even be street legal in USA.

Having somebody who works on foreign cars and having somebody work on a 24v 164 is close to apples and oranges IMHO.

I don't want to talk anybody out of driving a 164 but you need to go into the buying mode with your eyes not wide shut.

I think he might have sold it recently but Colin V in NC had a nice white 94 for sale but send me an email to my address below and I will connect you with him.

He 164 FAQ site is here: Alfa Romeo 164
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all very much. I certainly will be cautious about my purchase as this is a rare car and requires special attention. Nonetheless, I must ask since most everyone has mentioned, is there such a difference in both performance and reliability between the 12V and the 24V variants?

I hope this topic hasn't been beaten to death but I thought to ask.

Currently, I have decided not to consider the White 94' LS in Milwaukee being sold by Reina International Auto. There is no service history with this vehicle and frankly, at that price, there are many other nice lower-mileage Alfa Romeo 164's available.

I am considering an Alfa Romeo being sold by a fellow forum member who kindly PM'D me and this car possibly:

Alfa Romeo : 164 | eBay

Any thoughts? Thanks and let me know if you have one for sale!!!
 

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I doubt you will find much difference in reliability between the 12V and the 24V. Routine maint costs a little more on the 24V. If you keep oil and coolant in them, and keep up with the routine main they are really great cars. So much fun to drive. The single biggest concern maintenance wise is the timing belt, but I'm sure you've read enough to realize that:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
^That one looks nice but judging by the starting bid price, the seller may be asking a price higher than some lower-mileage examples that I am interested in.

One thing-is there a great difference in driving between the 12V and 24V? I predominantly drive on the motorway so I tend to prefer relaxed cruising over racing around the city.
 

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If highway or byway driving preferred then,

Go for an good 12v 164B/L if relaxed driving is your forte and maybe one with A/T, too. instead of a lower gear ratio higher reving 164S or any 12v model for simplicity instead of a 24v.

I like the 185 HP 164B 5-speed best but the 164B/L with A/T are nice in heavy traffic.

I find the 210 HP 24v w/AT has more power but feels like a heavy car. The sport switch on tranny is fun to play with but plays even more with lowering gas mileage.

I did not care for my son's now sold 164S gear ratio after having driven my base model 5 speed for 20 plus years.

Time will tell how I feel about my 164S I am rehabbing now.

I have been driving 164B/L AT models for about 5 years and do like them in traffic and on open highway not as much fun in the twisties and mountains though.
 
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