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I bet this is the 164L you are talking about after ready your post this sounds like it: 1991 Alfa Romeo 164 Lusso | eBay
Yes, the description seems to match. It's current bid, $2,125 with a couple hours left on the auction, seems to be about right. Actually, the seller should be happy to get that much - as Michael Smith wrote in post #17, it isn't unusual to put a 164 on the market and get no interest.

Reading the ebay seller's description of his 164L, it sounds like he has invested well over $6K keeping it maintained. And he did a nice job presenting it on ebay. Sad to see the "meh" reactions these great cars get these days, but that's the reality of the market.
 

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Very very few cars are investments. Those that are cannot be driven.

Cars depreciate in value because they wear out. Repairing them slows the depreciation rate but after about ten years the car is basically worthless. Repairs rarely cost more than depreciation.

My 164 is going to be driven until it breaks in a serious and expensive way and then scrapped.

It's inexorable logic.
 

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I once bought a repainted and freshly re-engined Volvo 740 series for $5000. Car came equipped with a Hitcachi small scroll turbo (not the original one). Ran great. What did the seller pay to have the engine rebuilt and car resprayed? $5000.
Nothing wrong with the 164 if properly cared for (I say that now, although, it has been towed to my driveway after a "no starter" situation that just happened this morning) but if you pay $6000 for a spanking paint job for a car with a street value of $2000, you wind up with a $2000 car with nice paint. Doesn't matter what the kid says his car is worth. The buying market decides and if prices stay low, those who simply enjoy driving their 164, as I do, will continue to be happy.
 

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beeton, your argument is perfect ammunition for me to use whenever the guys in our local Fiat club bug me about the old/faded paint on my 850 Spider. Why don't I give it a proper repaint? Because it will cost me 4 grand, after which my car will be worth maybe $5000 instead of the $4000-ish it's worth in its current state - and I will not enjoy driving it one iota more than I already do (maybe LESS, for fear of rock chips and other paint damage - which I don't care about now, that's what the rattle-can red is for!). My 164 could also use a repaint, but the same argument applies.
 

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There used to be places that would paint your car for $1000. Tolerable. I recall one place that would rent you their tools and spray booth. Long gone I think.
 

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An 850 can fetch $4,000?!?!? Whoa.
 

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I got what I paid for for 672.50 and better pictures to follow maybe in the shade of the morning as bright sun and reflections as hard to show how black is BB1 now.
1641318
1641319
 

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He got the Panera Bread flying table dents out of the hood. I got a $450+ insurance settlement out of them years ago and never had it fixed. So to get hood, top and trunk repainted in poly urethane for an extra 200+ bucks not to bad a deal.
1641321
 

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When you own an Alfa you always spend more on it that the resale value. That is just part of the ownership. Just because these cars depreciate so badly (usually) does not mean they were cheap cars to begin with - and nor are the parts prices.
Personally, I find the 164 to be a really reliable car (mine's going to break tomorrow now I've said that) and have only broken down once - when an old rubber coolant hose let go, after 15 years service. Wasn't a difficult fix and a good reminder to bear in mind the aging of the non-metal items.
I still spend less on running this 3.0 litre car than neighbours do on their little buzz boxes - as I service it myself - and have way more fun driving the 164 than they do their little Vauxhalls and Fords, eating my dust. But even then, as a car to sell it is not worth much, which is another reason not to sell it. What could I possibly afford to buy that would be this much fun with my trousers on? Maybe a series 2 166 with 3.2 engine but their suspension is a nightmare to maintain.

What I'm trying to say is, you cannot price a car by the amount you have spent running it. Sure, it will affect the condition and thus the price it can get, but that price will always be within the range that such cars go for. If your car range tops at $5000, then spending $30000 on it will ensure you get the $5000 or maybe a bit more - but nothing like the $30000 you spent on it.

And I think this ia another reson why Alfa's have bad reputations for reliability. People buy them cheap and are only prepared to spend cheap money on them - which with an Alfa = substandard service and maintainence = reliability issues...
 

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Main reason for the bad reputation is the cost and availability of parts. If timing tensioners and bearings were, say $100 bucks a set as they are for more common cars, service would be done more frequently and fewer would break down.
The interference engine design is also a handicap for many cars but again, affordable parts = more repairs and fewer breakdowns. I see just as many cars from other brands break down but a trip to the local auto store can usually find the part at a reasonable price and those cars are then repaired quickly.
 

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There used to be places that would paint your car for $1000. Tolerable. I recall one place that would rent you their tools and spray booth. Long gone I think.
Earl Scheib went out of business a long time ago. One of the few 'low-priced' paint chains in my area is MAACO, and although I have in the past gotten a couple of adequate sub-$1000 paint jobs there, the combination of EPA regulations and paint material prices ($100/gallon or more) have driven even them over the $1000 threshold for any sort of paint job.
 

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An 850 can fetch $4,000?!?!? Whoa.
If you check BringATrailer you will find several 850 Spiders that went over $5K at auction. I would say that most of those were in better cosmetic condition than my car (considering paint and chrome plating) but no better and maybe worse mechanically than mine. That's where I came up with the $4K guess.
 
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