Brooks's Cars

1990 Alfa Romeo 164 - 3.0 V6 Lusso


 Before buying the Alfa, I saw a Porsche 928 S2 for sale, for £4,500, it was very tempting but the brown interior and the fact that it looked like it had had a hard life made me leave it. I wanted a BMW 7 series at the time, but I found them to have high mileage's (150K - 170K) and cost around £6000. It was then that I noticed an Alfa Romeo 164. It was a 3.0 litre V6 with a rare automatic box and a FSH with only 77K on the clock. It was too good to turn down at £3,650 (in 1996).

The Alfa had a 200bhp engine which could do 140mph and average about 27mpg on unleaded. It was as comfortable as the Jaguar, as fast as the Jaguar and was cheaper to run. I was beginning to think I had found the perfect sports/executive car. It looked good, it felt solid and it was interesting to drive.

It had electric seats (including the rear), mirrors, windows and sunroof. ABS brakes, Air-conditioning, big 205 tyres on alloys but no trip computer or cruise control.

I had many good journeys with the car. I remember a trip to Bristol, 100mph all the way. I felt as relaxed at the end of the journey as I did in the Jaguar.

During my ownership the car needed new discs all round (and I'd only just done the Audi's!), a new oil cooler and a new steering rack. I was never happy with the mpg's of the Alfa, it could go as low as 22mpg, and the driver's book claimed 39mpg at 56mph.

I decided the car wasn't reliable enough and thought it time to sell. I was surprised to find how cheap the cars were selling for and that the car dealers didn't want to touch them as a part-exchange. I did get my money back when I sold it and did get quiet a few enquiries to my advert.

I'd rate the Alfa 164 as a great car. No rust, very quick, great engine, very comfortable but be prepared to spend some money on keeping it running. Buy cheap! and you will have a better car than a BMW 5 series, more exclusive and a third of the price!