Rare Quadrifoglio: 1995 Alfa Romeo 164

This 1995 Alfa Romeo 164 Quadrifoglio is the top shelf model of Alfa Romeo’s flagship in the U.S. in the mid 90s. A rare car to find today in any condition, this example appears to be well maintained and features the preferred manual gearbox. I’ve lusted after the 164s for a number of years now, and if it weren’t for fears of limited parts supply and somewhat sketchy reliability even in cases of cars that were at least casually maintained, I’d own one by now. This example has a few flaws but the seller contends that the maintenance records paint a picture of a car that’s been loved. Find it here on eBay with bids to $5,655 and no reserve.

The Alfa is powered by the legendary 3.0-liter Busso V6, which makes some of the best sounds you’ve heard in a car that isn’t a Ferrari. The sonorous engine note alone has tempted me into one of these distinctive sedans, along with the standard bodykit that came with the Quadrifoglio trim. Throw in the Speedline wheels, nicely bolstered leather buckets, and the styling that was like nothing else coming from the Alfa’s primary competition at Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and you have a sedan that doesn’t have many equals in the middle 90s. Of course, Alfa was struggling to stay relevant in the U.S. at this point, so you don’t see too many of them today.

The interior is gorgeous, and Alfa has a strong history of putting some of the best bucket seats known to man into its cars as standard equipment. The leather in this 164’s interior shows only modest signs of wear along the driver’s thigh support, and the carpets and floormats appear to be quite clean. The dash shows no cracks and there don’t appear to be any modifications, with the original steering wheel and radio remaining attached. The seller notes that while the air conditioning components are still with the car, it does not blow cold for reasons not yet diagnosed. The listing claims all major electrical components work and that the sunroof works and does not leak.

The engine and its distinctive polished intake runners looks to be in fine shape, and the paint on the strut towers is surprisingly clean. The plastic trim that meets with the body at the bumper level appears to be faded, and there are some blemishes on the lower portions of the body cladding. This could be cleaned up and definitely make the Alfa feel a few years newer, but it’s not essential. The seller reports that the 164 drives well, and that the brakes and tires are in fine shape. If the service records that accompany the car paint a picture of continuous maintenance, this one is worth a closer look if you’re a closet Alfa shopper like me.

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Comments

  1. 8thNote 8thNote Member

    I would love to buy that car, although im sure I would regret it later. In fact it would probably be a weekly cycle of glee and regret. I’m told that is the Alfa ownership experience.

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  2. RayT Member

    These were wonderful cars, and the 164 owners I’ve encountered over the years — most of whom were fanatical about servicing and necessary repairs — claim they are really quite reliable. Apparently, they have been able to find parts, as well, though this sometimes took some serious searching.

    My only beef with the Quadrifoglio was the body kit, which always looked a little tacky to me and, as on this car, never seems to have aged well. But that’s a small price to pay for the 24-valve engine (to my ears, only a Dino V6 sounds as great) and sumptuous interior. For a large-ish sedan, it is all kinds of fun to hustle down a winding road.

    I drove numerous 164s when they were new. With one exception — strangely enough, the first one, which allegedly had been “prepared” for press use — I never had a lick of trouble with any of them. As a driver’s car, the Q was my favorite. Still, I have thought more than once about how nice it would be to put the Q’s upgraded mechanicals in a sleek, unadorned first-series 164….

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  3. alphasud Member

    I had a 1994 164LS when I was working at the Alfa dealer. I think the entire 95 US sales Figure was just over 120 for all the 164 models which makes this one very rare in Quadrafoglio spec. Our dealer also had Saab and the Alfa’s were on the same level of reliability. The only changes to the engine between the LS and the Q was larger intake runners and the exhaust which mine received both. The 2V Busso is easier to work on than the 4V and would be my pick if I were to buy another. I would probably buy another Milano Verde first. That was the last real Alfa with rear wheel drive.

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  4. Richard Truesdell

    Funny that the previous post mention the Saab. The 9000 was co-developed with Fiat (Chroma) and Lancia (Thema) in addition to the 9000 and this 164.

    Obviously most noteworthy was that the Lancia Thema was offered with a 3.2 liter Ferrari V-8.

    Can you spell “torque steer?”

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  5. 9k2164S

    I’ve had very good reliability from my ’91 164S over the last 18 years. Drove it 125 miles a day until six years ago. Needed only a door handle and a coil wire up until I set it aside. Just took it back out and had to do a water pump and steering rack. Parts are available but pricing is crazy. You can buy a whole parts car for $500 or spend $250 on one turn signal lens.

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  6. Beyfon

    Here’s from a guy who has owned some 15-20 Alfas. It is a curse. Every time I owned one I wished I owned something else. And every time you own something else you wish you still had the Alfa.

    And yes, I agree with Alphasud that the Milano/75 is a step more special than the 164! (As a side note, among my Alfas I also owned 3 Alfasud. Definitely a magic little car when it wasn’t driving you crazy!)

  7. Kevin

    I sold my 1994 164Q about 18 months ago. What an exhaust note. Beautiful engine. Ultimately, the cost of parts and maintenance were too much. Brakes, front suspension, the issues with trunk related to the spoiler weight, etc. My red Q needed a paint job, too – deal killer. Most issues were related to the car’s age and deferred maintenance, not that it was an Alfa. Great car in many ways but you need deep pockets or the ability to do all the work. Don’t buy this car unless it has had the full timing belt service. $$$

  8. Marco

    I get tired of the old bias against Alfas, even by the person who does the write up here on Barnfinds. Of course I’m biased too, having owned about a half dozen of these cars over the years including a 164S. I’ve enjoyed every one of them and can tell you I had far more problems with my Nissan when I owned it than any of the Alfas

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  9. araknid78

    Ended early

    Item location:
    Flanders, New Jersey, United States

  10. Will Owen Member

    Our 164S had only one major problem when we got it: the balance springs that are supposed to hold up the boot-lid were not up to the weight of that spoiler, and we had to carry a stick or something as a prop! But the stepper motors in the cabin-ventilation system had been upgraded to metal gears and performed flawlessly, and the car was a hoot to drive. As far as handling went, on a twisty canyon road only the car’s size made it less fun than my Milano; there was NO front-drive oddness at all. But the fancy low-hanging trim was easily banged up and scarred, and that spoiler made backing down our narrow, rock-walled driveway an exercise in blind guesswork, being awfully hard to see through!

    It was a great driver clear through its upholstery’s deterioration, its “adjustable” shock absorbers going solid on us, its wipers falling apart in the middle of a long drive home at night in a heavy rain. I advertised it for a pittance and then Free To Good Home in our AROC Chapter’s newsletter, to long and profound silence, and finally gave it to two guys who fixed the cosmetics and sold it to some restorer friends. It HAD been my wife’s dream car, but it was too much for her to keep up with. So NOW she has a ’17 Giulia, which she loves, and drives maybe once every few weeks. It does share one shortcoming with the 164S, though: the chin spoiler keeps getting grounded on the stop blocks in our parking lots. You’re supposed to roll forward until the tires touch the blocks, but we have sheet metal in the way. Who knew?

  11. Christopher

    This is car #121 of 130 imported in 1994-1995. This looks just like my former 164Q. This car is so steady at 100+ it is an amazing car to drive. Has all the features an executive car would have. I am venturing to say there might be 50 left that are still registered to drive. I would love to find someone to run the VIN numbers for me to verify that estimate. This particular car was in CA in 2006 when we first ran the VIN numbers to find out how many were imported.

  12. Stevieg Member

    I don’t know much about these, so I can’t say much about this car either way. I will say that I might have a Polish last name, but I am of mostly Italian heritage & I like a lot of Italian items.
    When I look at these cars though, I just think they are not attractive. I won’t knock those that like them, taste is subjective.
    What I will say is when I looked at the grill, I thought of a newer car that has a similar shaped grill. It is also an Alfa Romeo.
    My old boss (general manager, not department head) at the Harley dealership drove a leased 2018 Giulia as his daily driver. This guy was kind of a douche. He ran not just my dealership, but a couple others under the ownership of our dealership group. Basically, he was the “district manager” if you will, of the 4 dealerships owned by the Windy City Motor Company in Wisconsin.
    So he heads all of these Harley dealerships, but he rode a BMW. He constantly talked down all that was American, and talked about how great everything is from Europe.
    So one day I am looking out at the parking lot. I see his Alfa Romeo. My direct supervisor happens to be right by me. I called him over, and asked him “doesn’t that grill on the big guys car resemble a certain fun part of the female anatomy”? He laughed and agreed. A couple weeks later I was gone lol.

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