Finely Tailored by Pininfarina: 49k-Mile 1991 Alfa Romeo 164S Sedan 5-Speed

  • March 17, 2021
The Rundown
  • Striking Pininfarina-Designed Body
  • Just Over 49k Seller-Stated Miles
  • Responsive & Exceptionally Well-Engineered
  • 3.0L ‘Sport’ 230hp EFI V6 Engine
  • 5-Speed Manual Gearbox w/ FWD
Why We Like It

Unveiled at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show, Alfa Romeo’s 164 executive-class sports sedan was the last model developed while the legendary marque was still fully independent. Design work began in 1982 on the Tipo 4 vehicle platform shared with Fiat, Lancia and Saab, with the new Alfa Romeo destined to compete against a wide array of vehicles from Ford, Opel/Vauxhall, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The distinctively angular body design of the 164 was penned by Enrico Fumia for Pininfarina, offering extremely low aerodynamic drag and a finely tailored overall appearance suggestive of the new Alfa’s upscale status.

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Engineering for the 164 was rigorous and relentless, with testing including a stint in Morocco, simulating conditions encountered on the brutal Paris-Dakar Rally. Once ready for sale, the 164 was available in North America with a 3.0L, 24-valve engine powering the 164S and 164 LS, rated 230 and 210hp, respectively. An even more potent ‘Quadrifoglio’ model was also offered and Procar built a GT-racing version, but those stories will have to await future posts. Despite positive press and buyer acclaim, Alfa Romeo withdrew from North America in 1995.

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Offered from a seasoned Californian seller who’s owned five examples of these exceptionally good driver’s cars over the past two decades, our subject vehicle is now offered with 49k seller-stated miles. It clearly benefits from strong care, service, and maintenance under the prior and current ownership. According to the seller, the car’s various systems and amenities all operate properly, and while the interior does show some age-appropriate wear, the seller advises it looks even better in person, with supple and great-smelling leather.

Valuation Verdict

Featuring the high-output 230hp ‘S’ engine spec and driver-preferred 5-speed manual gearbox, this 164S (Sport) is a compelling example of a great and originally misunderstood high performance sports sedan, and as with any performance-oriented car, good and consistent maintenance with supporting records is invaluable. While Alfa left the U.S. marketplace in 1995, it was due more to the company’s internal and financial struggles, rather than any issues with its vehicles, in this Zero260 contributor’s understanding, thanks to the insights of a friend who was a committed Italian exotic sedan owner and enthusiast in the 1980s and 1990s. He even drove from Gulf Coast Texas to an Alfa dealer in Georgia to purchase one of the last examples in the US back in ‘95, going on to enjoy about 60k trouble-free miles before carefully tucking it away in his private collection. What about market values? Well, they range from about $5k-$10k+, according to real-world sale results over the past several years, and another ’91 5-speed with 58k miles sold on Bring a Trailer just last month for $10k. This seemingly high-quality, low-mile 164 ‘S’port is therefore a very compelling find to us at an asking price just a tad higher than our ‘$5k-All-Day’ basket. Get it now and enjoy its many virtues for credit card money!

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