How many series 1's left?

For al the general information about the 164.
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coopsnz
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:40 pm

How many series 1's left?

Post by coopsnz » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:02 pm

Whilst I know this forum has many of what are regarded as the more desirable Q4's registered, as the owner of a 1989 12V 3.0L that I still use as a daily driver and which is just coming up to 250,000km, I've been wondering how many series 1's in any version are still around. I've been on the UK's HowManyLeft site and even though the earliest registrations shown are from 1994, it's now fairly obvious from the models listed that there are very few series 1's still around in the UK.

Can the Register tell us this kind of information? With cars being sold or wrecked daily, I presume not without contacting every member on a frequent basis.

Here in Australia, 164's have become a rare beast indeed and few non-Q4's, regardless of series, are seen to be worth saving. This is largely due to the fact (and many of us know this), it can cost more to repair than the value of the car itself. I struggle with my specialist insurer to keep the value above A$6,000 even though everyone that's seen it say it's one of the best series 1 still around. This is partly due to the fact that few good ones are being sold and when they are, the prices are low.

Here in Australia, cars over 30 years old are officially regarded as a classic but that doesn't mean nothing. Despite its age and rarity, the 164 is clearly still not regarded as a 'classic' by the general public. Even alfisti don't regard it as desirable and whilst many former owners have memories of the model, it's not always favourable. It's also too similar to the Peugeot 405 to be unique in actual design terms (and we can blame Pininfarina for that). As owners, regardless of engine, we all think and know it's a fabulous car and that's why we enjoy driving ours but what will make the worm turn? When will this model be viewed by other than ourselves as one worth keeping and prices start to rise?

Thoughts anyone?

Haydn (and I'm not the one with the Savali!)

HaydnW92
Posts: 246
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:47 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: How many series 1's left?

Post by HaydnW92 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:14 pm

Hi Haydn (great name by the way)

I can only really answer based on what I've noticed in the UK, which is that 164s of any type/year are almost non-existent. This of course wasn't helped by people buying them just for the engine, so they could rip it out and use it in a kit car and scrap the rest...many perfectly good cars will have fallen to this, but probably only V6s. Here in the UK you only see 164s at dedicated Alfa events - I'm 24 now and have only seen one other 164 on the road for as long as I can remember, which happened to be a 12V Cloverleaf. Compare that to the vast numbers of yawn-inducing modern stuff you see on a daily basis... I have now 'rescued' two 164s; my current Q4 and my previous 3.0 12V Cloverleaf. I bought both as non-runners, with very little history. But not everyone is as daft as me :lol:

As for specifically series 1 cars, it's (naturally) very hard to tell. I suppose your only options are to:
A) use a service like Howmanyleft (as you have done) or
B) contact the folks in charge of vehicle registration (which is the DLVA here in the UK) and ask them, or
C) Contact the Alfa Owner's club to see what they can tell you.

As for whether or not the 164 warrants the 'classic' status...that is a tricky question to answer and realistically it all boils down to what individuals consider 'classic'. You mention 30 years, while in the UK 25 years seems to be a general consideration, so 25 to 30 years seems about right in terms of age. But then I would also argue that the vehicle had to have something 'interesting' about it to make it desirable/rare/unusual - when a mid 1990s Ford Focus is 25 or 30 years old, will it be considered a classic? Probably not. What about an Alfa 4C? Almost definitely. I would argue that 164s have these qualities - great engines, quirky interiors, rarity, Pininfarina styling, etc.

164s have been under-appreciated for a long time but I have noticed that prices have been increasing here. For example, when I bought my 12V Cloverleaf in 2012 there was another almost identical 12V Cloverleaf for sale for a long time at £870. Now that car would easily be worth a minimum of £3k. Another example - my father bought his 164 24V Cloverleaf in 2013 for £2250. That car is in good condition and has a 6 speed box, modified cylinder heads, lowered with OZ Superturismo wheels, Squadra Chip, Recaro interior, custom stainless exhaust....etc! Meanwhile, last year an almost standard 164 24V Cloverleaf sold for £6k. I know modifications are a personal taste but that must surely suggest if my dad sells his car, he can probably double his money.

At the end of the day though, who cares what other people think of your car. So long as you enjoy it and take care of it!

Haydn
1999 Alfa GTV 3.0 V6 24V
1992 Maserati 222 4V (project)

(Ex)1994 Alfa 164 Q4 3.5 Savali Cosworth
(Ex) 1991 Alfa 164 3.0 Cloverleaf
(Ex) 1995 Alfa 145 1.6 8V

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alfa east
3.0 V6 24V automatic
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Re: How many series 1's left?

Post by alfa east » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:55 pm

I think the 2 previous writers have very much summed it up as to what my ideas on this topic are. On a personal note I can mention that I actually drove "Peu Show" (first a 405 SR in MI-16 trim, later a 406 (unfortunately I did not own that desperately pretty Coupe but the sedan) and always loved the design and even the way they drove, but although clearly Pininfarina-design clues in both of them I never thought they were close/similar to the 164. I find the Pugs have true Peugeot-ness in them (and not just because they stuck a lion on the grill) whereas the 164 is a true Alfa.

By the way, on the 406 coupe; that has more than a hint of a poor-man's Ferrari 456 in it. So, yes, there it seems Pininfarina was maybe a bit lazy, but if you design such a masterpiece as the 456, I guess we can forgive him a -still pretty- rip-off of his own design.

The 164 however, stands lonely at the top in my opinion. The first series I think now is the most beautiful and the purest of what Pinin projected. I think indeed there are very few out there. For Netherlands I think our webmaster there (fasani) has a fairly well- documented database. Outside of NL? No ideas actually.

coopsnz
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2016 12:40 pm

Re: How many series 1's left?

Post by coopsnz » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Interesting stuff.

I have to say I haven't seen 164's increasing that much in price here in Australia. If anything, they've continued on a steady decline. Part of the problem in the country has been Alfa's reputation of notorious electronics and mechanics who can't or simply don't know how to service them properly (mine hasn't been to an Alfa dealer since the first owner's warranty expired!) and the other being owners who don't realise the importance of regular servicing. Many simply didn't want to pay the high cost of maintaining a European car and so many were written off simply because they blew the engine and couldn't afford to get it fixed. I was very lucky - finding a car with fsh is almost impossible.

My 164 is bog standard Haydn. I've had it since 2002 when I bought it as a 2 owner car with 135,000km on the clock.

As to what constitutes a 'classic', yes, well there are different opinions. 75's have always been regarded as a classic and I think that's because of the rear wheel drive and I think the 164's suffered because its front wheel drive.

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