Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Beautiful Alfa Romeo 164S And A Rant (Sometimes I Just Gotta Speak My Mind)

This is a really cool car. There are some really clear pictures of it in the seller's eBay ad. I've chosen not to use them.

Why, you ask?

Simple. The seller of this car has chosen to use a young, attractive female as part of his ad. This is something that is becoming more and more common on eBay. At first it seemed to be limited to muscle cars and hot rods, but lately I've seen it happening in ads for cars I want to write about.

C'mon! It's 2012! 1. Women are not car ornaments. I know - both in my personal life and from writing this blog - a number of women whose knowledge of cars is far greater than that of the average male (or even above average male.) It's really time to stop thinking that it's just men who are car geeks. 2. This is an Alfa Romeo. It appeals to folks over 30. Does the seller really think anyone interested in this car is, A) Interested in a women as young as the one in the picture - she looks to be in her early twenties at the oldest - or B) Is believing that owning this car will make him attractive to a woman like the one in the picture? (If you do believe that, here's some advice... Skip the car and use the money for therapy.)

Don't get me wrong. I love attractive women and I love cool cars. I just find it offensive (not only socially offensive, but offensive to my - our - intelligence) when someone combines the two for the sake of a sale. Especially when it's a car like this. Give me a break.

(I was also going to mention that in the sub-heading the seller describes the car as "near virgin." I'm just hoping that was just a poor, coincidental choice of words, given the young girl in the picture. If it's not, I don't even know what to say here...)

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now. Whew. I feel better. (Feel free to flame me in the comments section if you want. I'll wear my Nomex suit when I read them.)

For awhile there was a bit of a disagreement among Alfa fans about the 164. Some loved its modern design and luxury. Others felt that a FWD "large" sedan (the Alfasud was FWD) was blasphemous. Today, it doesn't seem to matter. The 164 has held its value well and even some of detractors grudgingly admit that it's not a bad car.

This is a 26,000 mile 164. According to the seller, the original owner kept it for 18 years and then sold it to the president of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club, who kept it for about 2 ½ years and put 7500 miles on it.

The car has been chipped (a claimed extra 20 HP) and the suspension has been tweaked. Other than that, this car is stock.

By Alfa Romeo standards, the 164 is a well built, dependable car. Rust is not as big of a problem as it is on earlier Alfas and the amazing V6 engine will easily do 150,000+ miles with routine maintenance. It is prone to the occasional electrical gremlin (this one has intermittent power seats) and the stepper motor for the A/C will fail at some point. (If you buy this 164 - or any 164 - hope that it has already failed and been replaced. It's not an easy or cheap job to do.)

This car is being offered without a reserve. As I write this there are over 3 days left in the auction and it's been bid up to $7100.00.

Located in Alexandria, VA, click here to see the eBay listing.

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