Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf: Spotted

Go on. Look at that above picture and tell us you aren't at least a little bit excited by it. We dare you. No, actually we don't, because we know if you try and tell us that, you'll be lying.

Frankly, there are relatively few large executive cars from the 1990s you can really go weak at the knees for, but the Alfa Romeo 164 is one of them. And no more so in our book than the 24v Cloverleaf, of which just 191 were specially imported, to order, by Alfa Romeo between 1993 and 1997.

But is the 164 QV special enough to warrant the £12,990 price tag being asked for it here? Certainly, a few years ago you'd have picked up a shiny one for less than half that. Have prices really risen to the extent that this sort of figure is justified for not only an Alfa dating from the early 1990s - making it barely a classic, in other words - but also one with front-wheel drive?

To answer that, let's have a look at the specs. The 24v succeeded the 12v Cloverleaf, itself quite a special car, featuring electronic dampers and a 200hp version of the famous 'Busso' 3.0-litre V6. The 12v was, however, a flawed diamond, plagued with torque steer problems and short on grip, which meant it was rather a handful to drive.

However, Alfa Romeo worked on the problem, and this continual evolution meant that by the time of the 24v's introduction the issues had, for the most part, been ironed out, leaving a car that was remarkably agile for its size. The engine changes boosted power to a not-inconsiderable 232hp, enough to cover the 0-60 benchmark in around seven seconds.

Like all Cloverleafs, of course, this one looks fabulous - its two-tone red-over-grey paintwork suiting the 164's shape and Cloverleaf bodykit down to the ground. Inside it's glorious, too, all black leather, heavily bolstered seats and angular dashboard lines. And then there are those gorgeous split-rim telephone dial wheels - here, freshly renovated.

The rest of the car's had a bit of work done, too, and there's plenty of history to back all that work up. And from the sound of things, it's been lovingly maintained, the advert even detailing repairs to the loom - so you shouldn't even have the Italian cliche of dodgy electrics to worry about.

In short, this looks about as good a Cloverleaf as you'll find, which brings us back to the original question: is it worth £13k, or close to? With everything it has going for it, we're inclined to say so. What do you think?


Engine: 2,959cc, four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 232@6,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 207@5,000rpm
MPG: 27.4 (ECE touring)
CO2: n/a
First registered: 1995
Recorded mileage: 91,000
Price new: £31,486
Yours for: £12,990

See the original advert here.


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Comments (67) Join the discussion on the forum

  • SydneyBridge 04 Mar 2018

    Nice, aged pretty well. Never sure about the two tone body kit though.
    Would maybe prefer a Thema 8.32 but they are a bit pricier for a decent one.

    Edited by SydneyBridge on Sunday 4th March 11:34

  • davebem 04 Mar 2018

    I do love an Alfa saloon. Wasnt the platform developed with Saab?

  • SydneyBridge 04 Mar 2018

    Saab 9000, Alfa, fiat croma and lancia thema. I think..

  • MarkwG 04 Mar 2018

    SydneyBridge said:
    Nice, aged pretty well. Never sure about the two tone body kit though.
    I tend to agree: I had a Twinspark in blue metallic, below the waist was body colour. It changed the whole look of the car, & I prefer it. The black Cloverleafs & the Q4s where also available like that, but I've not seen an Alfa red one that way - tempting to buy that one & try it! - here's one, now I'm not so keen...

    Although there are different versions, with sill covers etc, it's not quite a body kit in the traditional sense: the lower sections of the door are plastic (ABS I imagine) so the whole lower section of the car is protected against minor knocks.

    Edit = should have tried harder!

    Edited by MarkwG on Sunday 4th March 12:03

  • paulyv 04 Mar 2018

    31k, in the mid-nineties! Coming from a family who struggled but eventually succeeded to attain a modest new car in the 80s these prices boggle my mind a little.

    I always look on the 164 fondly as my late Dad had a great deal of interest in them, possibly as a purchase in the late-80's after the brand new Fiat Regata 85s he bought, but even a non-Cloverleaf 164 was a big step up from the 6k the Fiat cost in 1984. It never happened but it's probably for the best. The 164 could have been ruinous at the time and instead he went into a series of non-glamourous but very dependable Hyundai models such as the Stellar.

    Still love the interior in these which I remember from several magazine articles he had - rows of buttons and fancy LED displays as I recall. At current prices I think they are best left in my imagination rather than on my driveway.

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