V.I.S.I.T. – 1993 Alfa Romeo 164 Super


While I was out and about on a sunny Saturday afternoon – all too rare around here – I looked across the parking lot and saw this unusual car. Sitting calmly in a parking lot full of SUV’s, crossover SUV’s, midsize SUV’s, and the odd pickup, I could immediately make it out as an Alfa Romeo, but I knew I had to take a closer look. Take a look for yourself and see what you think.


There’s no arguing that this is a gorgeous car. I love how angular it is; the only real curves on it are around the grille, and the wheel arches. I suspect it’s been imported at some point, judging by the Italian plate on the front. Of course, it could be a vanity plate, a reproduction from someplace here. It has a manual transmission, and probably the 3.0-liter V6 engine. The headlights and bumpers look different than older models, which makes me think it’s a 1993 model. I’m not sure what the Q2 designates – two-wheel drive?

What else can we glean from this Italian machine? It’s certainly different from any other car I saw on Saturday.

[Photos Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

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28 responses to “V.I.S.I.T. – 1993 Alfa Romeo 164 Super”

  1. julkinen Avatar

    I think the front plate is a made-to-order placeholder plate, and that it hasn't been registered under that at any point. I think I see a side marker on the rear bumper, which would mean the car is an original USDM one.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Making matters worse, Washington requires its own front plate, too.

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        I kept wondering about that. If this is a WA registered vehicle with no actual front plate, wouldn't this draw the ire of Johnny Law?

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          I've noticed it doesn't get enforced much, particularly now that the state no longer issues stickers for the front plate.

          1. MVEilenstein Avatar

            Good point. At this point, the extra plate is just make-work for the fine folks down in Yakima.

        2. Fej Avatar

          California has the same law and it is rarely enforced (at least where I live). I was pulled over once in an old car after swerving around some random object in the road and was asked nicely to get my front plate back on the car. I havent had a front plate on my current car since I got vanity plates in 2009 (Bolts in the front bumper are completely siezed and I'm too lazy to fix it) without issue.

    2. MVEilenstein Avatar

      You do, so you're probably right.

      1. Alff Avatar

        It may even be a local car to you, as Bellevue was home to one of the last Alfa dealerships in the U.S. I test drove a couple of Spiders there in 1995. They were good people, even photocopying most of the factory service manual for me for a nominal fee.

        1. MVEilenstein Avatar

          It was recently purchased; it still has the temporary registration in the back window. You could be right. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

        2. Bret Dodson Avatar

          I worked there then and it is likely that I rode along on your test drive. We had two sales guys, a polished and effective salesman and me, a passionate car guy who was awful at selling cars. I starved as a salesman and retreated to IT.
          The family that owned and ran Bellevue Alfa moved on to acquire Ferrari of Seattle. They are wonderful people.
          If I ever win the megahelllotto I'm starting a semi-exotic adoption agency, where cool cars like this will be found, reconditioned and sold at fair prices to qualified enthusiasts. Garage queens (human and mechanical) need not apply.

          1. Alff Avatar

            Perhaps you'll be happy to know that manual is still riding around in the trunk of the daily driven Alfa I did buy. While it could be prettier (I'm working on it, really), it's certainly no garage queen.

          2. Bret Dodson Avatar

            That is good to hear. Also good to hear you still have an Alfa!

  2. Bret Dodson Avatar

    That looks like a '94 or '95 164 LS that has had the Euro headlights lights and badging swapped. The "Q2" would be on the hot rod Quadrifogglio (Italian for "Four leaf clover")model, of which the "Q4" all wheel drive model was the most desired.
    The North American market Quadrifogglio model just had the four leaf clover badge with no number. The Q models had grey plastic cladding and racey looking wheels. The four cam '94 and '95 cars were definitely the best of the breed for the 164. I had the pleasure of selling a couple of them as new cars and would love to get my hands on one to have as a street car.
    I think "V6 ARIA" is the best plate for an Alfa V6 car.
    Nice find.

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Bret Dodson wins for the most hooniversey comment of the day– extensive knowledge of historical data leading to educated assessment of the car in question in its various iterations, followed by a casual but more or less realistic urge to grab one for beater duty.
      Personal story: always wanted a 164 since they came out, and once in grad school had to help a professor sell her pristine 164 that I sorely could not afford to buy for myself. These days I'm the professor, but practicality tells me I should grab a Saab 9000 and not a 164, as they're getting too old and too rare to be a reasonable ownership prospect. Already grabbed an NG900 recently, which is a surprisingly satisfying little car.

      1. Bret Dodson Avatar

        I have a 9000 Aero and would have a hard time letting a 164 Q pass if it were for sale. The 9000 is a better car in most ways but doesn't have the presence of the Alfa.

      2. dead_elvis Avatar

        What's this about "old" 164s, now?
        <img src="http://www.164list.se/000341.jpg"&gt;

        1. Vairship Avatar

          Don't worry about the dribbling. That happens to all of us as we get older.

        2. facelvega Avatar

          I used to have a Volvo 164 back in grad school, earlier grad school than the one I mentioned above. It was the same year as me, so I guess it was 25 then, the same age that the Alfa 164 is hitting now. But a 25 year old Volvo is way, way younger than a 25 year old post-Fiat Alfa, and though I'd buy a late 80s Volvo as a daily driver now without blinking, I think I'd go for an older Alfa than a 164, and not expect to drive it every day.

      3. MVEilenstein Avatar

        I came for the articles. I stayed for the comments.

    2. Rasvis Avatar

      European Quadrifoglio Verde models had just a green cloverleaf too, Q4 has a badge saying, logically, Q4. That Q2 badge indicates a torsen differential that was never offered to 164 but may be retro-fitted.
      I loved my 164s and now I've been offered to buy a last-of-the-breed Q4. It would be a real pain getting parts for it because it shares its state-of-the-art driveline with absolutely no other model but… I hear the sirens sing so sweet…

  3. Pedala Avatar

    Q2 stands for LSD

    1. theskig Avatar

      On some Alfa's. On others indicate electronic diff (not real LSD).
      164 never be a "Q2" but a Q4 or QV. That "Q2" on a 164 is a fake badge

      1. Rasvis Avatar

        Q2 is a torsen differential originally offered for GT JTDm and 147 JTDm. The best thing is it happens to fit most other 6-gear Alfa boxes too, and, 'cos 164 V6's five-cog has the same origins, torsen fits there too.
        That 164 looks like a cherished one so I suspect it's really been converted to Q2.

        1. theskig Avatar

          Not all Q2 are Torsen the last models are normal electronic diff

  4. theskig Avatar

    "Q2" badge is taken from modern Alfa's.
    The 164 could be "QV" (quadrifoglio verde) or Q4 (4×4).
    Greetings from Italy!

  5. Theskig Avatar

    PS: "V6 Aria" plate really means nothing and looks odd and stupid seen by an Italian.
    That could be "V6 Busso". That's a cool plate 🙂

  6. Perc Avatar

    Those plates are likely from germanplates.com.

    1. Perc Avatar

      Because that's not an "euro plate"… well, it is, but all euro plates look different. That's the font Germany uses.

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