International Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf Register
The International Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf Register

Introduction To The Register

If you agree with the statement that the 75 was the last of the 'real' Alfas, then you may also go along with the notion that the 164 was the first of the 'new' Alfas. Time will show, I believe, that the 164 was a watershed in the resurgence of the cross and serpent, and the Cloverleaf model the ultimate expression of Alfas commitment to providing true sporting saloons with character and performance.

Why then a register?

Here in the UK, a limited number of Cloverleaf cars were imported. According to Alfa GB the number of cars that reached our shores is 393 in total ( both 12 and 24 valve models, see Statistics section) The actual number still running is likely to be much lower now, so the cars intrinsic rarity is the first reason for holding a register, and trying to keep track of existing cars and owners.

The next reason is one of shared resource. Although in many ways the Cloverleaf was 'just another 164', there are just as many ways in which it was not. Electronic suspension, 24v engine in later models and other enhancements all ensured the Cloverleaf was different. Knowledge of these cars will become scarce as time goes by, and the amount of available collateral at the moment will not ensure a wealth of history and information in years to come. If, for example, you have a genuine Cloverleaf brochure you are one of the lucky one's. There are currently only two books devoted to the 164, (with little or no Cloverleaf details) and most Alfa biographies only comment on the introduction of the 164 in terms of Fiats involvement and Alfas move into the 'executive' market place.

Indeed, with the advent of more 'main stream' cars from Milan, it is doubtful whether subsequent models will be held in the same sort of esteem as those of the later part of 20th Century. In many ways, the 164 paved the way for the new models, assisting in the refinement of front wheel drive design, the introduction of the 24v V6, and advances in electronic engine management.

People are the next reason for a register. Most Alfa owners belong to a category usually referred to as 'individualistic', in other words they don't follow the herd, neither are they fashion victims or posers (usually). They probably bought their Cloverleaf because they were attracted to the performance of the car, backed up by the wonderful history of the manufacturer, and the fact that an Alfa sets you out from the crowd. If you want the neighbors to know you've 'arrived', you buy a BMW or Merc etc. An Alfa says you don't really care what the neighbors think, you are your own person.

Like minded people enjoy each others company, and will willingly exchange views, information, help and commiseration's, therefore Cloverleaf folk will probably enjoy each others company, so the register will provide a point of contact.

By the same token, if you find a source of parts, repair or the like, you may wish to share it with others. The register will be there to help you do that.

Sadly, you may wish to part with your Cloverleaf. By advertising it on the register you will help ensure it goes to a good and deserving home.

I could go on, but I think that's enough reasons for now. All that remains is for me to welcome you to the register, and hope that our cars will continue to provide pleasure, enjoyment and that special Alfa quality of being different. Enjoy your Cloverleaf.

One final thought - How many true 150mph 5 seater saloon cars can you name? Then ask yourself how many can be bought now, secondhand, for less than five grand!

Ian Preece, 20th July 2000 (revised 3rd December 2001)

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