|The International Alfa Romeo 164 Cloverleaf Register|
Hello everyone, and welcome to the Autumn 2010 news letter.
In this edition I wanted to share some correspondence I've had with Marcus Tsui who lives in Hong Kong. Marcus is a big 164 QV fan. I'll let his letters speak for himself:
It was great to see you back in action after a few years. It was your site that inspired me to get a 164 and yours site had almost all the information forwarning future owner of 164.
Mine is a 1993 164QV 24, black/beige. I took it over from Ellis Tai who you may remember sent you a few years ago photos of the his then newly restored QV. This is in fact my second QV, I let go mine to another Alfisti in order to take over Ellis', as I did not want to see his QV deteriorate quickly through under-use and long term loan to a friend. The QV is now back to its tip top condition, and I drive it a few times a week to keep it in good running order. Mileage is still under 100,000 km. Need I say more? The eletronic shocks and LCD clock are still working...
I would have many similar experiences to share in maintaining and restoring the 164. My earlier QV (actually of 1994) had big-end problem and underwent a transplant - many learnings of do's and don'ts. That QV is now in good hands of another Alfa fanatic. He fully restored and transformed the car.
The critical time has come for all 164 owners to realize that either they keep or surrender their 164. It is very expensive to keep a 164, and it will be sometime later that people fully appreciate the value of 164 in modern motoring.
I recently re-visited your site and try to refresh my read of your Alfa Museum adventure, but the weblink is no longer working. The Alfa Centenary reminds people like me who have not been to the Misuem of what we have missed.
Would love to see you write more.
After I had replied to Marcus's email, I had another letter
It was great to hear from you! I have all the learnings from you about upkeeping a QV. I even refurbished two sets of QV rims, and am planning to try another set - the previous two sets were not nicely done. The plastic studs are always a challenge to remove or replace. I have accumulated sufficient number of spare plastic studs, and plan to put them on the third set...... Anyway, I guess we all have good stories to tell.
There are at least two to three good QVs in Hong Kong. There are only a hand full of 164QVs there. The more difficult to get parts are
It's always great to hear from 164 fans around the world, and I'd like to thank Marcus for spending the time to tell us about his 164 and friends. The photos of the Alfa Day in Hong Kong are pretty impressive. These are the photos that Marcus sent of his car:
The lack of other 164 owners on the road set me thinking as to how many are actually left up and running in the UK, so I approached the DVLA with a request under the Freedom of Information Act, for details of numbers of Cloverleaf's' still registered. The results are as follows:
As you can see, there are very few remaining, taxed or SORN. The above totals represent about 34% of the total number of cars imported. I have no idea about other models, but suspect the situation is pretty much the same, if not worse. So, if you own a Cloverleaf, it is a pretty rare car in the UK now.
I contacted Mangoletsi at Knutsford yesterday, regarding something called a side rail in the parts book (#60579057). It's actually the support underneath the radiator, and extends forward from the engine sub-frame.
Mine is corroded very badly, and will rust right through soon. Mangoletsi have a parts request system that allows you to request a quote for that hard to find part. I completed the on-line form, and got a call today to say they had sourced one from Alfa GB, and it would be with me on Friday. This is good on two counts. 1) You can still get the part, and 2)Prompt action from a supplier. They even gave me 12% discount. Excellent service.
UK Carcooling Online have stocks of 164 radiators at very competitive prices. No experience so far in dealing with this supplier, but price and delivery look to be very good. See their stock list here.
EB Spares supplied me with a nice pair of drilled and grooved front discs at a very good price, about a hundred and thirty pounds plus VAT and carriage.
Ebay continues to be a good source of parts, but please ensure that what you are buying is both genuine, and correct for the car you own. If the vendor is vague or does not return or acknowledge your enquiry, steer clear.
Vehicle Wiring Products Limited are a very good source of those hard to find bits and pieces when sorting out your wiring and electrical's in general. They have an excellent catalogue that you can download here.
Did you know? Did you know that rear calipers from the 156 range will fit the 164? They have a better parking brake mechanism. I have some on the Beast, with grooved discs.
Until a week or so ago, my own 'Leaf had been off the road for three and a half years. For half of this time it had been dormant, a fault finally traced to the crank sensor. It also needed significant work on the brake lines and other oddments, which got it through its MOT last February. However, it still wasn't used until I managed to get it to a garage for a new MOT this year (June). Not surprisingly, it failed, with an alarming list of problems. I thought it was the end of the road, but my wife (God bless her) sat me down and we went through the list of failures and observations in a methodical way. The main issue was the need for some welding around the rear suspension points, problems with the steering rack, and very poor braking. At that stage, most worrying was the welding, as the extent of the corrosion was hidden by the side skirt.
After debating who to get to do the work, I approached the company who do the servicing on my Land Rover, 4x4 Services at Alderbury. You can read the full story in the 'Owners Diary' section of the site. My thanks to Paul at 4x4 for doing a great job.
The Beast is now returned to the road and was taxed last week. The first proper outing will be National Alfa Weekend at Shelsley Walsh on the 22nd August.
Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010
Alfa Romeo were a main theme at this years GFOS, with a number of cars from the Museo Storico in Milan being displayed. Of interest to Cloverleaf fans was the 164 Pro-Car. As far as I know, this is the only time this car (a one off) has been exhibited in the UK.
There is a useful link to the 164 Pro-Car on Wikipedia. Click here.
Alfa Romeo Owners Club UK, National Alfa Weekend, August 21st and 22nd, 2010
This years NAD was turned into a NAW by the decision to run over two days, with an evening celebration on day one to mark the centenary of the marque. I was only able to attend on Sunday 22nd, and the weather was very kind, being warm and sunny for most of the day. Unfortunately, only six 164's of various flavors were seen. Apart from Roger Potters' 24v, and my own, there was a 12v in the concours together with a 24v Super, a TS from Alfa Aid that has covered half a million miles(!) and a further TS that I found in the car park (Richard Murtha? LPG powered?)
Following an unavoidable accident, Roger Potter has had to have a new front sub-frame and extensive repairs to his 24v. However, you wouldn't really know to look at the car now, a really good job has been done, and the overall condition of the car is excellent and very original.
Once again, there was a distinct lack of spares buying opportunities, with only a couple of potential supplier's on hand. It's more important than ever that we keep each other in touch with available spares, and keep our eyes peeled for opportunities.
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