I have owned a great many cars – somewhere over 50 – but few get their claws in. The 2CV has managed it, and I keep returning to Citroen BXs but otherwise, few cars leave me wanting another. I sample their delights and then move on.
One car I would still like very much to own again though is an Alfa Romeo 164 V6. I made the mistake of buying a cheap one. £375, which seemed an absolute steal for one of the best sounding engines, in a beautiful Pininfarina-styled saloon body. The digital climate control even worked.
To be fair, it did get me around a fair bit, and it provided many hours of pleasure. Every opportunity to kick-down the smooth ZF auto gearbox provided a treat of power and sheer music. There was something truly primeval in the growling-then-screaming soundtrack that played havoc with the hairs on my neck. Who cared that the rev counter sometimes packed up? My ears gave me all the feedback I needed. Oh, and the speedometer would sometimes cut out as well.
It all went a bit wrong on a trip to the Cotswolds though, when one of the front brakes began to bind to such a degree that I couldn’t touch the front wheel. It would occasionally do this several times, which rather ruined my enjoyment of it. At the time, unlike now, I’d never tried dismantling and overhauling a brake caliper. A feeble attempt at investigation resulted in a snapped-off bleed nipple and a great degree of colourful language.
Idiotically, rather than fixing it, I lobbed it on Ebay and sold it for £300. £300! For one of the best cars ever made, albeit in slightly shabby condition. Everyone has one of those cars they wish they’d never sold. I rather fear that my Alfa Romeo 164 V6 was mine. There is another, entirely different car that fits this category, which I’ll Blog about soon…