Words/Pics : Nicholas Farrington
This is a story of a labor of love, which is quite evident in the work Mike has performed on his 1991 Alfa Romeo 164S. His goal was to make the Alfa a motorsports themed car, which he executed very well in my opinion. Though it is a 4-door sedan, its actually quite rich in Italian racing heritage. The car gets its styling from Pininfarina, and an engine designed by Ferrari. Mike’s car at open throttle, and the electronic dump open, sounds like a flat 12 Ferrari zooming down the straights of Le Mans. The style, the sound and the performance embody Italian motorsports.
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Being 100% Italian, and growing up in a family that primarily owns Fiats and Alfa Romeo’s, it was hard to not go with family tradition. The Alfa started life as one of the few hundred 164s Q2’s imported to the states from Italy. Mike has been slowly building his Alfa for a few years now, with each change complimenting each other.
Starting from the inside out, Mike completely gutted the interior except for the dashboard and center console. All of the exposed wiring was tucked throughout the car to keep the clean minimalist look. He continued the make over by replacing the seats and belts with Corbeau Forza racing seats, and Corbeau harnesses, followed by a MOMO mod 78 steering wheel, MOMO Le Mans pedals, and MOMO Competizione Polished Aluminum Shift Knob.
At first glance, you’d think this car is a slouch being an Italian family sedan and all; but this thing is anything but that. The 164s starts life as a 3.0L 12v V6 boasting 180hp, but that didn’t satisfy Mike. Mike started by rebuilding the block to OEM spec, port and polished heads, 5 angle valve job. To beef up the heads, they were equipped with RJR cams, and cam gears, high performance valve springs, and the heads were milled to achieve 11:0:1 compression. Once the heads were built, and the engine was assembled, Mike worked on getting more out of this V6, so stage 2 injectors, Squadra Tuning chip, Stebro exhaust and QTP electronic cut-out to finish off the performance.
Unlike most gear heads in the car community that can go and purchase suspension kits whether it be an air-ride setup, or coil-overs; Mike did not have that option. Other than the 1” lowering springs offered in the Alfa’s aftermarket world, Mike knew those were not going to cut the job. So he opted to go into uncharted territory for the Alfa, a custom coil-over setup. With Mike spending hours in the shop, the final result came to be a custom KONI coil-over kit, with a softer spring for a more comfortable ride. Mike was able to get the ride height, and handling that he desired. From there, Mike fitted the 164 with 17×8/9 BBS LM wheels that were reverse mounted. The LM’s pull together the motorsports theme.
The exterior of this beaut is on point. The car was freshly resprayed in the beginning of 2012 with some slight body work. At the front, Mike installed a facelift LS 24v grill and center rear light , fiberglass front valence extension, shaved headlight washers and rear tow hook, French foglights, BOSCH Euro projector headlights along with a 8000k HID kit, lexan rear windows. For more weight loss, Mike removed the entire sunroof assembly saving ~80lbs. The hole from the missing sunroof was filled in with a carbon fiber panel.
Mike hasn’t spared anything on his beautiful Alfa. He touched upon all aspects of the car, and making it an amazing machine. This build is something created with true love, intelligence, and ingenuity. A wise choice in my eyes. There are not too many builds in our scene of its kind, and when something like this comes along, it has to be shared with the people and let them know that real builds still do exist.