Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk? If you're the superstitious type then today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Alfa 168 may just be your car full of karma. That's of course if its price doesn't jinx it.
Most, if not all cultures have superstitions. Here in the West we consider things like walking under ladders or having black cats cross our paths to be bad luck, while breaking a mirror can give you seven full years of miserable fortune. The Chinese are no strangers to superstition, and in fact Fung Shui is an ancient Asian tradition of building and furnishings orientation that is intended to keep the shit from going south.
Another fairly common superstition in traditional Chinese culture revolves around numbers, and how the names of certain numbers sound close to phrases about bad stuff happening to you. These numbers are thus to be avoided, and that brings us to today's 1991 Alfa Romeo 168. One sixty… eight? Wha…? Allow me to explain.
As I said, there are certain numbers that are considered unlucky in Chinese culture, even today. One of those numbers is 4, the word for which in Cantonese sounds very much like the word for death. Add the one and the six to that and you get something that sounds like the Chinese phrase - 路死 - which means something along the lines of "way of death." You can imagine back in the day, Alfa Romeo's horror in learning that the Chinese were avoiding their cars because they thought owning one would rain misfortune and death upon their families.
Fortunately, there was an easy solution to the problem, which was to simply change the badging on the car to something a little less ill-starred. Not only that but seeing as they were making the switch, Alfa took the extra smart step and changed the name to incorporate one of the luckiest of numbers in the Chinese culture, that being eight. Eight in Chinese sounds something like wealth and prosperity, and who doesn't like that?
This 1991 168 is likely not from Hong Kong as it appears to be a U.S. spec'd car. It is however badged as a 168. It's also a Quadrifoglio Verde and of course four leaf clovers are also considered good luck so this red beauty will keep you out of trouble no matter where your ancestors called home.
The 164 QV was the top of the heap when it came to the big Alfas, and this one looks to have all the proper bells and whistles including the shredder alloys, sill extensions, and clover badging. The 164 shared much of its structure with the long gone Fiat Croma, Lancia Thema and Saab 9000, but it's the only one, probably owed to its lovely Pininfarina styling, that really looks contemporary today. That's my opinion at least.
On the inside there's tons of leather, and it all looks to be in excellent shape, and yes, that is a Chrysler head unit in the dash. You'll also notice while in there that this car is a row your own, which is another perk. That five-speed gearbox is mated with a transversally mounted 3.0 all-alloy six. That 197-bhp mill not only offers a lovely exhaust note but it's also one of the most visually attractive motors ever offered in an executive sedan.
Owning an Alfa Romeo is typically an experience filled with luck - both good and bad. The venerated marque is widely known for both the wonderful driving experience their cars offer, as well as their inscrutably horrific durability and reputation for failure just while sitting still. This 1991 168 looks to offer the driving experience, and of course with both the four leaf clover and 8 in its favor, it may also offer enough good luck to keep those other Alfa traditions at bay.
But is it lucky enough to ask $9,800? There is a lot of unknowns regarding this car - mileage, why is a U.S. car badged 168, etc - but still, it's a rare car in what looks to be excellent shape, and it comes with a cool background that will make its next owner the hit of both car shows and cocktail parties.
It's now time for you to vote on whether this Alfa 168 is worth its $9,800 asking price. What do you think, does that price make you want to 'get lucky?' Or, does that mean this car's luck has run out?
H/T to chicago635csi for the hookup!
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