RETRO PROJECTS STAFF RIDES / #Alfa-Romeo-155-Q4
Ade’s Alfa-Romeo-155-Q4. When the Beemer is (locked) away, the Alfa can come out to play!
Last month it was all about my drift E36, but this month starts with a swap over. Yes, time for the BM to trade a glamorous council lockup space with my 155 Q4. When it was last out the #AWD
turbo Italian stallion had most recently been treated to a set of Gaz coilovers, so is handling miles better than before, but the elephant in the room has finally had enough of being ignored. Yes, it’s time for a paintjob! It might not even look that bad in these snapshots, but believe me, the paint is beyond a joke. In fact it’s even beyond pulling off a rat look, this is no sun bleached patina, it looks more like an animal in distress. There’s nothing cool or charming about flaky lacquer peeling off in chunks and a once deep blood red being faded to a mixture of orange, pink and magenta!
So a quick wash to get things vaguely presentable to start with, then wake it up with a spot of daily use. I may have spoken too soon though, as not long into day one I heard the familiar noise of an exhaust suddenly becoming twice as loud, and stainless steel rattling on the ground! Yes, the backbox had somehow become disconnected. Bugger.
Luckily though I wasn’t far from a friend who spends most of his life making exhausts, so a cheeky call to Simon Harkness of Simon’s Custom Exhausts to see if he could fi t me in was made. Thankfully a quick and easy modification to prevent another failure could be done. So with a new clamp and a quick nosey around the underside for rust and I was done. Well almost, the idea of a 1994 BTCC style upswept exhaust did cross my mind so it would have been rude not to get in there and try one for size. Looks ace I think and will look even better spitting flames just like Tarquini! Definitely an idea to be carried out when the car is looking prettier.
The paintwork may be the priority, but when a mate calls and says there’s a 155 just arrived in a local breakers yard that quickly becomes first priority! The 155 is a fairly rare car now, but there are still usually a few breaking on the 155.org forum and eBay if parts are needed. But in this case I knew it would be ideal to take advantage of rummaging around a complete car in person, as my example has countless daft bits and pieces of trim which could do with replacing. Of course this is mostly due to previous owners bad taste!
An hour with a small toolkit saw me well and truly sorted with a top notch haul of obscure Italian plastic. The car in the ‘U-Pull it’ yard may have been a low spec FWD N/A late model, but as with many hot saloons of this ilk, many parts are shared across the range. I’m just thankful that the 155 is quite obscure and hasn’t gained the equivalent of ‘RS tax’ on every generic part like old Fords!
Next up is fitting all my goodies, then finally a trip to Lochgelly to drop the car off at Toole Design. I’m so close I can almost taste it!
BM to Alfa swap over. Quick jet wash to blow off the dust.
Paint doesn’t look too rough in these snapshots, but it is!
The BTCC and DTM 155s had sweet upswept pipes!
The paint wasn’t much worse than on Ade’s!
A quick trip to Simon’s in East Kilbride had the exhaust sorted.
Looks like junk to some, but these are essential parts in perfecting any Q4!