Saving the Family 164 by Bob Conlan

Bob is a new member that I met via HCCP. Bob is an avid collector here is his story of the family 164.
We acquired this car about 18 months ago,although it had been in my wife’s family for many years (this car was originally purchased for my father – in-law about 12 years ago,he moved back to his native Italy about 9 years ago,the car wound up being damaged and sitting at a repair shop for about 6 years ). When we first went to pick the car up it was really in sad shape,5 flat tires,hole in the oil pan,it had not run or been started in a half a decade……it had been sitting outdoors,uncovered with various other car parts and scrap materials sitting on top of was a real mess.I was able to get the car to the shop I use for my other hot rods(2 ford mustangs)Picketts automotive in Darby was a real toss-up weather to attempt to fix/restore the car or sell it for wife Carm,had a bit of a sentimental attachment to the car so we decided to try and rescue it….we did a lot of mechanical and maintenance repair and replacement work on the car (all fluids,filters ,belts ,brakes,brake lines,exhaust,battery,hoses,plugs,timing belt ,water pump,gaskets,tires ,fuel pump were replaced plus front end alignment,tune-up,and other electronic tweaks ).all of the mechanical parts required to get the car running smoothly again were readily available,however the body parts were another story…I do not think the 1991 164 l was a real popular model either in the USA or in Italy. The plan was to get the mechanicals squared away then work on the body and trim parts to get the car ready for paint.i needed about a dozen parts and pieces both interior and exterior before taking the car to the body shop.i was able to locate a few parts here and on the internet but not everything that I needed……as luck would have it I was vacationing in Italy last month and I talked my wife ,who is fluent in Italian,into coming with me to a few junk yards in southern Italy and I was able to locate several parts I needed(center grill,left and right side ac vents ,hood release latch).i now have almost all the parts I need to complete the restoration and hopefully the car will go in for paint over the winter…..when all is said and done i think I will have somewhere near 2+years and 8k into a car I got for nothing ,that will be worth less than 4k when finished but we both love the car and plan to enjoy it for several more years….it was actually a lot of fun searching for the car parts in Italy and I could not have done it with out my wife’s help……..also a big thank you to Bill Conway for his help,insight and encouragement and to Mark and Jim Pickett at Picketts automotive for completing all of the mechanical and safety work on the car… respectfully…..Bob and Carm Conlan