Like most cars, you will get good ones and bad ones. If the car has been cared for, it would most likely be more reliable. There isn't any real reliability problems with the 155. There doesn't seem to be many posts about not starting/breaking down etc. Just remember that it is an old car now and may need bits replaced through wear and tear.
Just as a guide, I have owned my 1994 1.8 8valve for about 18 months.
In this time I've replaced: Tyres, front discs and pads (the discs were upgraded that's all), thermostat, drop link, plugs and leads and exhaust. The car has never failed me...Yet.
I would imagine the V6 would be a stronger engine as it may not have been pushed as hard as my weedy mota. Check the last time the belts were changed etc.
Is this the one that is for sale in Clomel, I was giving this some serious though myself. the only problem is the distance for me. The guy selling it sounds very genuine, my only reservation was the chap said there was a sight noise in the engine. I would be interested to hear what you though of it.
Sounds like tappets, they all seem to have rattly bits! Could also be one of the tensioner wheels, mine went a while ago, sounded like a "chirping" for ages and then just turned into loud knocking but thankfully didnt give up until I reached the garage.
Head gaskets can go so check water/oil etc.
Solid engines that have been used by Alfa for years, still regarded as one of the best V6's money can buy
Jimmyl regarding the V6 engine i would say they are pretty bulletproof
I have done 50000 miles in mine and nearly all that was with my right foot planted in every gear(i cant help it i love the noise)and the only fault on the engine was a loose wire on the oil pressure switch
Regarding the noisy tappits mine were rattling when i got it and they are still rattling now so i woud`nt worry about them
Just remember that once you`ve given it a blast down the road and listened to roar of the engine you wont be able to resist buying it
The car is about right for the price though I would be offering a couple hundred euros less than asking (as usual).
The tappets are really noisy - probably need to do something about it.
The car pulls very well as you would expect and that V6 sounds great (but the tappets really ruins it).
Bit worry about the NCT renewal in November, though. Not to mention the tax @ ~€700! and then there's the insurance - my group scheme doesn't cover the V6.
She got new tyres but wrong size - 195/50 instead of 195/55.
She got less dents and scratches than most cars of her age but the interior is a bit shabby (could have done with some floor mats).
Oh yes. She also needs tracking.
I would definitely make an offer but for the fact that my own 155 (97 2.0 16v) is actually repairable (after a snapped conrod - no block damage surprisingly - just needs need 4 new rods and cylinders and a couple of new valves - anyone know the best place to get these - will try EBSpares when I get a chance - apparently, some bolt broke and something inside came loose).
I gave this one some serious though as well. The missus sort of helped me make the decision, with the "you have a 155 already" line. I intended maybe buying it and striping it down, and doing track days with it.
My counter argument was that there was only a handful of V6's in Ireland, and if I was to look for one in a couple of years, I would probably end up having to go to the UK.
Result: I LOST - and she brought home a new dog at the weekend for a bargain price of €350, thus no fun mon for me this month.
The only problem with the V6 is the price of the insurance and the tax. I was recently quoted for a '97 GTV 2litre - €3250.