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Alfa Montreal

Alfa Montreal Published: 10th May 2017 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Alfa Montreal
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£7000-£60,000+ - Race-bred engine - Appreciating asset - Good UK support

There has been no shortage of enigmatic cars over the years, but one of the most intriguing, enchanting and left-field must be the Alfa Romeo Montreal. It looked like nothing else, packed a 2.6-litre V8 unique to this model, and it looked little changed from the Bertone concept that sired it. In the early 1970s, it really was what dreams were made of.

With so few Montreals built, it’s unusual that this Alfa still enjoys something of a low profile. But the Montreal’s day has come and while it is no longer a V8 bargain, values are going one way only.

Driving

The allure of a racing engine used on the road is something to savour. By reducing the peak power point for the engine from 8800rpm to 6500rpm, and cutting maximum power in the process from 235bhp to 200bhp, this V8 wasn’t remotely stressed in its new milder application. Considering the Alfa’s exotic engine specification, the suspension left something to be desired, as it was basically an uprated GTV chassis although, according to Autocar, coped well enough yet never truly impressed.

Best models

There were just 3917 made, of which a mere 180 featured right-hand drive, all made between 1973 and 1975, and of which just 155 were officially imported to the UK. It’s estimated there are around 120 UK cars, split fairly evenly between left and right-hand drive. If you’re tempted to buy a Montreal, your first step must be to contact the Montreal Register, which keeps a record of people keen to track down a Montreal, and by joining this you might get your hands on one that’s never advertised on the open market. Just be prepared to wait for the right car to come along and also be prepared to have the money for one, too.

Values

A couple of years ago you could pick up a sorry Montreal for a few thousand pounds, while good cars were available for less than £20,000. Sadly, that’s not the case now; you’ll pay at least £12,000 for a Montreal that needs a complete restoration, while something that won’t need significant expenditure any time soon will set you back at least £40,000 – expect to pay £60,000 for something nice with the best cars touching £100,000. It’s reckoned, somewhere between 20 and 30 Montreals are sold throughout Europe each year, with no discernible difference in values between left and right-hand drive cars.

Many Montreals changing hands are being bought as an investment. Predictably, most buyers want mint cars – and certainly the very best examples they can lay their hands on. But there aren’t that many minters to go round, and they rarely come onto the market. While there are lots of Alfa specialists in the UK, Montreal experts are fewer and further between.

Buying advice

Officially, the Montreal needs to be serviced every 3000 miles and you’ll be fine to do much of the work yourself. However, when it comes to maintenance, rather than merely servicing, much of the work needs to be farmed out to a professional with the right equipment to set everything up properly. Perhaps the best example of this is the fuel injection, which is easy to set up incorrectly. There’s no shortage of Alfa specialists plus some Ferrari ones such as GTB Restorations in Suffolk. Most of the brightwork is stainless steel, so it lasts well. But if anything is missing you’ll struggle to find replacements but many interior parts were shared with the Giulia with the exception of the seats. Cars imported from hot countries will probably be suffering from a cracked dash top. There are no new body panels left, but it’s possible to fabricate a lot of what’s needed, or some parts are available on a used basis, from donor cars. The sills themselves are the same as those fitted to the 105-series.

The quad-cam V8 is complicated but generally reliable. You’ll need a load of special tools though, which is why specialist help is essential. The Spica fuel injection system has a poor reputation, which isn’t entirely deserved. Head gaskets can fail; 140-200psi for each cylinder and if two adjacent chambers are showing notably lower, it has failed.

The ZF S manual was also used in an array of other classics, such as the DBS. Expect minor oil leaks; it’s normal to have to top it up every 4000 miles. Much of the Montreal’s steering and suspension system is borrowed from the 105-series Giulia, so bits are mostly available and parts aren’t especially costly. However, Montreal features a unique steering box.



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