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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering of buying an exotic sportscar of sixties or seventies vintage.
Alfas are my favourite cars, nimble and potent. They have caracter, and respond well to entusiastic driving.

But beside that I also want a more powerfull, more exotic and special car in my garage.
Main purpose of this car would be weekend pleasure, on some of the pretty roads around here, and more importantly, long distance traveling around the world.
So, it would have to be relatively comfortable, strong, good looking (although this is a rather subjective category), it must have a spine-tickling sound. Race-pedigree engine with 8 or 12 cilinders. Also I like the sound of carburettors.

After some searching and thinking, I have excluded all other cars except for Italian (only exception could be a 930 turbo, and Morgan Plus 8). Budget is 25-40K euros.

Choices:
Alfa Romeo: Montreal
Ferrari: 365 GT4 2+2, 400
Lamborghini: Espada, Jarama, Jalpa
Maserati: any V8 coupes
Morgan: Plus 8
Porsche: 930 turbo

What does Montreal have to offer against these?
Engine is superb, race-pedigreed, performance is adequate, maintenance could be easier than others.

Any opinions?
 

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Has FI and is more refined than many on your list, less performance than others. Consider a Dino maybe?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Oh yes, I forgot the Dino, but I dont want Fiat's, and Ferraris are in 100K€ league...

But I also forgot the Ferrari 308. Carburetted models were very reliable, and quattrovalvole ones even more.

Montreal has FI, but that can be changed. Four twin barrel Delortos, and custom side muflers, with some engine preparation can bring Montreal to about 250 hp, and then the performance would match the other cars. Not that I care much for a few horses less or more, but the sound would be "spine-tickling". :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How reliable are Montreals?
They seem to have lower prices compared to other exotics. I understand that much of Montreal is off-the-shelf Giulia equipment, so it should be easier to maintain it than others. But the engine is complex.
How many kilometers can they make without engine rebuild, with proper maintenance and if handled with care?
 

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OK, here's my two cents. I have always found the Montreal to be a super good looking car. With current price level though, you could almost buy a 308GTS, and definitely an 80-81 GTSi (not the quattrovalvole) for about the same cost.
I, personally think I would prefer the Ferrari, but that may be because I have always wanted one. The Montreal is more exclusive IMHO, and although I do not know how reliable they are, I think maintenance is definitely cheaper than Ferrari maintenance. Others, those with experience in this matter, may disagree.
 

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Bane,
I hope BB member "classicalfas" will chime in here. If he doesn't however, send him a PM. He's owned more than one Montreal and he still has a great looking one, which he drove to the national convention, here in the U.S.A. last August. After driving more than 600 mi. (1000 km.) he ran it on the track (took a spot on the podium in his class) and drove back home another 600+ mi. when the convention was over.

Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I absolutely agree about Montreal beeing more exclusive than 308. Production run was under 4000 and 308 is produced in some 12 thousand examples or so.

With 308, it's much better to buy a quattrovalvole or an earlier carburetted car, because 308i is very unreliable. Leaking oil, all sort of problems, whole engines had to be transplanted, and no one knew why this was happening. Some got this trouble after only few thousand miles, others later. You couldn't tell which engine was affected. So the prices for them are little lower today, (as is the performance :eek:). QV models were virtualy trouble-free.
I have heard of stories how reliable Montreal can be, examples with few hundred thousand kilometers can be found (there is one with 400K km).
Montreal is closer to me, since I'm already in Alfa waters. Maintenance wise, it could be the best deal of all. Lamborghini or Ferrari V12 rebuild can cost up to 25K€ :eek:

Pantera seems like a good replacement for a 308 or Urraco/Jalpa. Not much space and comfort though.
 

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Montreal?

As someone who runs a Montreal I'm obviously bias but I'd recommend the car to anyone. Last summer I drove 2,000miles here in the UK followed by an 1800 mile round trip to Cambrils (near Barcelona in Spain) for the 21st International Montreal Meeting. There were cars from all over Europe in attendance.
In the pre-Internet era the Montreal gained a reputation for mechanical complexity, and the SPICA fuel injector does scare many people, but there is an amazing support network and excellent website and forum. Spares are much easier to source and bodywork is generally pretty good. For the money I don't think there's a better car on the market and the V8 engine is awesome!
But my one piece of advice would be to buy the best one you possibly can. One which has had the water pump bearing changed, and preferably had the brakes uprated with BMW callipers, regular cambelt changes and Harvey Bailey handling kit. Also make sure it's not missing trim.

Good luck
 

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Not quite the correct terminology. Just been talking 156 GTA's and the need for early cambelt changes so instinctively typed 'change' rather than checked.

Cambelt and tensioners need to be checked every year. During engine rebuilds some people have the cambelt guides removed as the surface of the sliders can break down, others have them resurfaced in a more resilliant material. Still a matter of debate between owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I searched through The Alfa Romeo Montreal Website, great web page, many times. And I'm convinced that you get great car for the money. With such assistance and support, maintenance costs and problems should be solved much easier now.
I like to discuss and compare cars, there is always someone who can give great advice from first hand. Montreal was my first choice from the beginning, since I'm in Alfa waters anyway. Found little Alfas exciting and passionate, but I wanted to have something special, a flagship Alfa. Race-pedigreed engine, wonderful throaty sound, adequate comfort, and attractive appearance. (I really like the sound of carburettors, this is one thing that's missing... :eek:). But before I take one, I wanted to check the alternatives.

Montreal prices currently in Europe are 20-35 K€. With my budget I could buy the best there is.

Thanks everyone for advices.
If I decide to go with comfortable GT for two, Montreal will be my choice.
 

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As someone who runs a Montreal I'm obviously bias but I'd recommend the car to anyone. Last summer I drove 2,000miles here in the UK followed by an 1800 mile round trip to Cambrils (near Barcelona in Spain) for the 21st International Montreal Meeting. There were cars from all over Europe in attendance.
- Sorry to hi-jack, but did I just read about you in a classic cars magazine? :)

Great stuff.
 

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- Sorry to hi-jack, but did I just read about you in a classic cars magazine? :)

Great stuff.
That was my trip. 1800 miles and the only problem was a cracked fuse, (though it did take a while to track down).
Feel I have to stop praising the reliablility of the car - it's due for it's MOT test this week!
 

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Bane had written:

".... it would have to be relatively comfortable, strong, good looking (although this is a rather subjective category), ...and more importantly, long distance traveling around the world...
Choices:
Alfa Romeo: Montreal
Ferrari: 365 GT4 2+2, 400
Lamborghini: Espada, Jarama, Jalpa
Maserati: any V8 coupes
Morgan: Plus 8
Porsche: 930 turbo"

This reminds me of one of those test questions they used to give us in elementary school - "which of the above items does NOT fit on the list?"

answer: The Morgan

I don't think a Morgan is in any way comparable to a Ferrari/Lamborghini/ Maserati/Alfa/Porsche. Sure they have a cool vintage look, and with an 8 cylinder engine, I'm sure they can move. But, if you are looking for an exotic for long distance touring, do you really want no weather protection, no trunk, and a chassis designed in the 1930's?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, Morgan doesn't fit the list, if long distance travel is considered, but...

I've put it on the list to see what comments would it get, since it is so individualist car, very out of mainstream. Provides thirties design with modern technology, and that pure driver pleasure. Not sheer numbers and performance, just experience of driving such a noble car is enough to be considered in my, somewhat confusing, list. ;)
I updated my list, few cars are abandoned by now.

This is my final list:

V12 fourseaters: Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2/400 (carbureted an manual gearbox only)
Lamborghini Espada (S1, if possible)

V8 GT cruisers: Alfa Romeo Montreal (possible carb conversion later on)
Maserati Khamsin

V8 mid-engine: De Tomaso Pantera

Next step I will take is to try and find out aproximate cost for every car for a long period of time, and high mileage.
To buy a car is one thing: they all cost about the same, and that was my starting point.
But to drive a car is another thing. Pantera is easy to maintain compared to others. Montreal and Khamsin I could still manage, I think. But I'm not sure for Lambo and Ferrari...
 

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Are you sure you can manage the maintenence on a Khamsin? I love them like my mother, but from what I've heard they can be extremely difficult to keep roadworthy. Between the Citroen hydrolics for brakes, and Maserati's part prices you can sink serious money into one in no time at all.
BTW: Where are you located in Europe??
I like your list of cars :)- the Espada, 400i, Khamsin, Urracco, Pantera and Monty's are all at the top of my dream list. :cool:
 

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I think it's easy to answer. If you want a daily long distant driver, take the Porsche, but apart of the power it drives like a Beetle, even smells like this.
If you like fun and be tortured, take the Morgen, but you will need a good medical inshurance and a good Dentist.
If you want a Noseheavy Giulia, with power, the Montreal.
Maseratis, wonderful cars, are driving like trucks, good Power, bad Steering.
If there are Enginetroubles, or missing Parts, they costs a lot of money. Maybe you can cheaper buy two Montreals.
Long Distant driving in any Ferrari V12, or Lamborghini, you have to be very rich and you have to know the exact Ubication, Telefon number, of any Workshop on your way and a second Car, to finish the Trip.
Mid engined Cars are in general, nothing for long Distance. See Morgan, but limited visibility and no Space.
Better Choice, as an Alternative, to any Maserati Grand Tourismo is an De Tomaso, or an Iso Rivolta. The Iso has a very good Suspension and with these Low Tec Iron in the front, its easy and cheap to keep them running.

To finish this, with your budget, it will be difficult to find a good Car. Somebody, who restores a car of your List, will spend easy twice the money, to do a proper Job and sell this for half the money, no way.

Regards
Jörg
 

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I belong to a local car club where several members have a lot of experience with exotic cars. Last year I was thinking of getting something along the same lines, namely a 308 Dino GT4 for about $25K.

Their advice:

Budget exotics have often been owned by people who bought them as... budget exotics, and who cannot afford to maintain them properly; especially if they have to get everything done and won't touch it themselves. Rebuilding an engine on a 308 can cost more than half the value of the car. A bad purchase can turn into a nightmare. Their advice was to buy the very best example with a complete maintenance record, and $25K was not enough unless very lucky.

One of the fellows owned recently a number of 308s, an Urraco and a Jalpa. Lamborghini production was much lower than Ferrari's, and consequently they are *****es to get parts for. Urracos are *****es to work on - pretty much any work inside the engine involves pulling out the drivetrain (true for 308s too). Espadas and Jaramas are more complex, and because of their comparatively low market value are often in very neglected shape. I knew somebody who had a Jarama, soem other guys have driven tehm they all comment that driving these cars in town is terrible because of the unassisted steering. Maseratis don't fare any better on the same issues. His advice: stay away, from both makes.

Panteras may be attractive because of the US engine, but the vast majority of these cars were the 71-74s sold in the US. They were notoriously poorly put together, are rust traps, and were not that enjoyable to live with. Refer to period R&T road tests, for example. Only a car that has been really welll restored is worth buying - and even that doesn't take care of all the design flaws. Even then I'm not sure a top car still fits your budget.

Another guy just completed the restoration of a Montreal. It cost more than your price range - once more buy a top car for less money. A good one for may fit your tastes and budget, but as other people stated it is not a Giulia hot rod; it is rather a heavy feeling highway tourer (most were sold in Germany like the 2600 Sprint before that). Don't be fooled by the link with the more common Alfas, there are actually few parts that are interchangeable.

Next guy bought a new DB7 and proceded to drive it on a regular basis; after 3 years he was getting fed up with the poor ergonomics. Couldn't believe such an expensive car could be so laden with design flaws. He now thinks he'd have been better off with a new Porsche. It does feel like a VW in some way, but it's actually made to be driven.

Sorry to be so negative, I've come to believe that exotic cars are hyped up by magazine guys for commercial reasons; remember advertisers keep them alive... and exotic car advertisers are all over the classic car mags. In an older issue of R&T, one of the editors admitted that they don't always write what they really think of these expensive cars, they don't want to burst anybody's balloon.

In conclusion: if you really want to travel, buy a 911, as recent as you can afford in top shape. Forget the 930 - too old. A later car will have almost as much power for less money and be in better shape. If you want fun on country roads, get the Morgan.

Or else... for $40K you can get a very good 3.0 911SC AND a very good Lotus Seven. Both are fairly simple to maintain, less hassle as a pair than any single car on your list.

Whatever you decide, go do a lot of test drives, seek advice from experienced owners and mechanics, and buy only a top quality car.
 
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