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Discussion Starter #1
Hi I am becoming more interested in the Montreal and would like some honest opinions re the car if possible - clearly the value of these cars has taken off but why is this, is it down to the low numbers built, or this coupled with what a great car this is? It appears that there are a lot of issues with maintaining this car, however this may not be the case and I welcome others opinions. Also what should be the value of a half decent car? welcome peoples thoughts
 

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Dave (Sam?),

I've had mine for nearly 3 years, and am in the last stretch toward a fairly complete restoration. I enjoy the car, but most of my enjoyment comes from the restoration efforts. I'm retired, and it keeps me busy. I expect to sell mine next year simply so I can move onto another project.

Ignoring the work that needed doing toward the restoration, my car has been dead reliable. Like many that have been offered for sale in the last decade or so, it needed a lot of attention. I expect this was at least partly due to the relatively low market values arguing against spending much money on maintaining them. I have spent a ton simply because I enjoyed it, and not with an eye toward the financial return. I hope the market trend continues so I can recover my costs, but that would be rare in the car hobby.

It is like other 105 cars. The stuff that runs, shifts, stops, and steers is all pretty good quality, and generally reliable. The construction quality is good, and perhaps better than other 105's in that the rust proofing was much better.

I didn't like the handling or braking on my stock car, so I have added some suspension improvements and better brakes. It is now thrilling to drive, and I no long fear a flaming death due to inadequate brakes.

The sometimes-heard comments about unreliability are usually directed at the engine. I'm currently overhauling two of them, and both show very good signs for having been well used. The water pump bearings might need attention prior to a normal overhaul, and the Spica injection should simply be adjusted and tuned as specified. The injection is NOT fiddly and unreliable, but it will punish an owner who tries to tweak things by random turns of a screw driver. In other words, read the directions FIRST, then all is OK.

The water pump, if it needs work, generally requires that the engine be removed. I just removed mine, by myself, in less than 8 hours total work (including the afternoon nap). It was my first time taking out a Montreal engine, so I'm betting that a two-person team, working with an overhead rack, could do it in half a day. So - the water pump is not really to be feared, and most of the owners I have spoken to have not encountered that failure. More of a boogey man that one fears, but rarely if ever sees.

I have had a few Alfas that I used for daily drivers, and they were all excellent in that use. Very reliable. I would expect the Montreal to be equally reliable, although modern Japanese cars can be better over 100,000 miles. Maintenance parts for the Montreal are fairly inexpensive and easily obtained. Body panels and engine parts are more expensive and somewhat harder to get. However, they are available.

I am 6'2, and slightly taller from the waist up than below. I have worked out a comfortable position, but it took some practice. A little more leg room would be welcome, but I thought the same thing about every Alfa I've had except the 59 2000 Touring, and it fits me fine.

There is another recent thread that veered off discussing the current and future market value for these cars. I suggest you search for it. There are differing opinions. Some believe the recent increase is a sort of short-term bubble, and won't be continued. Others think that low-production Italian sports cars are enjoying a long-term rise due to an increasing number of wealthy buyers and a static (or decreasing) number of available cars. Feel free to develop your own opinion.

I paid about $8,000 more than what a lot of people thought was the market back 3 years ago. I got a Montreal, and others are still looking. I expect that will end up being the on going situation....

Some people make things happen.
Some people watch things happen.
Some people wonder what happened.

I have not added up what it cost me to restore mine. I didn't want to know, but I have about 6" of receipts in my drawer that I'll total in a month or two. The point a prospective owner might want to consider is that a below-market Montreal is probably one that has not had much maintenance done to it. If the car needs paint, interior work, brakes, suspension, etc, then it can add up in a hurry.

Generally, the advice to follow is "buy the best one you can afford", as there is never a savings in buying a cheap one and making it whole again.

My bet?

If you look hard you might find one that runs but is rough and needs work for 50k. A good looking car that runs OK, but has several areas that need attention will probably cost you 75k. A good looking car that needs nothing will be 100k or more. A perfect-as-new will be over 150k. The auctions over the last two years have been at or above these values.

I personally believe investing in a Montreal is a safe bet. It's a cheap Italian super-car, and there weren't very many made.
 

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Don said it pretty well. I've had mine for nearly 4 years, and it has also been dead reliable over about 10,000 miles. The ownership experience has been terrific. Read Bruce Taylor's book, and then look for the best driver you can afford. You will not regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies - I recently drove a 1974 car, which has been laid up for a while (pretty low mileage) - engine was a little lumpy no doubt due to lack of use. The body looked solid and underside also solid, plus genuine interior - no doubt some reconditioning work is required which is when one gets a little apprehensive, however looks wise it certainly stands out. Reason I was interested in pricing is that if such cars continue to climb in value then some cars will be unreachable very soon, even poor ones....interesting times
 

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I have owned my Alfa Montreal since the mid-eighties. It's a RHD, 1974 car I bought when I was in Australia. Since then it has travelled to Europe with us, and now the USA where we live currently. It has been extremely reliable, but I have worked on it myself, to keep it that way. Check out my video: Alfa Montreal - Driven hard, to see the car and maybe it will convince you what your next steps should be. We completed a classic, 3 day, car rally for more than a 1000 miles this year without any serious problems. We also did a trip to Montreal, Canada where the car was first shown in 1967. Just a simple pilgrimage, but it too was over 1,100 miles. It was great fun, and we will be doing the 2015 Michigan Mille again later this year. Buy one, fix it up if you have to, and then DRIVE IT!!! If you only worry about the potential market prices, you will miss the best part of ownership. An Alfa Romeo Montreal is, as many of the forum members have said, is a great sports, touring, that has the added benifits of being a terrific looking car. Can't say much more...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the post - I guess (and not just for montreals) its finding a good one - with prices where they are a bad one could be an expensive mistake - I note a previous post had a purple one for USD 18k that was a parts car! - a lot of the apprehension comes from this car being a little more complex (spica) and potential water pump issues (from what I have read) - also the price range for these (probably for other makes too) is wide. With the top end car selling for USD 170K (again what I read) everyone believes their car should command similar money, however I suppose the market is what ever people are paying - maybe the montreal has been below the radar and now that other makes are moving up this car is getting noticed- thanks
 

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I believe that good running examples are still available for between $50K and $75K. They may not be "show cars", but solid runners. The main thing to check for is rust in the bodywork. There will probably be small spots that are fixable, and can be tackled in time. Make sure that the mechanicals are sound, oil pressure, oil leaks and that all the pieces are in place. If you have reasonable mechanical expertise, meaning logic and work skills, I believe a Montreal should not be to daunting a task to take on. There is a lot of support available from people on the forum, and almost everyone would like to see a new member join the group. Most parts are available, and reasonably priced. There are nowhere like parts for similar vintage Ferrari's. Prices are more in line with what you would pay for Porsche 911, 944 parts. Don't get put off by some of the things you hear, reference the people who have cars, and worked on them. Like anyone else, I did not know anything about Alfa Montreals untill I owned mine. Then I started to learn... Good Luck!!!
 
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