I have always been fascinated by Alfa Romeo cars. As a child I can remember the wonderful sound of the Alfa Suds, Alfetta GTV6 and others. Then in 1997 when the Alfa 156 appeared I became a real Alfista, and I knew I had to possess that car. Since then I have had several different 156s and I still love to drive it. For more than ten years I have been a member of the Danish Alfa Romeo Club.
About three years ago my financial situation became such that I could begin to look for a classic Alfa Romeo. At first I couldn't decide whether it should be the Duetto or the Montreal. I find the Duetto very beautiful, whereas I think the Montreal is more interesting technically. As my wife said, summer can be rainy in Denmark and the Duetto soft top might not be ideal, so we decided on the Montreal. I knew the Alfa Romeo Montreal website and the Montreal Bible of Bruce Taylor, and began to study both intensively.
I contacted three different owners, but unfortunately they had just sold their Montreals. But after almost a year I was lucky enough to get in contact with one who still had his Montreal for sale. It was silver metallic, had the gold plate from ASI and was homologated by RIAR. It had the original paintwork and original interior, and as far as I could see it had never had an accident. It also had a lot of documentation from the previous owners. I tried the car and didn't notice any smoking from the exhaust (which became a problem later on). After a while and some negotiation we agreed on a price and I bought it.
As I drove the car home it began to smoke after some 50km, and the rest of the way home it became really serious, but I managed to get it home. The problem turned out to be the front ball bearing of the water pump, which was broken. It had been repaired once before, but unfortunately the seal had been mounted the wrong way round. So it leaked, and in order to stop the leaking of coolant the drain hole below the pump had been blocked! It took quite a while to change the ball bearing of the water pump and clear the drain hole.
Then it was time to start up the engine, but it died every time the throttle was opened. I knew before I bought the Montreal that the Spica injection pump was a bit worn out, but when I bought the car it could be driven. So I decided that the injection pump had to be changed, and this helped a lot - now the Montreal is running and I can enjoy the awesome sound and the special feeling when I drive it.
What next? I have noticed that the reference gap on the Spica pump is too large, so I will check the plunger extension of the TA and I might have to rebuild it, or find someone who can rebuild it for me. Then I will have to change some or all of the rubber bushings of the rear suspension, as the tail is waggling. Of course it's annoying when something is wrong, but I find it challenging to keep the Montreal in good shape, and most of all in running order.
return to the Alfa Romeo Montreal owners section