Notes from a visit to the Alfa Romeo factory

Robert Winwood

(Robert can be contacted via Geoff & Ann Poole)

During the latter part of May 1980, we went to Italy with an organized tour from Classic Cars to visit various factories and places of interest to the motoring set. Upon our arrival at the Alfa factory and using the coach driver as an interpreter we asked the factory guide about Montreal production, as at that time I was deeply into the register.

The guide could not help but got a man from the production team to talk to me whilst the rest of the party went to lunch. We spent some 45 minutes with him and he gave us the exact figures of production, which were correct. Regarding RHD models, he explained that 155 were finished at the recently acquired ISO factory - 155 being their total capacity and using ISO parts bin.

Quite a few Montreals were put out in primer to be painted as required - this checks out because many RHD montreals do not have stamped paint code badges. Also, they had several more differences including some electrical units made by ISO but not by Alfa, narrow ISO steering wheels, ISO wiper motors and door handles, rubber ISO suspension spring spacers instead of cast aluminium, and road wheels with a different ISO hub shape. Later I found some steering boxes for RHD cars were made to special order from Burman and shipped to the ISO factory.

As regards the final assembly at ISO, as far as I can ascertain the vehicles were sent over in a rolling chassis form to have RHD engines (also supplied by Autodelta), brakes, steering and cockpit refinished.

return to the Alfa Romeo Montreal production section