About time I did an update on the Montreal side of things, isn’t it? It’s been a while since anything was written here about La Tempesta, and a few things have happened to and with it.
The biggest news is of course that the Montreal is now properly registered with the authorities. It happened 31 May. The inspector at Gjøvik Trafikkstasjon weren’t very interested in the technical and safety bits on the car after discovering that it had been driven there on its own, that it was apparently in good shape and cared for, and not least, that it was more than 30 years old. Cars that have passed the magical 30-year mark gets a much more relaxed inspection from some inspectors, it seems. In addition the Montreal isn’t a very noisy car, something old imports usually are ribbed over.
So, the inspector took a picture of the chassis number, counted the number of seats, cross checked his database with a list of already registered Montreals, stamped a lot of paper and handed me the plates. It’s registered for two people now, for unknown reasons. In other words, carrying passengers in the ridiculous back seats is formally not allowed. Fair enough, since they are only fit for luggage anyway.
Another thing worth noting is that the problems with falling fuel pressure have been fixed. Well, not fixed, really, but I now know why it happens: the alternator can’t keep up with the engine revs or the electrical load, probably because the brushes are worn. I fixed the symptoms to a certain degree by replacing the old and dubious mechanical voltage regulator, but the symptoms remain. For the record, the Montreal uses the same Bosch voltage regulator as a 1975 Volvo 240. These are readily available and costs about NOK 500 (€60).
And finally, I got around to changing the engine oil and filter. For various stupid reasons, the car was put away in winter storage without getting its oil changed, and I had no idea whatsoever when it was last changed. There is a sticker in the engine compartment that says it was changed with Castrol TX 10W/40 around 91.000 kms, and if this is true, the oil was pretty new-ish kilometer-wise, but still six years old.
25 May, I changed the oil to Agip Super 20W/50. As you can see from the picture, I’ve never changed the oil on a dry-sump car before I was quite surprised to find out just how fast the oil pours out of the reservoir in the engine bay. The filter I fitted was a Purolator Premium Plus L20081.
Friday 15 June, we mounted the Montreal and took off to KARN’s national convention in Trondheim. It’s a 1200 km round trip, so I was curious to see whether the car could take the long trip without problems. To make a long story short, it passed with flying colours. The clutch is prone to slipping at very high rpm and it consumes a little oil, but other than that nothing happened. It’s a real Gran Turismo which feels very good cruising at 100 km/h. Monique even read me a book on the trip, a testament to the sound-proofing and GT-ishness of the old car.
In late july, after it had rained for two weeks straight, I discovered that both the passenger foot well and the driver’s seat were soaking wet! The culprit appeared to be the old and slightly disintegrating wind screen seal, so that’s another issue to tackle during the winter. It took a couple of days to get everything dry. The professional wind screen shops are apparently reluctant to take on a job like this due to the old school mounting of these wind screens, but the seal absolutely must be replaced. They’re available from Classic Alfa in London.
Then, 20 July, I took the Montreal to the KARN track day at Rudskogen. As I’ve written before on several occasions, it’s a touring car and not a track day monster. Allright, I’m going to say this one more time: a Montreal is useless on the race track. Trust me. It is The only redeeming value this GT has racing wise, is that on an Alfa Romeo track day, very few cars can keep up with the straight line acceleration. But alas, race tracks are prone to have curves, so the overall experience is that of finding yourself in a particularly old, creaking and listing boat. The 25% limited slip differential doesn’t help either.