The Montreal V8 is a wonderful engine. Loosely based on the type 33 racing motor of the 1960s, all alloy and dry sumped, it has little in common with other Alfa engines of the time. Because it was built in small numbers, and because for many years the Montreal was a very cheap performance car, ignorance and neglect were normal in their maintenance. Fortunately, this car had been in good hands and had not been neglected, but as we went into the car, we uncovered a series of mis-understandings and short cuts carried out by previous “trusted” mechanics.
The SPICA mechanical injection which is used on the Montreal is almost unknown in Europe (better understood in US, where 2 litre Alfas were fitted with the system to get through emissions controls). On investigating the problems, it became clear that the injection system had been compromised, so the whole system went to Switzerland, where it was rebuilt. The overheating was due to a blowing head gasket, so we took advantage of the need and removed the engine in order to detail the engine space whilst we fitted a new head gasket.