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Restored Alfa Romeo Montreal returns to auction

AN exemplary 1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal, previously sold by Silverstone Auctions in 2013, has emerged from a recent £28,000 restoration and will be offered for sale by Classic Car Auctions (CCA) at the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show with Discovery on Saturday and Sunday March 24-25.

Having undergone a number of performance and restorative upgrades over the years, the stylish two-seater Italian classic is possibly one of the best examples of the model in the world, of which just 64 are thought to exist today in the UK.

This particular left-hand drive version was manufactured on October 14, 1972, and sold new to its first owner three days later by Alfa Romeo Brussels. It was imported into the UK in 1989 and has had just four owners in its lifetime.

Originally finished in Luci del Bosco Metallizato, the Montreal features a number of stylish design cues, including four front headlamps with ‘eyelids’, NACA bonnet duct and cosmetic cabin vents, as well as a punchy 2.6L V8 engine and five-speed ZF manual gearbox.

The car was later treated to multiple upgrades including new steering and suspension joints, an uprated radiator with two fans, adjustable top arm front suspension, new Bilstein shock absorbers, a ‘Classic Alfa’ handling kit, uprated four pot front brake callipers, new front discs, new clutch plate and full stainless steel exhaust.

More recently the car has had the injection system replaced by four carburettors as well as a new windscreen, new carpets, rebuilt seats and a bare metal respray in gleaming Alfa Rosso with the addition of silver Campagnolo wheels.

Offered for sale at the Silverstone Classic 2013, the car now returns for auction with the younger sister company with an estimate of £50,000 to £55,000.

“The Montreal is rapidly becoming one of the most famous and desirable Italian sports cars of its decade, and this particular example is in stunning order,” said Richard Greenhalgh, classic car specialist, CCA. “It’s not unusual to see classics return to auction, but this particular transformation has been very successful.”

Documents, invoices and a photographic record of the restoration are included in the car’s history file.

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Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

ALFA ROMEO has signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season.

The single-seaters will sport the distinctive colors and logo of Alfa Romeo, the team’s title sponsor, and will be equipped with 2018 Ferrari power units.

The scope of the agreement includes strategic, commercial and technological co-operation in all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering know-how and the expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff. This partnership will provide additional opportunities for the two organisations in both Formula 1 and the automotive sector in general.

The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, said: “This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years. A storied marque that has helped make the history of this sport, Alfa Romeo will join other major automakers that participate in Formula 1.

“The brand itself will also benefit from the sharing of technology and strategic know-how with a partner of the Sauber F1 Team’s undisputed experience. The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 Team.

“At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history.”

Pascal Picci, Chairman of Sauber Holding AG, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to the Sauber F1 Team. Alfa Romeo has a long history of success in Grand Prix racing, and we are very proud that this internationally renowned company has chosen to work with us for its return to the pinnacle of motorsport.

“Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects. We are confident that together we can bring the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team great success, and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

The return of Alfa Romeo, one of the major protagonists in Formula 1 history, is expected to contribute significantly to the appeal and future development of the sport. Alfa Romeo brings with it technological know-how and a large and passionate fan base, while participation in the championship also offers benefits for the brand in areas such as technology transfer and road safety.

Alfa Romeo is known around the world for its racing heritage and technological excellence. The undisputed champion of the pre-war Grand Prix (in 1925, the GP Tipo 2 dominated the first World Championship), Alfa Romeo participated in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1988, both as a constructor and engine supplier.

Immediately upon its debut, Alfa Romeo won the first two drivers’ world championships, in 1950 and 1951, with drivers Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. From 1961 to 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as engine supplier to several F1 teams.

Following its return as a constructor in 1979, Alfa Romeo achieved its best result in 1983, taking sixth place in the constructors’ championship. More than 30 years after withdrawing as a competitor from Formula 1 (1985), the brand is returning with the clear intention to make its mark.

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Giulia at the double at the Irish Awards

THE Alfa Romeo Giulia has picked up two awards at 41st annual Irish Car of the Year Awards 2018.

In one of the most competitive categories, the Alfa Romeo Giulia (above) took home the gong for the Irish ‘Medium Car’ category.

The Giulia Quadrifoglio (below) also topped the ‘Performance Car’ category, testament that Alfa Romeo has remained true to its heritage and is still producing the best driver’s cars on sale today.

This year’s awards were sponsored by Continental Tyres and decided by a jury of 30 of the Irish media’s most influential online, broadcast and print journalists.

Paul Hunt, Managing Director FCA Ireland, commented: “For the entire Giulia range to be lauded at the most prestigious awards in the Irish calendar is really humbling. The jury have recognised the passion and dedication that has been gone into making the Giulia and has made it into a car that can be chosen with both the head and the heart.”

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The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

THE Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the first Quadrifoglio SUV, is set to become the new benchmark in the premium compact SUV segment.

With its awe-inspiring design, performance and technology, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is the “fastest SUV around the circuit”, having clocked the new record for its class on the iconic Nürburgring: 7 minutes 51.7 seconds.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is equipped with the exclusive aluminium 2.9-litre V6 Bi-Turbo petrol engine, developed with inputs and engineering know-how from Ferrari technologies.

It delivers maximum power of 510hp at 6,500rpm and generates a maximum torque of 600Nm from 2,500 to 5,000rpm and is teamed with the specifically calibrated eight-speed automatic transmission, that shifts gear in just 150 milliseconds in Race mode.  The Stelvio Quadrifoglio can accelerate from zero to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds, and on to a best-in-class top speed of 176mph.

The car will arrive in the UK in summer 2018, with pricing and specification to be confirmed nearer the time.

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Stelvio Quadrifoglio sets Nurburgring record

THE Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has set the new benchmark for a production SUV at Germany’s legendary Nürburgring circuit, lapping the epic 12.9-mile Nordschleife in a record 7 minutes 51.7 seconds.

This new time is a full eight seconds faster than the previous production SUV record.

Italian driver Fabio Francia set the blistering lap record, the same driver who previously set the fastest Nürburgring track record for four-door saloons in the Giulia Quadrifoglio with a lap time of just 7 minutes and 32 seconds.

Alfa Romeo’s first-ever production SUV, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio stands out thanks to its distinctive Italian style, advanced technology, innovative engines and excellent power-to-weight ratio.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio extensively integrates lightweight, state-of-the-art materials, such as a carbon fibre driveshaft, to deliver segment-leading torsional rigidity, direct steering and a perfect 50/50 weight distribution.

The range-topping high-performance SUV is powered by an all-aluminum, direct-injection 2.9-litre 24-valve Twin-Turbo intercooled V6 engine, delivering 510hp and 600Nm of torque, which is coupled with the Q4 all-wheel-drive system. The engine is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission with specific settings for shifting in just 150 milliseconds in Race mode.

Designed to enhance the all-new lightweight Alfa Romeo architecture, the all-aluminium 2.9-litre V6 Twin-Turbo engine features a compact 90-degree layout and was holistically designed for a low centre of gravity within the chassis.

Advanced technology features unique to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio include a four-mode Alfa DNA Pro selector with Race mode, torque vectoring differential, Quadrifoglio-tuned adaptive suspension and cylinder deactivation to maximise fuel efficiency.

A number of ultra-high performance options will be available on the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, including Ultra-lightweight carbon fibre shell Sparco racing seats, providing maximum lateral support during extreme cornering, and designed to be the lightest in the segment while providing comfort for long road trips and ultra-high-performance, and a Brembo carbon-ceramic material (CCM) brake system.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio range is now available in UK dealerships and the range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio will join the line up in the UK in 2018.

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Ferrari drivers take Giulia Quadrifoglio on track

FRESH from the Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari Racing Team drivers Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi swapped their scarlet F1 race car for a spin in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio, the marque’s most powerful production car ever.

A thrilling film shows the three Ferrari drivers behind the wheel of the Giulia Quadrifoglio – which can achieve a top speed of 191mph and zero to 62mph sprint in 3.9 seconds – racing around Alfa Romeo’s famous Balocco (Vercelli) test track just days after the Grand Prix in Monza.

Former F1 World Champions Vettel – who secured a third place podium spot at the weekend – and Räikkönen and stablemate Giovinazzi got the full Giulia Quadrifoglio experience, revelling in its unrivalled saloon power thanks to the car’s 2.9-litre Bi-Turbo V6 engine and 510hp.

The sports sedan is no stranger to blazing a trail, previously setting a blistering Nürburgring lap record for its category of 7 minutes 32 seconds. Watch it in action here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gEdJmIVqLY

 

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Italy’s finest crowned at Salon Privé

1960 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Pininfarina Superflow IV with trophies

REAFFIRMING its place as the UK’s finest Concours celebration, 2017’s Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance saw some of the world’s rarest and most spectacular classic cars battle it out on the prestigious grounds of Blenheim Palace.

Taking home top honours, with the Best of Show Trophy, was the revered 1960 Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Pininfarina Superflow IV. A car that hadn’t been shown in the UK until its Salon Privé Concours debut, it shook off fierce competition in the Curvaceous Coupes Class, and will return to its home in the USA with not only the Best in Show Trophy but also a Best-in-Class award.

Now in its 12th year, Salon Privé continues to attract some of the most important collector cars in the world, including a one-of-37 ‘covered headlamp’ 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider. Restored in the UK during 2012, this exceptional SWB-variant California Spider wowed judges, becoming Best in Show runner-up, and taking home a Best-in-Class win in the Riviera Cruising category.

Other winners of Italian descent include the last-ever UK-delivered, right-hand-drive 1973 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 ‘Daytona’ Spider, one of just 122 that originally left the Maranello factory in that specification. Remaining with its current owner for over 30 years, it won the hearts of Salon Privé guests and took home the People’s Choice Award.

Joining the Ferrari was a special 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400. Having only returned from Italy and Lamborghini’s in-house restoration team, Polo Storico, in July, it took home top honours in the Evolution of the Supercar Pin-Ups Class.

“This year’s event has been one of our most successful and pivotal Concours events to-date; a game-changing year, firmly planting Salon Privé on the global Concours scene. I was delighted to present each car and owner with their award, especially the unparalleled Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Pininfarina Superflow IV,” said Salon Privé managing director & concours chairman, Andrew Bagley.

“The car and owner have travelled from the USA to make their UK concours debut, and it was an honour and a privilege to display it on the Blenheim Palace lawns, among some of the most important collectors in the world.

“The Superflow wowed the judges from the off, in hot pursuit it has to be said from the Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider. This historically important Alfa Romeo started off life as a race car, driven by none other than Juan Manuel Fangio, taking second place in the 1953 Mille Miglia. Bodied by Carrozzeria Colli, this ex-factory race car then became a mule for Pininfarina and was modified no less than four times until 1960, when it became the Superflow IV with its Plexi roof.”

Salon Privé, the UK’s first event organiser of its type to organise two Concours at the same event, hosted guests at its inaugural Concours Masters. New for 2017, this year’s extravaganza played tribute to Ferrari’s 70th anniversary. Highlights included a 1949 Ferrari 166 Inter Coupe – the oldest-surviving UK-based Ferrari – to the latest Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta, which was built to celebrate the marque’s 70th anniversary.

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UK pricing and specification for Stelvio

FOLLOWING its UK debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed last month, Alfa Romeo has revealed the UK pricing and specification for its first ever SUV, the all-new Stelvio, with prices starting from £33,990 OTR.

The Stelvio launches with an exclusive version for 2017 – the Milano Edizione to offer customers even greater functionality and style, while providing exceptional value for money.

Four trim levels will be available from September including Stelvio, Super, Speciale and the limited production Milano Edizione. At launch, drivers will be able to choose between two engine versions – 2.2-litre 210hp diesel Q4 AWD and 2.0-litre 280hp petrol Q4 AWD – combined with an ZF eight-speed automatic transmission as standard.

The 2.0-litre 280hp petrol Q4 AWD engine offers best in class acceleration, going from zero to 62mph in just 5.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 143mph, while returning 40.4mpg* on the combined cycle and emitting just 161g/km* CO2. The 2.2-litre 210hp diesel Q4 AWD meanwhile, gives out 127g/km* CO2 and returns 58.9mpg* on the combined cycle, while still registering a top speed of 134mph and accelerating from zero to 62mph in 6.6 seconds.

From September the  Stelvio will also be available to order with a 2.2-litre diesel engine, producing 180hp and available in both Q4 all-wheel-drive or rear-wheel-drive, and a 2.0-litre petrol engine, with 200hp and Q4 all-wheel-drive.

Featuring perfect 50/50 weight distribution, Alfa Romeo Q4 all-wheel drive architecture, best in class power-to-weight ratios and innovative engine and driver technologies, the Stelvio embodies everything a true Alfa should.

Not only that, but the Stelvio can boast at being the lightest mid-size SUV in the sector thanks to its lightweight body structure and carbon fibre driveshaft, coming in at just 1,604kg for the 2.2-litre diesel 180hp RWD and up to 1,660kg for the 2.0-litre petrol 280hp Q4 AWD, only adding an extra 56kg for the all-wheel-drive system (AWD).

Finding the perfect balance between driving experience and safety, the Stelvio was recently awarded a coveted five-star Euro NCAP rating with a score of 97 per cent for the protection of adult occupants; the highest score in its category.

Credited for its host of innovative safety systems, which come as standard across the full range, the Stelvio boasts Alfa Romeo’s segment-first Integrated Brake System, Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning.

The all-new Stelvio stands out from the crowd thanks to its distinctive Italian design, expressed through its proportions and technical architecture leaving the impression of sophisticated simplicity and quality surfaces, both inside and out.  From launch customers will have a choice of three trim levels and a limited production Milano Edizione.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

The entry trim level ‘Stelvio’ offers a comprehensive standard specification. Standard exterior features include 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, LED rear lights and a double lateral chrome exhaust pipe. Inside, the cabin focuses on driver satisfaction with dual-zone climate control, Alfa™ D.N.A. rotary driving mode selector, a 3.5-inch TFT colour cluster instrument panel, UConnect™ 8.8-inch display infotainment system with DAB plus Bluetooth/AUX multimedia connectivity, an eight-speaker audio system and two front and two rear USB ports. A multi-function leather steering wheel, houses all the main controls so the driver can focus on the task at hand.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Super

The standard specification on the Stelvio trim level is supplemented on the Super version with a host of exclusive interior and exterior features. Exterior wise, the Super trim level adds 18-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels and front parking sensors. The interior of the Super features an 8.8-inch infotainment system with 3D navigation system featuring European maps and 7-inch TFT instrument cluster, as well as a two-tone leather dashboard and leather and cloth upholstery.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Speciale

Building on the Super trim, the Speciale features 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with red brake calipers, chrome window surround, Bi-Xenon 35W headlights and power folding door mirrors. Inside the cabin, the Speciale benefits from heated front leather seats with six-way adjustment and dedicated four-way power lumbar controls.  Aluminium shift paddles on the steering column co-ordinate with the aluminium interior finishing’s and metal pedals to complete the look.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Milano Edizione

The Stelvio launch edition, Milano Edizione, offers customers even more functionality and style, while providing exceptional value for money. From 1910 to 1960, the iconic Alfa Badge encompassed the word ‘Miliano’ in its design, the birthplace of the brand, the origins of which are echoed in the Milano Edizione.

The standard specification, adding to the Speciale trim, includes sporty leather seats, a 10 speaker Sound Theatre, 20-inch V-Spoke alloy wheels, keyless entry and an Athermic windscreen.  Privacy glass with black gloss window surround, electrically adjustable and heated front seats and a rear-view camera with dynamic grid lines enhance the standard specification.

The Stelvio will be in showrooms from September, with prices starting from £33,990 OTR for an Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2 180hp Diesel RWD.

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One-off Alfa at Salon Privé

THE only Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM (Competizione Maggiorata) Pininfarina Superflow IV ever made will be shown for the very first time in the UK at Salon Privé during the Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance.

Obtained by leading Italian design house Pininfarina, who evolved four prototype designs, ending with this incredible Superflow IV, it will fight fierce competition in the Curvaceous Coupes class.

Famously picking up silverware with Juan Manuel Fangio driving the 1953 Mille Miglia, the Alfa Romeo 6C 3000 CM Colli Coupe was a car built for endurance racing. Just eight Works examples were made in 1953, two of which were handed to specialist coachbuilders Boano (for Argentine President Juan Peron) and Pininfarina and both converted for road use.

Regarded as the more famous of the pair, the vehicle on display is the 6C 3000 CM (chassis 00128) that went to Pininfarina. During its time at the Italian-based coachbuilder it was given four different design adaptations, culminating in its current guise, known as the Superflow IV.

The first iteration, known as the Superflow, was launched at the 1956 Turin Motor Show. Plexiglass was a fundamental part of the car’s original design and overall appearance: the front wheels were covered in the material, doubling up as headlight covers, and the hinged ‘gullwing’ sections on the roof were also made from Plexiglass.

Evolving to Superflow II and repainted from its original colour of white with a black stripe to striking red with a white stripe, Pininfarina’s styling evolved to include a sharper nose made from steel and all Plexiglass apart from the headlight covers, which were removed. In 1959 at the Geneva Motor Show, the third design was shown and dubbed the Spyder Super Sport or Superflow III. It featured an open roof, but without the original nose and the headlight covers, which were removed.

Fast forward to 1960, the car’s fourth and final design was displayed at the 1960 Geneva Motor Show. The Coupe Super Sport Speciale or Superflow IV was an amalgamation of all the best features of its previous versions. Returning for the Superflow IV was the striking use of Plexiglass, this time on the domed roof as well as the headlight covers. The car could be used as a Coupe and a Spyder, thanks to the fact that the panels were not hinged but could slide down and back underneath the rear window.

The car’s story is a timeline of design and influences of the Fifties and Sixties; it’s clear to see that it was built to wow the public at each event and location it visited. Set to stun the judges, this unique Concours star will be making a special pilgrimage to lawns of Blenheim Palace from a significant collection in the United States.

On display during Salon Privé on Thursday August 31 during the Concours d’Elégance and remaining on the lawns of Blenheim Palace during Boodles Ladies’ Day on Friday September 1, Salon Privé is the first event in the UK that this special car will be on public display.

“For Salon Privé to be chosen as the first Concours event in the UK for this illustrious and influential car to be shown is a huge honour. One of the most important Alfa Romeos of its era, and a large part of the marque and Pininfarina’s history, I am sure that it will attract the attention of enthusiasts from all over the world.” said Salon Privé managing director & Concours chairman, Andrew Bagley.

Now in its 12th year, Salon Privé is firmly established as the UK’s most prestigious luxury Classic and Supercar Show & Concours d’Elégance.

The three-day event incorporates the all-new Concours Masters, focusing on a ‘Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari’, as well as the EFG Art and Memorabilia Fair and The Salon Privé Sale hosted by Silverstone Auctions.

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Stelvio achieves five-star Euro NCAP rating

THE Alfa Romeo Stelvio has achieved a coveted five-star Euro NCAP rating with a score of 97% for the protection of adult occupants – the highest score in its category.

The marque’s first-ever SUV was recognised for two key areas of excellence: the adoption of extensive innovative safety features and the structural efficiency of its rigid and lightweight body shell, which is constructed from high-tech materials such as carbon fibre, aluminium and aluminium composite.

Finding the perfect balance between driving experience and vehicle safety, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is fitted with a wide range of innovative safety systems. A first in its segment, the Stelvio benefits from Alfa Romeo’s Integrated Brake System (IBS) which significantly reduces braking distance thanks to its combination of electronics and mechanics.

Furthermore, a host of safety systems come as standard, including Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Monitoring, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB) with pedestrian detection.  For the latter, a radar and camera work together to constantly monitor the presence of obstacles or vehicles in the car’s trajectory and warn the driver of the risk of imminent collision. In the event of the driver failing to react in time, the system automatically applies the brakes to avoid an impact or reduce its severity.

The Stelvio is the second model utilising Alfa Romeo’s new ‘Giorgio’ platform architecture to be awarded a prestigious five-star Euro NCAP rating. In 2016, the award-winning sports saloon Giulia scored the highest occupant protection rating ever achieved, despite the introduction of a more stringent rating system in 2015.

Now earning the five-star accolade for the brand’s SUV, the success of the ‘Giorgio’ architecture demonstrates Alfa Romeo’s focus on developing new models with superlative handling, control and innovative safety systems.

The Stelvio goes on sale in the UK in the autumn with pricing and UK specifications to be announced shortly.