42K Original Miles: 1987 Alfa Romeo Milano Gold

I haven’t exactly over-shared this, but I picked up an Alfa Romeo project over the summer, and it’s similar to this car shown here. Mine is a 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano Verde, which had an upgraded 3.0L “Busso” V6 from the factory along with fender flares and a Recaro interior, among other tweaks. Alfa offered the Milano in a few different trims, including “Silver”, “Gold”, and “Platinum”, and this is a “Gold” trim edition. The Gold cars came with a nicer interior than the Silver but didn’t get the limited-slip differential that came into the Platinum and Verde models. The seller has added the fender flares from the Verde cars along with a set of classic Borbet wheels. Find it here on eBay where bidding is at $7,100 with the reserve unmet.

I’ve been watching this Milano for a few months now, as it’s listed for sale by a shop local to me. They specialize in BMW, and for whatever reason, have this Milano for sale. It’s been listed at $16,000 and $15,000 for a few months, so there’s clearly a target number in the seller’s mind. The Milano has been bumping up a few notches in recent years in terms of sale prices, but the lower-spec models like the Silver and Golds haven’t quite caught fire like the Platinum and Verde models have. It’s not so much because there’s anything wrong with those cars; it’s just a matter of spending the real money on the models that come with the most desirable mix of performance equipment. With that in mind, if you’re going to spend the big bucks, a Gold edition likely isn’t your top choice.

The seller’s car is undoubtedly in nice condition, with what looks like perfect upholstery and door panels. The interior has been customized with an aftermarket shift knob, steering wheel, and radio head unit. The Silver Milanos came with a very basic tweed-like upholstery, whereas the Gold models got a nicer fabric. Still, it wasn’t quite like the Recaros found in the Verde, which I have to say is one of the best features of my car. The Milano is known for having some annoying issues inside the car, ranging from door handles that don’t work to windows that don’t power down – all part of the Italian car ownership experience, or so I’m told. The seller notes this Milano does have some door handle issues but doesn’t elaborate. Based on the description, it sounds as if he has agreed to consign this low-mileage Milano for a customer.

Despite being in Massachusetts, the Alfa is extremely clean underneath. This is a big win for the next owner, as Milanos of this era are known for getting quite rusty if left to the elements. The undersides are very clean, and you can also spot the full Ansa exhaust and AOP headers. One thing for sure – across every variety of Milano – the Busso V6 sounds absolutely intoxicating with a proper exhaust system. The seller may be looking for more money on behalf of the owner, but it will be a significant sale of a non-Verde Milano if the sale price ends up at the same number I saw on craigslist. Doubtful, but stranger things have happened. If you were to own an Alfa Romeo, which model would you choose?

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I remember when I set my sights on a Milano back around 1990. I worked at a VW, Audi, and Volvo shop where we used to mechanically and cosmetically recondition car for our sales lot. I used to get the sales pamphlets from the Mannheim Auto Auction from the sales guy. At that time Milano’s were trading for $8500 used. Being a young tech and enthusiast I kind of liked the Milano so I tried to find literature on the car. I didn’t have access to the internet back then but my friend who was on the cutting edge of technology and another car guy made it his mission to find articles from the European car magazines and forums. He also pulled information on the BMW e30 cars as this was his choice. I entertained the BMW but I liked the rear transaxle and the Busso V6 so the Milano became my new want.
    As a technician I wanted to know what common repair issues were and what special tools I needed to I went to the Alfa dealer about 40 minutes from my house and asked the parts guy what they were selling. I purchased a service manual from the parts counter and then set about educating myself. Called the parts guy back and ordered several hundred dollars of service tools.
    Apparently I made an impression with the parts guy because he went to the service manager and told him some crazy kid is buying factory tools. When I went to the dealer to pick up said tools I was cornered by the SM who asked me if I was happy were I was working. One thing led to another and based on advise given from a senior VW tech who became my mentor at the Indy shop I should take the dealer job.
    Well the sales guy found my first Milano. A 88 Milano gold in red. Did a bunch of service work to it and drove it for a couple years until I traded up for a red 88 Verde model. The Verde is the one to get but the gold and Platinum ones are no slouches. However the silver and Platinum ones were my least favorite. I didn’t like the interiors on this models. Now if you have a Platinum or Verde your biggest grief is the ABS. Total PITA to find parts and diagnose as there was no onboard diagnostics. However Jeff if you are having issues with yours I discovered a 1990 Saab 900/9000 ECU can be installed that has the ability to record fault codes. You just need to add a wire.
    I went on to be a Saab and Alfa tech for about 8 years before I advanced to a SM position at the dealer.

    Like 24
  2. Martin Horrocks

    A good Alfa 75 is a really satisfying car. They need to know they are loved, even that sometimes isn´t enough, but worth the risk for the upside.

    Like 2
  3. Steve Clinton

    At first glance, I thought this was a Volvo 760.

    Like 1
  4. Jess P

    I drove a new red Milano from Edmonton Alberta to Fort Nelson and back in the winter of 1987. I think it was a “Silver” model. It was a rental and I remember I was thrilled that you could actually rent an Alfa back then as that was highly unusual. When you revved the engine at a standstill, after it came back down to idle it sounded like it was going to stall, but then the idle circuit would kick in and keep it running. It was a great ride, smooth, quiet inside and cruised at over 100 mph very easily often touching 130 (Great road no traffic). After seeing this beauty I really do want one.

    Like 2
  5. Michael Eisenmenger

    This one looks to be in fantastic shape. I have a GTV6 (same chassis/drivetrain) and have really grown to like the Milano too.

    Like 1
  6. Mike K

    These are great, highly underrated sports sedans. I’ve owned my Verde since 2014 and have been pleasantly surprised by reliability and build quality, two things you wouldn’t normally associate with an 80s Alfa Romeo. They are, in my opinion, a much more interesting alternative to the highly lauded E30 (which I race).

    Like 2
  7. Stan

    V6s can sound great too 💪👍

  8. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    eBay sez it sold today for $8900

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