Gold Edition: 1988 Alfa Romeo Milano

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If I were more adventurous, I’d dip a toe into the well of Italian car ownership with an Alfa Romeo Milano, as seen here in rust-free condition with under 70,000 miles. The Milanos were a compelling alternative to the Mercedes-Benz 190 and BMW 3-Series of the same era, two cars I’ve owned and currently own. The Alfa was the individual’s choice, as you saw them far less frequently but they had the performance chops to go toe-to-toe with those industry stalwarts. Find the Alfa here on eBay with bidding at $3,500 and the reserve unmet.

The Milano, otherwise known as the 75 in other parts of the world, was noted for its perfect weight distribution thanks to a rear-mounted transmission. This was a pretty novel concept at the time, and the entire range would eventually have engines of increasing exotica offered as options to firmly establish its sport sedan credentials. This example, despite being a nicely preserved survivor, is the least sporting spec, with an automatic and the 2.5L V6 engine. The ZF ‘box is a three-speed, which will limit your attempts to mimic the 75 Turbo seen in the World Touring Car Championships.

Still, you got those great sport seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, and the classic upright Alfa controls (and the e-brake handle lifted from a 747). The interior on this car is quite minty and far better than any of the ones I’ve seen in a junkyard (I’ve spotted two in recent years). The seats in both cars were missing, which tells me they are as comfortable as they look and would make fine desk chairs or candidates for re-mounting in cars with less supportive buckets. The seller says the heated seats still work and the power windows function as intended, but the radio needs a code to be unlocked.

In the U.S., you could opt for a 3.0L – and if you’re really lucky, one of you might discover a Quadrifoglio Verde for sale on your local craigslist. The 3.0L makes some absolutely glorious sounds and is considered one of the more iconic V6 engines for its ability to impersonate an F1 car every time you put your foot down. Regardless of which option you choose, the potential pool for a nicely preserved Milano grows smaller every year, so finding one this nice – even with the automatic – may be one of the better options left.

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  1. t-bone Bob


    Like 2
  2. Maestro1

    They are wonderful cars but you need to be close to a dealer or a mechanic who knows these vehicles for repairs due to exotic sounds at speed or other malfunctions. I’ve owned several Alfas but I’m close to a mechanic who knows the cars so I’ve had minimal trouble. And I have been rewarded with some great rides.

    Like 3
  3. Fahrvergnugen FarhvergnugenMember

    always wanted a Mint Milano, but not a Milano for a mint…

    Like 3
  4. alphasudMember

    I was a Alfa tech and owned a couple of these back in the day. In 87 and 88 there were 4 trim levels. Silver,Gold, Platinum, and Verde. Only the Verde had the 3.0L engine. The platinum model had leather and ABS brakes. Gold had velour and silver had cloth. The Verde got ABS, Recaro seats, Brembo aluminum calipers on the front, and limited slip. With the auto the car looses it’s driving character. They also has load leveling shocks that were run by the ps pump and were leaky bastards.

    Like 6
    • MotoZo

      Hi alphasud,I saw your comment. I’ve owned seven ALFA ROMEO’s three of Milano’s put no Automatic Transmission yet. Can I simple replace the old load leveling shock units with Koni or Bose shocks? And close of the line coming from the power steering pump? Many thanks for your time.
      ALFA on,Cheers;)

      Like 0
  5. Kevin Harper

    I have a pedal cluster and transmission to switch this car back to its more normal Italian configuration

    Like 2
  6. Adam Wright

    Bet it needs a head gasket, they always need a head gasket!

    Like 0
  7. Marco

    Owned one. Great car.

    Like 1
  8. Jonny the Boy

    I met a lady once who was CRAZY for Alfa Romeos… and they had to be rear-wheel drive. Keep in mind, this was at a time long after Alfa had left the USA market, and there were only murmured rumors of a return sometime in the future. She drove a rusty red Milano, manual transmission, of course. She named it Fireball, as it had caught on fire twice.
    How crazy was she? She told me about the time she wrapped an Alfa Spider around a tree, and that Fireball cost her about $750 per month to maintain, and she married her mechanic… who she later divorced when he wanted a sex change (not that that was her fault). And she managed to pull off what was either the most dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible traffic maneuver, or the most skilled, well-timed and perfectly executed illegal automotive move I’ve ever seen. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on that one.
    She’s probably reading this right now. If so, hi B!🤪

    Like 2
  9. Martin Horrocks

    I don´t see why this is described as risky, but I´m in Europe and used to Alfas. First problem is usually rust, so if the shell is good, anything else (which is usually the electrics) can be sorted with patience. The 2.5 V6 is less dramatic than the 3.0, but still a delight. Another positive is that the interior is good on this car, also unusual and difficult/expensive to restore.

    Not sure why @Adam Wright thinks Alfa V6 are particularly prone to head gasket trouble, but presume there are reasons. In general, this has a reputation of being a very reliable motor if you look after it. Mechanically, Alfas are strong but need regular maintenance, preferably by someone who knows them as @Maestro1 says. It is unlikely that this would be a current FCA Alfa dealer for a 75/Milano.

    This car is automatic. Very few automatics were sold in EU, but the market in US favours autos, so no surprise….

    Like 1
  10. Will Owen

    On my second Milano, a Platinum that landed in the mailbox for our club newsletter’s Classifieds page. The guy wanted $2500, I had recently sold my old one and was missing it already, and I’m the guy that does the newsletter. End of story!

    The worst part about keeping these things operative is the flawed sub-systems. The “permanent” grease for the cables in the window regulators tends to turn semi-solid, and the rocker switches activating those quit working, and are NLA. That ABS malfunctioned one day when I was playing up in the hills, and burned up the rear brakes and almost the car as well. Repairs included installing the non-ABS MC fitted to the “lesser” cars.

    Problems aside, they’re a treat to drive, even with the 150 hp 2.5. They’re lightweight for their size, and so beautifully balanced, almost magical through the canyons. Although my wife has leased a newish Giulia, and it’s a real treat to drive as well, relative to the Milano it’s too remote, too complicated and too hard to see out of. It is a great car for our road trips, but I’ll never be tempted to just take it out for a spin up on Angeles Crest.

    Like 2
  11. Steve

    Best sounding and best looking V6 engine ever.

    Like 2
    • Will Owen

      Yes and no. The BEST-sounding Busso V6 had to be our 164S. Between the extra power and that hot cam it would hit the rev limiter almost instantly when I’d nail it in 1st gear, but just good double-clutch downshifts from 70 or so, 4th to 3rd to 2nd on an offramp would let’em know we were on our way. I hated to give that car up, but actually gave it to some guys who loved bodywork, and their buds who loved working on suspensions and stuff.

      Like 0
  12. Louis Q. Chen

    Thanks to my old Alfa 1300 GT Jr. that I became a mechanic! It was a good car with great handling…..unfortunately I was fixing/adjusting the beast more than driving it. Not only that, the car was a leaking Oil Well. I guess it was this reason why they were ran out of town for so long?

    Like 0
  13. RITON

    I had a 75 Turbo (165 bhp) with the Recaro and SZ type wheels. Special numbered edition (Eu market).
    Excellent car but very poor brakes.
    Very reliable car.

    WHO would choose a 3 speed (so sad) automatic to drive a V6 Alfa??? You can’t like driving to make such a choice.

    Like 0
  14. Brakeservo

    Styling is just plain weird – the rear quarters look like the car was rear ended hard and bent! Can’t comment on anything else, never owned an Alfa that new.

    Like 0
  15. PRA4SNW

    Sold for $5,300.

    Like 1

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