Alfa Romeo built some of world’s best looking cars in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, proper sports cars, which drove well and were somewhat affordable to the average hard-working punter.
I myself was the proud owner of a 1975 2.0-litre Spider and to this day remain in mourning over its sale in the interest of furnishing a unit.
My dream car though, as a seven year-old motoring enthusiast, was the beautifully styled Alfa Romeo Montreal.
First introduced as a concept in 1967 at the Montreal Expo, this glamour car from Alfa Romeo was in fact designed by Marcello Gandini at the Bertone styling house, in Turin.
The production version of the Montreal had a major engine upgrade from the 1600 cc unit from the Alfa Romeo Guilia Ti to the race-bred 2593 cc all alloy, quad cam V8 with SPICA (Societa Pompe Iniezione Cassani & Affini) and mechanical fuel injection with a dry-sump.
Race-bred all right, as it was derived from both the equally gorgeous 33 Stradale and the Tipo 33 sports prototype racecar and developed 147kW (197 hp) and 235 Nm of torque.
It wasn’t quite as quick as the Ferrari’s or Lamborghini’s of the day, but 0-100km/h in 7.4 seconds in 1970, was plenty quick.
Moreover the small capacity V8 would rev to an astonishing 9000 rpm, while redline was 7,500. Top speed was also impressive at 224km/h.
The chassis and running gear on the other hand, was borrowed from the Giulia Sprint GT, with double wishbone suspension with coil springs and dampers up front and a live axle with a limited-slip diff at the rear.
There were very few cars of that era, which were as exotic as the Montreal. The front three-quarter view is stunning, but then again, it doesn’t matter where you stand, there just aren’t any bad viewing angles to this Alfa.
You’ll notice the squared-off tail and front apron, both aerodynamic aids as a result of wind tunnel testing by Bertone.
There is no question that Lamborghini’s Miura influenced the design of the Montreal. The vents give the appearance that it’s a mid-engine car, when in fact it’s a front engine layout.
Inside was just as exquisite, with ultra modern instrument dials and uncluttered switchgear, while three- spoked wooden steering wheel and stubby 5-speed shifter, looked superb.
You could even convince your partner, as the Montreal was a 2+2 sports car, so it didn’t matter whether you had young kids in tow or not.
Although only 3917 Montreal’s were produced from 1970-1977, there are plenty of examples still around, and in reasonable shape. That’s probably due to the fact that during the build process the car was partially zinc coated before the engine and mechanicals were fitted.
Less than 100 were imported into Australia and prices leapt as high as $15,570.
In celebration of the Alfa Romeo Montreal, CarAdvice has one copy of the 208 page hardcover bible on the Montreal, entitled The Dream Car, Alfa Romeo Montreal - The Dream Car that came true, by Bruce Taylor. Published by Veloce Publishing and thanks to Capricorn Link Australia.
We would like a review by any of our readers with access to an Alfa Romeo Montreal, pics included please. We will select what we believe is the best review on the car.