Alfa Romeo chose the 1967 Montreal Expo as the venue to unveil a new concept coupe, based on the Giulia Sprint GT chassis. The dramatic styling exercise was penned by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, and was not intended for production, although it was a runner thanks to its 1600cc Giulia Ti drivetrain. The concept’s design was marked by unique retractable louvers that partially covered the headlamps, and a set of bold black vertical slats on the C-pillars. The press and public loved the car, nicknaming it “Montreal”. It caused such a stir that Alfa Romeo made the decision to put the striking new GT car into production. It is often the case that when concept cars reach production, they are little more than watered down versions of their glamorous inspiration – but the Montreal was a surprising exception. Rather than the show car’s Giulia sourced four-cylinder, the production Montreal went four better with a 200 horsepower, 2.6 liter, dry-sump V8 derived from the exotic Tipo 33 sports racer. This jewel of a V8 featured SPICA fuel injection that allowed a screaming 7000rpm redline. A 5-speed manual ZF transmission fed power to Alfa’s proven live rear axle with a limited slip diff. The production Montreal gained a large NACA duct on the hood that, while non-functional, was a clever trick used to disguise the power-bulge needed to clear the V8. The equally stylish and comfortable interior made the Montreal a practical high-speed continental cruiser. The bodies were largely hand built by Bertone, and when it reached dealers, it cost significantly more than an E-Type or Porsche 911, but the exotic styling and fantastic little V8 engine helped drive moderate sales with 3,700 examples finding homes over a six year period.
This pleasing and honest Montreal is a very late production example, believed to be the 42nd from the last built. Officially, the Montreal was not sold in the American market, so this car, A.R.1428787, was privately imported to the USA in 1985 and includes the proper DOT and EPA import documentation. In the 30 years since arriving on our shores, it has had only two passionate owners who have clearly cherished it and enjoyed it thoroughly. It is presented in very nice, mostly unrestored condition with a comprehensive summary of the recent service and refurbishment. The red paint is very sound and presents with a nice gloss and few flaws, as well as very nice trim and brightwork. The body structure is solid with no known rust or structural flaws, thanks in large part to the previous owner’s preventative care and proper storage in a climate controlled garage.
The exotic exterior styling carries over into the cabin, where the driver is met with a fabulous deep dish steering wheel and stylish instrument panel. Original seats, door panels have been reupholstered in gray using correct style materials, and a lovely rosewood insert has been added to the center console. The seats and headrests were treated to new foam, door panels have new backing and the power window motors were rebuilt while the doors were apart. New carpet was fitted, including in the hatch area and rear seat boards were fabricated and carpeted. Some subtle but important mechanical upgrades have been made to enhance the driving experience. This car is one of the lucky few to receive the rare and highly desirable Harvey Bailey Engineering handling kit, developed with the help of an ex-Autodelta engineer to get the best out of the Montreal chassis. Aficionados of the Montreal hold the Harvey Bailey Engineering handling kit at the top of their list of Must-Haves. The original and unobtainable Bosch ignition units have been replaced with a Crane electronic system, and a set of alloy wheels were custom made by Compomotive of Italy, specifically for this car. Further extensive recent mechanical work includes:
- Delco 80 AMP alternator conversion
- re-cored radiator
- rebuilt and upgraded water pump
- fresh wheel bearings, heater control valve
- Re-sleeved brake cylinders by White Post Restorations, new hoses and fluid flush
- New cooling system hoses and coolant flush
- New fuel injection feed lines
- Rebuilt Distributor
- New Door weather strip
Plus other items, too extensive to list. It is clear that this car was cherished by its previous owners who were clearly passionate about the Alfa Montreal and took great care to ensure this example’s longevity. The attention lavished upon it in the past will translate into many happy miles for its new owner.