This Perfect-In-Blue Alfa Romeo Montreal Is The Perfect Weekend Getaway
Photography courtesy of Auctionata
My 1967 Alfa Romeo GT Veloce will be Rosso Corsa, despite my gearhead friends attempting to convince me to respray the car in its original white finish. I stubbornly say, “It’s my first Italian car, it has to be red!” You could say I’m unoriginal, uninspired, or boring but I just love 105 coupes in red. Yet, that logic would go completely out the window if my rusty project were a certain vintage V8 Alfa, because if it was it’d be blue—just like this 1971 Alfa Romeo Montreal.
I’ve yet to make it to Canada but for whatever reason when I hear “Montreal” I see images of the city lying next to the Saint Lawrence River—the metropolis sandwiched between the blue sky, green mountain, and waterfront. Perhaps, subconsciously, that’s why I think the Alfa Romeo Montreal looks best in Le Mans Blue?
What I am certain of is this: these Bertone 2+2 look good in any color.
At the 1967 Expo 67 hosted in Montreal, Canada, Alfa Romeo unveiled its new concept coupe, displaying two at the event. Designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone, the sleek 2+2 front engine, rear drive prototypes were based off the 105 series Alfa chassis and powered by 1.6-liter four-cylinders derived from the Giulia Ti. The cars were displayed without an official name, so spectators began referring to the new Italian GT as The Montreal Car.
The production Montreal arrived three years later, debuting at the 1970 Geneva Auto Show. Although aesthetically similar to the prototipo, the production version turned out even better than the concept—something that rarely happens. Unlike the two ’67 showpieces, the road going Montreal was equipped with a 2.6-liter V8 and five-speed manual transmission carried over from the 33 Stradale. With 200 horsepower and a 7,000 rpm redline, the Montreal was good for a 15 second quarter mile time, and its GTV underpinnings made it quite the backroad dancer.
Alfa Romeo constructed the chassis in Arese, shipped the rolling assemblies to Bertone in Caselle, then finally to Grugliasco for upholstery and final production steps. This manufacturing process didn’t help keep costs down, making the Montreal even more expensive than the already established Jaguar E Type and Porsche 911. Likely due to the production complexities and high cost of entry, less than 4,000 Montreal were built.
Alfa refused to complete North American emissions testing, so Montreal were never officially sold in the United States or Canada—funny, considering where the car debuted and subsequently received its name. Perhaps it’s a blessing Alfa didn’t bring the Montreal to North America—it would have likely received those bulky safety bumpers. Over the years, a number of Montreal have been imported via the classic car exemption…or other less legal means.
This example was originally sold in Germany, where it currently resides, though now in Berlin awaiting auction. The engine and transmission are believed to be original but due to the manufacturing process, powertrain numbers don’t correspond with chassis digits—making it difficult to distinguish what’s original and what’s not. Either way, with nearly 94,000 kilometers (~58,000 miles) since new, we’re happy to see it’s lived a driven life.
Some of the brightwork and beige interior show minor signs of use, but overall, the condition looks far better than most drivers. Underhood, the engine compartment appears tidy and the rubber seals throughout look solid. Auctionata notes the common corrosion areas are void of rot and the original lighting equipment is in good shape.
Considering what 33 Stradale trades hands for, this Montreal seems like a bargain for the same Italian Opera. With exotic looks, foreign market exclusivity, and good colors, we say it’s about time someone took this Bertone GT on a road trip to Montreal.
– Sold new in Germany
– One of an estimated 3,917 produced
– Bertone design
~200 horsepower, 2-liter SPICA fuel-injected 90 degree dry-sump V8, five-speed ZF manual transmission, double wishbone coil spring and damper front suspension, live axle rear suspension with limited slip differential, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92.5 inches.
Chassis no.: AR1425131
Engine no.: 15426378