Rare Rides: There's a 1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal in - Where Else - Quebec

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

In our last Rare Rides entry we had a look at the oddball little BMW Freeclimber, a Daihatsu Rugger as edited by Italian design firm Bertone. Small SUVs has never been Bertone’s forte, however. No, the most well-known Bertone designs fall into the sports coupe category.

And here’s a prime example — the Alfa Romeo Montreal.

Alfa Romeo fielded six standard passenger models and three race cars for the 1969 model year — a fairly broad product offering. And while Alfa had experience with sporty coupes and roadsters in years prior, it hadn’t offered a large, front-engined sports car to modern car buyers. Alfa’s previous offering in this segment was the 6C, which ended production all the way back in 1953. Time for a change.

To handle the design work, Alfa Romeo contracted Marcello Gandini, who was working for Bertone at the time. Gandini had a bit of experience with bold sports and supercar design, as he was the man behind Lamborghini’s first car, the Miura. After completing the Montreal, he’d go on to design the absolute supercar legend, the Lamborghini Countach. Other side mentions include Lamborghini’s Espada and the Diablo.

In a twist of fate, the first concept (then untitled) was shown at Expo 67, which was in — you guessed it — Montreal. Alfa Romeo did not display a name with the concept, but the public called it the Montreal. Not keen on giving up some free model recognition, the coupe went into production in 1970 and used the Montreal name.

The unique slatted headlamp covers were the most notable styling cue on the Montreal, and remain its best-remembered feature.

Underneath the curvaceous body lay a fuel injected 2.8-liter V8 engine from the mid-engine 33 Stradale, which the Montreal was effectively replacing in the Alfa Romeo lineup.

All Montreals had a five-speed ZF manual transmission and fuel injection. The small-displacement V8 produced 197 horsepower and hit its redline at 7,000 — a very high redline in that era. Modern double wishbone suspension and a limited slip differential helped sell the Montreal as a performance machine, backed up by a 0-62 figure of 7.1 seconds. Practicality was a factor as well, as this particular Alfa Romeo was a 2+2.

The Montreal would remain in production between 1970 and 1977. Afterward, Alfa Romeo took some time off from larger sports car models; there was no successor model until the SZ in 1989.

This silver beauty is suitably located in Montreal, which is somewhat northeast of Downtown Canada. With under 44,000 miles on the odometer and a body and interior in excellent condition, the seller’s asking $117,000 CAD.

[Images via seller]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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