1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal Coupe

1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal Coupe
Courtesy of Bonhams

Inspired by Bertone’s Alfa-based styling exercise penned by Marcello Gandini exhibited at the 1967 Montreal Expo, the two-seater Montreal coupe debuted at the Geneva Salon in 1970. Unlike the Expo prototype that used Alfa’s 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, the production Montreal used a “civilized” version of the T33 sports prototype’s four-cam V8. Designed with the classic endurance races in mind, this unit had started life in 2.0-liter form back in 1967 and would demonstrate considerable scope for enlargement. An opportunity to supply engines for the Australia/New Zealand Tasman Series prompted the first stretch to 2.5 liters, which was followed by further enlargement to 3.0 liters, in which form the Alfa engine was used in Formula One by McLaren. Campaigned by the factory-backed Autodelta team, the 2.0-liter T33s were frequent class winners in international sports car races.

Alfa’s V8 first appeared in a road car in the T33 Stradale of 1967. The limited-edition Stradale had used the V8 in its original 2.0-liter form, but the Montreal’s version displaced 2,593 cc. Producing 200 hp at 6,500 rpm courtesy of electronic ignition and SPICA mechanical fuel injection, the Montreal’s front-mounted, dry-sump engine drove the rear wheels via a ZF 5-speed gearbox. Sourced from the contemporary Giulia 1750 GTV, the running gear comprised independent front suspension and a live rear axle plus disc brakes all around. Aided by its slippery fastback body, the Montreal was good for a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph) and in spite of the hefty price tag, proved very popular.

This beautiful Montreal was first registered to its original owner in the Italian province of Ascoli Piceno on June 15, 1973, and remained in that province until 2013. Presented in its original livery of red with black velvet cloth interior, the car currently displays a total of just under 22,000 kilometers on the odometer, and judging from its condition, this is very likely to be the true distance covered from new. The paint is believed to be original, while the interior still has the original clear plastic protection to the outer sides of the driver’s and passenger’s footwells. The Montreal was purchased by the current vendor in 2013 for his large private collection in the U.K., and since acquisition has been looked after by his in-house mechanic.