Amelia Island | Lot 295
1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal by Bertone
$72,600 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
11 March 2017
- Race-bred Tipo 33-based V-8 engine
- Bertone coachwork designed by the legendary Marcelo Gandini
- A highly original example with less than 80,000 kilometers
230 bhp, 2,593 cc DOHC V-8 engine with Spica mechanical fuel injection, five-speed ZF manual transmission, front independent suspension, live rear axle with coil spring suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 92.5 in.
Alfa Romeo received a tremendous honor in late 1966 when it was selected to create a conceptual exhibit of man’s aspiration for the automobile at the 1967 International and Universal Exposition, held in Montreal. Alfa assigned coachwork duties to Bertone, and the project was spearheaded by Marcelo Gandini, the young designer who had leapt to the forefront of the automotive imagination with the Lamborghini Miura.
Two identical prototypes featuring inline-four engines were prepared for the exhibition, and Gandini did not disappoint. Channeling many of the same cues that made the Miura so innovative, the new Alfa was wide and low with a shark-like nose extending through a curved fender and shoulder haunches into a truncated tail. The headlight “blinds” and stacked horizontal vents on the C-pillar were attractive, as well as futuristic in concept.
Strong customer interest prompted Alfa to develop a production version, which continued to be based on the respected 105 Series chassis, as with the Expo show cars. A new direction was taken for the model’s engine, however. Discarding the 105’s standard twin-cam inline-four, Alfa’s engineers installed a modified version of the competition-pedigreed V-8 from the Tipo 33 prototype race car. Featuring aluminum alloy construction, dual overhead-cam actuation, and a dry-sump lubrication system, the advanced racing engine provided the new production model with nearly unprecedented power for an Alfa road car. Aided by its aerodynamic body, the Montreal was good for a top speed of nearly 140 mph. Approximately just 3,925 examples of the appropriately named Montreal were built between 1971 and 1975.
This Montreal was built in late 1972 but was first registered in France in 1974. After remaining in a large collection in France until 2000, the Alfa Romeo was imported stateside to California in the 2002 and subsequently acquired by Steven Bonney in 2005 with only 26,000 original kilometers (and still wearing its original tires). In 2007, Bonney sold the Montreal to Roy Dryer, who maintained the car for another six years, at which point it was acquired by a French gentleman in the Bay Area. In 2014 the Montreal was acquired by the former owner, a resident of Michigan. Prior to which, the water pump was rebuilt with upgraded internals as well as modified oiling to the pump from the fuel injection pump oil feed. The fuel injection pump was also completely rebuilt at the same time by Wes Ingram, the Alfa Romeo fuel injection guru. The previous owner continued to maintain the highly original Montreal for several years, putting less than 100 kilometers on the car in the process.
Perhaps due to the care and long-time stewardship of the first owner in France, this Montreal remains in highly original condition and is eminently drivable. The assorted minor cosmetic blemishes found in the paint suggest that the Metallic Gold paint is the very paint with which it left Bertone in 1972. The original interior is clean but shows signs of wear consummate with the age and mileage of this well-cared-for automobile. The undercarriage is believed to wear its original surface and is very clean. New Magnaflow mufflers have been installed and provide an exhaust note consistent with the Alfa’s race-bred heritage.
The Montreal is rapidly becoming one of the most famous Italian sports cars of its decade, and this is a superb example.