1973 Alfa Romeo Montreal by Bertone
- One of approximately 100 examples in the United States
- Powerful Tipo 33-based V-8 engine
- Iconic design by Marcelo Gandini
- Superb restoration by a longtime Pebble Beach judge
- Rare factory-equipped air conditioning
- Offered with manuals and an original tool pouch
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 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 Stradale 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.
Just 3,925 examples of the appropriately named Montreal were built between 1971 and 1975. It is estimated that as many as 100 examples had made their way to American shores as recently as a few years ago. The landmark design on the resume of the great Marcelo Gandini features one of Alfa Romeo’s most legendary motors, and the Montreal has arguably grown to be Milan’s most iconic road car of the 1970s.
Chassis number AR 1426330 claims an outstanding restoration by highly regarded marque specialists, resulting in one of the best-prepared Montreals to become available in some time. Discovered by longtime Pebble Beach judge John Ling in late 2011, this car was treated to a full cosmetic restoration, with a sympathetic mechanical rebuild by the Silverstone Company in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The respected Scott Grundfor oversaw the car’s final assembly, completion, and detailing, so the Alfa presents in outstanding condition today.
In 2013, the Montreal was acquired by the consignor, a dedicated historic racer and concours veteran who had long searched for a high-quality example of the model (believing it to be wonderfully emblematic of its decade). The owner addressed a few minor issues, such as resurfacing the brake discs, adding proper side-view mirrors, and upgrading the air conditioning to R134a specifications.
Experiencing very little use since its restoration, the Montreal is now ideally suited for driving pleasure, while still remaining show-worthy in presentation, and it looks particularly elegant in the color scheme of white over a grey interior. This unique coupe is also notable for its rare factory air conditioning, and it will be welcomed at vintage tours and Alfa Romeo gatherings as the perfect “usable classic” or as an addition to any collection of Golden Era GT cars.