The first production Montreal was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 1970 and attracted crowds of admirers — and no wonder. Alfa had come up with a very distinctive 2+2 coupe that seemed to tick all the boxes. For a start, it was a handsome, classically styled two-door sports coupe in the best Italian tradition, designed by Bertone. But the real appeal lay beneath the bonnet, where a fuel-injected 2.6 litre V8 lurked, capable of pumping out 200 bhp. With the help of a five-speed ZF gearbox and limited-slip differential this meant the Alfa Romeo Montreal was a mean performer, with rapid acceleration and an impressive top speed.
The chassis and suspension of the Montreal came from the Giulia GTV coupe and the engine was a bored-out version of the 2 litre, four-cam V8 from the 33 Stradale, the road-going version of Alfa Romeo’s Tipo 33 racing car. The Montreal’s front end had four headlights mounted beneath unusual grilles that retracted when the lights were switched on. The fake air duct on the bonnet is in fact a necessary extension created as a power bulge. The prominent horizontal slats to the rear of the doors did work, but only as cabin vents.
Sadly, for all the initial excitement the Montreal failed to capture the hearts and wallets of many buyers. It undoubtedly suffered from entering a junior supercar’ sector that was already looking crowded, not least by other sporty Alfas. Although it was not officially discontinued until 1977, Alfa had long ceased production and merely waited until the generous stick of unsold cars was finally shifted before announcing the Montreal’s demise, with around 4,000 sold in eight years. It was a sad end for a rather impressive car that has happily received belated recognition from modern classic car collectors a serious performance car.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
1970 (until 1977)
2,594 cc V8
Top speed of 138 mph (222 km/h); 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.5 secs
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
The concept car’s first appearance was at Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada the two prototypes had no name and were very different from the production model, but motoring press and public had christened this potentially exciting car ‘The Montreal’ and Alfa shrewdly went with the popular name.