Even before its current struggles, not every one of Alfa Romeo’s cars was an instant hit. In the case of the angular SZ, that was due to its looks. The Alfa Romeo Montreal, though, struggled despite its looks and engineering. As a result, it’s an Italian classic car that’s been largely overlooked for many years. But it’s definitely worth a look.
The Alfa Romeo Montreal: history and specs
If the Alfa Romeo Montreal looks a bit like the Lamborghini Miura, that’s not a coincidence, Automobile explains. The Miura’s designer, Marcello Gandini, also penned the Montreal while working at Italian design house Bertone.
But unlike the Miura, Autoweek reports, the Alfa Romeo Montreal was less a supercar and more of a luxury GT. So instead of being a 2-seater, the Montreal is a 2+2, like a Porsche 911. In fact, that was one of its biggest rivals, Hagerty reports, along with the Jaguar E-Type. And in terms of equipment, the Alfa Romeo Montreal was a match for them both.
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The Montreal is based on the contemporary GTV coupe and comes with front independent suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes. Under the hood is a 2.6-liter V8 derived from the Tipo 33 racer, featuring mechanical fuel injection and a 7000-RPM redline. It develops 200 hp and 173 lb-ft, sent to the rear wheels via a dogleg 5-speed manual. Other performance features include a limited-slip differential and a NACA duct, which improves airflow with less drag, Building Speed explains.
What’s the Alfa Romeo Montreal like to drive?
In its day, the Alfa Romeo Montreal was reasonably quick, going 0-60 in 7.6 seconds, Goodwood reports. However, a contemporary Porsche 911 could do it in 6.5 seconds, Car and Driver reports. Though the Montreal wasn’t too far behind the E-Type, which needed 7.1 seconds to do the same, Hemmings reports.
But the Alfa Romeo Montreal is a genuine GT, with a compliant ride and excellent interior materials. The gearbox is a delight to shift, though it does need to warm up a bit. And the V8 sounds incredible, especially as you let it rev. Plus, despite its age, buyers could spec it with power windows and a multi-speaker Blaupunkt audio system, RM Sotheby’s reports.
The steering, though, is rather heavy, because there’s no power- or hydraulic-assist. And many owners often fit upgraded dampers and anti-roll bars to sharpen the handling. But once you’re on the move, it’s a supremely charismatic GT.
Pricing and availability
Despite sharing its name with a Canadian city, the Alfa Romeo Montreal was never sold in North America, Autoweek reports. That name was chosen because it was first shown as a concept during a 1967 expo which took place there.
The Alfa Romeo Montreal was in production from 1970-1977. But, despite being slower than the Jaguar E-Type and Porsche 911, it was more expensive than both. As a result, only about 3900 were made.
Today, though, it’s a slightly different story. Although Montreal prices have risen recently, well-maintained examples are still relatively affordable. A 1972 example sold at a January 2020 RM Sotheby’s auction for $64,400. And while one well-restored 1971 example sold on Bring a Trailer for $105k, $50,000-$75,000 is the more-typically seen price.
That’s roughly the same price as a decent air-cooled Porsche 911, BaT reports. A first-gen Jaguar E-Type, though, can easily go for $100k on BaT. And a pristine Alfa Romeo Montreal is less than half the price of a similar-condition E-Type, Hagerty reports.
The Montreal is also the cheapest way to get a version of the Tipo 33 Stradale’s V8. Only 18 Tipo 33 models were made, and 5 were turned into concept cars, Motor1 reports. And the asking price for one is about $10 million, The Drive reports.
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