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Discussion: Alfa's Montreal remains a steal

  1. #1

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    Wink Alfa's Montreal remains a steal

    The Montreal arrived because Alfa was asked to build a show car to represent the auto industry at Canada’s Expo ’67, often called the Montreal World’s Fair.

    Alfa's Montreal remains a steal
    Classics | Rare auto hard to find, but worth the hunt
    August 27, 2007

    BY DAN JEDLICKA Sun-Times Auto Editor
    The 1971-75 Alfa Romeo Montreal coupe is among the most exotic, affordable sports cars, with a rakish show car body and a detuned Alfa V-8 race engine. It's valued at $18,900 if in good shape -- or the price of a mid-size Hyundai, for goodness sake.

    During a recent trip to Italy, I saw modern Alfas all over the place. The automaker plans a return to America in 2009, after leaving in 1995. It was Italy's most fabulous automaker in the 1920s and 1930s, developing the wildest race cars anyone had ever seen, besides sexy road cars.
    An Alfa sports car driven by Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 film "The Graduate" made the automaker famous here with the general public for years.

    Alfa arrived decades before Enzo Ferrari started his auto company in 1946, following World War II. In fact, Ferrari long was intensely involved with Alfa before the war.

    Old Ferraris are selling for ridiculously high prices, but many old Alfa sports cars are reasonably priced. That's because Alfa discontinued racing on a full-time basis in 1951, while Ferrari never stopped competing and thus has maintained a racier image. It also doesn't help that Alfa isn't selling cars here now.

    Alfa concentrated mainly on producing small coupes and sedans in the early 1950s. However, just to keep its hand in, Alfa built a few winning race cars and some sexy sports cars.

    The Montreal arrived because Alfa was asked to build a show car to represent the auto industry at Canada's Expo '67, often called the Montreal World's Fair. Alfa thus built such a car with the help of Bertone, a master Italian auto design firm and appropriately named it the Montreal.
    Bertone came up with the show car body in only six months. The Montreal was based on Alfa's proven Giulia sports car chassis, but the Bertone fastback coupe body was radical.

    Low and sleek, the Montreal had a bunch of air slots behind each door, which suggested a mid-engine design, although its engine was up front. An unusual design touch was four headlights partly tucked behind slatted grilles reaching up into the car's nose.

    Most guessed that the show car was an Alfa prototype that might be produced. However, a production version wasn't shown until 1970. It also was called the Montreal and looked virtually the same as the show car, except for slight changes made to the nose and tail.

    The production Montreal had a front-engine/rear-wheel-drive layout, although it kept the show car's air slots for cockpit ventilation and semi-hooded headlights to provide a more distinctive look.

    As with the show car, the front end looked a little overstyled, with three separate openings: a center one shaped like the traditional Alfa shield flanked by two openings that surrounded the quad headlights.

    The production Montreal's engine was quite different than the show car's engine. The latter had a 1.6 Alfa Giulia sports car engine with 112 horsepower. That was far from being a supercar engine. But nobody really cared what was under the hood of the concept Montreal because it was meant to be looked at, not driven.

    Alfa had made its postwar reputation mostly with four- and six-cylinder cars, but the more-powerful Alfa six-cylinder was too long to fit under the Montreal's hood. Fortunately, it had on hand a new 2.6-liter aluminum, four-camshaft, fuel-injected V-8 that produced 230 horsepower at 6,500 rpm.

    The virtually hand-built V-8 was nothing less than a detuned version of Alfa's T33 race engine. Although exotic, which produced sounds auto buffs loved, the V-8 made the production Montreal a genuine supercar with a 136 mph top speed, although it was docile on the street.

    The Montreal used a five-speed ZF transmission that could handle the engine's power and torque. It had a beefy feeling shifter with short throws and a positive feel.

    The Montreal cost about $7,300 and was Alfa's top model. It only weighed 2,830 pounds and was as fast as a Porsche 911 -- its main price competitor. Other rivals included the new, far less sporty and costlier Mercedes-Benz 350SL 230-horsepower two-seat roadster and Jaguar XK-E V-12 coupe with 250-horsepower.

    The Montreal would have cost a lot more if Alfa hadn't given it many parts from its standard models, especially the popular Giulia sports car. For instance, it had Alfa trim pieces and manual recirculating-ball steering that lightened up once you got moving. The Montreal had a "live" rear axle, instead of a more elaborate independent rear suspension, but it was well-developed and helped give the car good handling. Four-wheel disc brakes provided strong stopping power.

    The roomy interior had sculpted bucket seats, a handsome wood-rim steering wheel and a large speedometer and tachometer in twin pods above highly stylized ancillary gauges you'd expect in a show car. It also had tiny back seats that were fine for groceries or children -- and for insurance companies, which charged lower premiums for any auto with rear seats.

    Alfa gave the Montreal little advertising or promotion. It considered the car a sideline, although it still sold 3,925 Montreals. The number would have been higher, but the Montreal was never certified for U.S. sale. Most were individually imported outside Alfa's normal factory distribution channels and "federalized" to make them meet U.S. safety and emissions standards.

    That can make a Montreal a little hard to find, but it's certainly worth a search. In fact, I know where one is being totally restored by some lucky guy at a suburban auto restoration shop.

  2. #2

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    en voici une couples.

    c'est une belle voiture, très intéressant

    j'avais aucue idée que ça existait, en fait le seul produit avec le nom montreal que je connaisais c'est des souliers....

    dommage qu'il n'y ait pas plus de monde qui la connaise, et qu'elle n'ait pas été plus populaire...
    I order the club sandwich all the time, but I'm not even a member, man. I don't know how I get away with it.
    I was going to have my teeth whitened, but then I said "Fuck that, I'll just get a tan instead- Mitch Hedberg

  3. #3

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    Restant dans l'automobile
    VW a un modele de roues qui s'appelle Montreal

  4. #4

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    Par défaut Un tout nouveau livre sur la Montreal

    Now the spirit of the car has been captured in a comprehensive pictorial tribute book from Veloce Publishing. The new book is a visual testimonial to a powerful and beautiful coupé that was born as a futuristic concept and transformed into a ‘dream car come true’. This beautifully illustrated 208-page hardback volume is available now from bookshops or from In a portfolio of over 575 illustrations, it paints a unique and detailed graphic portrait of this elegant and powerful classic GT, revealing why it is immensely enjoyable to drive and turns heads wherever it appears.

    The author, Bruce Taylor, says:

    “Veloce Publishing have made a splendid job of this unique pictorial tribute to the exotic Alfa Romeo Montreal. This beautiful new book portrays every aspect of the car, and shows discerning enthusiasts that the Montreal is a hidden treasure that is well worth seeking.”

    "Follow Your Bliss" (Joseph Campbell)

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