Since its inception, Alfa Romeo has been synonymous with exceptional Italian engineering and design. Founded in 1910, the company has a rich history of producing many of the most iconic and beautiful cars ever made. From the early days of their Grand Prix race cars, which dominated motorsports throughout the 1920s and 1930s, to their elegant and powerful grand touring cars of the 1950s and 1960s, Alfa Romeo has always been at the forefront of automotive innovation.
The Alfa Romeo Montreal was a genuine departure from the company’s typical design ethos of the time. Introduced as a concept at the Expo 67 world’s fair in Montreal, Quebec, the positive response from the public was such that Alfa Romeo kept the nickname and put the car into production by 1970. The Montreal was intended to appeal to a more youthful, sporty market, which was beautifully realized by Carrozzeria Bertone and their up-and-coming designer Marcello Gandini. His fresh design featured a distinctive front grille, unique retractable louvered headlight covers, and a sleek 2+2 coupe body. The interior was equally impressive, with an attractive wood-rimmed steering wheel and a well-appointed dashboard with a remarkably stylish instrument cluster.
Alfa Romeo once again stepped out of the box and equipped the Montreal with a DOHC engine derived from the 2-liter V8 powering their 33 Stradale and Tipo 33 racing cars. The dry-sump 2.6-liter V8 engine produced around 200 horsepower, which was quite impressive for its time and was paired with a ZF five-speed manual transmission coupled with a limited-slip differential. Additionally, the Montreal featured SPICA fuel injection, a relatively modern feature at the time. These advanced mechanical attributes, along with the stylish, lightweight body, help to make the Montreal not only gorgeous to look at but also quite the capable performer on the road.
Today, the Alfa Romeo Montreal remains highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The combination of performance, style, and Italian heritage ticks all the boxes for desirability. With only 3,925 total units produced from 1971 through 1977, it is unlikely you will see another Montreal driving down the road or at other car events.
The Montreal offered here, chassis number AR 1440210, is just one of only 104 right-hand drive examples produced. Manufactured in October 1974, the car was originally exported for the Australian market, where it completed final assembly. The Alfa Romeo appears to have spent the first part of its life in the Melbourne area until May 2, 1987, when the current owner and consignor, a former rally driver, automotive designer, and mechanical engineer, purchased the Montreal from Prestige Classic Autos in Melbourne. Shortly after acquiring the Montreal, the owner was transferred to Cologne, Germany, for work, and the car followed him and his family there. While in Germany, the Montreal was used to explore the scenic winding backroads and beautiful mountainscapes that the country has to offer, along with occasionally taking his two young children to school in the back seats! It even garnered a People’s Choice and Best in Show award at a Frankfurt car show. In 1992, the consignor was again transferred for work, this time to suburban Detroit, where, once again, the Montreal came with.
When the owner arrived in Michigan, he immediately joined the local chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club (AROC) and began showing his wonderful Montreal to great acclaim. Shortly after arriving stateside, the car was awarded Best in Class at the Italian Happening in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in 1993. Over the next three decades, the Montreal would be shown many more times throughout the Midwest, becoming a staple attendee at some of the most well-known events, including Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance, Concours d’Italia, Eyes on Design, and the Concours of America at St. Johns, to name a few. During this time, the Montreal garnered numerous Best in Class and People’s Choice awards as well as various other accolades. Throughout the years, the Alfa Romeo was always kept in immaculate condition, both cosmetically and mechanically, as attested by its most recent invitation to the inaugural 2022 Detroit Concours d’Elegance, where the Montreal was once again awarded Best in Class among the stiff competition in the European Classics-Modern class.
Regardless of its numerous Concours appearances and awards, this Montreal is anything but a garage queen. The Alfa Romeo was not only driven extensively throughout Germany and Europe during the owner’s time there, but it has also participated in numerous long-distance road rallies here in the USA and in Canada, including successfully completing three Michigan Mille driving tours where it flawlessly covered over 1,000 miles on each event. Given its regular spirited use, it is clear that the mechanical upkeep has been cared for as much as its cosmetic presentation and today the Montreal remains a highly original, numbers-matching example that currently shows 41,257 original miles on the odometer.
Over the years, the Montreal has mostly been serviced by its more than capable owner, given his extensive automotive background, as well as by Alfa Romeo specialist Trail Auto. Most recently, from 2017-2022, the Montreal received a mechanical restoration that included a complete photo-documented rebuild of the engine as well as most other major mechanical components. During this time, the radiator, water pump, alternator, starter, brakes, and ECU were also rebuilt. Furthermore, in April 2021, the transmission was completely rebuilt by Alfa Parts Exchange in California, and the clutch was replaced as well. This work is further documented in the 75 pages of receipts that accompany the sale and can be viewed in the “View Documents” tab at the top of the listing.
This 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal is a fantastic example and is arguably one of the finest and best-kept Montreals extant. It boasts exceptional provenance of caring ownership that anyone would hope for when looking to invest in such a beautiful piece of Italian workmanship. It has been incredibly well cared for by its automotive designer owner, is in exceptional condition both mechanically and cosmetically, and is being offered from long-term ownership of over 35 years. With its striking design and powerful V8 engine, the Montreal broke the mold for Alfa Romeo. This step outside of the proverbial box has contributed to the rising collectability of the Montreal and will undoubtedly continue to drive strong desire and prices for these excellent Alfa Romeos.
Included with the sale are the factory tools, jack, and spare wheel, as well as a set of period luggage.