From its inception, the name Alfa Romeo has been synonymous with Italian engineering and design. Founded in 1910, the company has a rich history of producing some of the most iconic and beautiful cars ever made. From the early days of the Alfa Romeo Grand Prix cars, which dominated motorsports in the 1920s, to the elegant and powerful road 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 typical Alfa Romeo design ethos. First introduced as a concept car in 1967 at Expo 67, held in Montreal, Quebec, the response from the public was so positive that Alfa Romeo had to put the car into production. The Montreal was designed to appeal to a more youthful, sporty market, which they accomplished by bringing in Marcello Gandini to pen a fresh new design that featured a distinctive front grille, pop-up headlights, and a sleek, coupe-like body. The interior was equally impressive, with leather seats and a well-appointed dashboard.
Alfa Romeo once again stepped out of the box by equipping the car with a DOHC V8 engine, derived from the 2-liter V8 utilized in their 33 Stradale and Tipo 33 racing cars. The Montreal’s 2.6-liter V8 engine produced around 200 horsepower, which was quite impressive for its time. The engine was paired with a ZF five-speed manual transmission coupled with a limited-slip differential. Additionally, the Montreal featured Spica fuel injection, a relatively new feature at the time. These mechanical features, along with the car’s lightweight body, helped to make the Montreal not only a gorgeous vehicle but also quite the performer as well.
Today, the Alfa Romeo Montreal remains highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Its combination of performance, style, and Italian heritage means it ticks all the boxes for desirability. With only 3,925 units produced from 1971 through 1977, it is unlikely you will see another one driving down the road or even at other car events.
The example on offer here, Chassis # AR 1440210, is just 1 of 104 right-hand drive examples produced and was delivered new to Australia. It is a highly original, numbers-matching example that currently has 41,257 original miles on the odometer. This example was manufactured in October of 1974 and was then delivered to the far-off destination of Australia.
It appears that the car spent the first few years 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 car from Prestige Classic Autos of Melbourne. Shortly after purchasing the Montreal, the current consignor was transferred to Cologne, Germany, for work, and the Alfa followed him there. While in Germany, the Montreal was used to explore the winding backroads and beautiful mountainscapes the country has to offer and even garnered a ‘Peoples Choice’ and ‘Best in Show’ award at a Frankfurt car show. In 1992 the consignor was again transferred for work, this time to the USA, and once again, the Alfa followed along.
When they arrived in Michigan, they immediately joined the local chapter of the Alfa Romeo Owners Club and began showing and displaying their wonderful Montreal. Shortly after arriving stateside, #0201 was awarded ‘Best in Class’ at the “Italian Happenings” show, held in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, in 1993. Over the next thirty years, #0210 would go on to be shown many more times throughout the mid-west, becoming a staple invite at some of the most well-known shows, including the Meadowbrook Concours d’Elegance, Concours d’Italia, Eyes on Design, and the Concours of America at St. Johns, to name a few. Over this period, it garnered numerous ‘Best in Class’ and ‘Peoples Choice’ awards, as well as various other prizes and ribbons. Throughout the years, the car was always kept in immaculate condition, both cosmetically and mechanically, as can be seen by its presence at the 2022 Concours d’Elegance of Detroit, where the car again won ‘Best in Class’ amongst stiff competition in the ‘European Classics-Modern’ class.
Despite its numerous Concourse appearance, this Montreal is anything but a garage queen. Not only was it driven extensively throughout Germany and the rest of Europe during the owner’s time spent there, but it has also done numerous long-distance road rallies both here in the USA and also in Canada. 0210 has also successfully completed 3 Michigan Mille events, covering over 1,000 miles on each outing. Given its regular spirited use, it is quite clear that the mechanical nature of this car has been just as cared for as the cosmetics.
Over the years, the Montreal has mostly been serviced by the more than capable owner, given his automotive background, as well as Alfa Romeo Specialist, Trail Auto. Most recently, from 2017-2022, the Montreal received a mechanical restoration, including a complete photo-documented rebuild of the engine and transmission as well as most major mechanical components. During this time, the radiator, water pump, alternator, starter, brakes, and ECU were also rebuilt. In addition, in April of 2021, the transmission was completely rebuilt by Alfa Parts Exchange in California, and at this time, the clutch was replaced as well. This 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.
As it sits today, this 1974 Alfa Romeo Montreal is a fantastic example; it is arguably one of the best examples extant, with both the provenance and careful ownership that anyone would hope for when looking to invest in a beautiful piece of Italian workmanship. It quite literally checks all the boxes one would want to see in a collector-grade vehicle. It has been incredibly well cared for by its automotive designer owner, it is in exceptional condition both mechanically and cosmetically, and is being offered out of 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 box has contributed to the collectability of the car and will undoubtedly continue to drive strong desire and prices for these excellent Alfa Romeo automobiles.
Included with the sale of the vehicle are the factory tools, jack, and spare wheel, as well as a set of luggage.
Body And Paint
The Rosso 521 exterior paint appears in excellent condition throughout the car. It is consistent without any major blemishes or noticeable flaws. The body is straight, and the panels have appropriate gaps where they align. The one small imperfection is on the headlight covers where there is a slight chip in the left side cover.
Glass And Trim
The glass appears to be the original factory units all the way around with all rubber trim original and in a nice, supple condition, free of any cracking or obvious aging. The lenses, trim, mirrors, emblems, etc., are all in excellent condition with no issues to note. The front lip on the bottom of the bumper was recently repainted and is in very good condition.
The wheels are correct and original to the car. They present in really nice condition with no scuffs or scratches.
Seats And Surfaces
The interior is incredibly original, presents extremely nicely, and is very well preserved. The seats are in great shape with little to no wear on the bolsters. The only slight issue on the dashboard is some minor cracking around the middlemost air vent register.
Functionality And Accessories
Everything on the interior works as it should, including the power windows.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay presents very nicely with all the correct hoses and other fittings. No obvious issues to note.
The carpet-lined trunk is in good condition and houses the full-sized spare tire underneath.
The underside is very presentable and well-preserved. Overall it is in good condition and matches the mileage.
The 2.6L V8 fires to life immediately without any issues to note. The car revs freely and sounds as it should, with no unwanted noises, no smoke. The exhaust note is very muscle car in nature and gives off a pleasant rumble.
The ZF sourced 5-Speed manual transmission slots right into gear with clearly defined gates and a nice amount of resistance. The clutch pedal has a stiff, but easy to modulate action.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes bring the car to a controlled stop with no issues. The Koni shocks are taut but not overly so and are in good order.
The tires are Pirelli Cinturatos size 205/70/R14 dated to 2018 and have just completed a 1000 mile rally without issue, and are ready for more miles.
The Montreal is essentially Alfa Romeo’s version of the American Muscle Car. The V-8 engine and exhaust have a beautiful throaty sound to them, the kind one would expect to hear out of a Mustang or Camaro. The overall experience puts a smile on your face as it’s not what you would expect to experience behind the wheel of an Alfa. The Montreal pulls hard through the gears, shifts smoothly, and according to the manufacturer, was capable of 0-100km (62mph) in just 7.1 seconds. These numbers would make it faster than a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS (350ci), a 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A, and a 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle 396, as well as a 1974 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, all top performers from the American segment in the period. The handling is also a bit better than what you would expect from a vehicle from 1974, and overall it is more refined than many of its American counterparts.