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Coachwork by Bertone
For the 1967 World Expo in Montreal, Alfa Romeo was invited to submit a car intended to embody “man’s highest aspiration for automobiles.” Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, fresh from the success of the Lamborghini Miura, was entrusted with penning the car’s exterior, and he conceived a wide and low-slung innovative wedge design that was eventually built in two prototypes equipped with an inline four-cylinder engine.
Based on Alfa Romeo’s 105 series chassis, the appropriately named Montreal was poised for production from the beginning. Within three years, Alfa Romeo massaged the engine compartment dimensions to fit the powerful four-cam V-8 used to such great effect in the Tipo 33 prototype race car and the rare 33 Stradale. Equipped with this vaunted powerplant, the Montreal was capable of serious performance, with a top speed of 136 mph. Over a six-year period, just 3,925 examples of the exclusive coupe were produced for Europe only, with perhaps just 100 of these eventually coming to the US.
This wonderfully restored Montreal was sold new in Italy on January 10, 1973, and seven years later was imported to the US by a Los Angeles-based owner. The car is believed to have lived the balance of its life in dry climates when it was discovered in August 2003 by the consignor, a 23-year Pebble Beach judge who has owned three different Montreal examples.
Still sporting its time-worn original paint, the Montreal appeared free of body damage and corrosion and was in far better overall condition than advertised. Featuring factory air-conditioning – a rare option that was installed on perhaps just 25% of those produced – the Montreal was quickly acquired and a restoration was commenced in 2011 by the respected shop Silverstone Company, in business since 1978. This work included a ground-up body restoration, new upholstery, restored stainless brightwork, and a striking premium repaint in white. The restorer states that the engine received renewed valves, piston rings, bearings, and was resealed along with the transmission and differential. The brake system was rebuilt with new hard lines and hoses as was the fuel system, and suspension components were re-bushed and powder coated.
Following the sale of the Silverstone Company to an outside investor, the project was moved to Scott Grundfor’s esteemed facility in California, and final assembly of the car was completed in June 2013.
A stunning vision of the great Marcello Gandini, this sporty Montreal is believed to carry its original matching-numbers V-8 engine and transmission, and is accompanied by an owner’s manual and the EPA and DOT releases that exempted the car from American emissions and safety regulations. It is rare to find such a quality Montreal, given the limited number of these cars in the US; and this example beautifully attests to Bertone’s cutting-edge design and Alfa Romeo’s powerful race-bred V-8.