Briefly, from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, Alfa Romeo revived its interest in road racing, and the company’s most successful car of the time was the Tipo 33. Rather than using the small-displacement, four-cylinder engine that so much of the company’s post-war reputation was built upon, the Tipo 33 relied on a sophisticated 2.6-liter V-8.
In an effort to translate the small-displacement V-8 to a streetable product, in 1970 Alfa Romeo paired a version of the Tipo 33 power plant with the Giulia GTV platform, and clothed the whole package in a an striking Marcello Gandini 2+2 coupe design that first appeared as a concept car at Expo 67. Named the Montreal as a nod to the model’s debut locale, the sleek coupe featured a NACA duct centered in the hood, louvered half headlight covers, and a vented C-pillar. All of these cues later became hallmarks of 1970s design in one form or another, but they looked wholly futuristic on the Montreal.
The Montreal changed little during its 1970-77 production run. Overall, the car is quite capable. Top speed is just shy of 140 mph, acceleration is more than adequate, and the car is a true GT that is at its finest on long, high-speed stretches. Knowing a Montreal expert, however, is a prerequisite, as the car features a number of parts specific to the model. Fewer than 4,000 were made, none of which were imported to the U.S. market through official channels, which can make parts sourcing time-consuming and expensive.