Montreal: the perfect mix of elegance and sportiness

September 29, 2023


Impossible not to know it, impossible not to love it, impossible not to want one in your garage at home.
We are talking about the Montreal, the car produced in the 1970s that made all Italians dream with its grit.

What most distinguishes it is its unique and distinctive design, curated by Marcello Gandini of the Bertone design studio: a 2+2 coupe body with lines that are elegant but aggressive at the same time.
Not to mention its engine: a 2.6-liter V8. Its power output of about 200 horsepower allows the car to reach a top speed of over 220 km/h.

Despite its attractive design and sporty performance, the Montreal was unfortunately not a great commercial success. About 3,900 examples were produced.

One of these is preserved right in our Museum!

Ettore Grechi and Mario Fontana

Beautiful, bright red and with character, during the tours you can see it on the left wing, among the coupes.

Certainly, like any other car, it needs a tune-up now and then. So here comes to our rescue Ettore Grechi, our Museum's mechanic.

Mario Fontana, editor of "Profumo di Alfa" as well as a historical friend of the Museum, interviewed him. Here is a brief excerpt of the story; you can find the entire interview in the article devoted to the Montreal (in issue number 10 of the magazine).

Always torn between two great passions, mathematics and mechanics, Ettore decided to pursue both: student by night and mechanic in the family workshop by day. But once he finished his studies, his love for cars prevailed. So a few years ago, he chose to devote himself completely to engines.

The meeting with Elizabeth happened by pure chance after a classic car event: "Would you like to work with us at the Museum and take care of our cars?" Without much thought she replied, "Yes, certainly."

Needless to say, the first car he gets his hands on is indeed the Montreal.

Hector while repairing the Museum's cars

But let's go back for a moment, how did a Montreal end up among the Museum's spaces?
Mario Fontana asked our beloved Pietro Cozzi directly. We bring you his words:

"I wasnever able to pick up a Montreal as a trade-in, so in the early 1990s I decided to include her in the collection of classic cars, a special car that could not be missed. The careful search began in finding an intact car, original in every detail, tinted red or goose beak orange. After long investigation I find in Turin, at a car repair shop, the car I was looking for. Built in 1971, red, beautiful in every detail. So, put it there!"

Since then the Montreal has had a special place within the walls of the Museum and our hearts.

The front page of the article on Scent of Alpha.

Finally speaking of Montreal, Ivan Scelsa, a writer, journalist and close friend of the Museum, has written a book, more precisely a monograph, dedicated to the iconic car. Here is how he presents it to us:

"It's time to say: finally!

Beyond an edition dedicated to the model by Giorgio Nada Editore in the mid-1990s, a text dedicated to the Montreal was missing from the book market. There was a need for it, or at least, so many owners of the Milanese eight-cylinder were waiting for it.

The occasion arose from the 36th Montreal International Meeting that, just a few days ago, took place in Lombardy, between Milan, Arese and Franciacorta. Gifted to crews from all over the world (even from the United States!), the numbered monograph was created by journalist and writer Ivan Scelsa, already the author of numerous texts dedicated to Alfa Romeo.

Cover ennobled in 'soft touch' orange (the same Montreal shade) and laser-cut to echo the surfaces of the right side window. 158 pages, with text and captions in Italian and English. Limited and numbered print run of only 250 pieces, with over a hundred color and black-and-white photographs, many of them previously unpublished and from important archives. For a small fee it will be distributed exclusively by Libreria dell'Automobile.

It is the story of the model, of course... but also that of Italy, the Canadian Expo of '67 and what was happening in the world in those years: a journey through time through the colors and sensations of those years contextualized with a complex global climate. A book that will make you discover new aspects of the productive life-not only of Alfa-put to the test by an unprecedented international economic conjuncture.

So off you go: hesitate no further, look for your copy, one of the last and few available. You will not regret it. Word of Alfisti."

Ivan Scelsa's monograph