Lot 147 - 1972 Alfa Romeo Montreal by Bertone
|Odometer reading||88,437 km|
|Result||Sold - £31,920|
It is important to understand how the Alfa Romeo Montreal came about as its design and power plant are was something to behold. Montreal, Canada, the setting for the 1967 World's Fair; the International and Universal Exposition or 'Expo 67' as it was known. Alfa Romeo was asked to provide an exhibit that would be representative of the automotive industry. The result was a fabulous prototype designed by Marcello Gandini of the Bertone styling house and named Montreal in honour of the event. The 105 series chassis and components were used as a basis, designed with ease of future production in mind. When the first production model was revealed in 1970 the styling was virtually identical to the World's Fair prototype but the biggest surprise was the power plant under the bonnet. Alfa Romeo used a detuned Type 33 racing car's V8 engine of 2,593cc capacity which produced over 200bhp. Regrettably, the Type 33 six-speed transmission and transaxle were not used, however; a ZF gearbox five-speed gearbox and modified 105 series rear axle were incorporated to good effect.
This lefthand drive Montreal was spotted for sale in Renens, Lausanne, Switzerland on the drive of a private residence by a John Hartland, a classic car dealer. John immediately stopped and after a detailed negotiated, a deal was agree and he promptly drove her back to UK. She ran perfectly on the return journey and was first registered in the UK on 26th May, 1989.
The intention was always to sell the car on and it was advertised in Motorsport Magazine which is where the next owner, David Eaton, spotted her. David had recently bought an Espada which needed a partial restoration and engine rebuild, but he wanted a car to use while he rebuilt it. He had always liked the Montreal's excessive Italian styling and they also came with that fabulous race bred 2.6 litre, quad-cam, V8. David had watched the Alfa 33 spiders win at Brands Hatch in 1971 and was aware that the Montreal's engine was a detuned version of this.
So over to Surrey he went and after one walk around the car, decided to buy. That was the 30th June 1989 and he has owned this car ever since. It was used regularly between 1989 and 1996 until, that is, the Espada was back on the road. At the first MoT test in 1989, she had 77,111km recorded which rose to 86,051km on 12th October, 1998 and, as of April 28th, 2015, the mileage is now ony 88,437km which translates to just 2,400km added in the last 17 years. She was rolled out several times in the year to keep everything in running order and, of course, (apart from a couple of times) off to the annual MoT testing station.
One of the first things that did need attention back in 1989 was the fuel tank as it was showing signs of porosity and these were virtually impossible to locate, even in Italy. So a local company in Essex, Hayward and Scott, were commissioned to manufacture an aluminium one. With the complex Spicer mechanical injection system, no chances can be taken. Also at the time of purchase, she had a plastic rear screen. Again finding a rear screen for a Montreal in 1989 was very difficult but the long-time secretary of the Montreal registry, Chris Slade, managed to find one in Italy which he brought back. Over the years, all the brakes have been rebuilt, new clutch fitted, wheels refurbished and, recently, new tyres. Prior to the purchase and registration in the UK, nothing is known of the history apart from the name and address on the log book. The chassis is completely rust-free and has never had any welding since arriving in the UK and looks completely original underneath.
It has a full years MoT test certificate and benefits from all new lower ball joints and front brake hoses. She is reported to run well and represents an honest, solid and regularly used example, a proper driver's car.
Previous lotLot 146 - 2001 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.