This fantastic 1970s GT is heading to Anglia Car Auctions' King’s Lynn sale on 4 April
Maybe we’re soft, but we’ve always felt a bit sorry for the Alfa Romeo Montreal, whose reputation as an impossible brat of a classic was cemented long ago. That reputation is not entirely undeserved, but Alfa’s ’70s grand tourer has, on balance, been unfairly maligned.
Indeed, the Montreal, named after the city in which it first appeared as a concept back in 1967, has a devoted band of fans, all of whom will tell you until they’re blue in the face that the car is no bother at all.
The truth is simply that it is needier than some other classics, and responds well to the attentions of a dedicated owner – and pretty disastrously to any sort of neglect. Keep water out of the useless ‘air vents’ behind the doors to avoid creeping rust; keep the clever but fiddly Spica fuel injection system in good order to enjoy the silky-smooth 2.6- litre V8 at its best; and keep the number of a good specialist handy…
The market, of course, couldn’t give two hoots about the truth, and Montreal prices have rocketed recently on the strength of the car’s badge appeal, rarity and exotic looks alone. At last year’s Scottsdale auction, Gooding & Company sold a 1971 car for an astonishing $176,000, and although that number is unlikely to be bettered for a little while, it is reflective of a general trend.
This 1972 car, then, which has done fewer than 21,000 miles and has never been restored or welded, should easily achieve its estimate of £24,000-29,000 – particularly as it has been owned since 1989 by a dutiful Alfa collector. If a problem child is only ever the result of problem parents, then there should be nothing to worry about here.