Showing posts with label Alfa Romeo Sports Cars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alfa Romeo Sports Cars. Show all posts

Alfa Romeo Montreal

Alfa Romeo Montreal 1970s Italian classic sports car

Montreal - in Quebec, Canada - hosted the '67 Expo show. It was there that the Alfa Romeo Montreal made its début. Designed by Marcello Gandini, there was never a doubt that the car would turn heads. Gandini's employer - coach-builders Bertone - built the body. For all that, the Montreal did not sell in shedloads. But it did give Alfa a much-needed publicity boost. Following its 1970 launch, the Montreal stayed in production for seven years. Ironically, Montreal's showrooms were a no-go - on account of the city's strict emissions regulations. Not the best of marketing messages!

Performance-wise, the new Alfa lived up to the hype. Its fuel-injected V8 engine gave 132mph. That was quick - particularly since the Montreal was no lightweight. Its motor was taken from the Tipo 33/2 race car ... suitably de-tuned for the road. That said, it still made 200bhp. And revved up to 6,500rpm. Torque was abundant throughout.

The Montreal's engine, then, was hard to fault. Sadly, the same could not be said of every component. The live axle rear suspension, for instance, was too softly sprung. To the point at which cornering could be compromised. At speed, steering, too, was an issue. Its gearing was set up for a more sedate pace. However, the ventilated disc brakes were fine. Overall - as Grand Tourers go - the Montreal passed muster. Which was important - as GT cars were a new market for Alfa. One thing no one complained about was the car's looks. Dubbed the Montreal, it may have been. But - in styling terms, at least - the new Alfa Romeo was as Italian as cars come!

Alfa Romeo Spider

Alfa Romeo Spider 1960s Italian classic sports car

Few marques can compete with Alfa Romeo for sheer romance. And few Alfas more so than the Spider. Pour exquisite styling into the cultural cool mix - and superlatives start to become redundant. The Spider's sculpted 'boat-tail' rear end, for instance, could only have originated in Turin. The great Italian city is home to the Pininfarina design house. That firm's legendary coachbuilding skills were key to the Spider's appeal.

The Spider was dubbed the 'Duetto'. That was in homage to the spec of its twin-cam engine. And, the Spider was graced with a snug two-seater cockpit, into the bargain.

When a 1600 Duetto hit Hollywood, the Spider's celebrity status was assured. It co-starred with Dustin Hoffman - in the '67 film, The Graduate. The Spider had made its automotive début a year before - at the Geneva Show. On its release, it went on to perform well in the showrooms, too. While pricy, the Spider's combination of refinement and practicality still made it good value for money. The Alfa Romeo Spider, then, weaved an attractive web. Many a driver was willing to dash headlong into its exotic allure!