Montreal-engined AlfettasGT 3000 at Assan

Page created 7th July, 1998


Latest update:  9th April 2002 - A translation for the quote in Norwegian concerning the German Montreal-engined GTVs, general tidy-up of format and text, change of name to reflect inclusion of German cars.

The Alfa Romeo Montreal is often criticised for its handling in comparison with lesser Alfas, a function of its combination of a heavy and powerful engine with upgraded 105 series underpinnings and soft suspension. While this is to some extent missing the point (like the earlier 2000 and 2600 series the car was intended as a luxury grand tourer, after all, not a sports car) one of the great "What If's" of Alfa Romeo history is what that remarkable engine could have done in a chassis better able to handle the power.

A hint of what could have been is given by two of the rarest Alfettas, both built by AutoDelta in the mid-1970's: the GT3000/GTV V8 rally special (2 built) and a German market-only Alfetta GTV with the standard Montreal engine (20 built).

The GT3000/GTV V8

Two special lightweight Alfetta GTs were built by AutoDelta with uprated Montreal engines in 1975. Intended to take on the Lancia Stratos in rallying, these hairy beasts featured:

    • aluminium bodywork
    • plastic bonnet and doors
    • a massive bonnet bulge with a working NACA duct
    • spoiler on the rear hatch
    • massively enlarged mudguards, with cooling ducts in the rear pair for the rear brakes and an integrated spoiler at the front
    • the Montreal engine basically in power-boat racing form, taken out to 3 litres and fitted with the 180 degree crankshaft of the racing Tipo 33
    • various other Tipo 33 components.
Total weight was 950 kg, total power 320 HP DIN at 8,000 rpm (70 hp more than a Stratos!).

The cars competed in two seasons of Italian rallies and proved so promising that Alfa Romeo intended to produce 400 of them to homologate the car in Group 4 for international rallying. Unfortunately, by that time the production machinery for the Montreal engine had been dispersed and the expense of setting up the line again for 400 cars made the project uneconomic.

Apparently both cars survive today. According to the Montreal GTV section of the Montreal home page:  "One of these cars was located near Milan and fully restored by Bob van der Sluis in Holland. It has been described by Jos Hugense in the Dutch Alfa Romeo Club publication "Het Klaverblaadje", No. 73, 1996."  This car was driven by Ed McDonough at the Assen circuit in the Netherlands, and reported in the magazine Auto Italia No. 19 (March 1998) ("Assen Alfas", p. 68):

..."I was quickly informed that 'there aren't any brakes' and you have to 'keep the revs up'. Up meant no less than 6000 rpm but it was happier close to 10,000!

It is hard to comprehend what driving this rally car would have been like through two seasons of Italian events, like the mountainous Valli Piacentine Rally when Ballestrieri was in the car. Apparently he spent a record breaking amount of time in first and second gears. The car just wouldn't run below 6,000 rpm, and if you put your foot down hard to get the revs up it just went flat and died, so it was essential to gently ease the vast amounts of fuel into the engine, and when the cam woke up at 6,000 rpm, boot it, and then keep it there! All this on slicks, no brakes, and a slightly damp track. But when that racing Tipo 33 power got its grip, well I've never driven an Alfa like it, never!"

This car was advertised for sale in Auto Italia for 50,000 pounds! According to the ad the cars were nick-named "Bomba" (translates as "Bomb" in English!) by the factory, and the other car apparently was sold to a collector in Japan eight years ago. According to an email I received from Jos Hugense, the car advertised in Auto Italia (that owned by Bob van der Sluis) was eventually sold to a Mr Sauebier, also in the Netherlands. Sale price is unknown.

Question:

Just what were these cars called? Giuliani's book on the Montreal calls it the GT3000, Auto Italia the GTV V8. Given they were built in 1975 and the GTV did not come out until 1976 I would have expected them to be called GT's. However, the Assan car appears to have the early GTV cabin ventilator exhaust grill, with a stylised GTV logo, not the thin slats of the GT grill. Was this component (and the designation) changed in the second season, 1976, to match and publicise the new GTV?

To complicate things further Jos Hugense said in his email to me that they were officially named GT V8!  However, he points out that as Autodelta only built the two of them and they were not really an official factory model it's quite possible that Chiti never gave them a name. And most recently the German site I've linked to below calls the car the Alfetta GT V8!

Photographs:

There is a fantastic (but slow to download) page of large photos of these cars on the web-site http://www.autodelta.de/ADhome1/club/ar-gtv8.html (text in German only).
From Auto Italia March 1998, click for a full-sized image. 

Apologies for the quality - the
picture ran over the middle
of the magazine

Advertisement - yours for
50,000 pounds!

Photo of the GT3000 engine (from the Montreal home page)

Two photos buried deep in the Alfetta gallery on a Japanese Web site called Transaxle Alfa Romeo; I hope he doesn't mind me reproducing them here!



The German "Montreal GTV"

In addition to the two rally specials, Autodelta produced a limited run (20) of road-going Alfetta GTVs with standard (presumably factory spare) Montreal V8 engines for the German market as the Alfetta GTV 2.6i V8.  Some details are in the Montreal GTV section of the Montreal home page. http://www.autodelta.de/ADhome1/club/ar-gtv8stradale-gal/ar-gtv8nr1.html has photos of three of these rare cars and an image of a road test article. Text is in German.

German Alfetta GT club web site (La Gazetta dell'Alfetta) lists an Alfetta GT V8 among members' cars; is it one of these?

A Norwegian Web page on GTV's has some text referring to these cars:

"Det ble ogsaa laget en liten serie med V8-motor fra Alfa Romeo Montreal. Denne ble bare eksportert til Tyskland, og het Alfetta GTV 2.6i V8. Som navnet sier hadde motoren et slagvolum paa 2,6 liter, og ytet 200 hp. (Motoren hadde en oljekapasitet paa 11 kg, saa jeg antar at det tar tid aa bytte olje paa dem...)"

Thank you to the various Scandinavian readers who submitted translations and my apologies for not updating this page (much!) earlier. This text is based on one from Dag Kristoffersen in Norway:

"There were also made a few examples with V8-engines from the Alfa Romeo Montreal. This model was only exported to Germany, and was named Alfetta GTV 2.6i V8. As the name indicates the engine had a capacity on 2.6 litre, and a power output of 200bhp. (The engine had an oil capacity of 11Kg, so I would presume that i took some time to change the oil...)"

According to the home page of the French Alfetta GTV site "GTV Passion" site http://gtvpassion.free.fr/somm.htm, on its Historic page, http://gtvpassion.free.fr/rep dossiers/historic.htm under the heading "Production" lists 22 being built and refers to them (in yet another name for a V8 Alfetta!!!) as the Alfetta GTV 8. Top speed is listed as 230 km/hr.


Sources:


Any further information (and especially other photos) would be gratefully received on mstreet@pcug.org.au.


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