Translator's Introduction

The Montreal stands unchallenged as the most exotic post-war Alfa Romeo to have been built in quantity. No book in English has been written solely about this remarkable, if controversial, vehicle and indeed the book I've translated, one of a series "The Cars that Made History" (Le Vetture che Hanno Fatto la Storia) appears to be the only substantial work in any language.

I started studying Italian in early 1997 and having seen Giuliani's book in my local Alfa dealer (Autotech) decided its translation would be an ideal (and motivational!) project.  Indeed it was!  And after a year's very part-time work, version 1.0 was ready!

It is absolutely not my intention to rip off the publishers and I believe I have maintained the spirit of the copyright, in particular as there are apparently no plans for an official English edition.  This translation is meant as a supplement to the original, not a replacement for it.  In particular the text and captions will only make limited sense without the book, in which the selection of illustrations is excellent (and, no, I won't be putting the illustrations on the Net), and I hope that it will lead to increased sales through making the author's outstanding work more accessible. The book is a work of primary research, indeed it would appear a labour of love, with many fascinating insights from interviews with participants in the project.

As my Italian is still evolving, there are parts of the text that I am not sure of or where my translation has had to be somewhat free and idiomatic. In such cases I have quoted from the Italian. Problems I encountered in getting used to Italian include a tendency to mix tenses (Italian having more than English to start with), the idiomatic nature of spoken Italian in particular (making translation of quotations somewhat difficult) and terms in Italian which have several English equivalents (for example, realizazione, which can be design, production, introduction etc etc). In particular two technical concepts, alimentazione and distribuzione, literally "feeding" and "distribution", don't seem to have exact English equivalents - Italian seems to use more organic metaphores than English. The former term includes both the induction system and the cylinder head. The latter refers to drive delivery through the engine (eg by chains). I have tried to translate these according to context. The term "in fatto" ("in fact") is used in the book much more than in English, and in many cases I've simply omitted it. The term "calandra" which in the first version I provisionally translated as "windscreen surround" in fact means the grill; thanks to Bruce Taylor of the Montreal Home Page for that!  I've spelled Auto Delta as Autodelta, which appears to be the more common English form of that company name.

While I have generally tried to provide readable English at the expense of strictly following the Italian, I hope I have maintained some of the Italian flavour. If some of the punctuation seems odd, that's how it was in the Italian.

Where I've had to interpolate words to make sense I've enclosed same in round brackets - but note that the original text of course also has phrases in brackets!

Lastly, remember this is the work of a rank amateur still with limited knowledge of Italian - this isn't a polished, professional translation but I hope it's good enough to get the message across and not drastically misleading. I've certainly learnt a lot about the Montreal (and indeed other aspects of Alfa history) from it. I would warmly welcome suggestions on improving the translation, presentation or other aspects of this document on mstreet@pcug.org.au.

Please note also that I don't own a Montreal (yet!), so I haven't been able to check parts of the engineering section in particular.

For further information on the Montreal, check out the positively encyclopedic Alfa Romeo Montreal Home Page, based in Switzerland.

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