What do the BMW 2002 Turbo, Jaguar XJ220, Renault Megane R26.R and Alfa Romeo Montreal have in common? They are all excellent cars - in one way or another - which were unfortunately launched at terrible times. 'Terrible times' in these instances meaning industry downturns, global recessions and oil crises, or in the case of today's Spotted, all of the above.
Having originally debuted as an unnamed concept at Montreal's Expo '67, the 2+2 coupe garnered plenty of admirers, and by the time it made its production bow at the 1970 Geneva show had come to be known by the Canadian city's moniker. Plenty had changed in the interceding years, though. The concept's Giulia-borrowed 1.6 had been replaced with a 2.6-litre cross-plane V8, derived from that found in the 33 Stradale and Tipo 33 racers. Dry-sumped and with temperamental SPICA fuel injection, the Montreal put its 200hp and 173lb ft to the road a five-speed manual transmission with limited-slip diff.
Those numbers were enough to see the Montreal from 0-62mph in as little as 7.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 139mph. Sharing a chassis with the Giulia GTV and featuring double wishbone suspension with coil springs and dampers, it had all the ingredients to be a truly wonderful steer, though on paper the Montreal was probably a better driving car than reality dictated.
But you didn't buy a 70s supercar on performance alone, did you? The Montreal was as stunningly pretty in the metal as it appeared on the printed page; the low-slung, swooping shape of it all gloriously detailed with those slatted headlight covers - which retract when the lamps are lit - the single NACA duct on the bonnet and the vented C-pillar toward the rear. The Montreal was, is, and ever will be, a thing of immense beauty.
But that beauty came at a price, and a dearer one than many of the Montreal's rivals. This placed it in an even more precarious position when an oil crisis struck in 1973, tipping many Western economies into recession. Unlike many of its other poorly-timed partners, however, the Montreal soldiered on, remaining on sale throughout most of the '70s until Alfa eventually called it quits in 1977. By then just 3,925 examples had been produced, although only a tiny fraction of that number survive today.
And this is one of them. Not just a beautiful example, but a well-used one too. The surest way to condemn a classic Alfa is to leave it sitting, and thankfully the 59,000 miles (94,000km) showing on this one's odometer indicate quite the opposite. In original condition with immaculate bodywork that - according to the ad - shows no signs of rust, it's also said to be "perfectly maintained and therefore also exceptionally well working and driving". Excellent. And better still, at just over £70,000, you may not need to trigger a financial crisis of your own to make it yours.
SPECIFICATION - ALFA ROMEO MONTREAL
Engine: 2,593cc, V8
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 200@6,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 173@4,750rpm
First registered: 1973
Recorded mileage: 59,000
Price new: £5,549
Yours for: £70,000