Italian car designer Luca Serafini has created the “Montreal Vision GT” as a special tribute project to the Alfa Romeo Montreal.
It is also happens to be a very personal homage to the 1970s classic, as the model was at one time actually owned by Luca’s father.
“Back in 1986 my father bought a shiny orange Alfa Romeo Montreal. It was all original except for the addition of an ANSA Marmitte exhaust system,” Luca tells us. “I can even recall the night he first brought it home, with the sound of its V8 engine coming from inside our garage. Appearing as if from a cloud of smoke, the first things I remember seeing were its red tailights and chromed mufflers. As a young boy, it was this car that would spark my love for the world of automotive design.”
“Quite often I went downstairs to uncover the orange Alfa and I would see reflections, lines and shapes. I remember, too, smelling its leather interior and then sitting in the driver’s seat behind the steering wheel pretending to be a professional racing driver,” he further recounts.
Costing more than both the Jaguar E-Type and Porsche 911 in its time, the Montreal was manufactured as a 2+2 coupé sports car by Alfa from 1970 to 1977, having initially been previewed as a concept car that was designed by none other than Marcello Gandini while at Bertone.
Although unveiled at the World’s Fair in 1967, which was held in Montréal, Québec, to mark Canada’s centennial, the concept version was nevertheless displayed without a name, but the public soon took to calling it ‘The Montreal’ – a name that Alfa stuck with for the V8-powered road-going version that made its debut a few years later at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show.
Bucking the current trend in electric cars, Luca’s all-new Montreal is a petrol-powered machine that also makes visual references to many of the original car’s stylistic elements; most noticeably the ‘grille’ detailing above the headlamps, the NACA duct on the bonnet, and the slats behind the doors.
“It’s not about style choices or functional engineering. I tried to create, subjectively speaking, something that would take me back to my childhood – something on four wheels that makes you say wow!” comments Luca, who currently plies his trade as a concept designer and digital artist at Ares Design, the Modena-based luxury car customiser headed by ex-Lotus boss, Dany Bahar.
And what of Serafini Senior and, more specifically, his Montreal? Well, the car was sold – regrettably so according to Luca.
“He’s missing the car,” he says. “But he’s really proud of this project. It’s a kind of gift to him.”
A young Luca seated as a passenger alongside his father in their Montreal turning a corner, up a road, in the hills of Fiorano Modenese during a classic car event.