Alfa Romeo Montreal
Hardly Gandini’s most famous effort, but a fine illustration of the master’s style during his heyday nonetheless.
The Alfa Romeo Montreal is as much a Gandini as it is an Alfa. Cut from the same cloth as his contemporary designs of the Espada and Miura Lamborghinis, the Montreal betrays the designer’s flair in numerous ways.
Above all, there is the flamboyant detailing. Unlike his great contemporary/adversary, Giugiaro, Gandini never shied away from a bit of decorum for the sheer sake of it. Hence the Montreal’s fully non-functional air vents, which lend the Alfa a rather striking set of graphics.
The standard fare Cromodora wheels complement the Montreal’s shape in that they are not as avant-garde as some contemporary Campagnolo designs, just as the Montreal isn’t as outré as, well, an Espada or Miura.
In terms of sheer Gandini flamboyance, the Montreal’s front would obviously be more appropriate a subject for this kind of illustration, but its rear actually bears one of the stylist’s less blatant trademarks: a slightly truncated, slightly too tall rear end. Just as on the Khamsin and Quattroporte IV Maseratis or the Lamborghini Urraco (albeit not the Miura - make of that what you will).
Finally, its slightly tiptoey stance is a dead giveaway that the Montreal’s underpinnings don’t live up to the bodystyle’s promise of superior performance. Even by 1960s standards, the almost SUV-like ground clearance indicates that this Alfa isn’t really a racing machine.
This lesser Gandini isn’t quite a masterpiece, but still an awful lot more inspiring than other, more accomplished designs.