Bob Cozza (Stephens Alfa Corp)
In 1972, right after our GTA lost the Trans-Am championship to Pete Brock's 510 Datsuns, I approached Alfa Romeo USA to be my partner in a Montreal race car. I owned a Montreal street car and knew the potential of this car. Aldo Bozzi, President of Alfa USA, agreed to put in $100,000 for the project. I flew to Italy and sat down with my good friend Carlo Chiti and Eng Salvatore Gabarini and designed the car. Autodelta was very busy at the time with the T33/3 and F1 cars but Carlo was anxious for the project and thought he could have a car ready within a year. I flew home by way of London and bought a ready-to-go Cosworth Escort from Cosworth so I would have something to race in 1972. We entered that car in ten races and won every race in class with Bert Everett and John Buffum driving. In July of that year I brought Jody Schecktor over from So. Africa to race the car at Watkins Glen.
In November of 1972 Carlo Chiti called me to say that I should come over as they were working on the Montreal. I went over right away and was disgusted at what I saw. The car was orange and it was suppose to be yellow. They did not understand IMSA rules and were building the car to FIA specifications. I told Chiti to stop and I would be back in January with my mechanic and we would stay and get the Montreal started in the correct manner. That mechanic was Oscar Feldman, an Italian Swiss from Bergamo who was one of my race mechanics on all three of my GTA's. The GTA that Gaston Andrey drove was mine.
So in January 1973 I went to Autodelta for one month with Oscar and we directed the building of the Montreal. I ended up staying for two months and Oscar one and then I brought to Italy Dennis Turpin ( a Cosworth mechanic) to sort out the car. It was still orange at that time. In April I went back to Autodelta with Bert Everett and we all took the car to Balocco for testing. It was a modified 2.5L engine and the car was very slow. I was upset as was Everett. At that time I got to know an Autodelta test driver and racer known as Teodoro Zeccoli. He was of tremendous help and loved by Chiti and so through him I could get most anything done. He suggested the placing of the 3.3L Tipo 33 engine in the car. It was done and we tested again in June and except for the brakes we were happy. Chiti promised to finish the car and bring it with him to the Watkins Glen 6 Hour Race. He did...we qualified (Zeccoli) about 12 in class and the car blew an oil seal after two hours. The car went back to Autodelta for the rest of 1973.
We had used up our budget and had spent an additional $100,000. I told Alfa to keep the car. Chiti said that all future work would be at no charge because now he was eager to see the project through. We changed so many things I cannot remember, brakes, suspension, gearing, aluminium and plastic panels and we were happy with the results when we tested in Balocco in November. The car came back to the USA in March of 74 and we raced the first time at Atlanta. Qualified 8th I believe and was running good until Bert took her through the tulips and the injection jammed. We raced many times after, always qualifying but never finishing. Then at Laguna Seca Patrick Head tested the car for me when I rented the track and told me that he didn't think the car would ever be any good because of the weight distribution to the front. In that race while running 8th after two hours the engine retired and that was the end of the Montreal.
I never raced her again and then Alfa informed me that they would not put any more money into the project because they were terminating the sale of Montreals.
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