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Offered here is an Olympic torch from the 1976 Montreal Games relay, one of the more elusive Summer torches to find in the market. These were the first Games, Summer or Winter, to take place in Canada. Designed by George Huel and Michael Daillaire, the torch was innovative in several respects as it was developed in a laboratory to withstand heat up to 850° F. The choice of olive oil as a fuel to honor the Olympics' Greek roots allowed for an orange-colored flame, making it much more photogenic than the blue flame from the butane gas used in Munich four years earlier. However, olive oil was not strong enough for one torch to ignite another during the relay, so Nitropropane and Heptane were added to yield a more potent fuel that produced the desired effect.

 

The torch relay began in Olympia, Greece, taking the flame to Athens where it was transmitted via Satellite to Ottawa, Canada. From there, the runners transported it to Montreal for the opening ceremonies. 1,250 torches were made by Queensway Machine Products, a relatively low number compared with other Games. The red aluminum handle/shaft has a perforated burner in machined aluminum on top painted in black. The red shaft is stamped with the '76 Montreal Olympic logo in white. The torch measures 26.5 inches (66 cm) in length and weighs less than 2 lbs. With just a few minor marks on the clean shaft from handling and no signs of being lit at the top, this stunning NM-MT example appears to be unused, giving it even more appeal for certain Olympic collectors.

1976 Montreal Summer Olympic Games Torch
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