Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Super Sport/Gran Sport compressore Roadster Sport

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Alfa Romeo


6C 1750 SS Super Sport/Gran Sport compressore Roadster Sport





Alfa Romeo introduced its Jano-designed, 1752-cc six-cylinder cars in 1929 in Rome. Adept on both road and racing circuits, their dual overhead-cam power plant proved reliable and powerful, developing remarkable output from their relatively small displacement. Further benefiting from excellent handling, the car, in top factory racing engine trim, could comfortably exceed 100 mph.

The car featured a top speed of 95mph, a chassis designed to flex and undulate over wavy surfaces, as well as sensitive geared-up steering. It was produced in six series between 1929 and 1933.

Three 6C 1750 models were available, starting from the single overhead-cam Turismo with a 122-inch wheelbase and a maximum speed of about 70 mph.

Next, the twin overhead-cam Gran Turismo offered a choice of 108- or 114-inch wheelbases and a top speed of about 80 mph.

The pinnacle was the Gran Sport or Super Sport, which was capable of top speeds approaching 95 mph. In 1930, the Super Sport name was updated to Gran Sport, and these cars featured an ingenious sloping radiator that not only gave the car a more rakish appearance but also functionally increased the surface area of the radiator for improved cooling. The 6C 1750 Gran Sport Standard was equipped with the Roots supercharger, which developed an unprecedented 85 horsepower, and approximately 106 examples were produced before the introduction of the sixth and final series of cars in 1933.   Regardless of the version, the 6C remains today one of the most compelling and desirable of all Alfas produced. All told, Alfa Romeo built a total of 2,579 1750s through 1933. Of those, very few were supercharged “GS” examples. Again, a supercharger was available. Most of the cars were sold as rolling chassis and bodied by coachbuilders such as Zagato, Castagna and Touring. Additionally, there were 3 examples built with James Young bodywork.

There was a fourth ultimate specification version, the so-called ‘Testa Fissa’, which was produced mainly for racing. The Testa Fissa was created with the manufacture of the cylinder head and block cast in one piece to avoid the head-sealing problems created by the high pressures, special fuels, and overall high stress placed on racing Alfas; this engineering development resulted in a higher output.

British Alfa Romeo concessionaire Fred Stiles had a strained relationship with the manufacturer, due in no small part to the intervention of a group of wealthy privateers, including Malcolm Campbell, Edgar Fronteras, and Lord Howe, who did not appreciate Stiles’ vying for the factory-backing that they so desired.

Despite this, Stiles did manage to score a coup by acquiring three specially strengthened chassis to Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd. The chassis arrived without the touring equipment and with the powerful race specification 102 brake-horsepower works-produced Testa Fissa engines.

The factory could not provide the bodywork because the Gran Sport was only made in two-seater form and four-seater bodies with full touring equipment, which were required under the race regulations. According to a respected Alfa Romeo historian and the author of an important reference on the 6C, Angela Cherrett, “The three new 1750 GS chassis were eventually released by the factory (at least two of them having, according to Mr Stiles’ records, the longer 2920-millimetre wheelbase) and were fitted with the regulation four-seater bodywork—one (on the longer wheelbase chassis) in duralumin by Hoyal and the other two by James Young”.

Following the race, the eight bearing Testa Fissa engine was retained by the factory and a standard detachable head five bearing engine replaced it with matching numbers to the chassis. In order to sell the car, a very attractive two-seater James Young drophead coupé body was fitted, which reused original front end parts of the original racing body.

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