Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Super Sport/Gran Sport compressore Spider Zagato

Car producer : 

Alfa Romeo

Model:

6C 1750 SS Super Sport/Gran Sport compressore Spider Zagato

Year:

1929-1932

Type:

Roadster



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 produced 85 hp and was capable of top speeds approaching 95 mph. 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 and is of the type offered here. 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.

Just three months after its introduction, a 1750 driven by Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi would win the 1929 Mille Miglia. Later that year, Marinoni and Benoist won the Belgian 24 Hour Race at Spa. Alfa would take the Targa Florio too, and one year later, the company won its second Mille Miglia in addition to a host of other events. The company went on to take the checkered flag in eight Mille Miglias during the 1930s, as well as the German Grand Prix in 1935 against the formidable Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union entries. In short, Alfa Romeo began the 1930s as it ended the 1920s – utterly dominating Italy’s sports car and competition scene. Total production was 2635.

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”.

During this very famous race, the three 1750s proved extremely fast, and only Birkin's blown 4 1/2-litre Bentley and Lord Howe's supercharged seven-litre Mercedes were able to lap faster. The race turned out to be very wet, and the main challenge to the Alfa team disappeared when Birkin's Bentley crashed at Ballystockart. While the lead changed several times during the race between the three team cars, the eventual winner, and the car on offer today, was Nuvolari, with an average speed of 70.88 mph, slightly faster than Campari's average of 70.82 mph, followed by Varzi at 70.3l mph. This lst, 2nd, and 3rd place win by the Stiles team was the final and most rewarding success under the sponsorship of Alfa Romeo (British Sales) Ltd., and it greatly enhanced their selling profile in the UK.

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.

Sold for: 3080000 USD
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