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A glorious example of Alfa history

 

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A TRULY spectacular Alfa Romeo of early post-war vintage was offered for sale at auction last weekend – but failed to find a buyer.

It was a 1948 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500S Pininfarina Cabriolet, a six-cylinder model with an estimated sale price of between £225,000 and £275,000.

The car was listed in Silverstone Auctions’ two-day classics sale, held at the NEC Birmingham, but was one of a handful of vehicles not actually available for viewing.

The Alfa was being offered for sale ‘in absentia’, because the ship bringing it from overseas had been delayed en route. The ship is due to dock later this week.

Because of that, potential bidders were told that the winning bidder would need only to pay a 20% deposit, which would be fully refundable should the car fail to live up to its description. However, the car remained unsold.

The auctioneers’ particulars said the 6C is a sport model produced on 23rd March 1948 and sold on the 20th January 1949 in Turin, Italy.

It was restored ten years ago while in the custody of the previous owner who had cared for the car for 35 years, during which time it spent the majority of its life being proudly displayed in a museum.

The chassis number is 916139 and the engine number is 926455, making it a matching numbers car. The body, possibly the prettiest of those fitted to the 6C, is by Pininfarina.

Purchased from Chile by the current vendor, this wonderful 6C became a labour of love in procurement. In order to be able to export a car from Chile, the buyer must be a resident and Chilean taxpayer, while the car must be registered for a minimum of three months prior to export. Being an Australian citizen, the respected vendor and collector clearly understood the importance of this car by achieving a successful purchase.

This car was being offered for sale due to the vendor rationalising his substantial collection of over 300 cars to a very select 25 to 30. Wonderful presentation and clean history make it a tantalising slice of pure, classic Alfa Romeo history. Currently registered in Australia it is offered with UK Customs and Duties paid.

This Alfa Romeo 6C was featured in Sports Car Digest in December 2012. This is an extract written by Andrew Newton:

“Like so many of the great names in the automotive industry in Continental Europe, Alfa Romeo could not escape from the grim political and economic realities surrounding the Second World War.

“The company was technically controlled by the Mussolini government from 1932, and the factory fell victim to Allied bombing during the war.

“Alfa struggled in the immediate post-war years to find a proper niche for itself in terms of road car production. The bigger, grander, more elegant sports cars that they had built before the war would not see to the company’s long-term success, so the construction of smaller and cheaper but still high-quality sporting cars was pursued.

“This shift in Alfa Romeo’s focus worked, and they built some of the most memorable cars of the 1960s and 1970s. For a few short years in the late 1940s and 1950s, however, there was a bit of the old Alfa Romeo still about.

“In 1950 and 1951, Farina and Fangio used the wild Alfa Romeo 158 and 159 to dominate the first two years of Formula One racing, and larger coach- built sports cars were still rolling out of the updated factory. The car featured here, is just one of the big, sporting cabriolets from those formative years in Alfa Romeo’s history.

“The 6C moniker on Alfas goes all the way back to the 1920s, but this post-war 6C 2500, the last of the 6Cs, is a development of the similar pre-war 6C 2300 and 2500. Equipped with the Vittorio Jano-designed twin-cam, 2443cc straight-six topped with Weber carburettors, the 6C was available in various states of trim, including the “Sport”, “Super Sport”, and “Super Sport Corsa”.

Coach- built bodies were provided by Pininfarina, Touring, Ghia, and Bertone, among others. After 1951, the 6C was replaced by the 1900, a more appropriate Alfa for the company’s post-war role in the sports car world.”

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