Lot 283 - 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C Grand Sport (1750cc) in the style of Zagato
|Odometer reading||1,485 miles|
|Estimate||£280,000 - £320,000|
The Alfa Romeo 6C name was used on road, race and sports cars that were made between 1925 and 1954 and refers to a straight six cylinder engine. Bodies for these cars were made by coachbuilders such as James Young, Zagato, Touring, Castagna, and Pininfarina.
In the mid-1920s, Alfa's RL was considered too large and heavy so a new development began. The two litre formula that had led to Alfa Romeo winning the World Championship in 1925 changed to 1.5 litre for the 1926 season. In the early 1920s, Vittorio Jano had been tasked with creating a lightweight, high performance vehicle to replace the Giuseppe Merosi designed RL and RM models. It was introduced in April 1925 at the Salone dell' Automobile di Milano as the 6C 1500 and was based on the P2 racing car using a single overhead cam 1487cc, inline six-cylinder motor producing 44 horsepower. In 1928, it was presented as the 1500 Sport which was the first Alfa Romeo road car with double overhead camshafts.
The 6C1500 was introduced in 1925 at Milan and production started in 1927 with the P2 Grand Prix car as a starting point. Engine capacity was now 1487cc against the P2's 1987cc, while supercharging was dropped and first versions were bodied by Young and Touring. In 1928, a 6C Sport was released with a twin overhead camshafts engine. Its sport version won many races, including the 1928 Mille Miglia. Total production was 3000. Ten models of a supercharged Super Sport variant were also produced.
The more powerful 6C 1750 was introduced in 1929 in Rome. This commenced with the 3rd series models and continued with the 4th, 5th and 6th updated version until 1933. It was produced in six series between 1929 and 1933.
The base model had a single overhead cam; Super Sport and Gran Sport versions had double overhead cam engine. Again, a supercharger was available. Most of the cars were sold as rolling chassis and bodied by coachbuilders such as Zagato, Touring and James Young. In 1929, it won every major racing event it was entered FOR, including the Grands Prix of Belgium, Spain, Tunis and Monza, as well as the Mille Miglia with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi at the wheel. The Brooklands Double Twelve and the Ulster TT were also conquered and in 1930, it won the Mille Miglia again followed by the Spa 24 Hours.
As the garage door opens and those legendary lines begin to glint in the sunshine, you cannot help but smile and joy seems to well up from some imaginary source. This certainly looks and smells like the real thing and I suspect you are waiting for a big 'but'.
Well there isn't one.
What there is though, is an Alfa Romeo 6C Grand Sport with a creditable back-story as well as much attention lavished upon it over the years.
The previous owner, Adrian Mounsdon, acquired a kit of parts from a fellow VSCC and Alfa Romeo Section Member, Chris Warman in 1984. Mr. Warman had been passionate about these cars and amassed the parts over many years.
The engine is a complete 1930, 4th Series, 1750cc period unit with the gearbox that had been installed in the ex-Besley EHP car. This was subsequently taken out and mated to a new but correct 6C chassis. The engine itself had been over-bored but this has since been sleeved back to standard by Lambourne & Ridley and fitted with new 'Frenchay' pistons and rings. New valves, guides and crankshaft gears are also in place. A 2" S.U. carburettor replaces the normally fitted Memini unit, an s. fuel pump replaces the Autovac (still in situ) and coil all combine to provide a more manageable driving experience. The original Bosch twin 'contact breaker' points system has been replaced with a fully transistorised system and the fuel pumps are now continuous running with fuel filter and pressure adjustment. Both systems can be easily reverted back to their standard specification. Complete with a full pressure and crack test, this engine is barely run in.
The rear axle and torque tube were of 'Touring' specification and were subsequently modified to fit the 'Grand Sport' specification. A new bronze universal carden joint by Geoff Harris is now in place. A new 12/49 spiral CWP was fitted together with new half shafts, bearings and brake back plates seals. The front of the crankshaft had the correct dog clutch gear fitted to drive the correct A/R Roots supercharger which was new to correct pattern although the internal rotors are now aluminium rather than steel with works undertaken by Derek Chinn Engineering. The ribbed inlet manifolds are fresh and taken from original patterns and the radiator is original and flow tested. A Kenlow fan has been fitted but has not been necessary to date.
The original gearbox was left unchanged apart from a complete re-build and a set of new gears and bearings with the original clutch housing now with a single plate configuration of Jim Stokes manufacture replacing the original multi-plate assembly.
The car sports its original and correct bulkhead but did not arrive with a front axle with the last owner however; another was obtained through a fellow Alfa enthusiast, Gilbert Dickson, together with a number of other auxiliary parts.
The body-work is thought to be a mixture of original panels with additional sections re-modelled and re-profiled from original drawings. A number of people have worked on this including Rod Yeates and Peels (of Bugatti fame). Gilbert Dickson's 'bucks' were used for the rear wings. The body itself has also been the subject of a sympathetic re-paint where required.
The dashboard is new and to correct pattern with the bulkhead and fuel tanks original Alfa parts said to be from GTC101014863. The electrics are correct Bosch items and have been obtained over the years from several different sources.
Blockley tyres can be found on each corner and two rear-mounted spares are also supplied. The softop and tonneau are new but with the added touch of a period oval celluloid window, sourced and fitted. The frame is new but to original pattern and produced by Wessex Workshops with plans still in the history file. Seating has been uprated with Connelly leather with Wilton carpet to the floor to aid comfort.
With the parts from Chris Warman came some invoices suggesting that they may have come from Alfa Romeo registration NLD24. The Secretary of the VSCC's Alfa Romeo Section, Angela Cherrett, suggested that the number 8363025 from the front axle be allocated to the new chassis. No firm connection with the registration NLD 24 could be confirmed so an age-related number plate 'SV 4412' was then allocated by DVLA. The VSCC has noted this car and issued a (now defunct) 'Blue Form' in 1993. The new owner will need to prepare a VSCC 'Buff Form' application and this will need to submitted by the new owner for approval by the VSCC. It should be noted that the transistorised ignition system would need to be reverted back to a Bosch twin 'contact breaker' points system for VSCC approval. It must also be stressed that approval for a VSCC Buff Form cannot be guaranteed but our enquiries so far suggest that it might be recognised by the VSCC as suitable for use in VSCC competitions.
All dials are reported as functional, the Kai-gas has been disconnected but is still in situ and there is a 12 volt battery cut-out located under the passenger squab. An extensive history file accompanies this car including bills and correspondence going back to 1956 as well as owner's handbook, 'The 6C 1750 Alfa Romeo' by Luigi Fusi and Roy Slater, an MoT test certificate valid until September 2014 and much more.
This represents a real 6C built with either original or correct parts, sympathetically put together and providing the driver with that same visceral experience that has cost other owners north of half a million pounds to experience. There is much scope here for national and international rallying as well as club meetings and the obvious investment potential.
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