2020 marks the year Alfa Romeo will be celebrating its 110th anniversary. To celebrate this achievement, some of the most exceptional cars from its long and distinguished history will be given the spotlight at the 2020 Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance.
Before Enzo Ferrari ventured out into the world to make a name for himself, he was first gained his footing during the 1930s by running Alfa Romeo’s works racing team. It was in 1932 that Scuderia Ferrari entered a 8C Monza Zagato in a variety of races and hillclimbs with the legendary Italian racer Tazio Nuvolari behind the wheel. Nicknamed ‘The Flying Mantuan,’ Nuvolari competed in the Klausnrennen hillclimb using the 8C, and he drove it to victory in the Coppa Principe di Piemonte.
Later with Mario Tadini behind the wheel, the 8C finished second in the Targa Abruzzo at Pescara although it was later disqualified because modified Alfa became ineligible since the event was only for standard sports cars. This historic car, with chassis number 2111044, will be shown on display at the Blenheim Palace during the Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance.
Although Bentley dominated the tracks during the 1920s, the early 1930s saw the rise of Alfa Romeo after winning four consecutive times in the Le Mans 24 Hours. In all four of those wins, it was the 8C 2300 that drove them to victory in the French endurance classic. Although not the exact racing car, a Touring-bodied Tipo Le Mans example of the race car will also be on display at the event.
The 8C 2300, with chassis number 2311210, was built to the exact specification of the cars that competed at Le Mans and the Tourist Trophy races in Northern Ireland. It was later imported to the UK by Thmson & Taylor, the Brooklands-based Alfa Romeo agent, in 1937. Later owners include the Regent Oil Company.
A significant Alfa Romeo entry to the Concours will be the special 1942 Touring-bodied 6C 2500 SS Coupé. It was first sold to renowned racing driver, Count Felice Trossi, who requested a customization to have the large auxiliary front lights. The car has the distinct privilege to be the first car that was built by Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni after taking over the Touring concern. Trossi continued to drive the car for personal use until his death in 1949.
The third gem to be displayed will be the 6C 2500 S Cabriolet, and it is believed that there are only 3 bodies modelled after this style. Built in 1942, it is the only one of the three all-aluminum examples that was able to retain its original 2443cc six-cylinder engine.
Although Carrozzeria Garavini was not as popular as other coachbuilders at the time, Alfa Romeo still sent the Torinese firm five 6C 2500 on 11th November 1943. After the war, it was believed that chassis number 91329 was then brought to America by a US serviceman. Other previous owners of this car include Richard DeChambeau and John P. Hooffman. It eventually made its way to the current custodian and has returned to its original configuration.
Completing the impressive quartet of 6C 2500s that will be making its appearance at the Blenheim Palace is one of the only 63 6C 2500 SS models that were made with the Pininfarina two-seater cabriolet coachwork. This model was built in the late 1948 and carries the 110bhp version of the straight-six engine. It was first sold to Count Zehender, a former works driver for Alfa Romeo, Mercedes, and Maserati.
“Not only does Alfa Romeo have a proud sporting heritage, it has produced some of the most beautiful and charismatic cars of all time. The entry for this year’s Concours d’Elégance perfectly reflects that dual appeal of speed and style. Coachwork sculpted by likes of Zagato, Pininfarina and Touring will be shown off to its very best in the magnificent surroundings of Blenheim Palace, and will no doubt provide visitors with an unforgettable sight,” Salon Privé Chairman Andrew Bagley stated.
Salon Privé will also be showcasing a number of debuts from manufacturers in the UK, Europe, and around the globe. A fine dining experience at the Glass House will be hosted by the award-winning chef Phil Howard. A host of luxury brands offering a myriad of items for sale, from jewelry, perfume, aviation, and interior design; will also be on display.