The 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance will host a special gathering of Alfa Romeo 8C automobiles–predicted to be the largest recorded gathering of these iconic sports cars–before they head off on a challenging 1,000-mile tour of the Rocky Mountains.
Of the original 230 Alfa Romeo 8Cs built between 1931 and 1939, a total of 110 remain in existence, and nearly 30 will be on view on the Concours show field at Pebble Beach Resorts on Sunday, August 18, 2013. These Alfas hail from some of the most highly regarded car collections and their owners are some of the most respected collectors in Europe, Asia and the Americas.
“If pressed to choose just one collector car, many car guys would opt for an Alfa Romeo 8C,” says Concours Chairman Sandra Button. “These cars offer both style and performance, and many have a stellar racing history. They are to be revered, but they also beg to be used and enjoyed. I can’t wait to see all of these Alfas on our show field–and out on the road!”
After the Pebble Beach Concours, the Alfas head to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to begin a special Alfa Romeo 8C Tour of the Rockies organized by enthusiast Tom Price of Belvedere, California. The tour will take them up to British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, through Glacier National Park and along Going-to-the-Sun Road before concluding in Whitefish Lake, Montana.
Price has hosted six previous Alfa Romeo 8C Tours of the Rockies, leading one approximately every two to three years since 1999, drawing increasing interest and excitement over time. But he says this will be his last.
“We choose a different route for each tour and it is always documented and then driven two times before the tour begins,” says Price, who is also a proud 8C owner. “This year, being our last tour, we have combined the most fabulous scenery with great accommodations, food and wine, plus 1,000 miles of exhilarating driving.”
Rare and valuable, the Alfa 8C has a reputation as the ultimate race car of its time. Created by Vittorio Jano, chief engineer at Alfa Romeo, the avant-garde design for the 8C featured an 8-cylinder, 2300 cc engine comprising two blocks of four cylinders with a single camshaft drive mounted between them. The four-speed manual gearbox and a Roots-type supercharger married agility with strength, and the resultant power-plants were bodied by coachbuilders, including Zagato, Touring, Figoni and Pinin Farina.
The first Alfa 8C debuted at the 1931 Mille Miglia and went on to take first place for three consecutive years. It also trounced the competition in a hat trick at the Targa Florio, and took first place at the 24 hours of Le Mans four years in a row. Checkered flag victories at these and other events, such as Monaco Grand Prix, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and the Spa 24 Hours, earned the Alfa 8C a reputation as one of the most significant race cars of the 1930s and all-time.
Despite its popularity, only 188 Alfa 8Cs were manufactured with the 2300 cc engine between 1931 and 1934 and another 42 cars with the more powerful 2900 cc engine between 1935 and 1939. Examples of the varied bodies and engine types on both the lungo (long) and corto (short) chassis will be displayed on Pebble Beach Golf Links during the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.