1921 Alfa Romeo G1 (photo: Robin Adams)
1921 Alfa Romeo G1 (photo: Robin Adams)

Early Alfa Romeo Offered at Arizona Sale

A collection of eleven automobiles offered without reserve will be among the headline offerings at the 2018 RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction, scheduled for January 18-19 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Entitled “A Century of Sports Cars”, the automobiles from a private California collector ranges from one of the oldest known Alfa Romeos — a 1921 G1 — to a 2015 Ferrari California T.

The very first model produced when the former A.L.F.A. (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) joined forces with entrepreneur Nicola Romeo to become the legendary Alfa Romeo, was the G1. Intended to compete with its American and British luxury contemporaries, the G1 was Alfa Romeo’s first six-cylinder model and boasted the company’s largest engine capacity to date. However, due to high fuel costs and road taxes at the time, a mere 52, including two prototypes, were built.

The 1921 Alfa Romeo G1 offered at the 2018 RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction, chassis 6018, is one of the earliest known examples and was delivered new to Australia, with its original owner placing the car into storage early on in its life, where it would remain for more than two decades. Discovered on a farm in the late 1940s, the G1 was hidden away once again until 1965 when acquired by Ross Flewell-Smith.

Restored by Flewell-Smith in the 1970s and once again in the early 2000s by Neville Crichton, the G1 has been twice awarded at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, most recently in 2013. Entirely event-ready, the G1 is the oldest running and driving Alfa Romeo and has since participated successfully in numerous events, including the 2014 Mille Miglia, and the 75th Goodwood Members Meeting, as well as being displayed at Museo Enzo Ferrari in 2015. The only complete G1 in existence today, the offering of 6018 is an opportunity to acquire the earliest piece of Alfa Romeo history (Estimate available upon request).

Representing a more advanced period in Alfa Romeo design is a 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SS Speciale with one-off coachwork by Boano, chassis AR1900C 01846. The 1900C was Boano’s 1955 Torino Motor Show car and, following decades under the care of a handful of Italian owners, would reprise its role on the stand at the 2014 Retromobile in Paris and once again in 2015 as part of the invitation-only Preservation Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Originally fitted with numerous competition features, the Boano Speciale has recently been restored and returned to its original color combination, after which it was again presented at Pebble Beach in 2017, where it won its class (Est. $1,250,000 – $1,750,000).

The collection finds its focus mainly in Italian sports and GT cars of the last century, which of course include those produced by former Alfa Romeo racing driver, Enzo Ferrari. Stand outs include a Blue Sera over Beige example of the final iteration of the 250 GT chassis — a 1964 Ferrari 250 GT/L Berlinetta Lusso, chassis 5537 GT. The Lusso was the recipient of a cosmetic restoration in 2013, which earned it Best in Class at the 2014 Arizona Concours d’Elegance and remains ready for its next appearance (Est. $1,800,000 – $2,200,000). Also on offer is a 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series II by Pinin Farina, chassis 1939 GT. The 250 GT is the 39th of 200 second series Pinin Farina Cabriolets built and boasts a well-maintained restoration completed in 2000 (Est. $1,400,000 – $1,800,000).

“Our Arizona auction continues to establish RM Sotheby’s collector car market leadership from the first event of the year,” said Shelby Myers, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “With the highest overall sales, sell-through rate, and number of cars sold above low estimate during Arizona Car Week in 2017, we intend to continue our strong track record in the New Year, having secured exciting early entries within the A Century of Sports Cars Collection. We are the auction house of choice for important private collections, and with our recent success of the Ferrari Performance Collection in Monterey, we’re thrilled to be entrusted with another group that represents high points in Italian sports and GT design.”

Additional highlights from A Century of Sports Cars include:

  • 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider, chassis 915.515, which has earned multiple awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, The Quail, the San Marino Motor Classic, as well as Best of Show at Concorso Italiano (Est. $900,000 – $1,100,000);
  • 1969 Ferrari Dino 206 GT, one of 153 built and boasting lightweight alloy coachwork (Est. $625,000 – $825,000);
  • 1975 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB with known history from new (Est. $450,000 – $550,000);
  • 2002 Ferrari 575M Maranello equipped with the six-speed manual transmission and finished in Blue Tour de France over Cuolo (Est. $350,000 – $450,000);
  • 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT, one of five known U.S.-specification Chairs and Flares coupes (Est. $500,000 – $700,000);
  • 2015 Ferrari California T in Nuovo Blu Pozzi (Est. $160,000 – $200,000); and,
  • 2005 Ford GT complete with all four options and showing less than 2,000 miles (Est. $275,000 – $325,000).

The 2018 RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction will present approximately 160 automobiles from pre-war classics through modern supercars. For further information or to view a frequently updated list of entries for RM Sotheby’s upcoming Arizona sale, visit www.rmsothebys.com.

[Source: RM Sotheby’s]