The Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance is planning an impressive selection of Alfa Romeos for their 2009 event. Celebrating the 100th birthday of the founding of the famed Italian brand will be numerous ultra-rare Alfa Romeo models from the early 20th century to today.
1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B Mille Miglia
Leading the field will be three unique Alfa Romeo models. The 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B Mille Miglia is well known in collector circles as one of the “Sleeping Beauties”. It is one of a collection which was stored for decades by reclusive European car collector Michel Dovaz at his French chateau. Noted German photographer Herbert Hasselmann documented his visit, over twenty years ago, to these treasures, then languishing in dusty darkness, in his book “Sleeping Beauties” (Edition Olms, 2008).
Dovaz, a Swiss national who owned a printing business, purchased the car in 1956 and left it untouched at his chateau for 34 years, a part of his astonishing hoard of thoroughbred classics. This Alfa 6C 2300 B MM, finally sold from the collection in the 1990s, was eventually the subject of an extensive and detailed restoration, the kind of work which can only be accomplished by beginning with an unmolested original car. It is now owned by a renowned American car collector who is bringing it to the Fairfield County Concours to be admired for the first time in the Northeast.
1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Spider by Touring
One of less than 50 cars ever produced, this rare Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 carries the most exquisite Spider coachwork by Touring. It is a remarkable, unrestored example that has survived over 70 years without restoration. Having last been painted its original gray hue over 50 years ago, it still sports the original leather interior and original mechanicals. After being delivered new in 1937 to a customer in Switzerland, the car has spent the last sixty years in the Northeast USA, having been owned by noted collectors in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900
Another Alfa Romeo 8C 2900, this particular 1937 car sports a very distinctive body by Italian coachbuilder Pinin Farina. It was originally a race car with open, cycle fenders sold new to playboy and sportsman Piero Dusio, who interestingly also owned Italian sports car brand Cisitalia. It was later adorned with the beautiful Pinin Farina body in the early 1940s. After that it was one of a number of 2.9 liter Alfas missing and believed to have been destroyed before turning up in 1989. It turned out to have been purchased by American soldiers after WWII, one of whom fitted it with a Chrysler engine. When Simon Moore was working on his definitive text “The Immortal 2.9”, he was contacted by the then current owner who revealed the whereabouts of the car. It subsequently underwent a painstaking restoration in the UK, during which it was reunited with its original engine. Superbly maintained by its current New England owner, it will give visitors to the 2009 Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance an interesting contrast to the companion unrestored 2.9 Alfa Romeo on display.
2008 Alfa Romeo B.A.T. 11
Among the most famous Alfa Romeos ever built are the “Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica” or “B.A.T.” concept cars. Designed by legendary stylist Frano Scaglione for Nuccio Bertone in the 1950s, they explored aerodynamic solutions to sports car design in a way which fused a vision for the future and the latest thinking in science. The three cars built, B.A.T. 5, 7 and 9 were built on the Alfa Romeo 1900 Sprint chassis and are considered by many to be among the most noteworthy concept cars of the decade. Now, at the 2009 Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance, their story continues.
As extraordinary as all the B.A.T. cars are, the tale of one, B.A.T. 9, has a particular fascination. A Michigan dentist, Dr. Gary Kaberle, purchased B.A.T. 9 as a teenager with popcorn-stand money and a loan from his grandmother. He sold it 23 years later to help fund medical treatment for his wife, Debbie, who passed away two years later. Soon after, Kaberle started exhaustive research of the B.A.T. cars. He visited the Scaglione family in Italy and began working with Stile Bertone design director, David Wilkie on B.A.T. 11, a project he calls “Dreams and Design for a Cure” that honors his wife and the B.A.T. heritage.
The full-sized model mockup of B.A.T. 11 will be one of the highlights of the Alfa Romeo display at the 2009 Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance. It is particularly exciting, as Fiat Auto has agreed to contribute the chassis and running gear of the new 8C Competizione to the final, working B.A.T. 11 which will come next.
2008 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
After its departure from the US market in the early 1990s, Alfa Romeo has been absent from the biggest car market in the world, leaving behind a number of very faithful aficionados dedicated to the Italian brand. In 2008, Alfa Romeo returned to the US with the aptly named 8C Competizione, a striking two-seater sports car powered by a Maserati-derived 4.7 liter V8 engine producing 450 hp.
Presented at the 2003 Frankfurt Auto Show as a concept car, it was later put into production with the intention of spear-heading Alfa’s return to the States. A total of only 500 were built, all of which are already sold. The US and Italy, as biggest markets, are said to receive 84 each. The first 8C Competizione, owned by famous collector Jim Glickenhaus, who presented his one-off Ferrari Enzo P4/5 at last year’s Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance, is bringing this first US 8C Competizione to the grounds of the Fairfield County Hunt Club on September 13.
The line-up of rare Alfa Romeos at the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance is expected to grow significantly over the next six months and press and Alfa aficionados will be updated throughout the summer on further additions to this exciting Alfa class.
The Car and Motorcycle Club Celebration
The Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance invites significant car and motorcycle clubs to participate in the celebration on Saturday, September 12, 2009, and also expects participation by the Alfa Romeo Owners’ Club. While strictly by invitation only, clubs who wish to take part can apply for their particular club’s participation by contacting the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance at [email protected]