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Pur Sang 308 Debuts at Goodwood Revival

Pur Sang 8C 308 Richard S. Carey
Pur Sang 8C 308

Alfa Romeo built four Tipo 308 Grand Prix cars for the 1938 season.

One of them, driven by the immortal Tazio Nuvolari, set fastest lap in qualifying for the Pau Grand Prix in the Tipo 308’s first racing appearance. Later in the Pau meeting it was destroyed after a fire due to a faulty fuel tank installation.

The other Alfa Romeo Tipo 308s survive: the four-time Indianapolis 500 entrant and three-time top ten finisher of Chet Miller, Louis Durant, Walt Brown and Johnny Mauro in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, the privately-owned 308 of British vintage racing stalwart Julian Mazjub and the 1949 Buenos Aires GP winner of Óscar Alfredo Gálvez at the Juan Manuel Fangio Museum in Balcarce, Argentina.

The Gálvez Tipo 308 is unique even among this elite group of Alfas. The restrictions of the A.I.A.C.R.’s Commission Sportive Internationale that applied to GP races in Europe did not hamper Gálvez in South America. For him Alfa Romeo built its largest-ever 8C engine displacing a mighty 3.8 litres (3,822cc). An 8C of similar displacement had been used in Alfa’s 1935 8C 35 GP car, reckoned to have over 330 horsepower. Gálvez’s Tipo 308 benefited from several years’ additional development and experience and stood to be the most powerful Alfa Romeo 8C ever built.

Pur Sang 8C 308
Pur Sang Tipo 308

At the 2014 Goodwood Revival Meeting September 12-14, 2014 near Chichester a fourth 308 will debut. Created by the craftsmen at Pur Sang Argentina in cooperation with the Museo Juan Manuel Fangio in Balcarce, Argentina during Pur Sang’s award-winning restoration of the Museo’s ex- Óscar Alfredo Gálvez Tipo 308, the Pur Sang Tipo 308 GP is a meticulous duplicate crafted alongside the Gálvez car during its restoration and is authorized and endorsed by the Fangio Museum.

The Tipo 308’s highly tuned development of Alfa Romeo’s 8C 2900B twin supercharged dual overhead camshaft inline eight cylinder engine utilized sophisticated four wheel independent suspension designed by Vittorio Jano. Created at Alfa Corse’s Il Portelo works under the guidance of team manager Enzo Ferrari, the Tipo 308 with its proven Two-Nine based configuration backstopped Alfa Romeo’s ambitious 12C 37 and sixteen cylinder Tipo 316 project. It is the precursor to the all-conquering Tipo 158 and 159 Alfettas of the postwar 1.5-litre GP formula.

The Pur Sang 308 at the Goodwood Revival will give the Goodwood Revival’s attendees the chance to appreciate the 308’s engineering by Vittorio Jano and Giachino Colombo, realized by the 308’s drivers, Tazio Nuvolari, Luigi Villoresi, Clemente Biondetti, Jean-Pierre Wimille, Achille Varzi, Raymond Sommer and Óscar Alfredo Gálvez.

Pur Sang 8C 308
Twin supercharged dual overhead camshaft inline eight cylinder engine in the Pur Sang 308

Establecimiento Pur Sang. S.A. is a leader in building the most accurate re-creations of Type 13, Type 35, Type 37, Type 43, Type 51 and Type 55 race and road automobiles as well as 8C 2300 Monza, 8C 2300MM Touring, 8C 2900 A and B and other irreplaceable historic automobiles, engines, gearboxes, axles, suspensions and coachwork in a low key workshop where pride of individual craftsmanship is the norm. Its facilities include a foundry, design studio, coachworks, machine shop, paint room and assembly gallery. Pur Sang supplies collectors and restorers with highly accurate replacement engines, components, wheels and body panels.

The Pur Sang Tipo 308 will be on display at stands 90 and 91 of the Goodwood Marketplace and accompanied at the Goodwood Revival by John Bothwell (, Establecimiento Pur Sang. S.A.’s Commercial Director.

[Source: Rick Carey; photos: © 2014 by Rick Carey and Rhonda Kiblinger]