Alfa Romeo began in 1906 under the name of SAID (Societa Anonima Italiana Darracq) building cars that were totally unsuited to local conditions, unreliable and underpowered, and dumped on the Italian market in an effort to increase the fortune of the French entrepreneur Alexandre Darracq. Within three years the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and was reorganized under a different set of initials ALFA (Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobil). Its cars changed, too, and in an effort to boost its image, the company decided to go racing beginning in 1911.
Designed by Vittorio Jano as a replacement for the 6C 1750, the racing versions of the 8C 2300 had multiple wins at LeMans, Spa, Targa Florio, and the Mille Miglia. Built from 1931 to 1934, the chassis was fitted with stunning coachwork by Touring, Zagato, Brianza, Castagna, Figoni and others.
Perhaps the greatest tribute to the legendary 8C series is that Alfa Romeo has named its latest supercar the '8C Competizione.'
The 8C 2300 displayed here, which was bodied by Touring, was displayed by Alfa Romeo at the Paris Automobile Salon in 1932. Sold new in England, it was raced at Brooklands and Shelsley Walsh. Second owner Harry Rose drove the car to Monte Carlo a few times to watch the Monaco Grand Prix.
The car came to the United States around 1940 and later joined the collection of Maryland Senator A. Lofstrand. The current owner acquired the car in 1991. The car was extensively researched including a visit with Luigi Fusi who was one of the Alfa Romeo designers during the period, before the restoration, which was completed in 2003.
It has completed six 1,000-mile tours in the Rocky Mountains with its current owner of 24 years.
Alfa Romeo introduced their short chassis 'two-three' Spyder 8C in 1931, powered by a Jano-designed straight-eight twin overhead cam, supercharged engine. It won the Mille Miglia in 1932 and 1933, and at Le Mans in 1932, 1933 and 1934 (with extended [Read More...]
Mechanically designed by renowned Alfa Romeo engineer Vittorio Jano it incorporated some of the most advanced automotive technology available, including the legendary supercharged dual overhead camshaft straight eight. Introduced in 1931 they quickly [Read More...]
One of four Monza produced in 1932, this car was sold to Alfa works driver Geofreddo 'Teddy' Zehender. It finished fifth in its first appearance, at the Monaco Grand Prix - four laps behind winner Tazio Nuvolari - and raced at least 11 other times t [Read More...]
Alfa Romeo derives its name from a combination of the ALFA Company and Nicola Romeo. Romeo acquired the ALFA Company (Lombard Cars Inc) in 1915. Their early reputation as builders of solid thoroughbred performers led to postwar expansion in product [Read More...]
In the 24 hours of Spa there were two 8C 2300 Corsa Corto Spyders, one with a high radiator and one with the lower version. On that particular day, these two Spyders, both bodied by Zagato, Scuderia Ferrari used the most famous logo in the world, the [Read More...]
The legendary Alfa Romeo 2.3 liter straight-eight engine made its first appearance in the 1931 Mille Miglia. One of the remarkable characteristics of the 8C 2300's is that the cars performed equally well in racing, grand touring or just going shoppi [Read More...]
This Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 was the fourth factory team car for the 1932 racing season. It was driven by Pierre Louis Dreyfus and Antoine Schumann at Le Mans, but the car crashed early in the race and was unable to finish. The Alfa factory then sold th [Read More...]
Chassis number 2111042 was given a road-car body after its racing career ended. The work was performed by Papler in German. By the 1960s, the car was given another body - a replica Monza body. In the 1990s, the Monza was treated to a restoration. Aft [Read More...] By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2012
The car is believed to be one of the four cars built by Alfa Romeo to compete in the 1932 Mille Miglia. Although #2111035 did not race the Targa Florio, it is a close representation of #2111033 that did run the race in May 1933. #2111035 was used t [Read More...]
Vittorio Jano was responsible for the design of the magnificent engineering marvel, the 8C 2300. The name was formed by following Alfa Romeo's naming convention; the 8C represented the eight cylinder engine while the 2300 represented the cubic-capacity. The engine is comprised of two four-cylinder engine with the cylinders aligned in a row. Central gearing drives the overhead twin camshafts. A Roots-type supercharger was used to force air to the carburetor aiding in the production of 140 horsepower. Further modifications to the OHV engine increased the horsepower output to nearly 180.
The first 8C 2300 made an appearance in prototype form at the 1931 Mille Miglia. Two Grand Prix 8C 2300 models were later entered in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza where they finished first and second. In honor of this achievement, Alfa Romeo used the name 'Monza' on all their 8C 2300 Grand Prix vehicles. In 1932 the 8C 2300 became a dominant force, winning at Targa Florio followed by three consecutive victories at Le Mans. It was undefeated at the Grand Prix circuit, defeating the powerful Mercedes SSK and SSKL models and brining an end to their dominance. It achieved many prestigious victories such as the Spa 24 Hours and the Monaco Grand Prix and more. Compliments of the vehicles capabilities and durability.
The 8C 2300 was available in a wide variety of body styles including short and long wheel-based chassis. The long wheelbase was dubbed 'Lungo' while the short-wheelbase were 'Corto'. The Lungo models were suitable for traveling on the open roads at high speeds while the Corto models were smaller, lighter, and more agile, suitable for racing, many being prepared by Scuderia Ferrari. The Lungo series produced 140 horsepower with a 4.25 final drive. The Spider Corsas often featured a 165 horsepower engine built specifically to satisfy customer specifications. A 3.76:1 or 4.08:1 final drive was left to the customer to select.
As was customary at the time, many of the automobiles were supplied to custom coachbuilders such as Pininfarina, Figoni, Touring, Castagna, and Zagato. The results were uniquely designed and eloquently outfitted automobiles that were as much works of art as they were high performance machines.
The 8C 2300 was produced from 1931 through 1933. During their production life span only 188 examples were produced. By today's standards, many 8C 2300 models easily sell for over a million dollars.
8C 35 The Alfa Romeo 8C-35 was a Scuderia Ferrari works car which raced at Monza, Modena, Nurburgring, Lucca, Monaco and more. They were driven by famous drivers such as Dreyfus, Farina, Brivio, and Nuvolari.
One of the most historical races for the 8C-35 was at Coppa Cieno. Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo Tipo C 12C-36 suffered a broken transaxle after only two laps. He ran to the pits and got into an 8C-35. By the time Nuvolari re-entered the race, he was already seven laps down. By the time the race concluded, Nuvolari was in first place.
8C 2900 The 8C 2900 was built in two series, the 2900A and the 2900B. The 8C represented the engine size, a straight eight powerplant while the 2900 represented the size of the engine, 2905 cc. The engine was created by mounting two four-cylinder alloy blocks on a single crankcase. With the twin Roots-type superchargers attached, the 2.9-liter engine could produce between 180 hp for the 8C 2900B and 220 hp for the 8C 2900A. The suspension was all-independent with wishbones in the front and the rear had swing-axles.
The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A was a two-seater with Grand Prix style bodywork. They were purpose-built to race and win at Italy's famous Mille Miglia. In 1936, three examples were entered and were able to capture a first through third finish. A year later, they repeated their success again capturing the top three places. The success of the 2900A spawned the decision to create a road-going version that Alfa Romeo could supply to its customers. The 8C 2900B models were built upon two different wheelbases and had bodies that were very aerodynamic. Similar to the 2900A mechanically, the 2900B models were given a de-tuned engine that produced 40 horsepower less than the 2900A but still fast enough to be claimed the fastest production vehicle in the world with a top speed of nearly 110 mph. The Corto were short 2800mm wheelbase version while the Lungo were the long 3000 mm wheelbase versions. As was customary at the time, custom coachbuilders were often tasked with building the bodies. The 2900B had most of its coachwork handled by Touring of Italy. The vehicles could be purchased in Berlinetta, Roadster or Spyder bodies. These supercars were not only fast but they were expensive too. Since they were mechanically capable to match most vehicles on the racing circuit, many of the 2900B models were raced. Alfa Romeo constructed 13 examples of the 8C 2900B but with the 220 hp engine and most with Roadster bodies. In 1938 and in 1947, the 2900B with the 220 hp engine were able to capture the checkered flag at the Mille Miglia.
During its production lifespan, only 41 examples were produced. Three wee type 8C 2900 A with the remaining being the type B.
8C 2900B Spyder Evolving from the successful 1936 8C 2900A, the 2900B is the highly cultured son of the grand champion athlete. Hidden under the long and graceful hood lives an engine with a racing heritage. The 2900 cc straight eight cylinder supercharged masterpiece features dual camshafts, dual magnetos and dry sump oiling. Despite reduced compression compared to 2900A, it still produces an astounding 180 horsepower, delivered through a four-speed gearbox.
Two of Italy's finest designers provided appropriate coachwork for the 2900B, Carrozzeria Touring and Stabilimenti Farina. Only thirty examples were produced and each is somewhat unique. By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006
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