High bid of $900,000 at 2013 RM Auctions - Amelia Island. (did not sell)Sold for $1,045,000 at 2014 Barrett-Jackson's 43RD Annual Scottsdale Auction.
Sport Touring Berlinetta
Chassis #: 915030
Engine #: 823113
At a time when many of the elite manufacturers were busy trying to coerce large, stately pieces of custom artwork to become pseudo-sportscars, Alfa Romeo would be busy showing the way into the future. Driven by the State, Alfa Romeo would lead the way in creating exotic, finely-crafted works of art that were also virtual powerhouses on the track as well. Therefore, in many ways, cars like the 6C, would be the first supercars combining incredible performance and handling with exceptional quality, appointments and appearance.
It would not be at all surprising that Alfa Romeo was once the Ferrari of its day given the company's focus on performance and handling and clothing it all in some of the most evocative, quality and modern designs of the period. This is the example that Enzo would experience while working for the company. It worked, and, it would eventually work for him when he founded his own stable.
Perhaps the greatest design of the period, and one that would cause Alfa Romeo's reputation to soar would be the 6C. When it debuted at the Milan Auto Show in 1925, the car would set new standards in many categories. Many high-performance cars existed at the time but none of them could match the standards set for lighter weight that would be achieved by the 6C. This lighter weight enabled the designers and engineers at Alfa Romeo a whole lot of room in which to work, for, a smaller engine had the ability to produce the same performance numbers as some of the other, larger, cars needing monster engines. This also meant performance could be easily increased by using larger engines. This would help to keep the 6C relevant in performance.
Another important aspect to the light weight of the car would be in the handling and sportiness. Virtually every component of the 6C would be built in-house by dedicated workers and this helped to make the car very reliable and of high quality all the way around. And when combined with the performance and handling, the 6C was an all-round performer virtually unmatched.
The first example of the 6C would be known as the 1500 as it would have a 1500 cc engine. By 1934, the 6C 2300 would be unveiled. Not a whole lot would be different on the car. However, the engine would be nearly twice the size of the original. This would take the 6C into a whole different level of performance, and yet, this performance would come in an exceptionally appointed multiple-passenger custom-built coach body.
In 1939, the 2500 evolution would begin production. This example of the 6C would not only begin production prior to World War II but it would continue, in limited numbers, throughout the war and wouldn't come to an end until 1953. With an increased bore and increased compression, the inline six-cylinder engine would produce a healthy 95 hp. When combined with the lightweight aluminum coachwork, usually handled by Pinin Farina, the car remained a competent performer.
Production of the 2500 would begin in 1939. However, a small number, just 13 examples, would boast of coachwork manufactured by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. This made sense as both Touring and Alfa Romeo were based in Milan, Italy and that Touring was well known for its beautiful superleggera bodies.
The Superleggera construction system would be devised by Bianchi Anderloni and would be patented in 1936. Therefore, the construction method would still be rather new when Touring would be contracted to build its small number of examples of the 6C 2500. One of those 13 would be chassis 915030.
Chassis 915030 would complete production in 1939. The war years would cause the early history of the car to be something of a mystery. However, in 1962 the car would be imported to the United States by Earl Potter. The car would remain with Potter in Chicago for a period of about three years before it would change hands and become the property of Mr. John Jumer of Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
The car would remain with Jumer for a period of about 25 years. Then, in 1990, it would be acquired by Charlie Morse and Malcolm Harris. These two owners would take the opportunity to invest in an exhaustive restoration.
'Exhaustive' would end up being the right word for the restoration as every single piece and component of the car would be taken apart and refurbished. The goal was a goal of concours quality inside and out. A number of Seattle-area restorers had set to work conducting the restoration in 1994. A period of four long years would pass as the process continued. Finally, just before the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance the car would be completed and reassembled. Over 1,500 hours would be spent just by Malcolm Harris alone throughout the process.
A part of the process would include fashioning their own 2500 motor. The 2300, from the outside, would appear almost identical to that of a 2500. Therefore, the block would be used and the cylinders would be bored out to the correct 2,443 cubic centimeters. Sure enough, the bored-out engine fit all of the 2500 components perfectly, and therefore, performs just as a 2500 should.
The interior would be thoroughly restored and so the rich tobacco-colored leather presents beautifully with virtually no wear at all save the driver's seat. Boasting of original gauges, three-spoke steering wheel and a tastefully-simple layout, the 6C is certainly something to behold.
Finished in a dark blue-green with beautifully-matching wire wheels, the exterior presents as well as the interior and would certainly bring pride to any Alfa Romeo aficionado. The four years work would be handsomely rewarded as the car would earn Second in Class. However, the car would take a step up and would come away with the honor of the Most Elegant Closed Car Award at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours. This same honor would be bestowed upon the car two more times, once at the 2004 Ironstone Concours and, also, at the 2004 Kirkland Concours. Then, in 2012, the car would earn the honor of being the Best Pre-War Alfa Romeo at the Quail Motorsports Gathering.
Having taken the honor of the Best Pre-War Alfa Romeo in 2012 it is more than obvious the quality of the car remains of the utmost standard. And, as a result, the car would head to the 2013 RM Auctions event held at Amelia Island with estimates ranging from $1,500,000 to $1,750,000.Sources:
'Lot No. 144: 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta by Carrozzeria Touring', (http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1057656). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?lot_id=1057656. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
'1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z14023/Alfa-Romeo-6C-2500.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z14023/Alfa-Romeo-6C-2500.aspx. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Carrozzeria Touring', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 February 2013, 07:24 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Carrozzeria_Touring&oldid=540534749 accessed 6 March 2013 By Jeremy McMullen