Sold for $9,939,375 (£5,937,500) at 2013 Goodwood Revival.
Chassis #: 50013
Engine #: 50013
This Alfa Romeo Tipo 8C-35 Monoposto was sold via the Scuderia Ferrari to the Swiss privateer Hans Ruesch. Up to this point, Ruesch had been campaigning an Alfa Romeo Tipo B Monoposto (chassis '5002') and a pair of 8C-2300s (chassis '2211084' and '136). Prior to the acquisition, the car had been co-driven by Carlo Pintacuda and Tazio Nuvolari to a victory at the 1936 Coppa Ciano race at Livorno on the Italian coast.
Hans Ruesch's racing debut in the 8C-35 was at the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb in England on September 15th of 1936. If first victory with the car was on September 27th at the Course de Côte de Lapize, near Montlhéry. The car was sent back to England where it was co-driven by Ruesch and R.J.B. 'Dick' Seaman in the Donington Grand Prix at Donington Park. They would win the event with an average speed of 69.2 mph, followed by Charles Martin's 2.9-liter Alfa Romeo Tipo B Monoposto and the B-Type ERA driven by Peter Whitehead and Peter Walker.
The 8C-35 was then brought to Brooklands where on October 17th it raced in the Mountain Championship race on the high Members' Banking, finishing 2nd. Later that month, Ruesch took this Alfa Romeo to Hundary where he was victorious in two minor events at Gyon and the hillclimb at Harmashatar. The Alfa Romeo was then sent south to that winter's South African series of three handicap races, where Ruesch finished fourth in the South African Grand Prix run at East London on New Years' Day 1937. On January 16th, he finished fifth in the Grosvenor Grand Prix behind a dominant group of factory Auto Union V16-engined cars. The German team non-started the final event at the Rand Grand Prix outside Johannesburg on January 30ths, leaving Ruesch's Alfa Romeo one of the top contenders. Despite being the fastest, Ruesch was classified fourth on handicap behind two ERAs and an MG.
Ruesch sent the car back to Europe where it was driven in no fewer than 15 events ranging from the British Empire Trophy race at Donington on April 10 to the Mountain Championship back at Brooklands on October 16. He won no fewer than seven times, including the Finnish GP in Helsinki, the GP des Frontières at Chimay, Rumanian GP in Bucharest, the Prix de Bremgarten at Berne, Switzerland, and the Mountain Championship at Brooklands. He also won at Montlhéry near Paris, France.
At the Coppa Acerbo meeting at Pescara, Italy, the car was involved in an accident and failed to finish. It also DNF'ed at Brno, Czechoslovakia, on September 26, when driven by Renato Balestrero.
The International Grand Prix Formula was changed for the 1938 through 1940 seasons, limiting supercharged engines to no more than 3.0-Liter capacity, which meant this 3.8-liter straight-eight was no longer eligible. Ruesch sent the car to England where it raced in various events during the summer season, including the Coronation Trophy meeting at London's Crystal Palace parkland circuit on April 2nd of 1938. Ruesch was unable to drive at the event due to an illness, so those duties were entrusted to R.E.L. 'Buddy' Featherstonhaugh. Unfortunately, Featherstonhaugh spun the car at Stadium Dip, stalling the engine which he was unable to restart unassisted. Next came a practice at Donington Park during practice for the following weekend's British Empire Trophy race. Again misfortune presented itself to Featherstonhaugh, who spun off onto the grass verge at very high speed. The car dug in and somersaulted twice, throwing its driver clear without serious injury.
It is believed that Ruesch sent the car back to Italy for repair, and it would not re-appear for over a year. It is believed that during the car, the car received spare body panels. It was given all-new bodywork on the old frame, and the factory's 'new' Tipo 308 3-liter straight-eight supercharged engine.
The revived '50013' was driven by Hans Ruesch in London at the Sydenham Trophy race at Crystal Palace where it placed second in Head and third in the Final. On June 3rd, it finished second in class at the Shelsley Walsh hill-climb. The car was then sold by Ruesch to British driver/dealer Robert Arbuthnot, who ran High Speed Motors Ltd in London's Lancaster Gate Mews. Arbuthnot then commissioned Giulio Ramponi to prepare and drive '50013' in the Cambridge University AC sprint at Syston Park in August. While leading the race, the car spun after setting the Brooklands Campbell Circuit lap record for the 3-5-litre category. Due to the outbreak of World War 2, the venue closed in September, never to re-open to racing.
During World War II, the Alfa Romeo was sold to Reg Parnell, who later sold it back to Arbuthnot near the end of hostilities. Sadly, Arbuthnot was killed in a road accident in August of 1946. Arbuthnot had used the Alfa Romeo for a loan he arranged with financier, Dennis Poore. Mr. Poore would maintain and preserve '50013' for the next 40 years-plus.
Dennis Poore drove '50013' in 1947 to victory at The Gransden Trophy feature race in Great Britain's first postwar circuit event, at Gransden Lodge aerodrome. The car also starred in the inaugural race meeting at Goodwood. The car seemed to appear in the pages of the British specialist motoring press at nearly every weekend through the later 1940s and up until 1955.
Around the 1940s, the car's original Alfa Romeo Roost-type supercharger was replaced by aeronautical-type Wade RO15 cabin blowers and also adopted a Wilson pre-sector gearbox which was coupled to the engine amidships with the original rear-mounted Alfa Romeo transaxle left in place locked in whichever suitable gear provided an advantageous final-drive ratio.
At the Scottish Bo'ness hill-climb, the car was mildly-damaged when it overturned. The damaged bodywork was beaten true and re-sprayed British Racing Green and given the Pegasus flying-horse emblem blazoned in white upon the bonnet.
Among Poore's greatest achievements with the Alfa Romeo was winning the 1950 RAC Hill-Climb Championship title. After 1952, most of his outings with the car were mainly Vintage Sprot Car Club events. He won the Club's Seaman Trophy, in memory of the late Dick Seaman, no less than three times before the car was put into storage at the end of 1955. The car was shown to the public on one occasion, at the 75th Anniversary Castrol Extravaganza Show at London's Olympia Exhibition Hall in 1974.
The car remained with Poore until his death in 1987. His executors soon consigned the car to Christie's 1988 Monaco auction where it was sold to Anthony Mayman for ($US) $2,850,000. Sadly, Mr. Mayman died before any restoration work could be begun upon the car and it was eventually acquired and restored for modern-era Historic and Vintage racing by Peter Giddings. The restoration was done by Paul Grist in the United Kingdom, and was returned to its 1937 specification with the pre-selector gearbox removed and its Alfa Romeo supercharged replacing the postwar Wade installation. The car was repainted in Alfa Romeo racing red. Mr. Giddings raced the car all around the world, even winning the 'Best of Show' award at the Louis Vuitton New York concours.
In the mid-2000s, the car passed to new ownership, where its racing resume continued to expand. It raced at Mugello in the Ferrari Challenge, at Donington for the 'See Red' Race meeting and climbed the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2006. It raced at several events in North America including at Lime Rock, Road America, Mont Tremblant, Laguna Seca and Sonoma.
In 2013, Bonhams auction sold the car at the Goodwood Revival event for nearly ten million (US), making it one of the top auction sales of all time.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2020