Sold for $4,840,000 at 2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach.Sold for $3,525,000 at 2018 Bonhams : Quail Lodge.
Chassis #: 920.002
Engine #: 921.002
Following the end of the Second World War, Alfa Romeo, like most other car companies, was in a bit of a crisis, and aspirations of racing glory would be quickly tempered by harsh reality. Costs needed to be kept under strict control and Alfa had lost the influence of its racing team—Scuderia Ferrari. Therefore, the company needed to learn to make do with production-based elements and make them work together to fashion a truly competitive sportscar. Alfa Romeo would still have a very important relative in the family from which it could draw much inspiration and guidance. It had carried the company to great success in the decades following the First World War. Who's to say the 8C 2900 couldn't help to do it all over again following the Second?
Because of costs and other issues Alfa Romeo would be forced to focus on building nimble sportscars. This meant building cars that were lightweight, aerodynamic and very stable. Thankfully, there would be many 8C 2900 automobiles in existence from the pre-war days. This would be important as the 8C chassis would serve as the backbone of what would become the 6C 2500 Competizione.
Using an 8C 2900B chassis, engineers would shorten the chassis but would still use the original suspension mounting points and engine mounts. Since weight savings would be very important the 8C 2900B chassis would be drilled numerous times in an effort to rid the chassis of as much weight as possible.
The 2900 would continue to play a part in the new design. The fuel delivery system would be the same as would the steering box. Many of the suspension members, including the front forks, trailing arms, kingpins and transverse rear spring, would all come from remaining 2900 parts. All of these components had seen service and many of them had even found use in pre-war races. Therefore, these components were tried and tested.
The engine, on the other hand, would be one aspect of the car that would be brand new and purpose-built for the new 6C 2500. Supercharging would not be allowed, which is something Alfa had used extensively before the war. Therefore, the new engine would be designed and built with high-compression heads. Additionally, Alfa Romeo would venture into unknown territory when it implemented dry-sump lubrication. Completed with three Weber twin-choke carburetors, magneto ignition and an aluminum cold-air box the engine would be able to produce around 160bhp.
Though large parts of the chassis would come from ordinary sources, the whole project would be a rather secret endeavor. This presented a challenge when it came to clothing the hybrid chassis with bodywork. The company had worked with Touring extensively before. However, in an effort to keep everyone blind to what they were doing, Alfa Romeo would determine to create an in-house body design. Initially, an open-top version would be tested. However, a closed-top Berlinetta offered greater top speed. The first 6C 2500 Competizione Berlinetta to be completed would be 920.002.
The aerodynamic influence would be immediately noticeable in the design of the car. The aerodynamic influences could be seen in a number of other details, including the 'V'-shaped windshield and sliding Plexiglas side windows. Weight-savings would be at the heart of just about every detail in the 6C 2500. The interior would feature lightweight tube-framed bucket seats and unfinished interior panels.
Once again, the 2900 would come into play in the design of the car; this time in the interior. The pedal assembly and speedometer would all come from 2900s. Other instruments would come from previous designs like the P3 Monopostos.
Chassis 920.002 would be one of just two 6C 2500 Competizione cars built by Alfa Romeo and remains the only one in existence. Built between 1946 and 1948, 920.002 would end up being sold to Franco Rol of Torino. Rol was already an Italian aristocrat and successful chemical manufacturer, but he also had a penchant for motor racing.
Rol would take part in grand prix racing and would even take part in a total of five Formula One World Championship events between 1950 and 1952. But while he would use Maserati or OSCA automobiles for these events, Rol would turn and use his Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 in a number of sportscar races and hill climbs.
Meant for competition, 920.002 would make its debut in one of the most difficult events. Partnering with Alessandro Gaboardi, Rol would enter the Competizione Berlinetta in the 1948 Mille Miglia. Not surprisingly, the 6C 2500 would be considered a favorite for the overall victory. Unfortunately, it was not to be as the car failed to make it to the finish of the race.
However, at the Coppa delle Dolomiti that same year the 6C 2500 would go on to finish 5th overall and would end up with the victory in its class. One year later, at the Targa Florio, Rol would be enjoying what seemed to be an insurmountable lead in 920.002. Unfortunately, a broken fuel line would result in the lead being lost. However, the line would be repaired and Rol would recover to bring the home to what would still be a fantastic 2nd place overall finish behind the Ferrari 166 Spider Corsa of Biondetti.
At the Mille Miglia a little later on that year Rol would go on to finish 3rd overall but would score yet another class victory. This would be bettered in August when Rol managed to hold off Vallone's 166 Spider Corsa in the 18th Circuito di Pescara. The success would continue in 1950 when Rol and Vincenzo Richiero partnered to finish the Targa Florio 2nd in class and 6th overall. At the Mille Miglia at the end of April, the other 6C 2500, driven by Juan Manuel Fangio, would battle it out for the overall win. Chassis 920.002 would not be a part of the fight as a result of going off the course and being damaged too badly to complete the race.
Repaired, 920.002 would continue to prove competitive despite being more than a couple years old. The Alfa Romeo would go on to score a couple of 3rd place results, but those would come at the hands of Bornigia. As far as Rol's involvement with the car, it would all come to an end following a retirement in the 1951 Mille Miglia.
Rol would sell the car in 1951 to Denis Spagnol. The car would end up in Lausanne, Switzerland and would undergo some modification to have auxiliary driving lights added to the car. Spagnol would continue to campaign the car, as would Jean Charles Munger when he came to own the car in 1953. Munger would further modify the car until it had a nose similar to the egg-crate grille seen on many classic Ferraris.
Wine aficionado and successful printer, Michel Dovaz, would purchase the Alfa Romeo in 1954. Chassis 920.002 would disappear from public view. Hidden at Dovaz's chateau outside of Paris, the Alfa Romeo would be in the company of Dovaz many other rare automobiles. Dovaz's collection would deteriorate with time and 920.002 would show signs of the neglect right along with the other cars in the collection. In 1984, the 6C 2500 would be brought up to running order so that it could take part in the Mille Miglia Retrospective. The car would be in running order but would still look much the same as it had before the hasty refurbishment had taken place. Following the event, 920.002 would be placed in a private museum that displayed 25 of Mr. Dovaz's most esteemed automobiles.
In 1995, the Alfa Romeo would be sold for the first time in more than 40 years. Raoul San Giorgi managed to purchase the car. Then, in 2005, the car would be sold again and would end up in a private collection in Washington state. The owner at the time would restore the car. Having earned numerous awards in the past for other restoration work, the owner would be thoroughly adept for the job at hand and would go to great lengths to restore the Alfa Romeo.
Extensive research would begin the process. Paying attention to every possible detail the actual restoration of the car would get underway and every attempt would be made to use the very same methods as those that had actually crafted the car back in 1948. Finished in Alfa Romeo racing red, 920.002 would be completed in a state very similar to that which it bore when first delivered to Rol. Just about every detail would be taken into account. Even the race numbers would be hand painted. A change would be made and a five-speed gearbox would be installed in the car but the original four-speed would remain with the car for true originality.
The completed car would be invited to the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance as part of a display celebrating Alfa Romeo. During that event 920.002 would be judged and would receive a perfect score of 100.
Surviving with a treasure-trove of documents, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, pictures and many correspondences, the Alfa Romeo is a well-documented piece of Alfa Romeo history, and therefore, is certainly very special amongst those with an affinity for the brand. In many ways; however, 920.002 would be more than just the first post-war Alfa Romeo sportscar, it would be the 8C reborn; the car that would help to carry the aura of Alfa Romeo into the modern era.
Chassis 920.002 would be made available for sale at the 2013 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction. When the bidding came to an end the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 would end up garnering $4,840,000.By Jeremy McMullen