1937 6C 2300B 1938 6C 2300B

1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300

1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Berlinetta Sport
Coachwork: Castagna
This Alfa Romeo Berlinetta Sport is the prototype built for the 1940 Mille Miglia by Castagna. The 1940 Mille Miglia was never run and this car is the sole survivor of the 10 short chassis cars that were built by the company. It is constructed of aluminum and is in its original color scheme. Originally the car was built with the normal 2.3-liter six-cylinder engine, but this car now has one of two prototype 3.5-liter V12 engines designed by Colombo. It was installed by the owner, as planned for by Alfa Romeo, just as war halted production in 1939.
1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Corto Spider
Chassis Num: 813219
Engine Num: 823203
Sold for $924,000 at 2007 RM Sothebys.
Sold for $440,000 at 2013 RM Sothebys.
Alfa Romeo enjoyed a very successful career on both the road and the track. After encountering the inevitable financial difficulties, it was bailed out by the state. Instead of being directed to downsize and build saleable automobiles to generate cash flow, Italy did the unthinkable and directed Alfa to build racing machines to showcase Italy's technology and competitiveness.

In 1915, Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, along with its chief engineer, Giuseppe Merosi, came under the control of Nicola Romeo. After World War I, Merosi designed the RL. A sports version soon followed and it went on to win the Targa Florio, the Circuito di Cremona, and the Coppa della Consuma in 1924. It was also a commercial success with over 2,600 examples built between 1922 to1928. After the RL came the P1, a Grand Prix design that came with a 1,990 cubic-centimeter dual overhead camshaft six-cylinder engine. It failed to show the same competitiveness as its sibling.

Nicola Romeo tasked a young employee named Enzo Ferrari to help create the groundwork for a successful Grand Prix program. Ferrari was successful in his mission, along with the help of engineer Vittorio Jano. Jano began work on a new GP car, the 1987cc cubic-centimeter supercharged dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder P2, which won its first race at the Circuito di Cremona in 1924. It later went on to dominate Grand Prix racing through 1925.

At the 1925 Milan Auto Show, Alfa Romeo introduced the 6C 1500 which set new standards for lightweight, high performance road cars. Unfortunately, its production was delayed for over a year due to another round of financial problems, during which Nicola Romeo ceded control of his industrial complex to an Italian state-owned organization, the Istituto di Liquidazione.

The 6C 1500 was introduced with a single overhead camshaft, though Jano had provided for a twin-cam head in the original design, which was introduced in 1928, followed by the slightly larger 1752-cubic centimeter 6C 1750 in 1929. The next evolution of the 6C was introduced in 1934 - the 6C 2300 - and had nearly twice the displacement of the car it succeeded. Powering the 6C 2300 was a 2309cc engine that featured a one-piece crankcase/cylinder block and an aluminum alloy cylinder head. Camshaft drive was by a combination of roller chain and gears. The engine was designed to be powerful without the complication and expense of superchargers. In 1938, the 6C 2300B was introduced, raising horsepower even further.

The chassis was built around a boxed section frame rails and featured a fully independent suspension. The brakes were composed of large drums with aluminum cooling fins shrunk around them.

6C 2300B Corto Spider in the style of Touring
This Alfa Romeo wears coachwork in the style of Touring. It is believed that the car was delivered new as a short chassis saloon. In the 1980s, it was rebodied with this new coachwork, which includes a number of Touring design trademarks, including the slotted rear fender skirts and the rakish dipped chrome body molding.

At the time, the car was in Europe. After the re-body, the European owner toured the car extensively on various events, including the Mille Miglia retrospective.

Mr. Bill Jacobs later imported the car to the United States and set upon restoring it. He had the car finished in the period-correct dark red color. The car had been originally fitted with a single carburetor, but was upgraded to the dual carburetor setup that was normally found on a 2300B Mille Miglia chassis.

Ownership later passed from Gene Ponder to the present owner.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at RM Auction's Scottsdale Auction. It was estimated to sell for $500,000-$700,000.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2013
The 2.3-liter version of Vittorio Jano's engine was a continuation of excellence and perfection. The 1500 was the first increment, and it truly created recognition for the Italian based manufacturer. The 1750 and 1900 soon followed, then came the 2300 which offered just over 70 horsepower initially. Its construction was very similar to its predecessors, utilizing two overhead camshafts actuating two valves for each cylinder. It was formed using a cast-iron block and light-alloy head and mated to a four-speed gearbox with drum brakes on all four corners.

The first car to house the 2300 engine was the 63 2300 which made its inaugural debut at the 1934 Milan Motorshow. The body was courtesy of Castagna in four-door saloon configuration. A short-wheelbase Gran Turismo version soon followed, as did a higher compression version of the engine offering nearly 100 horsepower. These sporty versions were called the Pescara model and only sixty examples would ever be produced. The long wheelbase versions were called the Turismo's, the shorter Gran Turismos were known as the Pescara's. Within a few years, they would simply be known as the SWB and LWB for 'short' and 'long' wheelbase respectively.

Time brings about improvement, and very little time transpired before a 'B' version was introduced. In 1935 the 6C 2300B was introduced which brought new changes to the suspension and chassis, and mild improvements to the already potent powerplant. The suspension was independent in both the front and rear with swing axles in the rear and wishbones in the front.

In 1937 a Pescara emerged from the Mille Miglia with a class victory; in its honor the Pescara's name was changed to MM.

Production of the 2300 continued until 1939 when it was replaced by the 6C 2500 which would remain in production, except during war time, until 1952.
By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2007
In the early 1930s, Alfa Romeo was in financial trouble. It was rescued by the Italian government who took control of the company in 1933 through the Istituto Riconstruzione Industriale (IRI). The day-to-day operation of the racing program was given to Enzo Ferrari. With the racing program well managed and the concerns of the marketplace put to rest, the Alfa Romeo engineers were free to create some of the most elegant and technology advanced vehicles of their day.

The Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 was introduced in 1934. They featured a dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine that produced nearly 70 horsepower. This figure rose rather quickly as racing versions soon emerged, bringing horsepower closer to 100 bhp. With the help of Enzo Ferrari, the 6C 2300 did well in competition; its first victory made at the Targa Abruzzo distance races in Pescara in 1934 where they swept the field. In honor of this accomplishment, a small series of these were produced as the 6C 2300 Pescara.

For 1935, the 6C 2300 was given hydraulic brakes, a fully independent suspension, and a lighter, more modern chassis. These changes resulted in a name change, now dubbed the 6C 2300B. Future changes to the series included a new gearbox with Synchromesh on the third and top gear and improved frame mountings.

The top-of-the-line 6C 2300B was Mille Miglia version, built on the short chassis with a 105 horsepower engine. Perhaps the most memorable were those clothed by Carrozzeria Touring, one of which took first place in the Turismo class of the 1937 Millle Miglia and 4th overall. There were only 107 examples of the 6C 2300B MM produced between 1938 and 1939.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
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