There are few who doubt Alfa Romeo to be one of the world’s most legendary and storied automobile manufacturers. Their history is rich and complex, and an interesting study in the vastly different markets that drove their pre-war and post-war vehicle production. Their persistence would lead them to be one of a very select few manufacturers that successfully made the switch from producing exclusive, racing derived machines for wealthy clientele in the pre-war period to mass-market saloons and coupes designed to appeal the ever growing middle class in the post-war period. During World War II and its aftermath, Alfa Romeo struggled mightily to survive. The factory in Milan was producing munitions for axis forces and therefore became a prime target for allied bombers, virtually destroying the firm. Yet, remarkably, production and development continued from other locations and Alfa survived the strife, eventually becoming a leader in the mid-range market from the mid-1950s and beyond thanks to the brilliant Giulia and Giulietta.
Between these two vastly different iterations of Alfa Romeo the company lay the 6C 2500. The 6C was, in essence, the bridge between pre-and post-war production for Alfa Romeo and served as their last truly hand-built offering, with roots in the pre-war era, but styling that definitively pointed to the future. The model’s roots go back to 1928 with Vittorio Jano’s brilliant 6C 1500 Sport – the first production car ever to offer a twin overhead cam engine – itself inspired by the P2 monoposto Grand Prix car. Through many series and variations, the 6C evolved through the years leading up to WWII and beyond, with engine displacement growing from 1500cc through to 2300cc and the chassis being regularly reworked to reflect lessons learned on the racetrack by the likes of the factory racing team, Scuderia Ferrari. Italy’s best coachbuilders had their turn with the 6C chassis, with the last-of-the-line 2500 Sport and short wheel base, triple carbureted Super Sport forming the foundation for the new fully-enveloped style that would define post-war automobiles around the world. With its glorious twin-cam engine and sophisticated independent suspension, the 6C 2500 is one of the best performing and most desirable automobiles of the era, a car that embodies both the past and present of Alfa Romeo.
The ultimate spec for the 6C 2500 is the Super Sport chassis, and the classic Touring coupe body with its Superleggera construction is considered by Alfisti as the most desirable coachwork. Our featured 6C 2500 Super Sport wears chassis number 915.717, and engine number 928008, noted as the very last 6C 2500 SS built in 1948. It is a matching number, breathtaking example with a proven record in concours and in rallies around the world. Completed on December 29th 1948, it was delivered new on July 18th 1949 to Sig. Gastone Guetta of Milan. After its time with Guetta, it passed through the hands of several other owners, hardly ever venturing out of Milan for the next 40 years. The furthest it went from there was to an owner in Modena, Italy in 1989 before finally finding its way out of its homeland to Switzerland, then to the Netherlands, and then to the UK where it was eventually purchased by Raoul San Giorgi. Documents and notes from San Giorgi state that it was a very fine, complete and highly original car when the restoration was performed.
In 2005, a new interior was custom made and fitted and the car was repainted to an extremely high standard with fresh chrome. The newly freshened Alfa subsequently went on to achieve great success at an array of prestigious concours, including Pebble Beach in 2005 where it achieved a class award and was honored with Road & Track Magazine’s coveted “Car We’d Most Like to Drive” trophy. Other accolades included a 1st in class at Amelia Island, Best Italian GT Car at the Greenwich Concours, and a silver medal at Villa d’Este, 2010. While this magnificent Alfa was racking up the hardware on the concours circuit, it was also being thoroughly enjoyed by its owners in VSCCA and AROC tours and rallies in the USA, Canada and Italy. In 2010, it received a comprehensive engine rebuild by DL George and Leydon Restorations which included fresh Arias pistons, Carello rods, new shell bearings, rebuilt carburetors and countless other ancillaries and details, totaling over $68,000. The engine remains strong and performs exceptionally well in all conditions. It has been sensitively upgraded for touring with turn signals to supplement the original trafficators, an electric fan for extreme conditions, a back-up electric fuel pump and a high-torque starter for reliable duty on rallies (the original unit is included).
Today, this fabulous Alfa also remains in overall beautiful cosmetic condition; its deep blue paintwork serving a perfect complement to the magnificent Carrozzeria Touring lines. Given the successful concours record, it is no surprise that it presents in exceptional order with crisp and finely detailed bodywork, however the paint is starting to show signs of aging. The interior is trimmed in grey leather, which is piped in dark blue and presented over lovely dark blue carpets. Instruments and switchgear are all beautifully restored, with the left-handed column shifter a distinct feature of these models. Thankfully, mastering the shift lever comes quickly despite its unconventional placement and it quickly becomes like second nature.
Vittorio Jano’s masterpiece, the 2.5 liter twin-cam six-cylinder, presents like a piece of kinetic art under the bonnet. In triple carb Super Sport specification, the car was rated at 105 horsepower. Thanks to the comprehensive rebuild and minor upgrades, performance is excellent and this exquisite motorcar is pure joy on the road. It has recently proven its mettle in our hands with a flawless performance in the 2017 Copperstate 1000 rally in Arizona.
Just 60 of these magnificent Alfa Romeos were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring and they remain among the most highly desirable and collectible of the breed. The 6C 2500 SS is eligible for the Mille Miglia, and virtually any classic event in the world, thanks to not only FIVA authentication, but also CCCA Full Classic status. Included with the sale are the aforementioned FIVA documents, as well as copies of Automobile Club D’Italia records, correspondence from Alfa Romeo Storico, restoration photos, and photos of the car when new. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a truly outstanding and proven example of one of Alfa Romeo’s finest ever creations.