Salon Privé Concours d’Elégance will go ahead and welcomes some of the greatest Alfa Romeo automobiles from its illustrious history. The famous Italian marque is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year; commemorating a milestone that very few automakers can match.
It was the legendary Enzo Ferrari who ran the Alfa Romeo works racing team during the 1930s with Scuderia Ferrari entering an 8C Monza Zagato in various races and hillclimbs for the likes of Italian race-ace Tazio Nuvolari. ‘The Flying Mantuan’ was victorious in the Coppa Principe di Piemonte in July of that year, and also competed in the prestigious Klausenrennen Hillclimb.
The 8C later finished second in the Targa Abruzzo at Pescara in the hands of Mario Tadini, but was subsequently disqualified because the event was for standard sports cars – the modified Alfa was not eligible. It is this very car – chassis number 2111044 – that will be on display at Blenheim Palace.
Following the domination of Bentley in the late 1920s, Alfa Romeo took four consecutive wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours during the early 1930s, and on all four occasions, it was the 8C 2300 that delivered victory in the French endurance classic. A Touring-bodied Tipo Le Mans example of this fabled model will also be part of the Concours d’Elégance line-up at Salon Privé.
Built to the exact specification of the cars that competed at Le Mans and at the Tourist Trophy races in Northern Ireland, chassis number 2311210 was imported into the UK in 1937 by Thomson & Taylor – the Brooklands-based Alfa Romeo agent. Its subsequent British owners included the Regent Oil Company.
“Not only does Alfa Romeo have a proud sporting heritage, but it has also produced some of the most beautiful and charismatic cars of all time. The entry for this year’s Concours d’Elégance perfectly reflects that dual appeal of speed and style. Coachwork sculpted by likes of Zagato, Pinin Farina and Touring will be shown off to its very best in the magnificent surroundings of Blenheim Palace, and will no doubt provide visitors with an unforgettable sight.”
Another Touring rarity will be on show lawns courtesy of a 6C 2500 S Cabriolet that is thought to be one of only three such models bodied in this style. Produced in 1942, its first owner was German officer General von Carnap, and it’s the only one of the three all-aluminium examples to retain its original 2443cc six-cylinder engine.
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Carrozzeria Garavini may be one of the lesser-known coachbuilders of the time, but Alfa Romeo sent five 6C 2500 chassis to the Torinese firm on 11 November 1943. Following the war, it’s thought that chassis number 913249 was taken to America by a US serviceman who subsequently lost it in a poker game! Having subsequently been owned by Richard DeChambeau and John P Hoffman, it was restored by its current custodian and returned to its original configuration.
Completing the spectacular quartet of 6C 2500s that will be gracing Blenheim Palace is one of only 63 6C 2500 SS models that were built with Pinin Farina two-seater cabriolet coachwork. Powered by the 110bhp version of the straight-six engine, this car was built in late 1948 and sold the following year to Count Zehender – former works driver for Alfa Romeo, Mercedes and Maserati.