1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Sixth Series Supercharged Gran Sport Cabriolet
Coachwork by Carrozzeria C. Castagna & Co.
Chassis no. 121215037
Engine no. 121215037
One of the most revered names in motor sport, Alfa Romeo began as Anonima Lombardo Fabbrica Automobili at Milan in 1910. In 1915, industrialist Nicola Romeo took over, and cars built after World War I took the Alfa Romeo name. Competition was endemic almost from the beginning, and a young Enzo Ferrari became test engineer and driver in 1920, later leaving to form his own scuderia to race Alfa Romeo cars. Alfas coup de gras was enticing gifted engineer Vittorio Jano to leave Fiat in 1923. Alfas chief designer from 1925, Jano developed the 1500 cc single ohc six, followed by dohc versions in both 1500 and 1750 cc displacement. Offered in several stages of tune, the 1750s top-of-the-line model was the supercharged Gran Sport, typified by the car being offered, a Castagna-bodied cabriolet.
Carlo Castagna established Carrozzeria C. Castagna & Co. at Milan in 1906. Skilled in business and finance, Castagna left design and construction to his son Ercole. In the 1920s, Ercoles younger brother Emilio became chief designer, favoring Isotta-Fraschini but building also on Alfa Romeo, Fiat, OM, Bianchi, Lancia and Mercedes-Benz. Emilios forte was close-coupled cabriolets like this 6C 1750 Alfa, which can be seen to adorn a number of examples of both six and eight cylinder Alfas.
Dating from 1933, chassis 121215037 is from the sixth series of Alfa production, which it is often argued was the best of all in terms of refinement of chassis and combination of coachbuilders design from this season. Earlier Castagna designs were often more upright and restrained, whereas this car with its raked opening screen matching the sloping radiator grille of this series of 1750 may be considered to be one of the best looking convertible designs by the company.
The Alfa Romeo has a fully known and succinct history. Its first owner was Major Kyle Mouey in England, who kept the car approximately 40 years, before it was acquired by Dr. Peter Burgess. Dr. Burgess moved to Australia in 1975 and took the car with him.
In 1986, it received a thorough restoration at the hands of local Melbourne based specialists The Automobilists, at which point its original cream and black livery was refurbished to the present patriotic Italian red scheme. The engine was rebuilt by Gilbert Dickson and Richard Pilkington, after which the car competed in two events of the Targa Tasmania. It subsequently passed to the third owner, Mrs. Diana Gaze, competed with it regularly, consistently winning her class in vintage events.
Eleven years ago, in 1997, Mrs. Gaze sold the car at an early Brooks/Goodman collaboration auction in Australia, at which point the car left the country but stayed in the Southern Hemisphere passing to the current collector, to be the show piece in a Brazilian collection.
On the technical/numerical side, marque authorities and enthusiasts concur that this is one of the most authentic of an often re-configured model. Its chassis number being clearly visible on the rear right hand side of the chassis, the engine number matches this being stamped on the engine plate and into the crankcase, steering box and front axle numbers are also in sequence for this series and the car retains its original chassis plate. At some stage its original Memini carburetor set up has been replaced with a more modern unit, while new oil and water pumps were fitted in the previous ownership.
Today, on inspection its 20 year old restoration has worn well, the paint still being good and the mechanical aspect presenting cleanly. Within the last year it has benefited from new interior carpets and leather upholstery, while the dashboard retains Jaeger instrumentation. It was however noted that the number plate mounting and one of the hood frame brackets are broken. When viewed in the summer the car started promptly and the vendor reports that it is offered here ready to drive and enjoy.
The recent revision of the Mille Miglia rules have seen a number of exclusions of models or marques. As the very essence of the history of the event a 1750 Alfa will always earn its position, and as a full convertible on the frequently weather challenged thousand mile rally, this could well be one of the more practical entries for it! Alternatively, as an unusual variant to the more scantly bodied Zagato Gran Sports, it might represent the basis for a cosmetic freshening to provide a distinguished car with concours potential. Either way the Alfa offers a fine and undisputed entry to the wide range of pre-war events, be they static or touring.
- Please not the estimate on this car has changed and should now read CHF 450 000 - 550 000.
Please be aware that this Alfa Romeo is subject to import duty and is supplied with an original Brazilian Vehicle Registration Document and License.