Alfa Romeo 8C Set For €22million Auction
Alfa Romeo is causing a storm. It's been announced that one of their pre-war classics is heading into an auction. The car in question is the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Berlinetta.
It's a big name for a big car but it's packing so much history. For those who don't know, Alfa Romeo was the pinnacle of Italian elegance and performance in the pre-war era and this was illustrated when it won the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Let's set the scene by taking you back to the late 1930s where the German constructors were proving too much for the competition. Only Alfa Romeo could fight them hp for hp and succeeded in wrestling racing victories away from them during their 'Golden Era'.
They created road versions of their competition cars for private customers and they were essentially road-legal supercars with competition engines.
Alfa Romeo 8C Design
Firstly, this car is incredibly rare. Only 5 of these cars were built by the Italian coachbuilder, Touring.
If you're still wondering why the car has such a long name, it's because it describes the car to the letter!
- Berlinetta as you is a sports coupe and often adorns various Ferrari 2x2 cars like the 812 Superfast or the F12.
- 8C is the eight-cylinder twin-supercharged straight-eight engine.
- 2900 is the cubic capacity of this 1939 ‘B’ model engine.
- Lungo (Italian for long) references the wheelbase of the car.
Alfa Romeo detuned the engine of the B model to 180bhp and this, combined with its colossal weight of 1,310 kg, enabled the car to achieve a top speed of 135mph.
Alfa Romeo 8C Racing History
As you read earlier, Alfa Romeo locked horns with German constructors who had a power advantage over the rest of the field. Alfa Romeo got to work and created an engine that powered the first Grand Prix single-seater racing car, the Alfa P3.
With this new knowledge, they were able to compete with the leaders.
The rivalry was quite fierce and spanned Le Mans to Mille Miglia and even the Nurburgring. Alfa Romeo was able to wrestle victories at these iconic venues and set a new precedent for performance.
Those victories contributed to Alfa Romeo's Golden Era and solidified cars of that time to become some of the most coveted by collectors and aficionados.
Alfa Romeo 8C Specifications
If you're familiar with the world 'land yacht', it was used to describe unusually long cars built in America and became prominent in the '60s. These cars were renowned for being comfortable and spacious.
This Alfa Romeo 8C has a total length of 5,000mm and rivals a lot of today's hypercars. Despite the long wheelbase, the car also boasts a bit of overhang, so you may need a bespoke parking space!
A €22m estimate for a car inspires just as many questions!
The car's provenance started in 1939 where it was shipped to England and has had four owners. The current owner is the son of the person who bought the car back in 1976 and it's been kept in remarkable condition.
Set to be auctioned in Paris on 8th February 2019 by Artcurial, are we going to see a new record?
It's already the most valuable Alfa Romeo but lost out to a 1935 Duesenberg SSJ which became the most the most expensive pre-war car when it sold for $22m at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2018 classic car sale.
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