1933 ALFA ROMEO TIPO 6C-1750 SUPERCHARGED GRAN SPORT SPYDER
COACHWORK BY TOURING
Chassis No. 121215048
Engine No. 121215048
Red with black leather interior
Engine: six cylinder, twin overhead camshafts, supercharged, 1,750cc, 85bhp at 4,500rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear; Brakes: four wheel mechanical drum. Right hand drive.
The 6C series Alfa Romeo was founded as early as 1924 when engineer Vittorio Jano was detailed to develop a medium capacity light car with brilliant performance. The great engineer chose the balance and pick-up characteristics of an in-line six cylinder engine and combined them with a very lightweight and nimble handling chassis design. Much experience was gained in the development of his World Championship winning Alfa Romeo P2 Grand Prix car of 1924-30, which was built into this production series.
The prototype, initially known as the "NR" but subsequently renamed "6C-1500", was unveiled at the Salone dell'Automobile Milano in April 1925, and then reappeared at both the major Paris Salon and the London Motor Show. Deliveries to customers of the original single-camshaft version commenced in 1927 and the general reception was so enthusiastic that a second series of twin-cam variants followed. Many 6C-1500s were employed in competition, supercharged variants doing particularly well in sports category events in 1928 and 1929.
The subsequent enlargement of a similar basic engine configuration to the 6C-1750 model involved increases in both bore and stroke from the 1500's 62mm x 82mm to the 1750's 65mm x 88mm, displacing 1,752cc. These engines were offered with or without supercharging, delivering respectively 85bhp or 64bhp at 4,500rpm. Perhaps more significantly, the supercharged 1750 engine developed considerably more mid-range torque than the unblown unit, making it a most effective weapon for racing and hill-climbing, while also doubling as a genuine high-performance sporting road car. The 1750 Gran Sport is regarded as one of the finest sports racing cars of its time and its race record, with numerous wins in the Mille Miglia, Tourist Trophy and countless other races in the hands of Nuvolari, Campari and Varzi, is nothing short of legendary.
This sixth series "Gran Sport" (GS) supercharged model of 1933 was the most powerful 1750 of the series with some 85bhp at 4,400rpm capable of it reaching 145kph. Modifications common to all sixth series cars were boxed chassis frames of all-welded construction, synchromesh gearbox with freewheel device, telecontrol shock absorbers and three-spoke steering wheels.
According to the definitive book Alfa Romeo, All Cars From 1910 by Luigi Fusi this delightful "Gran Sport" supercharged model dates from 1933. Based upon the chassis sequence it is the 18th of 44 built in the sixth series that year.
Early history for this car is currently not confirmed, although it is believed that Major Ayers of England purchased the car new. In the 1968 book The 6C 1750 Alfa Romeo by Luigi Fusi and Roy Slater the car is recorded as then being owned by Major Ayers, with the London registration number BGW 494. The next known owner was Henry Harrison (brother of Bob Harrison, renowned car collector in the US) who kept the car for some twenty years and on his passing in 1987, it was acquired from his estate by Mr. Charles Mallory, himself a well-respected collector from Connecticut. The 1750 was then sold to a collector by the name of David Van Schaick of Pennsylvania and the current owner purchased it from him about six or seven years ago.
When purchased the car was very complete but certainly deserving of a fresh restoration, and was therefore subject to a superb detailed restoration to the very highest concours standards. The Alfa Romeo is said to run and drive extremely well and it was mechanically rebuilt with a view to participating on a long distance event such as the Mille Miglia retrospective. The engine was rebuilt with new Carrillo con rods (original ones are known to be weak in design). Thin shell bearings were used on the big ends, the crankshaft was re-ground and the main bearings were re-babbetted (white-metalled). New old stock tappets were sourced and the camshaft was reground. New pistons were also fitted at this time. The supercharger was rebuilt with new bearings. The original Memini carburetor was overhauled and an electric fan was fitted as a consent to modern driving conditions.
The original coachwork has been fully restored, but retains the "Monza cowl" which is thought to have been fitted in the 1950s. The coachwork also has a fin over the twin spare wheels to give it an 8C look (similar to the famous Rimoldi Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 sold by Christie's in 1996 for $1,817,500). This fin has been added to a new trunk lid but the original lid comes with the car so that it can be put back to original if so desired. The dash was painted with a crackle finish and retains all of its original instruments and Bosch switch panel. The upholstery is black leather. The Alfa has been driven only 50 miles since the rebuild and has been shown just three times, at Pebble Beach in 1999 where it took a Third in Class, at the Greenwich Concours where it won Best in Class and also most exotic Italian Car, and also at a recent Hershey event where it won a Junior First Place award from the Antique Automobile Club of America.
With matching numbers, uncomplicated history, much sought after Touring coachwork, the sixth series refinements and the aforementioned restoration, this example has all of the best ingredients. These supercharged Alfa Romeos are a delight to drive, highly eligible for vintage events around the world and justifiably ranked very high among the archetypal pre-war sports cars.