The original 8C was one of the greatest racing cars of the 1930s. Its first variant, the 8C2300 with its supercharged straight-8, won the Targa Florio race twice, the Mille Miglia three times, and Le Mans no less than four times. It was only built from 1931-1933, when it was superseded by the similar 8C26200 with a slightly larger engine, 2.6 liters instead of 2.3. While the 8C2600 did not rack up the exceptional number of wins that its predecessor did, it did win the 1935 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring. Driven by the phenom Tazio Nuvolari against an octet of the far more powerful Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union race cars with drivers who were also legends, Tazio managed to defeat them all in what has been called "The Impossible Victory", to this day widely regarded as the greatest win against overwhelming odds in the history of racing.
But, back to the original 8C2300. These beautiful cars produced 165 hp from their tiny straight-8 engines with a dry sump oil system. Even with the supercharger, the output of 71.7 hp per liter was exceptional for its day.
The body from this car was furnished by Figoni for its original owner Mr Weinberg, who raced it in the Paris-Nice rally in 1933 and 1934. The car was then purchased by Count Francois de Bremond in 1935, when it was raced in the Grossglockner Hillclimb, where it finished 5th in its racing class. It was sold in 1937 to a father who gave it as a graduation gift to his son, who owned the lovely Alfa for over 70 years. It was hidden from the occupying armies during the occupation following WWII, and was mostly kept in a garage and cared for it by its owner thereafter. It was most recently taken to restoration specialist Blakeney Motorsport. Instead of doing a restoration, they brought up the mechanicals such as the engine, brakes, electric system, and steering to where it was safe to drive.
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|Engine||2.3 liter inline-8||Weight||--|
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It seems almost unbelievable that an example of one of the great pre-war cars, a straight eight supercharged Alfa Romeo of the type that won Le Mans four times and the Mille Miglia three times, could be lost from sight for many, many decades only to be discovered about five years ago. Even more amazing the long term owner, who is approaching his personal century, received the car as a 21st birthday present from his father back in 1937. An incredible story but absolutely true!
The car, chassis and engine number 2211079, was bodied in France by the coachbuilding firm of Figoni, the only short chassis to be bodied by that famous house. It was completed in time for first owner Mr Weinberg to compete in the Paris-Nice rally in March 1933, an event in which he competed in 1934 as well.
According to the existing French registration records the car passed to Count Francois de Bremond in May 1935 and he ran the Grossglockner Hillclimb that year finishing 5th in class. He may have used it for other competitions but he sold it in August 1937. The agent or broker in the sale was Luigi Chinetti who was then resident in Paris but later became the first agent for Ferrari in North America based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
The new owner had just graduated and his father gave him the car as a present – and he owned the car for over 70 years. During the war, it was hidden from the occupying forces and used for some years after the war before being garaged but well looked after until being acquired by the current owner. The car was then taken to restoration specialist Blakeney Motorsport here in the UK a year and a half ago. The car has not been restored but has been made safe to run as far as the engine, fuel system, dry sump oil system, brakes, steering, electrics and so on are concerned.
An absolutely fantastic story.
Car presented by Martin Eyears on behalf of the owner.