BONHAMS TO OFFER 1932 ALFA ROMEO 8C-2300

. March 5, 2007

The Bonhams Motoring Department is delighted to announce that it is to offer for sale by auction at their Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on 22 June, 2007 the ex-David Black 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Spider with coachwork by Carrozzeria Zagato.

This well-known example of perhaps the finest of pre-war Italian road-cum-racing cars combines the shorter, rarer and most desirable ‘Monza’ length Alfa Romeo chassis (Monza wheelbases were 2.65m, Corto’s 2.75m and Lungo’s 3.1m) with the Milanese marque’s renowned 2.3-litre straight-eight supercharged engine. Add the gloriously rakish lines of Zagato’s classical Spider two-seat coachwork and you have the epitome of Italian style, flair and automotive achievement, 1931-1934.

Early in its long life, this Alfa Romeo 8C-2300, chassis no. ‘2211051’ is thought to have been registered to the Scuderia Ferrari in Modena in time for the 1933 Mille Miglia round-Italy race. Driven in that event by the great ‘Baconin’ Borzacchini, accompanied by mechanic Lucchi, the car led the great race before being forced into retirement. It is believed later to have been rebodied and driven by the Scuderia’s ‘King of the Mountains’ – Mario Tadini – in the daunting Parma-Poggio di Berceto mountain-climb competition.

At the end of that 1933 racing season ‘051’ was sold to Gaspare Bona of Turin, and leading Alfa Romeo historian Simon Moore’s researches indicate its subsequent owners included Count Luigi Castelbarco (1936), Ferruccio Tarchini (1938-41), Abele Ghisotti (1941-43), Antonio Rivatti (1943-50), Candido Girasole (1950-51) and Adriano Carnevali in Imola from 1950. He exported the car to Eritrea, East Africa, where he ran a machine shop. In later years the car was acquired by an American and was owned for some years by Alfa Romeo enthusiast Bill Ferris in Bethesda, Maryland.

It had survived in derelict condition, and after a period with a Mrs Eagle in Arlington, Pennsylvania, the car was brought to light by leading Scuderia Ferrari authority Stan Nowak, who – in 1975 – sold it via Basil Shadlin to well-known British marque enthusiast David Black.

Upon arrival in the UK the car was found to have the desirable Monza length chassis. And, although missing much of its body, it retained the unique mounting points for the spare-wheel retaining straps which featured only upon the Scuderia Ferrari cars entered for the 1933 Mille Miglia. David Black had to overcome one major problem. The old car’s engine was missing.

However, the resourceful Mr Black had spent years accumulating a considerable collection of original Alfa Romeo mechanical components including the stock of spares he had acquired from former pre-war British Alfa Romeo agent, Thomson & Taylor Limited. Using a correct specification 8C 2300 engine – no. 2211111 – as the basis, he subsequently assembled a magnificent rebuilt – and still largely original – engine for ‘051’ – employing nothing but the best since he kept the car for his personal touring, rally and competition use.

Mr David Black sadly passed away in 1990, and ‘051’ has since been preserved within his family, from a member of whom it is now to be offered – a rare opportunity for a new owner to aspire to the celebrated joys of Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 motoring, with all the trimmings.

Category: Auction News

Comments are closed.