Alfa Romeo at the Indianapolis 500 Museum - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Alfa Romeo at the Indianapolis 500 Museum

Just for the archives, the Alfa Romeo that is on display at the Indy 500 museum.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 07:51 AM
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The Indy museum is quite a trip. I visited there in the mid '90's when they still ran the "real" 500 and not the farce it is now.

Loud pipes save lives.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Agreed. Although small it is very high quality. Every car has an important history behind it.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 08:49 AM
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Referred to as a 'Special' and a '308'; it looks a bit like a Tipo 158/159 to me.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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It seems in the Indy lingo almost any purpose-built race car was called a "Special" to distinguish them from the modified street cars used earlier in the century.

I am not sure what "308 C" means. Any help from the historians on the board?

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 11:24 AM
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In the 1982 edition of their book, Hull & Slater wrote the following about the 8C-308:
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With the 8C-308 of 1938, designed for the 3-litre formula, came a change in the nomenclature, the type designation meaning eight cylinders and 3-litres. A factory sheet gives it as the 8C 308/2900.
The tubular chassis was adevelopment of that on the 12C-37, and it was a leak in the saddle tank which caused Nuvolari's 8C-308 to catch fire in practice a Pau in 1938.
The engine was developed from the famous 2.9B Monoposto unit, and at last a step was taken which had puzzled many people as to why it had not been done long before -- namely the bore was increased from 68mm to 69mm so that the capacity of the 69 x 100mm engine was 2,994cc instead of the old 2,905cc. It now developed 295bhp at 6,000rpm, and the makers gave it a maximum speed of 168mph.
The 8C-308m with the faithful old eight cylinder engine in the new chassis, was something of a stop-gap, for the makers were pinning their hopes on the twelve cylinder and, in particular, the sixteen cylinder engine, which they intended to develop in order to catch up with the Germans. Nevertheless the 8C-308 was a good car, if too slow for the formula races it took part in. In later years Galvez in Argentina and Landi in Brazil won several races with this model, as did Jean Pierre Wimille soon after the War.
The car which Sommer raced before the War, and which still holds the Monthlery lap record, appeared at Indianapolis in 1940 entered by Wharston-Dewart Inc. for Chester Miller to drive and finished seventeenth after qualifying at 121.322mph. Almost certainly it was this same 8C-308 which appeared at Indianapolis in 1946 enetered by Milt Maron for Louis Devant to drive. Devant qualified at 119.335mph and finished sixth.
In 1947 Marion entered the car with Walt Brown at the wheel, and he finished seventh after qualifying at 118.335mph.
In 1948 Johnny Mauro, who now has a motor business in Denver, Colorado, bought th ecar from marion in New York, qualified at 121.79mph at Indianapolis and finished eighth.
Of the 1951 race Mr Mauro writes: 'The car was fast becoming obsolete at the speedway, so I reworked the engine as to get 500 more rpm out of it fo rthe 1951 race and blew it up. I sold it to a fellow in Ohio and he turned up at the speedway with a 270 Offy in it. I drove it to compare, but it was not the same car. I would go on record to say that the 308 Alfa Romeo was one of the greatest Race Cars that was ever built. I enjoyed driving it very much.' Johnny Mauro also drove the 308 at Pikes Peak Hill Climb.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
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Referred to as a 'Special' and a '308'; it looks a bit like a Tipo 158/159 to me.
Hull & Slater write that the 8C-308 evolved into the 12C-312 and 16C-316 in 1938, then into the 158:
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...it was from the 16C-316 that the Type 158 design of Colombo was derived.
158, of course, implies 1,500cc and eight cylinders, and the engine was, in effect, half the V16 of the 316, having the same bore and stroke of 58 x 70mm with a total capacity of 1,479cc.
[...]
In 1938 the Alfettas were like the 308 cars in appearance though, of course, smaller but many alterations were made in them after Tripoli in 1939. [...] In appearance, the cars were also changed and they now resembled the cars of the 1-1/2-litre post-war formula.

-Ruedi
'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, now a restomod in Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 01:42 PM
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Fascinating!

I note that the scan is titled 'Independently Sprung Racing Cars'. Is this a stretch? Wouldn't the 308 have been DeDion rear? Or possibly a live axle?

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 06:12 PM
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Fascinating!

I note that the scan is titled 'Independently Sprung Racing Cars'. Is this a stretch? Wouldn't the 308 have been DeDion rear? Or possibly a live axle?
The chapter is called "The All-Independently Sprung Racing Cars of the Thirties: 8C-35; 12C36; 12C-37; 8C-308; 12C-312; 16C-316; Type 158; Type 512; Type 162 and 163 Prototypes." The opening paragraph defines the suspension as follows:
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The racing cars dealt with here are those which came after the famous 2.9B Monopostos. Every one of the G.P. cars had independent suspension front and rear of a design that is common to all. That is trailing links with coil springs in hydraulic dampers in the front, and swing axles with a transverse leaf spring below the axle housing at the rear. Gearboxes were integral with the rear axle, and brakes were hydraulic.

-Ruedi
'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, now a restomod in Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).

Last edited by tubut; 06-19-2007 at 08:03 AM.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 05:49 AM
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Thanks Tubut.

Thanks for posting MALDI.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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tubut, thanks for the info!

I love the quote from Mauro:

"I would go on record to say that the 308 Alfa Romeo was one of the greatest Race Cars that was ever built."
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-19-2007, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Just watched the Victory by Design on Alfa and a 8C 308 is featured in it. Alain De Cadenet says it is one of the best Alfas ever (on the other hand he says that about most of the 20-odd Alfas featured in the video!) He mentions that Mauro won the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the 8C at the Indy museum.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2007, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubut View Post
Hull & Slater write that the 8C-308 evolved into the 12C-312 and 16C-316 in 1938, then into the 158:
Indeed Hull and Slater wrote so. But, albeit their work was a groundbreaking one 40 years ago, they were a bit off the spot with this shortcut.

The 158/159 is undoubtly a completely different project, while retaining some layout similarities, such as the independent suspension scheme. The straight-8 is instead a very different one.

The 312 is instead derived from the 12C37, and so ws the final version of the 316. The 308 is a downsized version of the 8C-35 with the engine lowered in the chassis.

For a comprehensive study of the 308, 312 and 316, including some notes on the first races of the 158, here are the links to the english text and to the illustrated article in Dutch I happened to write years ago in Het Klaverblaadje 96.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-20-2007, 04:30 PM
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Indeed Hull and Slater wrote so. But, albeit their work was a groundbreaking one 40 years ago, they were a bit off the spot with this shortcut.

The 158/159 is undoubtly a completely different project, while retaining some layout similarities, such as the independent suspension scheme. The straight-8 is instead a very different one.

The 312 is instead derived from the 12C37, and so ws the final version of the 316. The 308 is a downsized version of the 8C-35 with the engine lowered in the chassis.

For a comprehensive study of the 308, 312 and 316, including some notes on the first races of the 158, here are the links to the english text and to the illustrated article in Dutch I happened to write years ago in Het Klaverblaadje 96.
Once again, Patrick steps up and puts me to shame with how much he knows about these cars and what happened inside Alfa during this period. From this document, I learned a lot about the Jano/Colombo/Ferrari/Ricart dynamics. Thank you very much for sharing this superbly researched information with us!

-Ruedi
'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, now a restomod in Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).

Last edited by tubut; 06-20-2007 at 04:33 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-21-2007, 06:20 AM
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Thank you very much for sharing this superbly researched information with us!
You're welcome! Thanks for the praise.
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