Alfa Romeo, Scuderia Ferrari and Alfa Corse
Before this thread goes too far into the "could be" realm ...
Some of this material is presented in the 1994 edition of The Italian Car Registry so should come to many of you as no surprise. There are some updates here even though I've spent only a relatively small amount of time trying to collect additional S.F. data since that time.
This attachment, an MS-Word doc, should show what has been collected thus far (excepting perhaps any recent "news" found by Simon Moore?) about the numbering initiated by Scuderia Ferrari, first as a newly authorized automobile "manufacturer" in 1933 and then changing to the defacto racing arm of Alfa Romeo when it became politically necessary for Alfa Romeo to distance themselves from any display of monetary "waste". When Ferrari was granted "manufacturer" status, it is unlikely that the intent was to do much more than get the authority to issue certificates of origin, necessary to register a car as a car, tax it correctly and thereby be able to license it for use on the street.
Once the Scuderia Ferrari became the racing arm of Alfa Romeo, the Ferrari numbering became practical for another reason. A "retired" racing car that arrived from Alfa Romeo would need to be checked over for raceworthiness and gone through to make it into a functional racer once again. It would have become quite obvious that not all the parts were "numbers matching" at that point and during that process it would have beome clear that a system of easy identification of which part fit which car might be in order. The Scuderia Ferrari numbering system was already in place (and had perhaps already been used similarly earlier on?) and it was easy simply to continue it. Once the Scuderia Ferrari ceased being the racng arm of Alfa Romeo (with a fair number of Alfa Romeo employees having been involved no doubt) then the newly formed "Alfa Corse" took up where Ferrari left off and continued with Alfa Corse numbering derived in part from Ferrari numbering concepts. We should not assume, however, that there was a number "66", "67", "68", "69" or "70" ... until we are faced with some evidence. It is very likely that a small hole in the numbering was left. For whatever reason, there do not seem to be any Scuderia Ferrari numbers lower than 24. It may be that Ferrari actually initiated the system earlier on and that each member/team car was assigned a number. This would imply that the 6C1750 numbered "24" was perhaps the 24th car to have been a part of the team? Could be. Maybe not! It might simply have been a number ... or a best guess at the time. Or ... ? We can all tilt at the theoretical windmill but it will take time away from our studies. Now, if someone actually knows ....?
You'll note that the listing is not easy to read in one glance. This is because we are looking at a complex jumble of remaining evidence of a very complex set of histories albeit of just a few cars. Alfa Romeo has a very good excuse as to why any records they may have had no longer exist. War is hell. Not just for people, but for documents that can be damaged far more easily than people ... who are understandably first in line to receive attention.
All the best,
John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry