Two "Mona Lisa" and two AR6C8513033?
Nobody is suggesting that there were two genuine "Mona Lisa" paintings ... even if it is possible that more than one similar work was done by the same artist. Nor should it be suggested that there were two Alfa Romeo 6C1750 that were numbered "8513033" by Alfa Romeo ... even though this is also vaguely possible. Regardless, there are conceptual parallels.
There are many copies of the Mona Lisa that take various forms, some of which are only vaguely evocative of the original and some which are done so accurately that they might fool even some experts for a time.
In the case of 8513033, I have seen one car that is either "genuine" or is good enough to fool me. I do not consider myself "expert" but I am certainly a somewhat experienced student.
I readily acknowledge that the car I saw is not 100% original in all respects but I am personally convinced that the fundamental car that made history in 1930 and 1931 as "6C8513033" underlies an older restoration that, from today's viewpoint, would be acknowledged by most as being not well-executed in many important and obvious details. However, according to the standards of the time when the bulk of the restoration work was done, it is perfectly acceptable. Standards have changed in forty years! Additional distraction has come from ill-advised work done in the 1995-2005 time period that attempted to make the car seem more aged and original in the body and paint area. To my mind, the efforts would have been better spent in correcting some errors made during the restoration & re-body that was done circa 1970. As the car sits today, one could be forgiven for thinking that it is not accurately evocative of the original. In fact, it needs some work to be "made right". But, it is what it is and can never be made truly original even though the body can certainly be made to reflect its original detail more accurately. If soem of the historical information has not accompanied the car into the present owners, I can help with information I've gathered. It seems that there is now a box of additional information that may be of some assistance. As time goes by, we will find more relating to 8513033. I know which car will get my assistance and which will only get additional study.
I've already made mention of this on another thread, but I know the owner who sold the car at Monterey (was it 2 1/2 years ago already?) bought it on a spur-of-the-moment whim thinking it might fit into a vague "plan" that was not yet formulated in his mind. Then he bought a highly original fifth-series car a couple of years later. As he began the restoration of the second car, he came to the conclusion that he did not need two of these cars. When the second car is finished he may just decide that his plans have changed again? I don't know. But I do know that the simple fact that the car has been offered three times in less than six years does not make the car any kind of "Pariah" in my mind. In fact, these kinds of cars have historically been owned by at least two different kinds of people. It is an over-simplification to call them "keepers" and "tasters" but this describes the general nature of a large cross-section of the people who own interesting cars. Another way might be to say that there are those who have collections of cars they've owned one-at-a-time. There are others who are "owned" by what they have and give those things up only reluctantly.
I used to be surprised at cars that were purchased and then sold within a year or two. I cannot conceive of having a meaningful relationship with a car for such a brief period. But I have come to understand that the world is full of "tasters" who have the means to own one or two or more cars at a time but cannot own them all. They progress through a collection of wants and 'taste" each car for a time before passing it on to someone else ... who may also be a "taster". As with most things we get to observe, each case is unique but sometimes a pattern seems to develop. Sometimes the pattern is meaningful and sometimes it is not. You might be surprised by the number of times some of these cars were recorded as "sold" when they were still quite new. I have notes of some cars that sold six times in five years during the 1930's. "Tasting" is not only a recent phenomenon among the people who can afford to have nice things ... but perhaps not all at once.
Returning to the subject: Another car numbered "8513033" has only been reported to me by a couple of different sources and I cannot judge it personally. But, from what has been reported, and from the photos I've seen, it is only evocative of 8513033 from front to rear and top to bottom. It is not the Mona Lisa and it may not even be anything more than a collection of Alfa Romeo parts from a selection of cars that are mostly identifiable as being not even from the fourth-series production of 1930. Does this make it a "bad" car? Not to my mind. But it does make for quite a distraction from the car that is not as "good" (neither as "original", nor as accurately restored) as most would like it to be.
If there is a third (and fourth) car claiming the number "8513033", I am not yet aware of it (or them) but it wil also be necessary to study those distractions if they should appear on the scene. Just as there are those who probably make an effort to see all of the Mona Lisa knock-offs, "just in case there is something to be learned about the original".
Last edited by iicarJohn; 02-08-2011 at 01:14 PM.