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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-18-2009, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Tipo 256?

I am not familiar with this, so I can't vouch for the authenticity, but this car stood out today at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. I believe the information on the car said it was a Tipo 256.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-19-2009, 12:37 PM
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I believe this is a replica based on the 1939 LeMans car.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 05:04 AM
 
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It is a replica of the Tipo 256 1939 LeMans car Raoul San Georgi built a few years ago, based around a POST WAR 6c2500. The real car is long gone (as far as anyone knows)
I was told Raoul sold the car for some 400K Euros...a LOT of money for a "replicar"!!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 12:43 PM
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Pvgp

The Data sheet on the window stated that it was a rebody.
Alfa made a big splash at PVGP. That GTA was stunning and the Red Gulletta Coupe on his roof was a sight to see. No fast Parade this year!
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 03:31 PM
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Lets complicate things

There are at least 3 fake LM Coupes:
1. San Giorgi car, s/n 915.513, engine 923.613 -first picture (C) Tillack&Co
2. Subject car, build by Dino Cognolato on chassis 915.080
1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS LeMans Information and History | Conceptcarz.com
3. Australian car, s/n 913.191, engine 923.808 - second picture stolen from flickr
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Berlinetta - a set on Flickr
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 07:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dim View Post
There are at least 3 fake LM Coupes:
1. San Giorgi car, s/n 915.513, engine 923.613 -first picture (C) Tillack&Co

2. Subject car, build by Dino Cognolato on chassis 915.080
1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS LeMans Information and History | Conceptcarz.com

3. Australian car, s/n 913.191, engine 923.808 - second picture stolen from flickr
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Berlinetta - a set on Flickr
What was San Georgi's car (he sold it) is a good copy, the Cognolato car in the top photo in this post is pretty bad, and the Australian car is somewhere in between...!
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 09:08 PM
 
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1939 Alfa Romeo at PVGP

I am the owner of the above mentioned vehicle which was displayed at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix this weekend. It has been shown only twice before in the US ... at the Amelia Island and St Michael's (MD) Concours in 2008. I brought it to Pittsburgh this past weekend mainly for the benefit of the BMW Club as BMW was the honored marque. As many of you know, this design was also the basis for the 328 Coupe which is the most famed BMW of the pre-war period.

I wish the original body still existed, but to this point (70 years later) it has never surfaced. I wish we knew which chassis it was matched with ... but we do not. I have reviewed the factory Le Mans records from 1939 and they include every important fact but one ... the chassis number. I have researched the Milan registration number which matches to 915007 an "open car." I am not aware of any credible evidence of a match between a specific serial number and the 1939 Le Mans body. I have more work to do ... and those that know me can attest to my diligence. If you have information I would be most grateful for your help.

This project was an important project for Carlo Felice Bianci Anderloni. He wrote a brief monograph on the subject where he stated his motivation to bring back what has been forever lost. If we were ever to realize this magnificent shape in metal again who better than Ing Anderloni to oversee the project? In this case he engineered and guided the reconstruction as close as he possibly could to the vanished original. On a proper prewar Tipo 256 chassis and drive train.

This was a painstaking project which took years to complete to the standard which is evident when you see the car. In the end Ing Anderloni stated that it was correct to his exacting standards ... an accurate reconstruction of the 1939 Le Mans Berlinetta Coupe. Its the best point of reference I could ask for.

I continue my research on this period and these interesting cars. I have had additional incentive over the years as the former owner of one of the "standard bodied" 328 cars that ran at Le Mans along with the 328 Coupe and Alfa Coupe. Its a tough period for research as much was lost.

For those that are interested ... it is a fantastic driving car. In addition to the shows mentioned above it also took part in the Colorado Grand last year. 1000 miles is a great introduction to the dynamics of this stellar vehicle. Although a short wheel base ... its quite a large car. But it can still be put though the corners with ease. It was comfortable and very "eventable." It was cool in the cabin even on very hot days ... the wind vents in the front when lifted provide adequate ventilation. A delight to look at and joy to drive.

Below you can read the necessarily brief description I provided for the "Italian Cortile" show where it was photographed on Saturday. Later that day it was returned to the paddock after charity runs on the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix course.

"This is a 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 with reconstructed aerodynamic berlinetta Touring coachwork. It is the only correct example in existence. The underlying Tipo 256 chassis and drive train were rediscovered in 1993 with postwar cabriolet coachwork of unknown origin. The reconstuction of this highly complex superleggera (super-light) aluminum body was realized through a collaboration between the former head of Carrozzeria Touring, Carlo Felice Bianci Anderloni; master coachbuilder Dino Cognaloto; and rare archive documents provided by Alfa Romeo. The coachwork was completed in Italy in 2003 just prior to Anderloni’s death. It was the famed designer’s final project.

In 1939, Alfa Romeo created this very special aerodynamic design for the Le Mans 24 hour race. The Tipo 256 featured independent suspension; perfect 50/50 weight distribution; and a 6 cylinder 2500 cc un-supercharged race engine tuned by Ferrari for the Alfa Romeo racing organization (Alfa Corse). This is one of approximately a dozen surviving examples of the 1939/40 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 model. All of the Tipo 256 cars were originally bodied with superleggera bodies by Carrozzeria Touring – but nearly all were spiders (open race cars). Few, if any, are believed to retain their original coachwork as these former race cars were typically rebodied during the WWII to make fast transport for senior German and Italian officers. Unfortunately, the Alfa Romeo production records for these cars were destroyed during the war.

This aerodynamic berlinetta design was both beautiful and extremely advanced for 1939. Vestiges of this seminal design can be seen more than 20 years later in the Corvette split-window coupe, Jaguar E-type coupe and many fastback coupés that followed.

The design also has an important link to BMW – the honored marque of the 2009 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. In 1939, BMW management saw the Alfa Romeo berlinetta being built at Carrozzeria Touring and requested a similar body be built for one of their BMW 328 chassis. This famous car won its class at Le Mans in 1939, won the Mille Miglia in 1940, and today is the centerpiece of the BMW museum collection in Munich.

The 1939 Alfa Romeo Tipo 256 Berlinetta Touring is owned by Mark Gessler of Potomac, Maryland."
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 09:18 PM
 
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1939 Alfa Romeo at PVGP

By the way ... for those who attended the Italian Cortile at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix ... I am sorry I was unable to attend the show in person and talk about this and the other wonderful cars on display. I was racing another Alfa during the day and was only able to shuttle over to drop off the car early in the morning and pick it up for the charity laps at lunch time.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-20-2009, 10:01 PM
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Welcome to AlfaBB, Mark, and thank you for the clarifications! It is a stunning car.

-Ruedi
[SIZE="1"]'63 2600 Touring Spider (AR 191437, the car that started the 2000/2600 International Register, reassembly in progress)
ex-'65 2600 SZ (AR 856043, the car in my avatar, sold as resto project to Austria)
Maintainer of a private 2600 SZ register (not the one in the Netherlands).[/SIZE]
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 08:41 AM
 
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Thank you Ruedi. Happy to supply any clarifications I can.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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Dear dretceterini ...

I am curious why you state that 915.080 is a "bad" reconstruction. I am wondering if that is what you meant to say? Have you seen the car in person? There will always be some points that we could debate about the car from existing archive photos and related materials but I believe the shape and details ... and the methods used were researched in detail and carefully executed ... every panel ... those seen and unseen (such as the interior panel work). What I can tell you is that photos of the car are very difficult to assess. The shape is a challenge to photograph in a manner that captures the aesthetic and lines of the true object. And, of course, the same goes for the interpretation of the archival photos from Le Mans (1939) and the Mille Miglia (1940).

As for the motivation for this kind of project in the first place ... the original is gone. The shape was one of the best that Touring produced in the prewar period. That was Ing. Anderloni thought as well and why he spent the time he did to ensure it was correct. I have never passed it off as anything but what it is a "reconstruction" of one of the great Touring prewar designs on an appropriate chassis and drivetrain. Every time the vehicle has been shown, it has been clearly described as such. This is not a project that I would have become involved with without the passion of Ing. Anderloni, his support, and blessings. What we achieved was though him and the masterwork of Dino Cognolato. We did our best.

Mark Gessler
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 09:37 AM
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Fascinating and beautiful. Bravo, Mark.

1975 Spider -- Long gone gateway drug
1983 Spider -- Dead: slowly parted-out on eBay
1974 Spider -- Sold, alas.
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 10:00 AM
 
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Thank you Silverspider!
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 10:13 AM
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Welcome!

Some of us here are real anoraks, as the English say- anythign from mildly interested to downright obssessed. Could you elaborate further on the origins of the chassis- where you found it, what body was it sporting, etc? Any photos?

I do look forward to seeing and hearing it one day. Sorry you were not at Monterey last year- maybe next year?

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 07-21-2009, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mgessler View Post
Dear dretceterini ...

I am curious why you state that 915.080 is a "bad" reconstruction. I am wondering if that is what you meant to say? Have you seen the car in person? There will always be some points that we could debate about the car from existing archive photos and related materials but I believe the shape and details ... and the methods used were researched in detail and carefully executed ... every panel ... those seen and unseen (such as the interior panel work). What I can tell you is that photos of the car are very difficult to assess. The shape is a challenge to photograph in a manner that captures the aesthetic and lines of the true object. And, of course, the same goes for the interpretation of the archival photos from Le Mans (1939) and the Mille Miglia (1940).

As for the motivation for this kind of project in the first place ... the original is gone. The shape was one of the best that Touring produced in the prewar period. That was Ing. Anderloni thought as well and why he spent the time he did to ensure it was correct. I have never passed it off as anything but what it is a "reconstruction" of one of the great Touring prewar designs on an appropriate chassis and drivetrain. Every time the vehicle has been shown, it has been clearly described as such. This is not a project that I would have become involved with without the passion of Ing. Anderloni, his support, and blessings. What we achieved was though him and the masterwork of Dino Cognolato. We did our best.

Mark Gessler
Mark:

I say "bad" because it appears to be nowhere near as correct in shape as the car Raoul San Georgi did.
I have seen tons of photos of the recreations as of today, but I have seen NONE of the 3 cars in person.

I am making my statement based on having a LOT of photos of the real car (Count Johnny Lurani, the racer and automotive journalist was a cousin, but we called him uncle, as he was almost twice our age) and NOT on actually seeing all 3 cars.

PS: See the Disco Volante thread; Anderloni is incorrect about the number of C-52 "flying saucer" style cars built...

I am no fan of Dino Cognolato either, because of his connection to a certain Belgian dealer/broker who I am in the process of suing for $10M US for deformation of character...

Last edited by dretceterini; 07-21-2009 at 12:39 PM.
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