Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Gran Sport - Fifth Series - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Gran Sport - Fifth Series

This will be the first of a few threads I hope to start with the hope that we might begin an information exchange about various versions of the 6C1750 and the variations that came before, during and after.

As many will know by now, I have studied virtually all low-production Italian car history, car by car, for more than thirty years. The 6C1750 (and 6C1500 / 6C1900) has been a particular focus of my studies during the last ten years.

Any direct dialogue we have need not be public but I am not going to argue that it need only be private. One way or another, I have already the basis of an interesting book on the subject of these cars in general. I would like to collect enough data to be able to describe all of the existing cars with a reasonable degree of accuracy and authority. Many cars that no longer exist will also be described when there is enough information known to make an interesting story. I envision something of a cross between the excellent books by Angela Cherrett (Alfa Romeo Tipo 6C 1500/1750/1900, Alfa Romeo Modello 8C2300 and the fascinating work of Simon Moore in The Immortal 2.9 and The Legendary 2.3.

I am certain that I have seen enough cars in enough detail that I can claim to be a highly qualified student. Sometimes I can almost pretend to be "expert" when it comes to a few certain details of certain types of cars? I will avoid the goal of becoming truly "expert" as this would require seeing each and every car with enough time to absorb all of its characteristics. An impossible task, particularly since I have many other interests as well. I will simply seek to learn what seems to be within our grasp. A necessary level of awareness can come only by seeing a lot more cars and/or collecting specific data from the owners and/or their mechanics. I will hope for an invitation from owners out there who don't mind showing off what they've been lucky to have in their garage for a day or for forty years or more. I am more than willing to respect any request you have to honor your personal level of privacy concerns.

Understanding will also come from doing a great deal of additional research in Italy. That kind of research often comes at great expense of time and money when done thoroughly. Perhaps there are others out there who might like to contribute to the effort? Details describing how you might assist with various research strategies are available upon request.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry

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Last edited by iicarJohn; 02-25-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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post #2 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Data form for Alfa Romeo 6C1500, 6C1750, 6C1900 and 6C2300 (A)

I've shared this form in the past on a couple of other threads, but it seems appropriate to post it here as well.

This form shows the details that I look at and record when I see one of these cars "up close and personal". There are many cars for which I've only managed to snag one or two characteristics. It is a start! I am pleased to add incompletely collected data from any car. Every piece adds to our understanding of a very large puzzle.

Incidentally, the kind of data that I search for in one of these cars also appears in great part on Alfa Romeo RL, RM and 8C2300 cars. That sort of data is also very welcome as it all helps us to understand the general nature of Alfa Romeo production during overlapping time periods.

Please note that the numbers are sometimes not terribly important in their specific nature. We know that parts and major components / assemblies have been swapped around since the beginning, even at Alfa Romeo during the early years. Each clue is just that, a clue. Sometimes we learn something simply be observing the nature of the metal (or other material) that a number is associated with. It is nice to have good-quality photos to help document those characteristics!

I am in no hurry to receive this sort of information. I've hurried myself on too many occasions and have photos and other data that is difficult to interpret as a result. Some cars I will need to see a second or third time as a result. I hope that we may make each piece of information sharing a meaningful experience!

John
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File Type: pdf Alfa Romeo6C1500-6C1750-6C2300A-8C2300 info form-iicar2010-01-25.pdf (62.2 KB, 319 views)
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post #3 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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6C1750 GS chassis number highlights of what is known to me

Here is a listing of highlights of what I pretend to know of the Alfa Romeo 6C1750 "Gran Sport" cars numbered in the Fifth Series ...

I am replacing the initial listing posted (dated February 20) ... that had 31 counted "views" when removed about two days after posting it

I am replacing the listing posted (dated February 27) ... that had 52 counted "views" when removed.
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File Type: pdf zzAlfaRomeo6C10814xxx-FifthSeries=GranSport=WHATisKNOWN-iicar2014-05-12.pdf (350.9 KB, 583 views)

Last edited by iicarJohn; 05-12-2014 at 12:43 PM. Reason: updated listing 12 May 2014
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post #4 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Alfa Romeo 6C10814307 – Early history identified

During September, October and November of 2012, I spent seven weeks in Italy shaking trees, stomping the ground, rattling cages, stirring pots and various other annoyances in an attempt to learn something of the early history of a friend’s 6C1750 whose historical description otherwise began 1934 in England. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in that specific search. My friend, who paid the bulk of my expenses for creating such mayhem, was disappointed almost as much as I. My efforts were not completely wasted however as I came away with an amazing amount of material that I have sifted through ever since while continuing to gather ever more material that relates to these great cars. Later, through a completely different path here in California, I did find the early history of my friend’s car. That is another story all of its own!

In the process of all of this, I identified the early history of 6C10814307, a lovely Gran Sport by Zagato that I saw one day many years ago while in the company of yet another 6C-owning friend. 6C10814307 was a lovely car when I saw it. I gathered a bit of information that has proven to be interesting to our studies of other similar cars, as well as studies of Zagato and other outside suppliers to Alfa Romeo.

Nine racing events are identified thus far in the 1930's and it is likely that there will be more to be found with additional studies. I've also documented a dozen or more text references and at least three published photographs. There will be more to be found as well in some archives not yet scoured.

I’ve recently learned that 6C10814307 is perhaps being sold as this is being written. This note is an attempt to reach out to the new owner or perhaps wanna-be new owner. The current/most recent owner turned down my offer last year to rejoin the history gathered back with the car, an offer I made as soon as I identified it. At that time, I asked only the actual amount paid by my friend … which allowed me the ability to do the research in the first place. Some of that amount, if paid, would have been offered back to the friend who funded my efforts. The history I’ve learned about 6C10814307 is significant and is likely to increase the perceived value of the car significantly. At least 5% and perhaps more like 10% or more. I am not arguing that this is a “correct” way to add value to a car but I can certainly testify that it seems to be what happens in the real world we live in. What is the actual value of such information to an owner or prospective owner in order to know exactly how "interesting" the car might actually seem, in addition to all the obvious appeal that it has without knowing anything about its early origins?

The presentation of 10814307 when I last saw it is perhaps more “honest” to its history and build intent than the jewel-like presentation of the black car (6C10814356) recently sold? I cannot actually say that one car is better than the other. The two cars are simply different while being fundamentally quite similar. I am not yet convinced that the price paid for the black car will be repeated anytime soon for a similar car. If it is repeated in short order, then perhaps I am thinking “small” on what the information should be valued at? However, I am not yet asking 1% of 3-million! I would merely like to be able to continue the research and be able to justify the time and expense that it takes to do it. There is so much more awaiting the effort to dig it out from its hiding places! I’ve only scratched a few surfaces so far.

For now, I will require that anyone interested in acquiring the historical data show some knowledge of the car itself. It is not on offer to just anyone. At least, not yet! In the end, it may not matter how additional research becomes funded?

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
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Last edited by iicarJohn; 02-26-2014 at 10:59 PM. Reason: Simplified
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post #5 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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6C10814311

A redacted portion of the PRA document from 1931 relating to the second plate issued to the car.
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post #6 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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6C10814312

The engine anyway. Maybe more? As of 1948, with a new origin described as "A.R.A.R."

Edit as of January 11, 2018: News has come to light that, once researched, is likely to reveal pre-war ownership history of a car numbered "10814312". The news may dovetail nicely with the postwar papers generated 1948 ... or it may not?
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Last edited by iicarJohn; 01-11-2018 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Prewar info has come to light
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post #7 of 116 (permalink) Old 02-25-2014, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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AR 6c10814313

Here is a photo of the left-front chassis "longherone". The chassis number (10814313) is not really supposed to appear in this location on these cars, but this sort of numbering has been observed on many 6C cars. I rather doubt it was an "original" stamping in most cases but it became a practical usage numbering location on some cars. Far easier to find than in the "correct" location at the right rear, an area that was often covered by bodywork. We may eventually find that this sort of added number was done rather routinely in certain locales by a certain dealership or for certain inspection officials who insisted upon it. Or perhaps on cars that were traded back to Alfa Romeo during a certain time period?The other number (10434347) is what I call a frame number. It was assigned to the chassis frame during the build process of the frame itself, long before other parts joined it and a chassis number was assigned to it. There are times when we can see that this additional number has been removed from a chassis, most likely because some inspecting official decided that the chassis should not ("could not!") have two numbers. "You want me to sign off on this? Bring it back to me tomorrow without that number! It bothers me!"
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post #8 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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6C10814301

A couple of newspaper photo images of the Willis Bird Estate car collection that was auctioned off during April of 1962. The cars were reportedly on blocks since 1941.
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post #9 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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6C10814304

A photograph appears in Michele Marchiano's book "Zagato" (1984, Automobilia) on page 42. It shows a car with a Savona license plate that has a "Panoramica" style body fitted. The caption says "Alfa Romeo 6C2500 Super Sport 1949" but research on the license plate leads to some history of 6C10814304. Additional imprecisions in the captioning on the same page can be identified for the photograph above and below that image. For the photo above, another "Panoramica" body (with a Lancia badge), the chassis is Fiat 500 which is fitted with a Lancia Ardea engine. For the photo below, another "Panoramica" body appears on a Fiat 500 chassis rather than "Maserati 1500" as appears in the caption.

A friend has collected additional historical detail about 6C10814304 but I have not yet researched it myself. My understanding is that the car went through two additional plate changes and then the record simply stops. Technically, this sort of record stoppage is not supposed to have happened, but we find that it happened quite often in the real world. It is also this sort of record stoppage that can inspire some folks to use such an identity on a "recent discovery" or "barn find" that might eventually be found to have quite a large proportion of parts that are either less than ten years old and/or quite a number of parts that came from a different version of the 6C1750.

Last edited by iicarJohn; 03-05-2014 at 10:23 PM. Reason: added detail
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post #10 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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6C10814305

For this chassis, I know only that Angela Cherrett told us in her book, (Alfa Romeo Tipo 6C1500 1750 1900, 1989 from Foulis and Haynes), that this chassis was first sold 31 January 1931. I suspect it was first sold in Milano but this is only a vague guess.

WAIT! ..... NO GUESSING!
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post #11 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-05-2014, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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6C10814310

This car has had quite a history in relatively recent times. I don't know its early history yet, perhaps because it was "imported" to Italy during 1967 according to the paper trail that exists today. Hence, there is no simple way to work backwards through the historical record. One day, we will perhaps get "lucky" and find some portion of the car's earlier history and this may allow us to fill in some earlier data?

We are told that the chassis was re-bodied (probably around 1969/1970?) to Zagato form by Pettenella, a company that also built a few Alfa Romeo 6C style cars under their own name as well, using new parts mixed with some recycled Alfa Romeo parts. 6C10814310 ran some five (or so?) Mille Miglia retrospective events from 1984 to 1990 but suffered a fire on the latter that made it necessary to build most or all of a new body once again while other parts were also replaced. I saw the car before the fire and after, while work was being done at Bonfanti's garage. I did not inspect it closely but a couple of numbered component parts I did see were no longer what I expected to see in an original fifth series Gran Sport. This is perhaps not surprising after the dramas it had suffered in recent times? Who knows what sort of dramas it had experienced in order to need a new body circa 1970? Perhaps it had merely suffered the passage of time, use and perhaps neglect? The 1960's, 1970's and 1980's was a time period in which many owners and shops chose easily to build new bodies during a restoration rather than go to the trouble of restoring the old. Sometimes the new body was like the old and sometimes it was not. In this case, I do not know. Yet.
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post #12 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 05:45 AM
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6C10814301

As per Christie's Catalogue March 1970, cabriolet Brichet, Geneva.
I have plates H8HS914 associated with this car.

C.-
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post #13 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Cris!

I'd not yet made note of the car being part of the Christies sale of March 1970. I may have more info about that already?

My notes show that the registration plate on 6C10814301 during the Mille Miglia retrospectives of 1996 and 1997 was the German "HB HS914". I may have a photo from that time in my own files under those events as I was there both those years. I will check when I next visit those files. There was a photo published in the MM yearbook describing the 1997 event on page X (Roman numeral). I also have two photos from a later time, nabbed off the internet and not mine to share, showing the car on what may be a new version of the same plate that reads "HB HS914H".

Simon Moore informed me some time ago that he has a photo of 10814301 at the Salon Geneve (probably 1932?) with the car displaying its Carrosserie Brichet body at that time. I have one more photo, in black & white (also not mine to share here), that may not be as old as it seems, but which probably dates from either the 1960's or the 1970's. Something about the photo makes me think it is unlikely to be from the 1930's. We can be pretty certain it does not date from 1941 to 1962 but it is not impossible.

As always, I welcome input from anyone who has even a small piece of the very large puzzle!

Last edited by iicarJohn; 03-06-2014 at 09:15 AM.
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post #14 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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6C10814303

Corrado Bellabarba reported some years ago that a car with the number "10814303" was displayed November 2004 at Padova. I have collected no additional information about this chassis number.
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post #15 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-06-2014, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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6C10814311

Working with the owner of 10814311 a few years ago, we were able to identify a considerable amount of interesting history from 1932 onwards and also found allusions to earlier history that are seeming more and more probable but require confirmation through additional research.

"Il conte" (The count) Sergio Rusca of Milano already owned a 4th series Gran Sport (6C8513015) in 1500cc form and appears to have raced that car at least once during February of 1931 ... even though the driver name was reported by some press as "Giorgio Rusca".

Rusca purchased 10814311 during March of 1931 and I've identified six race participations so far that probably involved Count Rusca's use of 10814311. He sold the fourth-series car in August and kept 10814311 until October when it was sold to Giovanni Restelli. Restelli also owned multiple similar cars at times and appears to have owned at least four Alfa Romeo 6C cars of a sporting variety. So, in the cases of both Rusca and Restelli, we must be cautious to verify which car was being used for which event during certain time periods. Sometimes we need to think outside the time parameters implied by an official ownership change. It seems quite likely that Restelli used 10814311 one week after Rusca's last use .... and before the car transferred legally to Restelli.

Here is a photo of Rusca that appeared in the Italian press during 1931. Again, the identity should be confirmed in order to be certain, but it seems quite likely that this image shows conte Rusca in 6C10814311.
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