Alfa Romeo 6C "SuperSport" (Third Series) - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Alfa Romeo 6C "SuperSport" (Third Series)

This thread will be devoted to the study and sharing of information about the "Terza Serie" Alfa Romeo 6C Super Sport in both supercharged and un-supercharged forms.

These cars were completed and sold in both "6C1500" and "6C1750" forms ... and some cars had historical usage in both displacement categories. In general, the 1500cc cars in this series (and the "Gran Sport" series that followed) were purchased and used initially with the intent of going after a 1500cc category racing trophy and/or prize monies. There was an annual tax advantage in having the smaller engine but the folks who owned these cars from new were not generally worried about the tax aspect of things. The lower annual tax due for the 1500cc cars became of interest as the cars became "used cars" and the prices made them attainable by those who really did factor the tax into the expense of owning and using a car.

Popularly known to some as "SSC" (in the supercharged form) or "SSSC" (in the un-supercharged form), the chassis/engine layout remained essentially the same and the one specification could be converted relatively easily to the other.

Some will already know that there were cars that began their lives in one configuration and were quickly converted to another. It has become popular in collector car circles to opine that a car is always best presented today in its original form ... whenever that configuration can be determined with some level of certainty. There are many popular examples of why "originality" is not necessarily the most historically appropriate goal, not just among these cars. Many of these cars will help to illustrate how history can be complicated. Choosing how to present the complexities of an individual car's history is not always an easy task.

When we look to events that took place some seventy to eighty-five years in the past, our hindsight is not always 20-20. There are some aspects we can study and learn with some level of certainty. A few details will have to be left to what seems "reasonable" in the way of explanations.

Parts were changed when these cars were new and parts-changing has continued to this day. "Parts" can be the obviously consumable and disposable items such as tires to other elements that may have been damaged or became fatigued over time. These can include parts and components as small as a contact inside an ignition switch to a complete chassis or engine. Or a body, some of which were altered or changed for reasons we do not easily understand unless we truly study the "why" in each individual instance that it took place. In a few cases, there are implications that some parts failed due to "fatigue" almost immediately. Those parts? Chassis frames, suspension springs, crankshafts, superchargers, wheels ... eccetera!

In other threads, I have presented listings of some highlights or overviews of what is known to me of the Fourth and Fifth Series "Gran Sport", cars that were quite varied in their presentations and histories. I have already revised each of those listings and will do so again and again as the information presented becomes more complete and refined. The listings are a study aid intended to draw input from anyone who has even a small bit of knowledge to add to the description of one car or engine ... or any other component for or from any of these cars. Even a "poor" photo may tell us something "new" about the history or earlier configuration of a specific car.

In the posting that will follow, you will find a listing for the Third Series SuperSport cars. I hope it will evolve quickly. I will continue to work on it. I hope you will help.

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
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post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Super Sport

These cars were also sold and used in 1500cc form and some were known as "6C1500 Super Sport". The vagaries and inconsistencies of promotion and historical usage often joins "Super Sport" into "SuperSport" and Super Sport is often abbreviated as "SS".

This listing should evolve quickly at first. Within days, I think.
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File Type: pdf zzAlfaRomeo6C0312xxx-ThirdSeries-SS-overview-iicar2014-03-21.pdf (347.1 KB, 638 views)
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post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312851

6C0312851 was ostensibly the first "Super Sport" car numbered. Maybe so, maybe not? This car was not sold (through Ferrari) until roughly two years after the 1929 date that we could be allowed to presume once we look at other early 6C0312xxx numbers and their origins.

Sold January 1931 to Marco Casartelli of Como. He sold the car a year later, almost certainly in a trade arrangement or to purchase 8C2111010, also in January of 1932. Casartelli is known to have owned a 6C2300 Pescara that he traded to Alfa Romeo in December of 1935 towards a 6C2300B.
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post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312861

Unfortunately, simple Italian document research todays obscures the very interesting early ownership history and use that 6C0312861 had. I expect that there is more to describe than the little bit I've gathered thus far.

The modern document is also quite misleading in that there is no way that this car was first registered 1927 despite the information shown in the document. Because of other factual errors, one has to wonder whether this car is actually running a 2336cc engine today.
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post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312861

0312862 was first sold April 1929 to Maria Avanzo. It went through ten owners in Italy before migrating to Tripoli in 1937.
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post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312864

0312864 was first sold March 1929 to Luigi Chinetti. Although known for some time in recent years by a select few, the car came to light in the public arena during 2005. 0312864 has the nature of a car that may have a good number of interesting lessons for us. The car has been written up in a couple of places for its sympathetic "non-restoration" that has preserved the as-found character of the car's appearance. I've invited myself (through intermediaries) to have a look at it but so far this has not happened. I am still hopeful of getting to look her over (and under) one day.
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post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
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6C0312865

0312865 is a car with an "early" chassis number whose bureaucratic history begins rather late. The Cd'O date is given only as "1931" in the documents seen to date and it seems the car was first registered February 1932. During 1934, the body was noted as having been changed from "berlina" to "spider" but I do not know if this is reflective of an actual change or if the original "berlina" notation was an error for some reason. We know that some records are not precisely correct and it can be difficult to refrain from classifying all of them as "questionable".

This car exists today in the Museo Storico della Motorizzazione Militare located in Cecchignola near Roma. I've not seen it yet but will do so one day. Angela Cherrett has reported that the pointed tail body may be by Ghia(?) while others have described it as "Zagato"... which seems unlikely. Angela has also reported that the engine fitted is numbered 6C8513081.

Some photos of 6C0312865 (while running the MM of 2008) have appeared on the website. "Supercars.net" and the photos I've seen are credited to Dirk de Jager.

An engine numbered "0312865" was seen 1992 by a friend near Torino. It was sitting in an un-numbered chassis ("perhaps GTC in origin?") that was with Aldo Cesaro at the time.
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post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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6C0312867

0312867 is a very interesting car historically! It has a number of cultural lessons for us.

0312867 was given a Certificato d'Origine late in March of 1929. Although not yet proven to 100% from what I've seen, there is little doubt in my mind that it was the car used by Campari and Ramponi to win the Mille Miglia of 1929. I am convinced that proof (confirmation(?) ... or to the contrary) can be found with some diligent research.

There is no doubt that Enrico Wax believed he purchased the winning car five days after the MM was concluded! He told Alberto Procovio this ... and records show that he paid quite a premium above that of a "normal" price for this sort of car from Alfa Romeo. It might seem therefor somewhat strange that he sold the car five months later to a new owner in Milano but it seems that Mr. Wax was what I characterize as a "taster". Most of his cars were "tasted" and then passed on in relatively short order. 6C0312867 then went a year later (still 1930) to Firenze where the new owner (Luciano Visconti) had a "break-line" hammered (after some time?) into the Zagato body, giving it some "Bugatti" styling echoes. It still has this wonderful non-original characteristic today.

I saw 03129867in the 1990's when it was owned by Alberto Procovio. I am hopeful that the Zagato body number (618, seen in a couple of locations) is joined soon by additional early body numbers in our study. I'm certain there are several earlier numbers to be identified but nobody has yet rushed to inform me of these characteristics even though I ask (perhaps too gently?) from time to time. Thus far, there is only one earlier Zagato number recorded in my lists.

Here are two photos. The photo from 1961circa was supplied by Art Wennerstrom and the photo at Pebble Beach 2012 came from my own camera.

The "break-line" can be seen running along the top of the engine bonnet and into the cockpit cowl area where it makes a curve. It seems likely that Visconti highlighted this feature with a two-tone paint motif but I've not yet seen a photo of the car in other than all black.
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Last edited by iicarJohn; 07-10-2014 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Zagato body number re-wording.
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post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312868

0312868 was given a Certificato d'Origine on April 4, 1929. It seems likely that it was one of the Alfa "works" cars on the Mille Miglia. Shortly after the Mille Miglia, 6C0312868 was registered to Alfa Romeo and was sold to Luigi Chinetti at a hugely discounted price, perhaps justified because the car was considered "used"? Rather a different story than what we see in the record of 6C0312867 above!

6C0312868 was raced at least once as a semi-official (but non-"works") car while in Chinetti's ownership and the car was registered as having been sold back to Alfa Romeo a year later at a profit of almost 20% to Chinetti ... according to the declarations that were made.

The only photo I've been able to identify thus far was based on some recent research done for me by Corrado Bellabarba when I asked him to check the Milano plate number of a car seen in a photograph that was shown to me by Julian Majzub many years ago. A small batch of photos were on loan to him showing some cars at San Sebastian late in 1929. 6C0312868 car was there with a Zagato body that appears to be the same as those of 6C0312864 and 6C0312867 as well as the body originally fitted to 6C0312861.
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post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312869

Thanks to some notes taken by Adolfo Orsi while doing some other research, we know that 0312869 was "chiuso 4 posti" (closed four-seater) and that is was registered 1932 in Torino after having been registered 1930 in Alessandria. I don't yet have a real clue as to whether it was 1500cc or 1750cc. Research can be done easily with information already to hand. It just takes time and some fees paid to collect additional data.
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post #11 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312870

0312870 was imported 1952 to the UK, apparently from Eritrea. A dash plaque proclaimed "Campionato Eritreo Montagni 1951 Romeo Paolo A.C.E.". It seems likely that the car already had the 6C2300B engine (823589) when it made the trip from Eritrea as the engine 6C0312870 also came from Eritrea in company with another car that went in a different direction at a different time.
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post #12 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312871

A 1500 Super Sport, 0312871 was registered to Alfa Romeo even as it was being sold to the British importer Stiles. One of a "team" of four consecutively numbered cars that would go to the UK, it seems the Zagato body was apparently removed almost immediately and set aside to have a four-seater body fitted so the car could race in certain events that required this characteristic.

If the engine was not already "testa fissa" as delivered, it apparently became testa fissa for at least some of its early races. It is said that the ownership of the testa fissa engines was retained by Alfa Romeo but evidence suggests that some of them were either sold off or were otherwise retained by Stiles (the UK agent) so as to make their way into private ownership on occasion. In some cases, it seems that there were attempts to mask the fact that the engines were quite special. Many stories are told about what was what and it may be that they are all true to a degree but perhaps none are universally accurate?

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post #13 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312872

0312872 was the second of four consecutively numbered cars that went to Stiles for thinly disguised factory promotional racing in the UK.
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6C0312873

0312873 was the third of four consecutively numbered cars that went to Stiles for thinly disguised factory promotional racing in the UK.
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post #15 of 68 (permalink) Old 04-03-2014, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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6C0312874

0312874 was the fourth of four consecutively numbered cars that went to Stiles for thinly disguised factory promotional racing in the UK.
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