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1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spyder

Chassis no. 8513033
Engine no.85130033

"ex-Luigi Scarfiotti, Scuderia Ferrari"

Being offered at Auction at Bonhams

Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated
 

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1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spyder

Chassis no. 8513033
Engine no.85130033

"ex-Luigi Scarfiotti, Scuderia Ferrari"

Being offered at Auction at Bonhams

Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated

I am certain it is a real 6c1750, I just don't have anything that gives proof of the chassis number of the 3rd place car in the MM....
 

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Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Gran Sport N. 8513033

Stu, there is more than one pre-war registry of Alfa Romeo cars previous to the 6C2500. The Italian Car Registry is only one of them. And you surely know that Angela Cherrett probably has the greatest collection of prewar Alfa Romeo 6C information of anybody! I'm sure I have a long trek ahead of me to match her knowledge of those cars and many of their histories. A long trek begins one step at a time!

My opinion is that this Alfa Romeo 6C8513033 is a great car. It was not described correctly when it was last sold at auction in 2005 and there have been some concerns expressed in the past by some people as a result. The new owner asked me to look the car over immediately after the sale to tell him what I honestly thought of the car and how it related to the catalogue description from the sale. I did so and was paid well for my time, knowledge, interest and willingness to venture an honest opinion no matter the outcome.

It is difficult or impossible to be absolutely certain about every single detail on a car. Any car is merely a collection of parts, no matter how original it might or might not be. Original Alfa Romeo parts from this time period can give us lots of clues however. Many similar cars I have seen have clearly had numerous changes to major mechanical components. This car is a pleasant exception. In this case, it appears as if the chassis and all the major mechanical parts of the car were very probably from the car that made 1930-31 history as 8513033 in Scarfiotti's hands.

The previously made claim as to 1932 history was not correct however. Neither the claim made regarding the Mille Miglia 1932 nor the claim made about Le Mans history. The car was sold back to Alfa Romeo in 1932 soon after the 1932 Mille Miglia, but photos show us that Scarfiotti drove the MM in a different car.

After lengthy inspection of both the car and the accompanying paperwork, I came to a tentative conclusion that either none or very little of the original body was remaining and there was nothing found in the car that reported the original Zagato body number. A year or so later, I looked the car over again in the company of another long-time Alfa Romeo 6C owner and he came to the same conclusion or strong impression that I did about the likely origins of all the major mechanical components of the car. I have some doubts about shock absorbers ("dampers") and a few wheels have almost certainly been changed. If you have done any hard driving, you know that wheels might sometimes be considered "disposable"?

The paperwork accompanying the car, including a borrowed color photocopy of Scarfiotti's personal photo album, did not document any major work done in any detail but the inference that I got from it all was that the car was rescud in the 1960's and restored either late in the 1960's (or very early 1970's) when it was the all too common (if not "normal") practice to re-body during a restoration rather than conserve everything possible ... as many will prefer today. When looking at these sorts of cars, it is important to acknowledge that the world is not the same now as it was 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years ago when it comes to popular viewpoints about historic cars and how they were treated during restorations.

In the paperwork included with car, I saw a letter (or a copy of it?) written in the 1970's by an aging Luigi Scarfiotti and his letter contained an important implication or error that may have influenced the restoration or perhaps some subsequent re-restoration efforts. The error is understandable. His letter referred to the three Mille Miglia that he ran and this was perhaps considered evidence of this car having run 1932 as well. But, he raced 1932 in a Scuderia Ferrari car that was not this chassis and the body was not precisely the same. In any case, there are currently a couple of incorrect details in the car's bodywork as it sits. Those details were apparently not deemed significant enough to correct by the new owner but they are details that I would want to correct if it were mine. Nothing dramatic, but visually identifiable. And, to be fair, the body evolved during Scarfiotti's use. It may be a bit difficult to decide on the most interesting "point in time" configuration to present the car in today?

It is a semantic point most likely, but based on the evidence I have seen, I would not consider 8513033 to be a "Scuderia Ferrari" car in the purest sense. It did race with Scuderia Ferrari. It was a private car that was purchased from Ferrari. It raced with hired Scuderia Ferrari support and with a Scuderia Ferrari mechanic/co-driver in each year (1930 & 1931) and the co-driver may have done the bulk of the driving? In the context of that early time, when the Scuderia was perhaps more a loose association of like-minded drivers rather than a highly touted dominant force in Italian racing (as well as elsewhere), saying "Suderia Ferrari" may be technically correct. But, to me, that label infers ownership by either the Scuderia itself or perhaps Ferrari or Trossi or some similar Scuderia Ferrari figure, and this car does not have that kind of ownership in its Italian registration documentation. The Italian PRA (Pubblico Registro Automobilistico) documents for the plate "MC2012" does clearly state that the car was registered 7 April 1930 to Luigi Scarfiotti of Porto Recanati and that the declared sales price was Lire 70.000. It further tells us that the car was sold back to Alfa Romeo in May of 1932 and a new Milan registration was issued in June. Hence, the "MC2012" plates on the car, although lovely evocative items, cannot be the original plates from 1930 as those would have been turned in when the car was re-registered in Milan.

I have no experience with, and therefor am not convinced of the significance or authenticity of the brass document tube that bears the S.F. logo, but I cannot say for sure that it is merely evocative. However, I have seen a couple of Mille Miglia lead seal inspection tags in the past and the one that accompanies this car (from the 1931 MM) is magic!

I could go on but perhaps I have already communicated more than you really wanted to know?

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
 

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Stu, there is more than one pre-war registry of Alfa Romeo cars previous to the 6C2500. The Italian Car Registry is only one of them. And you surely know that Angela Cherrett probably has the greatest collection of prewar Alfa Romeo 6C information of anybody! I'm sure I have a long trek ahead of me to match her knowledge of those cars and many of their histories. A long trek begins one step at a time!

My opinion is that this Alfa Romeo 6C8513033 is a great car. It was not described correctly when it was last sold at auction in 2005 and there have been some concerns expressed in the past by some people as a result. The new owner asked me to look the car over immediately after the sale to tell him what I honestly thought of the car and how it related to the catalogue description from the sale. I did so and was paid well for my time, knowledge, interest and willingness to venture an honest opinion no matter the outcome.

It is difficult or impossible to be absolutely certain about every single detail on a car. Any car is merely a collection of parts, no matter how original it might or might not be. Original Alfa Romeo parts from this time period can give us lots of clues however. Many similar cars I have seen have clearly had numerous changes to major mechanical components. This car is a pleasant exception. In this case, it appears as if the chassis and all the major mechanical parts of the car were very probably from the car that made 1930-31 history as 8513033 in Scarfiotti's hands.

The previously made claim as to 1932 history was not correct however. Neither the claim made regarding the Mille Miglia 1932 nor the claim made about Le Mans history. The car was sold back to Alfa Romeo in 1932 soon after the 1932 Mille Miglia, but photos show us that Scarfiotti drove the MM in a different car.

After lengthy inspection of both the car and the accompanying paperwork, I came to a tentative conclusion that either none or very little of the original body was remaining and there was nothing found in the car that reported the original Zagato body number. A year or so later, I looked the car over again in the company of another long-time Alfa Romeo 6C owner and he came to the same conclusion or strong impression that I did about the likely origins of all the major mechanical components of the car. I have some doubts about shock absorbers ("dampers") and a few wheels have almost certainly been changed. If you have done any hard driving, you know that wheels might sometimes be considered "disposable"?

The paperwork accompanying the car, including a borrowed color photocopy of Scarfiotti's personal photo album, did not document any major work done in any detail but the inference that I got from it all was that the car was rescud in the 1960's and restored either late in the 1960's (or very early 1970's) when it was the all too common (if not "normal") practice to re-body during a restoration rather than conserve everything possible ... as many will prefer today. When looking at these sorts of cars, it is important to acknowledge that the world is not the same now as it was 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years ago when it comes to popular viewpoints about historic cars and how they were treated during restorations.

In the paperwork included with car, I saw a letter (or a copy of it?) written in the 1970's by an aging Luigi Scarfiotti and his letter contained an important implication or error that may have influenced the restoration or perhaps some subsequent re-restoration efforts. The error is understandable. His letter referred to the three Mille Miglia that he ran and this was perhaps considered evidence of this car having run 1932 as well. But, he raced 1932 in a Scuderia Ferrari car that was not this chassis and the body was not precisely the same. In any case, there are currently a couple of incorrect details in the car's bodywork as it sits. Those details were apparently not deemed significant enough to correct by the new owner but they are details that I would want to correct if it were mine. Nothing dramatic, but visually identifiable. And, to be fair, the body evolved during Scarfiotti's use. It may be a bit difficult to decide on the most interesting "point in time" configuration to present the car in today?

It is a semantic point most likely, but based on the evidence I have seen, I would not consider 8513033 to be a "Scuderia Ferrari" car in the purest sense. It did race with Scuderia Ferrari. It was a private car that was purchased from Ferrari. It raced with hired Scuderia Ferrari support and with a Scuderia Ferrari mechanic/co-driver in each year (1930 & 1931) and the co-driver may have done the bulk of the driving? In the context of that early time, when the Scuderia was perhaps more a loose association of like-minded drivers rather than a highly touted dominant force in Italian racing (as well as elsewhere), saying "Suderia Ferrari" may be technically correct. But, to me, that label infers ownership by either the Scuderia itself or perhaps Ferrari or Trossi or some similar Scuderia Ferrari figure, and this car does not have that kind of ownership in its Italian registration documentation. The Italian PRA (Pubblico Registro Automobilistico) documents for the plate "MC2012" does clearly state that the car was registered 7 April 1930 to Luigi Scarfiotti of Porto Recanati and that the declared sales price was Lire 70.000. It further tells us that the car was sold back to Alfa Romeo in May of 1932 and a new Milan registration was issued in June. Hence, the "MC2012" plates on the car, although lovely evocative items, cannot be the original plates from 1930 as those would have been turned in when the car was re-registered in Milan.

I have no experience with, and therefor am not convinced of the significance or authenticity of the brass document tube that bears the S.F. logo, but I cannot say for sure that it is merely evocative. However, I have seen a couple of Mille Miglia lead seal inspection tags in the past and the one that accompanies this car (from the 1931 MM) is magic!

I could go on but perhaps I have already communicated more than you really wanted to know?

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
No, I'm always happy to learn more. I am aware Angela Charett has a register of pre-6c2500 cars, but I was unaware that she (or anyone else, for that matter) was keeping that record current, nor correcting errors that been made.

Thanks,
Stu
 

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Nicea ride...

Jim, Welcome to the BB. Less deranged types here IMHO than that other site, *******chat :p

Here's my two cents: If you're looking for a no-stories, S.F. 1750, you might be better served by either letting this one slip by, or making an offer to someone with a proven, testafissa-engined (sure giveaway of a "special" 1750), 1750. No, I don't know of such a car on the market.

If you're looking for a lovely early 1750 GS on the other hand (with a IMHO potentially tenuous connection to S.F.), this might be the car for ya. This car seems to have all the goodies you'd want- the third headlight, the side spotlight, the correct dashboard and autovac, etc. Having been fortunate enought to have driven this car's older brother, the 6C 1500 Sport, many times (and with great verve, if I may say so :D), I can vouche for the fun you'll have in the driver's seat. These cars are a BLAST.

Nick Mason owned/owns a proven ex-Enzo 8C 2300. There's a few others out there with less tenuous S.F. connections if such is of great importance. I agree with something Stu (?) once said, yer collection is incomplete without a prewar, S.F.-vintage Alfa!

-Peter
 

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When your near Indy picking up the other car you should try to hook up with Gordon Barrett.
He has both a 1750 and 2.3 and knows as much as almost anyone on the subject(he even works on his own cars!!).

TT
 

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I don't think the tenuousness of the SF connection matters much.This is a great car with a great racing history regardless of SF.I think it has suffered at the hands of marketers in the past who have made too much of the SF history (see for eg Special Classics) and as a consequence caused unwarranted speculation .This 6c is what it is :eek:ne of very few substantially intact racing 6cs with an impeccable provenance .It's a pity about the body but original bodywork is rarely compatible with old racers that had to work for a living .IMHO you'll wait a long time for a better one to come up.
 

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connections

I agree "6C1750SS". It is a great car with some history still remaining to be discovered and explained completely. Rather like a lot of cars! I'd hoped to clear up a couple of things as I have found that misleading information can sometimes distract us from finding the truth.

The S.F. connection exists. I simply think it has been described a bit incorrectly far too many times.

Ultimately, it can come down to semantics. Language differences can sometimes compound or even create problems where none should exist?

John
 

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I think this is a very good deal for the purchaser at this price and it is also some evidence that the market has cooled off a little. There were a lot of cars unsold at this auction and of the more expensive cars only the genuine A grade lots seemed to sell. The Scarfiotti Alfa sold for almost exactly what it brought at auction in 2005 and another 6c1750 gs failed to sell .This was quite a nice Castagna bodied drophead that has spent most of its recent life in Melbourne so I know it quite well. It retains its very attractive original body which is probably too heavy for a supercharged 6c chassis .It is (unfortunately) painted red and has been well maintained over the years without ever being totally pulled apart for a full restoration. I thought the presale estimate of 600-800k usd was pretty high .I think the moral here might be that the bubble of the last 3 years might have burst but gently so.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Hey

I looked over this car and wasn't impressed. I doubt that it's been driven much since the last owner bought it. It was missing it's rear shocks among other things and much of the body IMO wasn't original. It would need a ton of work to fix IMO a fair at best restoration. Didn't do it for me.

The Auction Company was very straight forward and the car did have a large interesting file.

I hope the new buyer puts it right and enjoys it.
 

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Hey

I looked over this car and wasn't impressed. I doubt that it's been driven much since the last owner bought it. It was missing it's rear shocks among other things and much of the body IMO wasn't original. It would need a ton of work to fix IMO a fair at best restoration. Didn't do it for me.

The Auction Company was very straight forward and the car did have a large interesting file.

I hope the new buyer puts it right and enjoys it.

In view of your assessment of the car, plus the questions that exist about it's history, I'm surprised at the price it brought.
 

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Missing parts?

And ... a little perspective may be in order?

I did not look at 8513033 at the auction because I did not get down to Monterey in time due to other distractions of life. If I had, I might not have looked at it all that closely in any case? However, 8513033 had rear shocks (dampers) the last time I saw it less than one year ago. If they were not on the car for some reason as it sat while on display, then I suspect they were with parts that were likely supplied with the car. The oil reserve tank, for example, was not fitted when I last saw the car and I presume that it had been removed to make extra space for a passenger's legs at some point. But, the tank was with some parts that accompanied the car when I last saw it. If those parts (and perhaps others?) are missing from the car now, I rather suspect it was an oversight and that they can be had from the previous owner as part and parcel of the car. In the case of the shocks, however, they were one of the few things "mechanical" that I considered unlikely to be original to the car. I cannot tell you precisely why, but they felt subtly "wrong" to me ... even though they were quite accurate overall. And it could well be that my sense of them was in error? It did seem as if the car might have been used as something of a "parts" car for a time in the as-yet undescribed portion of the car's history when it was apparently hidden away.

If the new owner of 8513033 does not know how to contact the previous owner(s), I will be happy to place them in touch. There is almost certainly additional information that might also be gathered from the last prior Italian owner and I will share that contact information as well. I was told that there might even be some original hardware from the car remaining in Italy. I also made something of a "to-do" list (as if it were mine) for the last owner and would share that with the new owner as well.

I also have some information on the other two Alfa Romeo 6C1750 cars that were offered and presumably sold at another Monterey auction. Off the top of my head, those cars were 8513064 and a later car. The number will come to me and I will add this latter chassis number later. In any case, some of the information I have collected may or may not be part of the documentation packages that accompanied either of those cars. I will certainly share that information with the new owners if they contact me.

Incidently, I was asked more than once at Monterey why 8513033 was sold so relatively inexpensively. And I tend to agree that it was perhaps a "deal" ... although only time will tell. I cannot answer precisely, not knowing the true motives (or level of true desire) of either the seller or the buying audience. I can only say that I believe the price that was bid was perhaps low in the current market. The seller would have been justified in refusing it. For some reason, he did not. However, it was the first sale of this type car in a weekend that was offering three outwardly very similar cars! Perhaps too many? If the market had shown overt signs of softening in the subsequent sales during the weekend, then the seller might have been seen as having been somewhat prescient at this moment? And, I think it may be pertinent to remind one and all that anything over one million for any of these cars cannot really be considered "cheap" in any case? It is a relatively recent phenomenon that these cars have been acknowledged to have this kind of "value". A sales number only a bit over one million could be considered "good value" to certain people who have excess funds, particularly alongside the prices of 8C cars in today's market ... but it is still a lot of money! And, although I have alluded to this before in at least one other location on this forum, I happen to know that the price actually paid in 2005 for this car was not reported accurately by any of the published auction results that I have seen. I do not know the precise number paid, but the so-called "hammer price" was renegotiated after the 2005 auction due to the incorrect representations made in the catalogue presentation at that time. Hence, I believe the now-previous owner did just fine from an investment standpoint. But he no longer owns a car that has a very fine and unique history of its own. Fortunately, he has another, with a great history of its own. I wish I could have sold 8513033 for "just $1.1 million" and still have another similar car to play with!

John de Boer
The Italian Car Registry
 
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