1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spyder
Chassis no. 8513033
"ex-Luigi Scarfiotti, Scuderia Ferrari"
Being offered at Auction at Bonhams
Any and all thoughts greatly appreciated
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.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
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.