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I just found this auction report from 1998:

http://www.motorbase.com/auctionlot/by-id/1367039239/

A car described as an ala spessa, chassis 915096, engine 923820, sold for £246500 by Brooks at Nurburgring.

Does anyone know anything about it, and where it is now?

I have no idea where it is now.

According to Calligaras from the 6c2500 register, there were 19 Tipo 256 cars PLUS some pre-war Tipo SS cars. In the Anselmi book it combines the Tipo 256s with the pre-war Tipo SS and only 17 cars TOTAL are listed! The Ala Spessas are Tipo 256 cars.

The numbers for the Ala Spessas from Anselmi's book are: 915006/923802 and 915009/923805 (which had fuel injection in the 1940 race).

I believe that there was a 3rd Ala Spessa which is not listed in Anselmi. I have no idea what the chassis/motor number was.

Interestingly, the chassis number of the auction car and it's motor number are both pre-war, and are just slightly higher numbers than any of the T256s or pre-war SSs in Anselmi's list.

There are 3 Tipo 256s in Anselmi's list that have chassis numbers 915091, 092 and 093, with coachwork similar, but more "square" to that on the 8c2900B MM cars. It IS possible the auction car could be a real Ala Spessa, but I have no proof one way or the other...

Stu
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have no idea where it is now.

According to Calligaras from the 6c2500 register, there were 19 Tipo 256 cars PLUS some pre-war Tipo SS cars. In the Anselmi book it combines the Tipo 256s with the pre-war Tipo SS and only 17 cars TOTAL are listed! The Ala Spessas are Tipo 256 cars.

The numbers for the Ala Spessas from Anselmi's book are: 915006/923802 and 915009/923805 (which had fuel injection in the 1940 race).

I believe that there was a 3rd Ala Spessa which is not listed in Anselmi. I have no idea what the chassis/motor number was.

Interestingly, the chassis number of the auction car and it's motor number are both pre-war, and are just slightly higher numbers than any of the T256s or pre-war SSs in Anselmi's list.

There are 3 Tipo 256s in Anselmi's list that have chassis numbers 915091, 092 and 093, with coachwork similar, but more "square" to that on the 8c2900B MM cars. It IS possible the auction car could be a real Ala Spessa, but I have no proof one way or the other...

Stu
That's an intriguing possibility that it may be a real Ala Spessa.
Strange that it has disappeared off the radar.
Any one else know anything?
 

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Alla Spessa?

It will take some time to dig up the source, but I have a note that 915096 used to be a closed car and that it was rebodied relatively recently (1990's?) for Ugo Isgro in Italy. It seems that Mr. Isgro has sponsored a number of similar projects. In any case, he sold it to another Italian who (apparently) sold it at the auction mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It will take some time to dig up the source, but I have a note that 915096 used to be a closed car and that it was rebodied relatively recently (1990's?) for Ugo Isgro in Italy. It seems that Mr. Isgro has sponsored a number of similar projects. In any case, he sold it to another Italian who (apparently) sold it at the auction mentioned above.
It would be very interesting to know what body it had. 915096 is intriguingly close to the last 256/SS listed in Anselmi (915093)
 

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"di Mola", "da Mola" or "de Mola" (?) not 915096

Thanks "technobob" for a link to a very interesting compilation of photos. Unfortunately, there are many caption/label errors so I would consider the photos to be of informational value but not much of the text should be trusted. As a blatant example, there is a "Superleggera Pininfarina" shown nearby on the page.

The "da Mola" body was removed from a 6C1750 (fitted with Ford engine by that time) and placed on 6C2500 N. 915695 and, although looking very nice as presented, conveys little or no history about any of the component parts. Each time "Mola" is mentioned, it seems that a different take is on the prefix portion of the name. It would be nice to be certain which version is correct. Regardless, this is NOT the car (915096) under discussion.
 

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I see this car appearing in the "Related Models" area of Motorbase's site, but I do not see it appearing as any sort of direct link to the car sold at auction in 1998. I can certainly do some research that would confirm or deny, but this body is not on its original chassis in any case and, if it is now on "915096" then it has been moved yet again. Not impossible, but it seems unlikely based on what has been reported and what is known about the various cars' histories.
 

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I see this car appearing in the "Related Models" area of Motorbase's site, but I do not see it appearing as any sort of direct link to the car sold at auction in 1998. I can certainly do some research that would confirm or deny, but this body is not on its original chassis in any case and, if it is now on "915096" then it has been moved yet again. Not impossible, but it seems unlikely based on what has been reported and what is known about the various cars' histories.
MY MISTAKE! I interpreted the link on Post #1 to mean that "915096" was the car in the photos under "Related Models". Sorry, everybody, I goofed. I deleted my previous posts on this topic.

Perhaps by way of atonement, since I'm a "newbie", I'd like to point any AlfaBB viewers who aren't aware of this already to www.cromoclassico.com/eng/wallpaper.html , a collection of extremely high quality wallpapers (free, even!), including three fabulous 8C2900 wallpapers.
 

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The "da Mola" body was removed from a 6C1750 (fitted with Ford engine by that time) and placed on 6C2500 N. 915695 and, although looking very nice as presented, conveys little or no history about any of the component parts. Each time "Mola" is mentioned, it seems that a different take is on the prefix portion of the name. It would be nice to be certain which version is correct. Regardless, this is NOT the car (915096) under discussion.

What I have is Carrosserie Umberto De Mola of Brussels, Belgium
 

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The results list I have from 1939 shows 6c2500SSs in 1st and 2nd, and 6c2500s in 3rd and 4th overall. I'm not sure exactly what that means...

1) Righetti-Rangoni
2) Pintacuda-Severi
3) Leonardi-Dei
4) Cornaggia Medici-Gobatto
 

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915096 not an Ala Spessa in origin?

Nobody has mentioned it yet here so I will remind that "Ala Spessa" means "thick wing", "wide wing" or "large wing". (edit: Thanks to gtv2000 for an additional "precision" here.)

915096 was almost certainly not yet built when the other "Ala Spessa" cars were racing on the Targa Abruzzo.

To make things clear, I like cars. I like cars that function as cars should and I really don't care if others wish to label a car simplistically with terms like "good" or "bad" or "real" or "fake" or "replica" or "reconstruction" or whatever. To me, they are all good cars ... if they function as cars should and give us some visceral pleasure upon viewing and/or use. That said, when I view a car with the idea of learning something from it, my perspective shifts to "How much can I learn?" as well as "What would I like to learn?".

What would I like to learn? As much as possible about how the car was originally built and thereby gain insights into the people who did the work and the time-period in which the work was done. This can be simplified perhaps to ask simply "What was the purpose?" and then "How did the builders respond?".

How much can I learn? That depends on how much is left of the original car and also the context in which a car (and its parts) is presented.

If I know that a car that I see today has been built from parts and then reclothed, then I know that there are very likely historical lessons only in the parts themselves. There may be some historical lessons in someone else's interpretation of how to build a "Touring" or "Zagato" body, but I can't actually sense the build characteristics of any original Zagato or Touring builder in the part and how it was worked. This kind of thinking makes it a bit difficult to "judge" a car that has been modified heavily or even rebodied over the years and then restored to an original configuration but which lacks the original stuff in the restoration. Very nice, but no real lessons to be learned from that work.

If I believe a car could be "original" but too many anomalies show up early on in a car's presentation, then I start to believe that the car has perhaps been too well-used or modified to convey more than a sense of the original. But, that use can give a sense of history that is also very pleasing and we risk losing "what is" when we convert it to "what was". Some of what we have seen represents "what could have been", especially if we do not know "what was". Still, sometimes there is simply not enough to go on and decisions have to be made if it is to become a car again.

Whether there were two or three "Ala Spessa" cars is something we would certainly like to answer, but the world doesn't seem a worse place if we consider that there might be one evocative car existing now that never did before. It is perhaps a bit of a shame to have lost the representation of what 915096 might have been as an "original" car in the process, but I do not know that this happened in order to make the car as it sits today. It might be that the original car became non-original long ago? It may be important to the owner or a potential buyer to understand that, after reviewing all the information currently to hand ("915096" was a "berlina") plus the probabilities implied by what we know (915091, 915092, 915093 being race cars built just in time for the so-called "Mille Miglia in April of 1940) and the fact that the "Ala Spessa" style of bodywork had already been surpassed on those cars means that there is very little chance that there is anything historical to be learned from the "Ala Spessa" style body currently fitted to 915096. This means that 915096 is evocative of two or three earlier cars, but not of its own origins. Now, in 50 years, we might look back and find something historic in it for reasons we do not currently consider important! That would be history of today mingled with history of some 60-70 years earlier. In 100 years, people may "shake their heads with wonder" or perhaps "shake their heads and wonder" at any of this stuff, "original" or not?

Still, 915096 is a cool car and I would welcome a chance to have a look at the car in general as well as (hopefuly) the component parts that are hidden by the body so that I might feel that I'd actually learned something from the car and its parts.

Carry on.
 

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Nobody has mentioned it yet here so I will remind that "Ala Spessa" means "wide wing" or "large wing".

915096 was almost certainly not yet built when the other "Ala Spessa" cars were racing on the Targa Abruzzo.

To make things clear, I like cars. I like cars that function as cars should and I really don't care if others wish to label a car simplistically with terms like "good" or "bad" or "real" or "fake" or "replica" or "reconstruction" or whatever. To me, they are all good cars ... if they function as cars should and give us some visceral pleasure upon viewing and/or use. That said, when I view a car with the idea of learning something from it, my perspective shifts to "How much can I learn?" as well as "What would I like to learn?".

What would I like to learn? As much as possible about how the car was originally built and thereby gain insights into the people who did the work and the time-period in which the work was done. This can be simplified perhaps to ask simply "What was the purpose?" and then "How did the builders respond?".

How much can I learn? That depends on how much is left of the original car and also the context in which a car (and its parts) is presented.

If I know that a car that I see today has been built from parts and then reclothed, then I know that there are very likely historical lessons only in the parts themselves. There may be some historical lessons in someone else's interpretation of how to build a "Touring" or "Zagato" body, but I can't actually sense the build characteristics of any original Zagato or Touring builder in the part and how it was worked. This kind of thinking makes it a bit difficult to "judge" a car that has been modified heavily or even rebodied over the years and then restored to an original configuration but which lacks the original stuff in the restoration. Very nice, but no real lessons to be learned from that work.

If I believe a car could be "original" but too many anomalies show up early on in a car's presentation, then I start to believe that the car has perhaps been too well-used or modified to convey more than a sense of the original. But, that use can give a sense of history that is also very pleasing and we risk losing "what is" when we convert it to "what was". Some of what we have seen represents "what could have been", especially if we do not know "what was". Still, sometimes there is simply not enough to go on and decisions have to be made if it is to become a car again.

Whether there were two or three "Ala Spessa" cars is something we would certainly like to answer, but the world doesn't seem a worse place if we consider that there might be one evocative car existing now that never did before. It is perhaps a bit of a shame to have lost the representation of what 915096 might have been as an "original" car in the process, but I do not know that this happened in order to make the car as it sits today. It might be that the original car became non-original long ago? It may be important to the owner or a potential buyer to understand that, after reviewing all the information currently to hand ("915096" was a "berlina") plus the probabilities implied by what we know (915091, 915092, 915093 being race cars built just in time for the so-called "Mille Miglia in April of 1940) and the fact that the "Ala Spessa" style of bodywork had already been surpassed on those cars means that there is very little chance that there is anything historical to be learned from the "Ala Spessa" style body currently fitted to 915096. This means that 915096 is evocative of two or three earlier cars, but not of its own origins. Now, in 50 years, we might look back and find something historic in it for reasons we do not currently consider important! That would be history of today mingled with history of some 60-70 years earlier. In 100 years, people may "shake their heads with wonder" or perhaps "shake their heads and wonder" at any of this stuff, "original" or not?

Still, 915096 is a cool car and I would welcome a chance to have a look at the car in general as well as (hopefuly) the component parts that are hidden by the body so that I might feel that I'd actually learned something from the car and its parts.

Carry on.
Agree 100%....and when is a "new edition" of the register coming out? It's been more than 10 years....
 
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