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Discussion Starter #21
6C0312889

I worked on this car many years ago. There was an anomaly that should perhaps have inspired me to check the actual chassis number stamping. One might say that I should have done so in any case? I was not yet studying these cars in detail as I believed there were others doing those studies. I've since learned that I may have a certain sort of focus that is not shared by others?

The chassis of "6C0312889" was found (SURPRISE!) a few years ago under the identity of a Fifth Series Gran Sport that has seemingly been known and well described since the 1950's in its current configuration. The earliest Italian bureaucratic history is also described during a time period when the car lived with a few owners in Milano. Although there is no sign of it in the record that has been reported by Angela Cherrett, it seems likely that the chassis was changed at some point quite early in its life. The Zagato body number fits into our expectations and there is every reason to believe it is the original.

There is good inspiration and motivation for additional studies but the mystery does not reflect negatively on the car itself, There is the possibility that, once we come across some data about the earliest history of 6C0312889, there will be something we will learn about the fifth series car that has the chassis in use today. With patient study, I believe that something will turn up.

As with many other 6C cars, there is a fabulous mystery attached to a wonderful car. More study is needed!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
6C0312892

6C0312892 had nine Roman owners on its first Roma plate which survived until 1937 when the plate was declared lost and replaced with another Roma plate. More studies can be done. More studies should be done!
 

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Discussion Starter #23
6C0312894

6C0312894 was sold 1929 to Mrs. J.A.S. Jones in Australia. It was believed to have been a 1929 Mille Miglia team car. Perhaps so, but there is also the possibility that there was a translation error that led to this belief?

More study needed!
 

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Discussion Starter #24
6C0312896

6C0312896 was sold 1929 into the UK where it was bodied by James Young. It was re-bodied more recently (in the UK?) as a spider in a Zagato style.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
6C0312897

6C0312897 was reportedly an un-supercharged SS car that was bodied originally by James Young. The car surfaced in the 1950's in the UK with a James Young body that was quite tired. It was fitted during the 1960's with a Yimkin body removed from another car and then was fitted more recently in the UK with a spider body in a Zagato style.
 

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Discussion Starter #26 (Edited)
6C0312898

6C0312898 was issued a Certificato d'Origine during November 1929. It was sold through the dealer in Roma to a certain "Benito Mussolini". It is not yet clear if the car was supercharged or not. The body may have been by Zagato or by another coachbuilder who did similar work. The body was not like most other bodies built by Zagato.

One source has been found that states the body was by Carrozzeria "La Sport".

A very obvious public use is well documented when "Il Duce" used the car during a limited portion of the Autoradio Raduno on 29 April 1931.

The car was sold or traded August 1931 back to Alfa Romeo's dealer in Roma. The car made its ways to Eritrea (North Africa) during 1937 and, while there, the car was modified considerably into a configuration that might be thought of as being a "hot-rod" of the 1950's. The chassis was modified and the body retained only a small portion of the engine bonnet. The engine was changed at some point. During the 1960's, the car came to the USA and was in storage until just a few years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
6C0312900

The chassis number stamping "6C0312900" (?) has been revealed as being underneath a car that has been known for years with a somewhat later chassis number. It will perhaps turn out to be yet another case of a chassis swap done by Stiles, the UK importer. I will await some further news and study before attempting to describe a "most likely" or perhaps "confirmed" scenario of what transpired some 80 years ago ... or more.

Edit of 9 February 2018: Confusions and likely inaccuracies have surfaced during the last couple of years!

First, I was informed that the chassis number "6C0312900" appeared on a car that was otherwise known as "0312951". I was informed that the frame number had a number that was one digit longer than the actual frame number. A photo was shared that corrected that mis-information. Then I was informed that older UK paperwork showed the recorded chassis number as "0312950". Then I was sent a photo of the chassis number stamping and it appears that it may be "0312906" instead of "0312900".

Yesterday (8 February, 2018), I received some promotional information that this car was being offered currently as "0312900" with a "history" supplied by myself, Simon Moore and Angela Cherrett to a former owner. It is difficult to describe how incorrect it would be to promote any meaningful history for a car that cannot even be identified by its chassis number identity with certainty!

Edit of 13 September 2018: Some additional information has been shared recently. Nothing definitive has been shared that gives proof that this car was ever identified during its lengthy time period in the UK as "0312900". It seems that some early Italian papers for 0312900 have been located in recent times so it has become particularly "of interest" to find some way to join this car's current presentation to the earliest description of 6C0312900. Cool car. Some mysteries remain for any serious student.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
6C0312901

This car, chassis & engine 6C0312901, presents some wonderful mysteries for us. The history, prior to 1950, is somewhat vague and is largely anecdotal. We have no way to be certain at this time which stories are fact and which have been related so many times so as to merely seem factual. And then there have been some distracting claims made that seem to date from rather recent sales puffery.

6C0312901 was purchased circa 1950/52 by Dr. Hugh Gearing from Paul Fatti ("Fatti's Engineering") of Johannesburg in South Africa. At that time, the car already had a special body fitted that does not conform to the "sport" category rules that were in place in much of the "western" racing world. Most notably, there is no door in the lovely body. Some races were held in various places that did not require a door, so the lack of a door of a certain dimension is no proof that the car had no sporting use. We've found no evidence of sporting use thus far for the time prior to Hugh Gearing's use in South Africa. So, we might be tempted to think that the car was bodied as it is so as to satisfy someone who had no intent to go racing in mainstream "sport" category events ... or who was simply living somewhere where there were no rules relating to "sport" category cars. Lax enforcement of such rules also remains a possibility. Some events were ostensibly run to "rules" but had a more practical "run what you brung" attitude in the moment when entries were sought ... even if with the agreement that no trophy would be assigned for a class that the car did not conform to.

Claims have been made that the car was bodied in the UK and raced there during the 1930's. There is no support for these claims thus far. It has been said that Lex Williamson may have owned the car as of circa 1936. Perhaps, but again, there is no documentation of any sort that Lex Williamson owned such a car.

One day, we will come across some mention of this car in some part of the world. Until then, it is a lovely object that can be enjoyed for what it is ... and for a sense of mystery that may be enjoyed for quite some time or which may become a different sort of mystery once certain details are revealed by continuing studies.

The chassis number implies a build date of 1929 (when looking at Fusi's charts) but, as with 6C0312898 above, could well have been first completed and sold in 1930. If we get "lucky" in one foreseeable manner, we may find a photo of a car that dates from 1930 and may learn that the photo shows 6C0312901 with its original body, whatever it was. And then we may learn something more about where and when the car made its way to wherever it was that it became the car that it has been since prior to 1952. I would enjoy being paid to do a broad study that could be done on the off chance that it would turn up history for 6C0312901. Such a study would reveal a great deal about a great many similarly numbered cars. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that such a study would reveal early history for this car. It may be most economically productive to simply be patient and await some moment of serendipity when the early history of 6C0312901 presents itself to us.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
0312902

Two cars exist today claiming the identity "6C0312902".

The original early history of this chassis began legally on 5 April 1929 when a Certificato d'Origine was issued on the same date as the car's sale to Gaspare Bona of Torino. It had a light sporting body by Stabilimenti Farina by 1931. The car was sold 1931 to Ignazio Consiglio who raced it that same year. Documents issued 1983 indicate the car remained with the same owner until 1974 but I am not convinced that there were no other travels or ownership changes in the intervening time period.

Some confusing evidence has been shared about two cars numbered "0312902" today. I've not yet studied either of the cars myself but it seems as if one car was sold into the UK (during the 1970's or 1980's?) while another car was assembled during the 1980's in Italy to use documents that remained there? Some study is needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
0312903

6C0312903 was issued a Certificato d'Origine during August 1929. It was first registered late August 1930 to Stabilimenti Farina. It may have raced as a 1500cc car even though it was taxed as a 1750? 0312903 was sold March 1931 in Torino and then again January 1935 in Torino ... where the paper trail ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
0312905

6C0312905 was bodied in England with a lightweight four-seater body that was required for certain races. Registered "UU9125", it raced 1929 at Brooklands and on the Tourist Trophy. The license plate was reportedly used on at least one other car as well. The car remained in Ireland into the 1960's and may still be there today?
 

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Discussion Starter #32 (Edited)
0312906

6C0312906 was also raced during 1929 at the Tourist Trophy and at Brooklands. During March of 1935, it went to the London dealer Jack Bartlett who recorded that it was fitted with engine 6C0211351 by that time. The car was listed in the 1960's as still having the same engine. By 1980, it seems the original engine had been re-fitted. It had its original engine when I saw it during 1996, almost 20 years ago. 0312906 was offered at auction during 2001 and was reported as a no-sale. It might well be back in the collection where I saw it?

The advertisement image below appeared during 1950.

Update: Due to a photo shared of the chassis number stamping of a car claiming the chassis "6C0312900" but which may actually show "0312906"(?), I will be curious to learn if the chassis under the "VN397" car is actually the same as the long-term identity. There have been a few cars inspected during recent years (not only by myself) that have been found to have chassis that were replaced early on (apparently as "spare parts") with another chassis numbered differently than the reported identity of many years. This seems almost "common" for cars serviced by Stiles, an early UK importer.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
0312909

6C0312909 is another lightweight four-seater. It is described reasonably well from 1929 until 2007 when it was sold at auction. During 1938, the car was gifted from a dad to a son for his 21st birthday. "Thanks dad!"

Roy Slater, to whom we all owe a huge "Thanks" as well ... for his Alfa Romeo studies, went along for the ride when the son picked the car up from Jack Bartlett.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
0312910

6C0312910 is a "spider" by James Young. Early history not yet known to me but it has wonderful patina of true age. The car was advertised 1952 by Chiltern Cars (UK) and came eventually to the USA where it is now on display at the Simeone Foundation Museum in Philadelphia.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
0312911

6C0312911 exists today as a 6C1500 engine that I saw several years ago with a collector in Milano.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
0312912

6C0312912 was registered during July 1929 to a certain Tazio Nuvolari. After a few months, the car was sold to a new owner in Milano.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
0312913

6C0312913 was purchased 1955 in the UK "from Ethiopia" (perhaps Eritrea?) and has lived in the UK ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #38
0312915

6C0312915 was given a Certificato d'Origine on 23 June 1929. It was first registered during July in Genova and was sold April 1932 to a new owner in Milano.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
0312917

6C0312917, described from new as a torpedo (drophead 4-seater) by "Carlton Carriage Ltd.", was raced 1929 & 1930. Earl Howe (later "Lord Howe") was the owner and the car was fitted at times (or the entire time?) with a testa fissa engine. The "fixed head" engine eliminated the head gasket, allowing a raised compression ratio and eliminating one failure mode while racing. Early on, the special parts in those engines were generally considered to remain the property of Alfa Romeo even if the car using the engine was sold to a privateer. This car's registration number was changed during the 1930 and was sold through various UK owners and the engine was changed during the 1930's. The car went on to remain in the UK until today.

Meanwhile, another car became known in the UK also as "0312917" based on the engine's use beginning about 1938(?) in a chassis numbered "0332975" based on the frame number at the left front. The chassis number, normally stamped at the right rear, is not known to me and it may be that it had none. During the 1960's, the engine (0312917) was returned to its original chassis and this chassis/frame was fitted eventually with engine 10814381. This car last appeared (in my notes) when it was offered at auction during 2009.
 

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This car is the third of the 3rd series car to be built. The car was sold in April 1929 along with 871, 873 and 874 to the British importer Stiles and were raced by him in the 1929 season in the UK. I attach some period pictures and a short history. By 1937 it had acquired a 4 seater Carlton Carriage lightweight body from a 1929 1750 SS which was a requirement for 1750 class racing in the UK at that time. It still has that original body and some mechanical modifications (SU pumps and carburators as opposed to Autovac and Meminis).
 

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