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Discussion Starter #1
I was not going to start this thread until I'd sorted out a few additional mysteries, but it is perhaps important that some information is shared now?

Following this introduction there will be a compilation of what I believe I know thus far of Alfa Romeo 6C production in the Fourth Series "Gran Sport" configuration. A few late "Super Sport" cars in the Third Series were configured similarly in some ways to the Fourth Series ... and a number of the early Fifth Series "Gran Sport" cars are also easily confused with the Fourth Series cars. The study I am doing incorporates all of the 6C cars. These listings focus on the sporting varieties for now simply because more data has been gathered and shared. Eventually, there will be listings highlighting what is known to me about all the variations.

Again, the listing that will follow in the next posting is not an attempt to show how much I know. It will reveal much of what I do not yet know! It is more of an appeal from me to those of you who are out there who know something to correct a detail or add a fact or tidbit (even if not wholly confirmed) that might seem trivial when taken on its own. The listings I've compiled are filled with many thousands of trivial facts that can be studied collectively so as to arrive at a bit of an idea as to how these cars were built, marketed, used, repaired and used some more.

You'll note that there are two chassis numbers that fall outside the number ranges shared by Fusi in his charts for the Fourth Series Gran Sport. It is what it is! I know the reference to 6C8513101 is genuine because I found that historic reference myself several years ago. I am inclined to believe that the reference to 6C8513102 is also based on an actual identity even though I've not yet studied this car myself. In neither of these cases am I likely to think that the cars that becomes restored using what may remain of them will be considered "completely original". That is also "what is".

One car will be described shortly that has catalyzed the preparation of this "premature" listing at this time. I hope you will agree that this is important stuff to review now.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
6C8513001

This is a car that I've known of in general terms for quite some time. Some information has been received recently that is very welcome. A more thorough study of this car will likely show that the chassis was replaced at Alfa Romeo sometime in 1931 or perhaps early 1932. I'm guessing 1931.

The body is by Carrozzeria Sport S.A. of Milano, a little-known alternative to Zagato only because it did not survive as a coachbuilder. I do not yet know why. I suspect that there were several bodies by Carrozzeria Sport that are not yet acknowledged. Thus far, I can identify only three in the Fourth Series. I am not yet aware of a numbering system for bodies built by "Carrozzeria Sport" but it would be very good to know if there was one. In this case in particular, through a study of such a numbering "system" (if there was one) we might have an indication of the body was built early 1930 ... or perhaps 1931/32 in conjunction with the frame's replacement.

In truth, I have to acknowledge that it really does not matter to my perception of the car's interest or value to know specifically if the car has existed in its current form since 1930 or 1931! However, there is a small chance that some 1930 history (in another form) might become part of the car's description if we can believe we know what happened during the car's first twenty months (more or less) of life. When this sort of thing is learned, possibilities sometimes open up more than being closed off. And, if we learn enough, some of the huge sense of "POSSIBILITY" that we can assign in conceptual terms to the remaining pool of cars becomes just a bit more manageable. In other words, if this car can be said to be the #12 car on the Giro di Spotorno of 1930 (an imagined event for the purpose of this discussion), then that particular historical event is removed from the pool of "possibility" that remains for all the other cars that "might have been there".

John
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
6C8513002

This car had a body that evolved interestingly during the 1930's. The photos I have are not mine to share, but I hope to identify the sources and gain permissions to share.

Sold new in April of 1930 by Alfredo Caniato on behalf of Ferrari (as a dealer for the region) to Mario Tadini. Sold back to Ferrari (Enzo) in October. Sold less than two weeks later to Soprani. Sold beck to Ferrari (Enzo) during February of 1931 and then sold on again a short time later.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
6C8513004

This car had a body that, like many other similar cars, was modified to resemble the 8C2300 "Monza" in some ways, particularly in the slotted cowling (or "fairing") made for the radiator. The photo I have is not mine to share but it resembles some others that I will point out later. There are some "mystery cars" (not yet identified) that have this "Monza" radiator fairing as well. It seems that some cars were modified in this way in Italy and that some were done in England. If my 6C Gran Sport (in my dreams!) had been fitted historically with such a cowling, I'd have a hard time removing it just to make it "original"!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
6C8513007

I tried for a time to suggest that the owner of 6C8513007 acquire the original engine from a friend. From what I've been told, the engine was eventually sold elsewhere. I was led to believe that the engine fitted to 8513007 was considered by the owner to be more historically important than the original ... so the original was not really necessary. I agree that the original engine is not truly necessary to enjoy the car, particularly since the engine fitted (see listing above) is from the same sort of Fourth Series Gran Sport. Even so, it still seems that it was an opportunity missed?

Engine 6C8513007 was sold by Art Wennerstrom a number of years ago as a "spare" to a friend in Texas and I had the task of picking the engine up from Art and delivering it to Texas. As part of the process, Art became a friend AND I was engaged to work on improving the appearance of "originality" of some parts of the engine 6C8513033 for the same new owner. The side cover plates fitted to 6C8513033 were not made in the original way so I removed a plate from engine 6C8513007 to use as a pattern for making some new castings. That low-priority work was not completed before 6C8513033 was sold on and then the "spare" engine 6C8513007 was sold on as well while I was away. The point of this is to alert the owner of engine 6C8513007 to the fact that I have one side cover plate from the engine in my possession and I will return it to the engine once I know where it is today. Depending on the location and the convenience factor (and if perhaps a personal visit is or is not part of the strategy to rejoin the part with the engine) then I will ask only that you pay for the shipping.

Art Wennerstrom has become not only a long-distance friend. He also has become something of a benefactor to my studies in an historical sense. He has been going through his files little by little and sending me interesting stuff that he collected beginning during (and before) his lengthy ownership of 6C0312961, a car that has been mentioned elsewhere in the past on the Alfa BB and which will be discussed at length later in a new thread just begun on Third Series "SuperSport" production. Some of the material has been extremely helpful to my studies, not only of 6C Alfa Romeo cars. I continue to digest portions of the considerable volume of material when I can. Although I have thanked him privately, this is a public "shout out" THANK YOU! to Art Wennerstrom for what he has shared ... and for what I am quite certain he will share in the future. His input has made for more than one sort of inspiration!

Thanks to all who help to inspire me to take the time to try to make sense of some of this stuff.

While discussing 6C8513007, here are two photos of the engine showing the crankcase number 8523010 (photo by myself) and the matching crankshaft (photo by Art Wennerstrom).

John
 

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Discussion Starter #8
6C8513011

6C8513011 was a 6C1500 "Gran Sport" that some prefer to call "Super Sport" since the "Gran Sport" designation is often thought of as being solely 6C1750 in nature. The reality is, the layout of the typical "Super Sport" and the "Gran Sport" was different no matter the engine's displacement category. Some parts were directly interchangeable and some were not. Some late Super Sport examples may have been completed with some characteristics more typical of the "Gran Sport" and it is certainly the case that some of the Super Sport cars were modified in ways that make them resemble the Gran Sport in historic photographs. Each car is an individual.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
6c "8513011" pretender

This car has been discussed quite thoroughly in some other locations on the AlfaBB. The car was last reported in Germany, still trying to masquerade as "6C8513011" in 6C1750 form.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
6C8513013

8513013 was another 6C1500 Gran Sport that was originally completed and used in racing sports-car form.

A pretender to the identity "6C8513013" is discussed and illustrated in an AlfaBB thread devoted to 6C8513011 and a pretender to the identity of 8513011 as well. I will also describe some of what I know and believe of the "8513013" pretender in a posting to follow this posting.

An historical description of the actual 6C8513013 will be shared here once an auction offering what I consider to be a "pretender" is concluded in less than two weeks in Germany. There is the simple risk of "Any publicity is good publicity"! So far I've had no response from anyone at Coys despite messages of concern sent to several of their people through at least three channels.

I normally wish for better entertainment!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
6c "8513013" pretender

It is with a great deal of regret that I offer the following, much of it coming from thoughts and emotions that I experienced fully in Italian ... imperfect as my Italian is:

During November of 2012, I used a Torinese friend's quest for a specific part as an excuse to join with him in a visit to Andrea Ronco after I'd not seen him at his place in Genova for perhaps fifteen years or more. I learned that Andrea survived a harrowing accident (perhaps a year or two earlier?) that resulted in the loss of a leg. I like Andrea and I sympathized and empathized with the evident pain that he expressed while telling his story of woe. And I admired, once again, the tremendous stash of parts that he's accumulated over many years. My camera worked busily as I tried to record what I could see easily. And my brain filled quickly as I tried to remember what he told me about all of it. Many of the parts are from Alfa Romeo 6C cars but there is all kinds of non-AR stuff that interests me just as much. In short, a visit with Andrea is an opportunity to learn something new and perhaps quite obscure! I was sorry to have been away so long but attempts to visit him in intervening years had resulted in misses rather than hits. I'd only seen him very briefly at a swap meet or two.

Along with the many interesting distractions that I was drawn to, Andrea showed me an original libretto (Italian registration & tax logbook) issued 1937 in Firenze to chassis 6C8513013. One page had some sort of "White-Out" material that obscured some original writing. "0211499" was written in place of "8513013" in the blanks devoted to the engine and chassis numbers. It was quite obvious what had been done. Andrea explained the "why" as he understood it. In the end, it seemed that a previous owner of 6C0211499 had acquired the libretto at some point and doctored it (apparently) to make 6C0211499 seem somehow more interesting to the casually inattentive. Andrea seemed to think that the document had somehow been used to give some sort of legal credibility to 6C0211499 but this seems very far-fetched when considering how obvious the manipulation was.

After perusing what Andrea had to show us, he invited us to visit a nearby business that had a museum-like collection of fire-fighting equipment and vehicles on display. Andrea had performed some of the restorations. My camera worked away quite a lot more! At that point my camera and my mind was full of all sorts of stuff as we prepared to leave Genova and head back to Torino. I was hoping to be able to spend a couple of days digesting what I'd learned and heard sometimes without being able to absorb the full meaning of what was shared between others. While leaving I was invited to join Andrea the following day on a farm south of Milano to view the car described ostensibly by the libretto I'd seen earlier. I did not know if it would be numbered 6C0211499 or 6C8513013. I'd not yet given it much thought despite being intrigued. There were lots of other intriguing things as well, so my mind was quite occupied on many fronts while riding back to Torino to grab my rented Fiat 500 and drive part way to our meeting spot. I found a room near Piacenza.

As directed, I met Andrea at an intersection well south of Milano the next day and he led me to the farm. I'd been warned that there would also be some other distractions in the forms of additional 6C cars ... and more. We entered an enclosed garage area of a barn and saw some cars ... including some 6C Alfa Romeo cars ... and more parts. Among the parts was an engine numbered "6C0211499" and a gearbox was attached to it.

After looking at those cars and parts, it was time to have lunch. I met the owner of the cars while we were on our way out as he visited his horses. I'd not yet seen the subject car. I learned later from Andrea that the owner paid for our lunch. After lunch, we went to another garage and saw a couple of additional cars ...including another 6C. My mind was increasingly full of what I'd seen that day and in the days before! We returned to the farm and another portion of the barn. There was a Lancia Lambda and some other cool stuff ... including the subject Alfa Romeo 6C.

Observation: Please note that I was not trying to figure out cause and effect during the process of collecting data. I generally avoid thinking specifically about what I will be learning from any car or its parts. First there is a process of data gathering and I try to make sense of it only after there is something to try to make sense of. That point acknowledged, sometimes an almost immediate sense of fulfillment or disappointment is experienced despite my normally patient approach to any specific study.

Although not shocked I was actually a bit surprised to find that the car was numbered "6C8513013" on both the chassis and engine. I was then surprised when I saw that, aside from the steering box, nothing in the remainder of the car corresponded to parts that I'd seen in other Gran Sport cars from the Fourth Series. In short, it was highly incongruous in its presentation. I gently mentioned this hasty observation to Andrea as I took a number of photos. It was intended to be a friendly way of alerting him to my immediate observation that the car would not be fooling anyone who has paid attention to these cars in their original forms. Perhaps my statement was too gentle at that moment? Andrea helped me to move and remove a few parts so as to help me document what I was seeing. No overt attempt was made to direct me to a conclusion. In the end, I was not terribly concerned about the identity pretense as I presumed the car was restored to satisfy the whims of the owner. That presumption seems now, in retrospect, to have been incorrect?

It did not occur to me at the moment of seeing it that I was probably seeing 6C0211499 reborn as 8513013. That awareness (although rather unimportant to a review of the car's presentation as a "Gran Sport") came to me later as I was trying to sort the data collected in photographic form. While looking at all the material together it came to me that I'd seen the body removed from 6C0211499 sitting in Andrea's shop space a day earlier. I'd seen an engine numbered 6C0211499 (that was clearly not the original engine numbered 6C0211499) sitting on the shelves in another room near the car. Attached to that engine was a gearbox that may well have been the original gearbox from 6C0211499? I'd seen the paperwork that sparked the fantasy. Aside from the steering box and the gearbox in use, the parts seen in the car were all appropriate to a car numbered 6C0211499 (or very near to it) ... clothed in a newly made body and identity. This observation includes the crankcase that now is numbered "6C8513013" but does not include the gearbox fitted to the car. Confused yet? Me too! Even so, this was all still "OK" to me as my information-laden brain presumed the car to be merely a "toy" for its owner.

It became more important to me (and somehow not as "OK") when I received an inquiry a few months later from Nik Hannah who inquired after the chassis/engine number on behalf of Coys. He shared enough information to allow me to know it was the same car. Hmmmmm! That act forced me to organize my data and my thoughts more clearly, some of them coming from an area of the brain that seems to be most easily accessible when I think in Italian. I informed Nik as to what I'd observed and learned. Nik shared my email response with the owner and this began a series of email messages ten to eleven months ago in which insistences were made that the car was genuine as presented. I eventually asked the owner to tell me what it is that I was not understanding about the flawed nature of the car's presentation as "6C8513013" or any other Fourth Series "Gran Sport". There has been a prolonged silence since that time.

It therefor came as something of a surprise to learn (from a German correspondent friend) that Coys was offering the car at auction in a short time. I wrote immediately to Coys and also specifically to Nik. I am quite surprised that there has been no response from anyone!

It seems clear to me that the existence of the libretto was somehow interpreted as supplying evidence that 6C0211499 had been born as "8515013". This then inspired a "restoration" (and re-body) of 6C0211499 as "8513013. I am truly surprised that this fantasy got beyond the "what-if" stage. Again, from what I saw, the resulting car has nothing "4th series Gran Sport" evident in it aside from a steering box that might be appropriate.

Observation 2: As an aside, the steering box fitted seems originally to have been numbered somewhat later than the original steering box of 8513013 is likely to have been numbered AND was later re-purposed and re-numbered seemingly by Alfa Romeo for use in a fifth series car. This can all seem confusing until you've seen evidence of it in more than two or three instances in situations where a bit more is known about the history of the car to which the numbered component is fitted. As an additional aside, I can also note that it is not uncommon to find signs of original "oops!" moments in the numbering of components. An over-stamp of one or two digits is not "normal" but is also not uncommon once one looks at a large number of numbered components.

Whether or not I believed the car to have had its origins as "6C0211499" the final observation I will make is that, at the moment, I would characterize the nature of this car numbered "6C8513013" as being a somewhat effective presentation of a car that is evocative of a "Super Sport" in 1500cc form. It is NOT an effective pretender to any "Gran Sport" configuration that I've seen to date.

It is also with some regret that I alert the reader that there will be future revelations that may come from other things learned while trying to absorb history from the many cars and parts seen during my times in Italy and elsewhere.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
6C8513012

8513012 was another racing 6C1500 "Gran Sport".

Sold April 1930 to Augusto Caniato (who raced with Scuderia Ferrari) and then sold December 1930 to a new owner in Rome.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
6C8513014

8513014 was another racing 6C1500 "Gran Sport".

Sold April 1930 by the Milano dealer "Pirola" in Milano to Piero Braccialini.

Braccialini raced the Mille Miglia that same month (race #75) and the car was sold or traded back to the Pirola less than two months later. 8513014 was sold through three more private owners in Milano and then went 1933 to Nino Farina in Torino. Farina sold it almost one year later.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
6C8513015

8513015 was another racing 6C1500 "Gran Sport".

It is likely that this car was sold in chassis form to Pirola, the Milanese dealer who had taken on Gianni Lurani as a marketing and business partner. Lurani described purchasing his car (6C8513016) in chassis form at the same time as an identical car that went to Pirola and I'd bet that 8513015 was the other car referred to by Lurani. I'd make no bet that Pirola only raced in 6C8513015! He had choices coming through his dealership as new cars and as used cars.

8513015 was sold to Sergio Rusca after mere months. Rusca acquired 6C10814311 in 1931 and 8513015 went back to Pirola who then sold it 1932 to Paolo Della Chiesa in Torino. Della Chiesa raced it briefly and then it was sold in November to Trovanelli in Milano.

The PRA record of the Torino plate that was issued to the car for Della Chiesa has handwriting that makes the chassis numbering appear as "8513045" to my eyes. When the document arrived and I saw the number, I almost called the owner of 6C8513045 to let him know we'd found some history for his car. Fortunately, I looked again and inserted the information into the listing and I then understood it could only be 8513015. When I look at the document even now, knowing what I know, it still looks very much like it is "8513045" that is written!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
6C8513016

8513016 was another racing 6C1500 "Gran Sport".

Purchased new by Gianni Lurani and fitted new with a body of his own design that was built by Campari & Sorniotti, the car went through a large number of developmental modifications during its time with Lurani. The appearance changed and the mechanical specifications changed as well. It is perhaps going to be one of the "easiest" cars to document in some ways as Lurani gave us many blow-by-blow details in his writings. Because we know quite a lot about it, it will also be one of the more elaborately described cars that we can write about despite the fact that it seems to exist no more.

This photocopy comes from the Australian magazine "Sports Car World". At the time of the concours that the car appeared at during the spring of 1931, the car had already raced more than a dozen events and had undergone a number of changes ... and was about to become a 6C1750 (seemingly at Alfa Romeo's expense?) for a series of events near Wiesbaden where there was no 1500cc racing category.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
6C8513016 - bis

I am reserving this space for additional material devoted to 6C8513016. I expect there will eventually be a pdf file as an attachment but a little space for some additional text and some images seems appropriate for a car that did so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
6C8513017

This is a car that is fairly well known in Italy but I don't think I've seen it personally, even in passing. Various specific details have been reported but I do not know what to make of them.

In addition to "Carrozzeria Sport", I have seen and heard the body builder referred to as "La Sport" and as "La Sportiva". I don't know why.

The engine in the car has been reported as "6C10914642" and I know nothing about the "when" of it becoming a part of the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
6C8513018

This car spent quite some time in the USA and I do not know where it is today. While in the USA in the 1950's, and while in the ownership of Walter Hadley of Rhode Island, the original body was discarded and a wooden body was made for it. Later, in the 1970's, the car received a new Zagato-style body built by Al-Craft. The car was last reported circa 1990 when it was offered by Blackhawk.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
6C8513020

This was a rather special racing Gran Sport in 1500cc form. Reportedly a "testa fissa", it was not registered until April 1931, one full year after we might expect. The registration came just in time for Augusto Caniato (see also 6C8513012 above) to use on the Mille Miglia of 1931 with race #128. Did it make other history earlier on with Scuderia Ferrari? Perhaps ... if it was disguised somehow by the use of another car's identity, ran perhaps on temporary or trade plates OR was sold to someone else briefly who was perhaps best forgotten or eliminated from the paper trail? We can guess at many possibilities that might be explained in a variety of ways. I am going to pretend that the history really begins 1931 for this chassis unless something definitive is learned that tells us otherwise.

The car went on to race in at least three additional Mille Miglia races and probably some other events as well. The paper trail has been followed as far as 1947 and there are vague reports that the car exists in one part of Italy while the papers exist elsewhere. I have an idea that some of this may be simply setting us up for a "barn find" or some similar "discovery" in the future?

We shall see. Vediamo!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
6C8513021

8513021 was a 6C1750 Gran Sport that was "owned" by Scuderia Ferrari during a good portion of 1930. There is a very nice photo of Luigi Arcangeli (who may have been the "de facto" owner all along?) and Carlo Ongaro (Plate 49) in The 6C1750 (1968, by Luigi Fusi and Roy Slater) with race #118 on the Coppa delle Tre Provincie. The car was sold before the end of the year to a new owner in Ancona. 8513021 came back to Modena in March of 1931. A photo from the Franco Zagari archives shows the car being tested in April by Francesco Severi, the new owner. It was then sold to Treviso to an owner who also did some racing. The car went through six more owners (and five additional registration plates) from 1932 to 1939. As with all of these cars, there is more to study!
 
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