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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am hoping that someone here might be able to help me to close a history gap. VIN 915543 was a SS Touring Berlinetta, delivered to a Salvador Heredia in Rome on the 7th July 1947. From then on I have no history until the car shows up at a Chrietie's auction in Monaco in May 1990. The catalogue states that the car was entered by a client from Peru, and I also have the Peruvian registration number. Since the first owner's name sounds South American rather than Italian, it might well be that the car was never registered in Italy. In any case, I do not have an Italian registration and therefore cannot order a Cronologico. As far as I know, the PRA archives do not list chassis numbers before 1993 if you do not have a registration number, so a "visura telaio" would be fruitless.

Does somebody know something about this car? It is also said to have been in the MM 1991 with Schemke/Girelli as #109, but this number is blank in the 1991 MM yearbook. Scemke/Girelli (obviously an Austrian team) were listed as #118 insted with a strange 6C 2500 Compressore. Maybe they changed cars prior to the event. Does somebody know this team?

The Berlinetta body of this car had lost many details in a South American restoration, and so the Berlinetta body was later discarded and changed for a Barchetta body that had been lying in a garden near Pisa for decades. Since the auction 1990, I have the full list of owners, but if somebody could help to close the gap before that point, I would be happy.

Furthermore I hope that someone can identify the place where the following picture might have been taken (South America or Italy?) I got it from Peter Marshall several years ago, but he cannot recall where he got it from. It shows the car around the time of the auction, probably in the following year. Maybe the livery of the taxi cabs gives a hint?

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Discussion Starter #2
Just noticed that I have a typo in the headline. It is a 6C 2500 of course, not a 6C 1500. How can I change this?
 

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Can you give me a hint why you are sure about this? The resolution is not good enough to read any registration plates or the writing on the bus in the background. What did you see that shouts out "Italy"
 

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Thank you. I also thought it must be Italy, but since I have never been to South America or especially Peru, I was unsure about what old town centres there look like or if there might be places with a similar architecture.
So, if this is Italy, and looking at the rear end of another classic car on the left margin (D-Type?), this might well have been shot at the MM 1992 or some other classic car event. Does somebody recognize the city?
 

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Hi Alfred,

Your photo shows Brescia, probably immediately prior to the MM of 1990 without the #109 race number applied yet. Schemke and Girelli (listed as "Birelli" by one online source that lists the chassis as 915543) entered the car from Peru, probably because the MM folks liked to have entries from as many countries as possible and Schemke seems to have had an address there as well as in Florida, USA for a time. Also Argentina? The D-Type edging out of the frame is almost certain to be XKD535. The MM of 1990 was run from 17 - 20 May and the auction in Monaco was on the 22nd. Maybe the team did not go to the Sunday awards ceremony? An Argentine source informed me some years ago that the car was owned by Girelli of Argentina at the time of the MM. I cannot say this is certain.

I saw 915543 during late 1992 and January 1993 at Walnut Creek Ferrari just prior to it going to Fantasy Junction for a time. After that, it reportedly went to France, still with the Touring body fitted. The Touring body number plate showed #3121. The front suspension units were not a matched pair but were probably comparable.

Schemke reportedly had chassis 916454 on the MM of 1991 with race #118. Born as a Freccia d'Oro, it had some interesting claims made as to why it was no longer a Freccia d'Oro. In the form of a sport siluro, it had become labeled "Comp" which was probably intending to refer to "competizione" rather than "compressore"?

May we see a photo or three of 915543 in its current configuration?

Best of luck learning more.

John
 

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I agree: Brescia, probably Corso Giuseppe Zanardelli (see Google Streetview here).

1643938
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you John and Tubut for putting a drop of you knowledge into my ocean of ignorance...;-)
Tubut, thank you for spotting the right street. I had been browsing through google earth trying to find the right road around the Piazza della Vittoria in Brescia, but couldn´t find it.

John: i had found a small exerpt from a list of notes in an older expertise on this car, but didn´t know it was from you. It must have been from the time when the car was at Fantasy Junction. It was then sold to a company in France (Paris) named Kiron. As far as I know the owner was a Giannandrea Calderazzo. I have an old email from Peter Marchall who also had this chassis number listed with Calderazzo in France, but no year given.

As to the Schemke/Girelli Alfa #118 at the MM 1991, I also had thought that "Comp." rather refers to competizione than compressore, but then I found this description in the official catalogue:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And now a few pictures of the car in progress and what it looks like now:

Let´s start with the pictures and description from the Christie's auction catalogue
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What happened to the stunning berlinetta body :( :(
Pete
 

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Thank you Ruedi!
I knew I remembered seeing the location a few times but did not take the time to go looking for it.

Thank you Alfred!
Although it is a shame that the Touring body was removed rather than repaired or restored correctly, this also seems an interesting body. Have you found any sign of a body number or trim number? Did any "story" accompany the body? For the chassis itself, what is the frame number and where is it located on the front cross-member? Sometimes it is not far from the chassis number stamping and sometimes it is rather far away. It seems that different batches of chassis were numbered (during their construction, long before a chassis number was assigned) in different locations and in different numbering series.

It seems possible that a car was sold to a South American through a dealer in Roma because of a quota system from Alfa Romeo, but it is also possible that a South American purchaser (if Salvador Heredia was South American) might have been associated with an embassy or a business with an office located in Roma. If so, the car might well have been registered in Roma for a time? Some foreigners registered their cars through the local Automobile Club. If so, I would guess the plate number issued would have begun Roma102xxx or Roma103xxx. I have some conflicting data from another source (suggesting a lower number than what I suggest as a beginning to a study), so some number of plates may have to be researched in order to narrow down likely number ranges issued 7 July and later ... which are not guaranteed to lead to the car's history. Because a large number of plates were issued daily in Roma, there may be a lot of plate numbers to study before we get "lucky" or give up? It is a bit difficult to do this sort of research currently and it is almost always a bit difficult during the month of August in any case!

Regarding 916454, I must caution you that many catalog descriptions (such as the one that you reference from 1991) have proven to be incorrectly presented. Photos of the car from a few years later show no sign of a compressore being in use. I'll acknowledge that it could have evolved. I've not seen the car or studied it at all.

On the 1997 MM retrospective event, Schemke & Wilson used an Alfa Romeo 6C2300B ("813219") that was bodied in the form of an 8C2900 spider, if perhaps a bit smaller in overall size. It resembled three cars bodied in Italy for Corrado Cupellini but one 1997 source indicates that this body came from David Black and that the chassis is a shortened long chassis. Another source published 1998 has the car as being owned by Girelli (Argentina) ... probably during 1997, prior to its auction sale in September(?). Later, the car was in a collection in the USA and it sported what may be the original chassis ID plate and also a "Touring" body number plate that, although pretty, is seemingly not an original.

The studies go on ... Thanks again to all who share.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #17
John, I have taken many pictures of technical bits of #915543, but I could not find a proper picture of the frame number. I will tell you as soon as we have the car in the workshop next time, which will certainly before Bassano next year. If you really want to know, I could also go there and take a picture of it.

As to the Barchetta body, Peter Marshall was not able to remember where exactly these pictures in the Dutch Club magazine (written by Ben Hendriks) were taken, so I have to simply forward what I have been told. The body supposedly resided on the premises of a Avv. Eric Maggiar near Lago di Comabbio (near Varese) since the end of the 60ies. In the late 90ies (a few years after the article), a restoration was to be started at a restoration shop by the name of Mancini (I think not identical with the collector Avv. Mancini) near Pisa, but by 2005, nothing had happened and no progress whatsoever.
About three years ago I missed an opportunity to interview Eric Maggiar on the subject, because without me knowing him, we were both at the Villa d' Este gathering at Lake Como. I did not know that he was there, and my Italian at that time was more or less embarrassing, if recognisable at all. He did not speak English and was suffering from very bad health, so, even if I had known of his presence, I might have avoided to disturb him.

I was also told that there is a another picture of this body sitting outside a shed in the No 13 newsletter of the "Registro Internazionale Touring Superleggera", also commented by Ben Hendriks. Has somebody got this newsletter?

Regarding the original coachwork of #915543, I remember by the way that I had a picture of the bent and rusty old Berlinetta body sitting as an empty shell on a trailer in an old email, but I cannot find it anymore. I was assured that it definitely got scrapped.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Another thing: I ther any chance to narrow the possible Roma registration number down a little bit or to look for the regitration over the chassis number? It is bad luck that the car was sold in Rome and not some smaller city. I cannot possibly pay for hundreds or thousands of Cronologicos to find the right one. Furthermore, the car might have gone directly to South America without having been registered at all. Is there really no way to get to a registration over the VIN number?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And John, the body carries the original body plate of the lost Berlinetta body, which is certainly incorrect, but the last remaining bit of the scrapped Berlinetta. The number is 3121.
 
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