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Discussion Starter #1
This is a picture of the Figoni-bodied 6C1750 GS with chassis number 121215054 when it recently was dropped off for restoration at RX Autoworks in North Vancouver (unfortunately, I had only the cell phone camera available). The car has an Alfa Romeo Paris badge, French instruments and French knock offs. According to Fusi's "Tutte Le vetture dal 1910" the car is a 6th series 6C1750 from 1933.

Inside the car is a badge that says (in English) that this car participated in the 1935 Le Mans race (driven by Don/Desvignes) and came in 5th overall but records found on the Internet indicate 6th overall and a class win in the 3-litre class. However, a badge that seems to stem from later date is no proof that this is actually true.

There are some hints that the car may have been re-bodied after the Le Mans race (it certainly has Figoni badges and either the son or grandson of Figoni has recently been contacted and came to see the car -- now, everybody is waiting to see if they find any information in the Figoni archives).

The car has some stickers on it that indicate it may have participated in the 1986 Mille Miglia. The car is not listed in Fusi & Slater's 6c1750 book from 1968 (which a friend let me borrow). Angela Cherret's 6C1500/1750/1900 book from 1989 mentions that one car went to Figoni but it is currently unclear whether this comment was in reference to the car pictured here.

The owner and the restoration shop are looking for any kind of older pictures of this car and what history may be revealed. Any help on or off AlfaBB would be greatly appreciated.

I hope I can post more and better pictures as the restoration progresses.
 

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G'day there,

Strangely enough, I had a brief chat with the owner about this car in a bookshop in Melbourne earlier this year.

It was entered in the 1986 Mille Miglia by the then owner, Waldemar Greyvensteyn of South Africa, with car #65.

Have you been in touch with Angela Cherrett?

Cheers,
Damien
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply, Damien!

I haven't been able to contact Angela Cherrett yet (I contacted the VSSC in the UK to see if they can put me in touch with her). If anybody has contact information for her, please let me know (via PM or e-mail).
 

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Thanks for your reply, Damien!

I haven't been able to contact Angela Cherrett yet (I contacted the VSSC in the UK to see if they can put me in touch with her). If anybody has contact information for her, please let me know (via PM or e-mail).

I'l also apprciate Angela's current contact information!
 

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6C 1750 Gran Sport

Hello Ruedi,

I checked some books on Alfa Romeo for # 121215054.
In the book 'Alfa Romeo Production Cars 1910 - 2007' written by d'Amico and Tabucchi and published in 2007 by Giunti/Giorgio Nada Editore, # 121215054 is mentioned as being in the 6C 1750 6th series Gran Sport. This series covers # 121215031 up to # 121215071. This is confirmed (as already mentioned) in the book 'Alfa Romeo Tipo 6C 1500 - 1750 - 1900' written by Angela Cherrett and published by Giorgio Nada Editore in 1989.
I didn't find a picture or a reference on this specific car. Searching the internet didn't reveal any information.
Maybe John de Boer can help you with finding information?

Ciao, Olaf.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hello Ruedi,

I checked some books on Alfa Romeo for # 121215054.
In the book 'Alfa Romeo Production Cars 1910 - 2007' written by d'Amico and Tabucchi and published in 2007 by Giunti/Giorgio Nada Editore, # 121215054 is mentioned as being in the 6C 1750 6th series Gran Sport. This series covers # 121215031 up to # 121215071. This is confirmed (as already mentioned) in the book 'Alfa Romeo Tipo 6C 1500 - 1750 - 1900' written by Angela Cherrett and published by Giorgio Nada Editore in 1989.
I didn't find a picture or a reference on this specific car. Searching the internet didn't reveal any information.
Maybe John de Boer can help you with finding information?

Ciao, Olaf.
Hi Olaf,
Thank you for your input. I searched through pretty much all books I had available (including borrowed books from local Alfa club members) prior to posting but couldn't find anything specific to that car either.

Both the owner and myself have contacted John de Boer, who replied he will look through his files. Furthermore, RX Autoworks told me they are filling in John de Boer's form for collecting data on this car.

Fusi & Slater's "Alfa Romeo 6C1750" from 1968 mentions the following on page 42:
"The Parisian coachbuilder, Figoni, supplied particularly graceful fixed-head coupés on the 6th Series 1750 chassis, but the narrow windscreen and small rear window reduced the driver's visibility too much to cope with modern heavy traffic. The usual bonnet louvres were replaced by small hinged vents, angled to the slope of the radiator."
First of all, the plural language tells me that there must have been several Figoni-bodied 6C1750 cars. I can only wonder what sources Fusi & Slater may have gotten this information from. My first guess is that there may be pictures in the Alfa Romeo archive (which I can approach now that I've done some homework on published sources). Secondly, #121215054 does not have the hinged vents, which again points to more than one car (although the hinged vents may have been changed back to louvres at a later point in time, the traces of old paint seem to indicate this would have happened a long time ago).

I'm somewhat hopeful that we find older pictures of this and other, similar cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
When I managed to go back to RX Autoworks last week to take some more pictures of the car, it was already partially disassembled to assess what work needs to be done. Apparently, the nose of the car was damaged in transit during the transport from South Africa to Canada -- which is one of the reasons why some work was necessary. The other reason is age. Some of the wood structure has aged and become loose to the point where work was necessary to ensure safe transportation.

The funny thing is, seeing the car apart made me feel a little bit sad: While it's great to see the car restored, there is no doubt that it will lose some of its originality -- but RX Autoworks is great at sensible restorations (Miles Collier's 8c2900 should be proof of that) and they intend to repair and preserve as much of the car as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
The car has undeniably French roots. In addition to the Alfa Romeo Paris badge and the knock-offs with French language, the Jaeger instruments on the dashboard are also in French.

Further, some pencil scribblings on the bodywork also point to french heritage. On the top of one of the door frames, it says "border de chacque coté de la feuillure" which I loosely translated as "wrap [or bend] around both sides of the groove" -- which must be an instruction to the panel beaters as to how the aluminum skin is to be applied. I had some problems figuring out the term "feuillure" and, through translation to German, found it pertains to the groove in windows and doors where presumably a weather seal could be attached.

There are other markings we haven't been able to decipher yet. on the inside of the driver side door panel, there large are two lines of pencil markings. We found what we believe to be a letter "M" that's about 15 cm (6") high. Due to glue and paint overspray, the other letters are very difficult if not impossible to read (I believe there could be an "F" and a "y" or a "g" and something that says "lui" but I'm far from certain). I tried some electronic image enhancement but am not proficient enough to get better results -- I wish it was as easy as they show on TV (e.g. in the "CSI" series).
 

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Great pictures!

Hello Ruedi,

Wauw! Great pictures. Thank you! I can't decipher the words either.

I agree with you that Fusi and Slater, in the book 'Alfa Romeo The 6C 1750' published by MacDonald & Co in 1968, talk about multiple Figoni 6C 1750 cars on page 42.

I checked the book 'Alfa Romeo, A history' by Peter Hull and Roy Slater, published in a revised edition in 1982 by Transport Bookman Publications.
There is a reference to Figoni but it concerns his alterations on the Le Mans 2.3 car of Raymond Sommer.

I also checked the book 'Le Alfa Romeo di Vittorio Jano' by Luigi Fusi, Enzo Ferrari & Griffith Borgeson and published by Autocritica in 1982. I couldn't find a picture of a Figoni 6C 1750. Because this book doesn't have an index, I could have overlooked a reference.

Joseph H. Wherry in his book 'The Alfa Romeo Story', published in 1967 by the Chilton Book Company, does mention a lot of 6C 1750 coachbuilders but not Figoni.

Seems that you are in for some serious searching for other Figoni cars. I'll have a look in the books for further references.

Ciao, Olaf
 

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6C 1750 Gran Sport Figoni

I last saw this car in Waldie's garage in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Pictures really do not do it justice, it is a truly magnificent body style and a gorgeous little Coupe, I'm glad David is going to restore her properly.

Last time I saw her, she was looking a little shabby. To be fair, the restoration is almost 30 years old now & was carried out in the dark ages before email & internet. Waldi fitted the incorrect carbs, I believe David has sourced a proper Memini carburettor for her now. She is a matching number car. I do recall hearing that the wood work joints had all pulled loose necessitating the body to come off the frame, as the skin was starting to show signs of cracks

Waldi did the '86 Mille Miglia, the car was shipped from SA & back again for the event.

The information I have on the car, as per word-of mouth, from Waldi, was that she's a '33 and was re-bodied by Figoni, (before he joined up with Falaschi) in circa '35. I cannot substantiate this; I’m only repeating what I was told. Figoni was passionate about his work being done in Paris, to the extent that he even made up his own radiator badges. These are pictures from when I last saw the car in Waldi's garage.

I have always understood that this particular car is a one-off by Figoni, & in conversations I've had with people about Alfa's over the past 30 years, it's always been referred to as the "The Paris" or "The Paris Alfa"

This *is* one I'd like to own.....sigh

Ciao
Greig
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Greig, thank you for posting pictures of the car with details I wasn't able to capture before the car was disassembled. Your description of the car's current state matches what RX told me. There is now also some damage to the nose that happened during transport (sheet metal covering dumb irons crumpled).

A couple of things that struck me when looking at the car the first time (and better visible in your pictures than in mine) are that the headlights are not typical for this type of Alfa Romeo and that the lights on the fenders seem to be installed at an odd angle given their shape. Clarifying when these lights were installed is one of the reasons why RX is trying to find older pictures (pre-SA restoration) of the car.

With respect to the Alfa Romeo - Paris badge and the French scripts on the knock-offs, I kind of expected that all cars would have them that were assembled in, or sold through, the Alfa Romeo Paris offices as indicated by GTV2000 in this thread (and to a lesser degree in the Alfa Romeo Paris Location thread). Your post above and the posts in the other threads initially made me wonder whether the French badges could have been specific to Figoni but that notion doesn't sit right with me: The French instruments on the dashboard most likely would have been fitted directly by Alfa Romeo, especially if the car was re-bodied by Figoni (as hearsay indicates so far).
 

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"Paris"

If there is any real significance to the "Alfa Romeo - Paris" badge on the radiator ...

It might (or might not) be significant that the chassis ID plate is in Italian rather than French? Some "French-built" Alfa Romeo cars have ID plates that reflect this characteristic as well.

If this car is a rebody, as has been implied as a belief earlier on (and in personal correspondence), then the "Paris" details may simply date from that subsequent work and may reflect nothing whatsoever on the original build?

Some folks have (and had) quite a lot of nationalistic pride and it seems not at all ridiculous to think that someone who was refreshing his car might (even pridefully?) choose to replace some parts with parts that were "French" and easy to get rather than the more difficult Italian and German stuff?

John
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If there is any real significance to the "Alfa Romeo - Paris" badge on the radiator ...

It might (or might not) be significant that the chassis ID plate is in Italian rather than French? Some "French-built" Alfa Romeo cars have ID plates that reflect this characteristic as well.

If this car is a rebody, as has been implied as a belief earlier on (and in personal correspondence), then the "Paris" details may simply date from that subsequent work and may reflect nothing whatsoever on the original build?

Some folks have (and had) quite a lot of nationalistic pride and it seems not at all ridiculous to think that someone who was refreshing his car might (even pridefully?) choose to replace some parts with parts that were "French" and easy to get rather than the more difficult Italian and German stuff?

John
John, there is more than just a French badge on this car: The instruments are also in French and so are the knock-offs. These features are consistent with the Alfa Romeo - Paris badged and Figoni-bodied 8C 2300 #2311207 shown in Simon Moore's book "The Legendary 2.3" and in this thread.

This thread has some guesses about what may or may not have happened in the Alfa Romeo - Paris facilities but there seems to be very little real or factual information about this operation. This same thread also mentions a 5th series 6C 1750 with Corsica body (unfortunately the picture went missing in the infamous AlfaBB server crash).

There seems to be a pattern of features that 6C and 8C cars with Alfa Romeo - Paris badge share. I believe there is enough evidence that indicates this car is authentic and not a tribute car or a bitsa or expression of nationalistic pride by an individual.

RX told me today that they may receive in late February from the Figoni archives information and pictures of this car. There are some hints that indicate Figoni may have bodied this car originally and then re-bodied it after Le Mans 1935. Whether or not this will be substantiated or dispelled as as rumor is yet to be seen. It will be very interesting to see what we can learn in the next few weeks and months about this car and Alfa Romeo - Paris.
 

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Figoni & AR6C

Hi Ruedi,

I am not arguing in any way against the car's apparent Figoni origins. I only urge that we keep from making too many assumptions about the significance of a few French-language parts ... including a badge. Jaeger made some of these instruments for other cars as well and it is almost certain that virtually anybody could purchase them back "in the day". The same for Rudge Whitworth. We do not yet know when these parts were fitted. Perhaps during the original construction or perhaps during an early rebody?

I am pleased that some Figoni records have been found. Lets hope they are truly (and definitively) informative, even if only one detail is revealed about this car!

John
 

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To bad we can't see the pictures that are on display with the car.

I have a question...looks to me as there are electric turn signals on the front fenders. Could these be stock or an aftermarket add on to make the car more driveable? I would have thought a car of this vintage would have had trafficators, as my 6c2500 would have in 1949.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a question...looks to me as there are electric turn signals on the front fenders. Could these be stock or an aftermarket add on to make the car more driveable? I would have thought a car of this vintage would have had trafficators, as my 6c2500 would have in 1949.
RX thinks the trafficators may be original -- if I recall correctly (I don't have pictures of this detail) the appearance of the cut-out in the wood seems to be consistent with other wood surfaces and the metal skin was folded into the cut-out. I believe the trafficators were Bosch. Whether or not they were original is one of the issues Figoni photos might clarify.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
BTW: Quite a few people helped me finding manuals for 6C 1750 cars. So far, we were lucky to get some information on 2nd, 4th and 5th series cars -- but nothing yet on 6th series cars. Any kind of parts catalog and/or shop manual would be helpful.

There is also a notion that 6th series 6C 1750 may have a lot in common with 6C 1900 and 8C 2300 cars. It would be equally helpful if anybody could point me to a source for manuals for these cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Was over to RX the other day.

What a fascinating car.:cool::cool:
Yes, and it's coming along nicely. I hope I can get back there this week and take some pictures to post here.
 

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Alfa Romeo 6C - Later series info

A very interesting car! Thanks again for sharing.

Having already supplied a fair bit of "easy" reference material directly to this project it is taking a while to organize some more. I do have more that will be available in time but it will be helpful to know if there is something specific you are seeking in the way of information. I can dig for a specific item of information and scan it or pull it out of other files more easily and quickly than getting it all organized. I also have to admit that I am not eager to simply give away everything that it has taken years to gather at no small expense. So, at this point a specific request is likely to get more timely attention than a broadly cast net.

I'm still working on one of the specific info requests. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience on behalf of all concerned.

All the best,

John
 
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