Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Spider
Alfa Romeo’s rich racing heritage and competition successes date back to the early 20th Century, predating many of Europe’s other great sports-car builders. After the First World War, Alfa was building good, reliable production cars but lacked the expertise to design successful racing machinery, so a scheme was hatched to hire the engineer responsible for Fiat’s Grand Prix racing cars, Vittorio Jano. The hiring of Jano proved a wise decision, as he brought with him unrivalled flair, experience and the latest in racing-car design principles. From that crucial point, the Italian maker would return to its roots in racing with much success, winning its first Grand Prix World Championship in 1925.
The 6C 1750
Alfa Romeo introduced its Jano-designed, 1752-cc six-cylinder cars in 1929. Adept on both road and racing circuits, their dual overhead-cam power plant proved reliable and powerful, developing remarkable output from their relatively small displacement. Further benefiting from excellent handling, the car, in top factory racing engine trim, could comfortably exceed 100 mph.
The 6C 1750 is also significant for introducing saloon bodies that were manufactured in-house, along with those produced by such renowned custom coachbuilders as Touring, Castagna and Zagato, among others. Three 6C 1750 models were available, starting from the single overhead-cam Turismo with a 122-inch wheelbase and a maximum speed of about 70 mph. Next, the twin overhead-cam Gran Turismo offered a choice of 108- or 114-inch wheelbases and a top speed of about 80 mph. The pinnacle was the Gran Sport or Super Sport, which produced 85 hp and was capable of top speeds approaching 95 mph. Regardless of the version, the 6C remains today one of the most compelling and desirable of all Alfas produced. All told, Alfa Romeo built a total of 2,579 1750s through 1933. Of those, very few were supercharged “GS” examples.
Just three months after its introduction, a 1750 driven by Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi would win the 1929 Mille Miglia. Later that year, Marinoni and Benoist won the Belgian 24 Hour Race at Spa. Alfa would take the Targa Florio too, and one year later, the company won its second Mille Miglia in addition to a host of other events. The company went on to take the checkered flag in eight Mille Miglias during the 1930s, as well as the German Grand Prix in 1935 against the formidable Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union entries. In short, Alfa Romeo began the 1930s as it ended the 1920s – utterly dominating Italy’s sports car and competition scene.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.
85 bhp, 1.7L supercharged DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual gearbox, solid front and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108"
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel