Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS

Alfa Romeo began in 1906 under the name of SAID, Societa Anonima Italiana Darracq, but within just three years was reorganised under a different set of initials, ALFA – Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobil. In an effort to boost its image, the company decided to go racing, beginning in 1911 with some success. Shortly thereafter, Europe would find itself at war. Both racing and the market for private cars would disappear by 1915 when Italy joined the fighting.

Enter Nicola Romeo, an industrialist and mining engineer who returned the company to good fortune within just two years of his takeover by making tractors, railway equipment, aero engines, pumps and compressors; the production of cars would become relatively unimportant. That would change in 1918 when demand for the Romeo group’s products vanished once the War ended. Cars would be in short supply, and demand for them surged. The company looked to reorganise under the name Alfa Romeo of Milan, and one of the most famous makes in European motoring was born.

Alfa was building good, reliable production cars but lacked the expertise to design successful racing cars, 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 race car design. Enzo Ferrari, too, had joined the company as a works driver. The Italian maker would return to its roots in racing with much success, winning its first Grand Prix World Championship in 1925.

Alfa Romeo introduced the 1752 cc six-cylinder powered cars designed by Jano in 1929. Adept on both road and racing circuits, the powerplant proved reliable and powerful, offering impressive output from its relatively small displacement. Further benefiting from excellent handling, the car, in top factory racing engine trim, could comfortably exceed 161 km/h.

The 6C 1750 is significant for introducing in-house manufactured saloon bodies along with those produced by firms such as Touring, Castagna and Zagato, among others. Three models were available: the single overhead-cam Turismo with 122-inch wheelbase and a maximum speed of about 70 mph, the twin overhead-cam Gran Turismo with 108-inch or 114-inch wheelbase and a top speed of about 80 mph, and the Gran Sport or Super Sport – a supercharged Gran Turismo producing 85 hp and a top speed of 95 mph. Regardless of the version, the 6C remains today one of the most compelling and desirable of all Alfas. All told, the Alfa Romeo built a total of 2,579 1750s through 1933.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

85 hp, 1,752 cc twin-overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine with supercharger, four-speed manual gearbox, tubular front beam axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs, semi-elliptic rear springs and torque tube, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 108"

Source: RM Auctions

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