Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Cabriolet
Without question, the 6C 2500 range of Alfa Romeos built from 1947 to 1952 marked the last generation of truly great Alfa Romeos. During World War II, the Allies bombed the firm’s Portello factory (a suburb of Milan), because it was producing weapons. Following the War, this prompted Alfa Romeo to change course and start building cars for the masses rather than continuing to build coachbuilt automobiles for the elite. Bombing raids of 14 February, 13 August, and 20 October, 1944 reduced Alfa Romeo to a mass of rubble; the October raid finally destroyed the Portello factory. During June and July of 1945, production would be re-activated, but only two chassis would be produced by the end of the calendar year. By 1947, when the 6C 2500 series of cars were introduced, Alfa had dug itself out of the damage and once again began civilian car production. The dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine was essentially an evolution of the pre-war 6C 2500, which was built in Turismo (five-passenger sedan), Sport and Super Sport versions from 1939-1943.
The newly-styled post-war series was referred to as the Freccia d’Oro, meaning Golden Arrow. The Golden Arrow name would be borrowed from the all-Pullman London to Paris train of the Southern Railway symbolising both speed and luxury. An elaborate brochure was created to promote the new products which featured a five-passenger berlina sedan, two-seater coupé and cabriolet, and four-seat convertible. These would be the last Alfas built with separate frame and body and the marque’s final coachbuilt automobiles. Bodies were supplied by Touring, Pinin Farina, Stabilimenti Farina, Boneschi and Ghia. Exterior styling was a combination of curves with fine details, including pop-out door handles so as not to disturb the smooth aerodynamic styling. Gone was the semi-rectangular grille of previous Alfas which had served on a series of different models for an entire decade. In its place was a long narrow triangle sweeping down from a narrow top with rounded corners to a point at the bottom and a series of crossbars protecting the radiator proper. Production was quite limited throughout the model run: 486 cars in 1947, 451 in 1948, 414 in 1949, and approximately 100 from 1950-1952.
This was also the first appearance of the shape which would become known as the Villa d’Este. It was applied to a coupé variation on the Super Sport theme by Touring of Milan. Much like today, the prestigious Villa d’Este Concours was held on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. Unlike today, however, where individuals show their perfect cars on manicured lawns, those concours were held to showcase the works of designers of the carrozzerie where new styling ideas for production and prototype cars would be highlighted to the buying public. Alfa Romeo would often be the recipient of awards, with 1949 perhaps being the year in which the firm received its most important accolades. The special 6C 2500 by Touring won both the Coppa d’Oro (selected by jury) and the Gran Premio Referendum (selected by the public) that year.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2009 at the Battersea Evolution, London.10 hp, 2,443 cc dual overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual synchromesh gearbox, independent front suspension with coil springs, independent rear suspension with swing axles and torsion bars, four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106"
Source: RM Auctions