SPEC OVERVIEW

Engine - Cast Iron, Water Cooled, Inline-6 w/Aluminum Head

Postion - Front Longitudinal

Aspiration - Natural

Valvetrain - DOHC, 2 Valves / Cyl

Displacement - 2309 cc /140.9 cu in

Bore - 70mm / 2.76 in

Stroke - 100 mm / 3.94 in

Power - 95 bhp @4500 rpm

Driven Wheels - RWD

Front Brakes - Drums 

Rear Brakes - Drums

Steering - Worn & Nut

Front Suspension - Wishbones w/Coil Springs

Rear Suspension - Swing Axles w/Friction Shock Absorbers

Transmission - 4-Speed Manaul

When the 6C 1900 was replaced by the 6C 2300 in 1934, horsepower output was approximately 68. With gradual development over the next several years by legendary engineer Vittorio Jano, output steadily climbed to 105 in the latest iteration, which was slated to run in the 1937 Mille Miglia.  Alfa Romeo’s entries in the 11th running of the race totaled 16 cars: Three of these were 8C 2900 models that participated in the Sports category with the remaining 13 being 6C 2300s that participated in the National Touring category. Of the 6C’s ten were of an earlier type with a solid front axle and the other three were of the newer Type B variety which had four-wheel independent suspension.

 

These ‘2nd Series’ Type B cars developed especially for the 1937 race are mostly encompassed by an increase in horsepower output in the dual overhead cam engine, which was raised from 95 to 105, aided by twin Weber carburetors and a 7.75:1 compression ratio, and capable of grasping at a top speed of 103 mph. Two of the cars entered were bodied by Ghia and represented by Scuderia Ferrari, while the third example was a Berlinetta by Touring: this latter car was the property of Benito Mussolini and piloted by his chauffeur, Boratto.

Of the 124 cars entered in the Mille Miglia, only 65 finished. The 8C Alfas won First and Second Overall, with the 6C Berlinetta by Touring coming in Fourth Overall and winning First in Class, at an average speed of 65.4 mph. This was an incredible accomplishment in light of the additional power possessed by the 8C’s and the third overall winner, a 3.5-liter Delahaye. The high ranking of the 6C 2300 proved the power of Vittorio Jano’s engineering talent over the old emphasis on horsepower.

 

Following its success at the Mille Miglia, the model was offered to the public at a cost of 78,500 lire. Approximately 100 of the 2nd series 6C 2300 B’s were sold from 1937-1939, and it is believed only seven were clothed with this Berlinetta coachwork by Carrozzeria Touring. Many important sports and racing cars were imported to Argentina to participate in the many rallies and races from the earliest days of motor racing to the postwar era. Chassis 815025 is one of those examples and is understood to have been imported to Argentina in 1940.  It was purchased in 1956 by Franco Monnanni, of Bueno Aires, and was brought to the United States after being purchased from Mr. Monnanni in the mid 2000’s and came into the current ownership soon after.

 

The owner commissioned Chris Kidd, of Tired Iron Works in Monrovia, California, to perform a thorough concours restoration on the Alfa, but not before having it thoroughly inspected and authenticated by Belgian marque expert Raoul San Giorgi, who was also retained to advise in the restoration. The Touring Berlinetta body, number 2009, with its trademark Superleggera construction, is believed the original mated to the chassis. 

The hand-hammered aluminum skin was removed from the chassis, which was fully stripped and repaired as needed. Much care was exercised with the fit and finish of each component, and in 2010, when Alfa Romeo was the featured marque at Pebble Beach, the magnificent bare rolling chassis was proudly displayed. Appropriate repairs were made to the coachwork, and witness marks were read to determine the most authentic finish and appearance of every detail possible. During its stay in Argentina, the rear of the body had been modified to delete the trunk lid, making it instead a solid piece with four louvers, similar in appearance to the Touring Berlinetta driven in the 1937 Mille Miglia. Based on the witness marks on the original metal, it was determined that the car originally had a trunk, and it was restored accordingly to its current, proper configuration.

Another notable item is the side windows which are the correct Plexiglas and were originally fitted to the Mille Miglia specification cars. This example also has Borrani wire wheels, which were only fitted to the Mille Miglia specification cars, with the others using artillery wheels. Over the years, many enthusiasts have replaced the original four-speed gearboxes with Volvo transmissions, so it is notable that this example still retains its original type transmission. Great pains and expenses were taken to source only original hard-to-find parts, such as the radiator shutters and brake fluid reservoir.

Included in the restoration file is extensive photographic documentation. During the restoration it was determined that this car did not originally have driving lights, a deletion typically seen only on 1st series cars. It is important to note that although there are some features generally associated with only first or second series examples, these cars were all hand-built and that features gradually evolved in or out. Being that this is an early 2nd series example, it naturally incorporated some features and omissions from both series.

According Luigi Fusi’s tome on the marque, the chassis number range for the 2nd Series 6C 2300 B was from 815001 to 815101, which places this car as the 25th example built. Fusi reports two ranges of engine numbers, almost evenly divided between those 100 or so cars.  The lower range is 823916 to 823968, making the current motor the ninth built and very close in sequence to the chassis. The engine retains its original dual Weber carburetors; as they are of a very early brass type, they are considered a Holy Grail to experts and are worth a considerable sum in their own right. The only added feature found on this engine is a cleverly hidden electric fan, which negates the possibility of overheating at idle.

The restoration was completed in early August of 2012, after many thousands of hours were invested in the effort. With virtually no stone left unturned, it is unimaginable that any finish or feature of this Alfa could be disputed, and all corresponding paperwork will be available for the review of interested parties. As presented with its deep merlot exterior and complementing fawn leather interior, it is fully equipped down to its tool kit and desirable FIVA passport.

The restoration was completed in early August of 2012, after many thousands of hours were invested in the effort. With virtually no stone left unturned, it is unimaginable that any finish or feature of this Alfa could be disputed, and all corresponding paperwork will be available for the review of interested parties. As presented with its deep merlot exterior and complementing fawn leather interior, it is fully equipped down to its tool kit and desirable FIVA passport.

 

The appearance of the 6C 2300 B Touring Berlinetta is quietly confident and subtle, with the chrome on the bumpers and radiator surround complemented by the bright window trim and spears on the sides of the slotted fender skirts. It is a nearly flawless example that idles and drives well and is tour capable. This exceptional car would be welcomed to any number of Alfa Romeo and Concours events worldwide.

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31250 Cedar Valley Drive, Westlake Village, CA 91362 

Tel 805-523-3330, Fax 805-523-3336

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