1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B MM Touring Superleggera
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Chassis no. 815035
Engine no. 823956
Coachbuilder: Carrozzeria Touring
Categories: L- Limited edition cars (no. 107 manufactured)
Owner: Famiglia Bonfanti
The 6C 2300 B Mille Miglia was presented in 1938 and only produced that year. This was the last of the extensive series of 2300 B. It was the chassis of the 6C 2300 Pescara increased by 10 CV and almost 30 kilometres in speed thus reaching the maximum speed of 170 kph. Carrozzeria Touring of Milan patented the superleggera design using ultralight alloys and components with aluminum panels over a cage-like steel frame. One of this model took first place in the Turismo class of the 1937 Mille Miglia and 4th overall.
This wonderful Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 Mille Miglia Berlinetta Touring Superleggera was bought new in 1938 by a famous Milanese industrialist and is still in its original condition. In 1953 it was confiscated by the police after having been used for cigarette smuggling, and it was bought by a passionate Alfista in a police auction in the early 60s and has been in the ownership of the same family ever since.
The blueprint of the 6C 2300B Mille Miglia
The Alfa Romeo 6C name was used on road, race, and sports cars produced between 1927 and 1954 by Alfa Romeo; the "6C" name refers to the six cylinders of the car's straight-six engine. Bodies for these cars were made by coachbuilders such as James Young, Zagato, Touring Superleggera, Castagna, and Pinin Farina. Beginning in 1933 there was also a 6C version with an Alfa factory body, built in Portello. In the early 1920s Vittorio Jano received a commission to create a lightweight, high performance vehicle to replace the Giuseppe Merosi designed RL and RM models. The car was introduced in April 1925 at the Salone dell' Automobile di Milano as the 6C 1500. It was based on Alfa's P2 Grand Prix car, using a single overhead cam 1,487 cc in-line six-cylinder engine, producing 44 horsepower. In 1928 the 1500 Sport was presented, which was the first Alfa Romeo road car with double overhead camshafts.
Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 (1934–1938)
The 6C 2300 (2,309 cc) was designed by Vittorio Jano as a lower-cost alternative to the 8C. In 1934 Alfa Romeo had become a state-owned enterprise. That year, a new 6C model with a newly designed and larger engine was presented. Chassis technology, however, had been taken from the predecessor. One year later a revised model, the 6C 2300 B, was presented. In this version the engine was placed in a completely redesigned chassis, with independent front suspension and rear swing axle, as well as hydraulic brakes. 760 examples of the rigid-axle 6C 2300 were produced and 870 examples of the B-model.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE 6C
Throughout the late 1920s and 1930s, Alfa Romeo dominated long-distance road racing with their glorious 6C and 8C models; the period from 1928 until the outbreak of war yielding six consecutive wins in the Targa Florio, four consecutive victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and no fewer than 10 wins in 11 years in the grueling Mille Miglia. Indeed, in the period 1932 through 1934, they remained unbeaten in all three events, thereby sealing an unprecedented “hat-trick of hat-tricks” for the Portello marque.
The origins of the 6C went back as far as 1925, although it did not enter production until 1927—initially in suitably modest 1.5-liter, single camshaft, un-supercharged “Normale” specification. In 1928, a new twin-camshaft Sport variant was introduced, while a supercharged Super Sport “Compressore” version was added to Alfa Romeo’s production portfolio the following year for those of a sporting persuasion. That same year marked the first appearance of the evolutionary 6C 1750, which was also available in both supercharged and un-supercharged form, as well as with numerous different body styles, while the new-for-1933 6C 1900 marked the final derivative of the original 6C 1500 model (a design by now eight years old).
By 1934, Alfa Romeo had been subsumed into state ownership, a move which necessarily saw greater scrutiny of manufacturing costs. While the 8C remained the jewel in the marque’s crown from both a technical and sporting perspective, it was complex and relatively expensive to produce, and consequently sold in only limited numbers. A significantly revised and more accessible 6C model was therefore identified as being critical to Alfa Romeo’s commercial future, and stalwart designer Vittorio Jano was duly tasked with its reworking.
Jano retained much of the basic architecture of the previous smaller-capacity 6C engine (specifically, a cast iron block, aluminum cylinder head and two valves per cylinder), although his newly designed 6C 2300 unit boasted a bore and stroke of 70 and 100 millimeters, respectively—a far cry from the comparable values of 62 and 82 millimeters used in the 6C 1500. Power output for the standard “Turismo” model was 68 horsepower, although the more sporting 95 horsepower Pescara variant was introduced in late 1934; the latter in recognition of Alfa Romeo’s remarkable 1-2-3 finish in the 24 hour Targa Abruzzi at Pescara with a team of Scuderia Ferrari-entered 6C 2300s.
Significantly, 1935 marked the appearance of the 6C 2300 “B” series, which featured a lighter, more contemporary chassis, with hydraulic brakes and independent suspension on all four wheels. Not only did such technical advances afford a significant improvement in ride quality, but they also permitted the center of gravity to be lowered noticeably, with a further positive effect on performance.
ALFA ROMEO’S MAGNIFICENT GIANT-KILLER
While 8Cs—increasingly in ultimate specification 2.9-liter form—continued to attract the plaudits for their overall wins in events such as the Mille Miglia, the new 6C 2300 model proved no less impressive in the smaller-capacity categories. In the 1936 edition of the race, Cattaneo and Donati won the over-2-liter un-supercharged class in their 6C 2300 Pescara, while the following year Boratto and Guidotti finished a remarkable 4th overall en route to another 2-liter class win. The latter pairing was beaten in the overall classification only by the 8C 2900s of Pintacuda and Farina, and the Delahaye of Schell; an achievement which led Alfa Romeo to rename their top-of-the-line model as the 6C 2300B Mille Miglia in preference to its previous Pescara moniker. As if to underline the 6C 2300B’s giant-killing credentials, the 6C 2300B Touring Spider of Cortese/Fumagalli took a further class win in 1938, the final Mille Miglia before the outbreak of war.