Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo
I do not know how to express it correctly, to get out of the stamp of alfista, but this brand never ceases to surprise us, experts and not on the classic car. The history and the range of cars and especially the racing cars that he has produced is so great that I doubt if we will ever be able to record them all at some point. For now, enjoy this 80-year-old masterpiece! Vasileios Papaidis
One of the least widely known, yet most influential, cars in the history of motorsport, the Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo, returned to life after 80 years at the home of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN as the team celebrated the 111th anniversary of the founding of Alfa Romeo by hosting this iconic vehicle in Hinwil.
The Alfa Romeo 12C Prototipo marked a crucial juncture in the history of motorsport and inspired a generation of post-war racing and high-performance sportscars that adopted its new 12-cylinder engine geometry, effectively shaping the way the concept of engine was imagined.
The 12C Prototipo, a one-off racing car designed and built to compete in the Sport class, has not been seen in public for over 70 years: as its restoration came to an end at the same time as the milestone birthday of its Italian marque, the historical vehicle made a stop to visit the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN headquarters in Hinwil, Switzerland, where its spiritual descendants, the Formula One cars competing in this year’s world championship, are designed, built and operated.
After the Sauber crew completed a thorough inspection of the vehicle, painstakingly restored by Progetto 33 AG with Egon Zweimüller, the 12C Prototipo was installed in the Sauber wind tunnel for its final checks before the engine was turned on – a staggering 80 years since the last occasion it had roared in anger: time did nothing to dampen the beautiful sound.
Every party needs a special guest, after all, and this celebration of Alfa Romeo was no exception. A beautiful product of human ingenuity, technical skill and engineering prowess had come back to life – in the place where the Alfa Romeo name lives on at the highest level of motorsport, 111 years after the first cars from the marque saw the light.
The racing DNA with which the Alfa Romeo and Sauber names are synonymous lives on. As the 12C Prototipo prepares to soon hit the track and reconnect to the roads it last tore up eight decades ago, we look in awe at the Alfa Romeo car which changed the course of motorsport history.