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Alfa Romeo – 6C 1750 Sport Spider

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Vehicle Overview

The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Sport chassis #0212525, engine #0212525, the twentieth produced, was first registered in Milan, with number plates MI 2315, on 6 June 1929, and, on the registration form it was described as “equipped with 4-seater Torpedo bodywork” that subsequent research attributed this to Pirola Coachworks. Its first owner was a name of prominence in the motoring world of the time: an engineer, Gerolamo Battista Merlini, who was in fact general manager of the Alfa Romeo Limited Company, in the years of its first great corporate restructuring. On 7 January 1931, after being sold on 27 October 1930, the 6C was renamed MO 4884, registered to an engineer, Luigi Roncati, who, on 1 April 1935, purchased a new Romeo 6C 1750 from the then Enzo Ferrari Alfa Romeo car dealership in Emilia, Romagna and the Marche regions. This car had a saloon bodywork, and Roncati gave the 6C 1750 Sport #0212525 in partial exchange. Soon after, on 12 May 1935, the 6C 1750 Sport was bought by its third owner in Ancona, number plates AN 51217 issued on 25 May 1935, Francesco Severi, famous as a successful Ferrari Team racing driver, who resold it shortly afterwards, on 12 June 1935, in the Province of Ascoli Piceno, also in the Marche region, to the Marquis Giovanni Passari, on 21 October 1935, and it was re-registered with number plates AP 36xx, which the car still has today. With this fourth change of ownership the car was described for the first time as equipped with saloon bodywork, and not torpedo. Unfortunately, it is not known if this was an error by an office clerk of the vehicle registration office or whether the car had adopted a new bodywork but, this is of little importance in the continuation of the history of this 6C. As World War II and autarchy approached, with the consequent government directives for restrictions on the use of the most valuable imported raw materials, on / January 1942 the 6C, personal car of the Marquis, was transformed and was fuelled by a gas generator. On 12 December 1944, with an act transcribed on 15 December, the Marquis Passari gave the 6C, which was now 15 years old, to his farmer Federico Ponzanetti and farmhand Giannino Moretti, both working on his farm. It was at that moment that the 6C became petrol-driven again but it lost its bodywork, modified into a van with open body and approved for transporting up to 7 hundredweight. From this moment on, traces of the original bodywork or its parts were lost. The 6C “Pick-Up” continued to work for many years and, at one point, its original engine, slightly damaged by frost, was replaced with a Perkins Diesel engine. Fortunately, the 6-cylinder engine was removed and subsequently preserved. On 26 May 1972, the transformed 6C Sport, accompanied by its original engine, was sold to Pietro Nardoni, a mechanic from the nearby village of Moresco who was passionate about old objects and motor cars. Nardoni, especially for economic reasons, was not able to start the work, and the vehicle, or rather, what was left of it, remained in his workshop until May 2002, when the current owner, who registered it in 2003, persuaded him to give it to him. “The chassis”, said the current owner, “was rusty and badly damaged, almost bare but complete with firewall (with chassis number), petrol tank and front axle, besides having a large part of the mechanics such as the differential, rear axle, six-spoked split-rim wheels, four brake drums and also the 67 year old AP 3655 number plates, ruined but still legible”. In a crate, a short distance away, was the engine, “the monobloc had a small external crack”, and the gearbox clutch block.
After looking for the old bodywork, or at least documentation concerning it, also getting in touch with the heirs to the Marquis Passari, in order to avoid a reconstruction that would have been a fake, the current owner of the 6C Sport, decided to look for a bodywork of the period, which could be used on his car, with a 2,920mm chassis. At the end of 2002, he was told about a Viberti bodywork available in the Netherlands, which might have proved fine. “The car bodywork, which we later discovered came from a 6C S 1750, chassis #0212736, I liked immediately”, remembered the owner, “ because of its particular line, a spider cabriolet 2+2. It had been badly restored, perhaps in the 1960s-70s, full of filler, and with a lot of corrosion, on both the metal and the wood of the structure. It needed a complete restoration, but it was an ideal work base. Moreover, the people who gave it to me, kept telling me the person who had sold it to him a couple of years before, was certain that it had been built by Viberti. To me, the burden of proof”. The research at Viberti, today part of the Acerbi Group, brought about some interesting discoveries. “Through Elena Acerbi I tracked down an old archivist of the company, who confirmed, with documents in hand, that Viberti had made the bodywork of a couple of Alfa Romeo cars, between the late 1920s and early 1930s, adding also that the bodyworks had been in all probability produced for a certain Colonel Leoncini, a name known in the circles of Alfa Romeo historians, so much so that both Angela Cherrett, of the English Alfa Romeo Register, and the motoring historian Tito Anselmi, confirmed different information about Leoncini. Anselmi himself pointed out to me that Leoncini took part, in 1937, in the Competition of Elegance in Turin with a 6C 2300 Pescara aerodynamic two-door saloon bodywork from Pininfarina, a car famous for being designed by family friend Mario Revelli of Beaumont.” Mario Revelli, today considered one of the founding fathers of the Italian automotive style, as well as the creator of some of the most beautiful bodywork designs ever produced, and holder of several technical patents on automotive themes, was very close to Viberti Coachworks, for whom, right at the turn of the 1920s and 1930s
started to collaborate to design the bodyworks of industrial vehicles that made the Viberti name famous in the world. “We know”, continued the current owner, “that Revelli, who graduated in architectural design, in 1929, went to the Paris Salon in 1928 where he was deeply impressed by the elongated and innovative line of the mudguards of the Duesenberg model J and the tilted windscreen of the Packard, elements that were found, one year later, in the line of the Fiat 525ss, designed by him, which earned him the praise and esteem of Agnelli. Following my request for information about my own bodywork, for a period wrongly attributed to English coachbuilder James Young, in a note sent to me, Revelli’s son indicated the main stylistic results in the innovative design of the elongated wings and the inclination of the windscreen, features that were found in the cars designed in Italy only a few years later, but, however, expressed some doubt about the high waistline of the car. On the other hand, however, my bodywork has a rear pillar, connected to the folding side windows, patented by Revelli itself, also acknowledged by the FIVA (international federation of vintage vehicles) delegate Veniero Molari”.
In his research on the origins of the bodywork, the current owner managed to reconstruct the whole history, in Italy, America, Australia and Holland, of the 6C, a few months younger than his own, which was used from 1930 to 1988 when, following an accident in England, was dismantled from the chassis #0212736 and every major component, such as the chassis and mechanics, took different and separate paths.
In 2007, after 5 years of careful restoration, the 6C 1750 Sport #0212525, returned to show off its
original engine. It has graced the catwalks of some elegance competitions, but, above all, has been
driven at various classic car rallies. Recognized as one of only 5 Alfa Romeo 6C Sport 1750s that survived, mounted the only bodywork (of only two built) made by Viberti on surviving Alfa Romeo mechanics.

Technical Specifications

  • Body
  • Year
    1929
  • Make
    Alfa Romeo
  • Model
    6C 1750 S Spider
  • Coachbuilder
    Viberti
  • Length (mm)
    N/A
  • Width (mm)
    N/A
  • Height (mm)
    N/A
  • Photo credits
    astebolaffi.it
  • Engine Type
    N/A
  • Designer
    Mario Revelli di Beaumont

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