|The Alfa team at the 1938 Millie Miglia (photo credit: velocetoday.com)|
In 1937, the Alfa Romeo factory in Turin built five 8C 2900B race cars for the 1938 season - four of these were bodied by Carrozzeria Touring and campaigned at the 1938 Millie Miglia. Alfa Corse (the factory race team) was still headed by Enzo Ferrari, and the 2900B was an extension of the successful 8C 2900A. The "B" was a twin overhead camshaft, fully independent suspension car with twin Roots-type superchargers making over 200hp.
|The Simeone Collection's 8C 2900B - chassis 412031|
Chassis number 412031 (wearing #143) was driven by Clemente Biondetti and Aldo Stefani won the 1938 Millie Miglia. This car now resides in the fantastic Simeone Collection. I took this picture (not my best shot) when visiting the collection a few years ago.
|Ralph Lauren's 8C 2900 - chassis 412030 (photo credit: ralphlaurencarcollection.com)|
Chassis number 412030 (wearing #142) was driven by Carlo Pintacuda and Paride Mambelli and after leading most of the race was sidelined at the last check point (brakes) and ended up second. The car was later bought from Alfa Corse by Count Felice Trossi. In the 1940s it came to the US and was owned and raced by Tommy Lee (Pikes Peak and Watkins Glen). Phil Hill bought the car from the Lee estate and he drove it to victory at Pebble Beach in 1951. Later, Brooks Stevens commissioned a bare metal restoration on the car in 1967. Today the car is owned by Ralph Lauren who purchased it from the estate of Bill Serri in early 2004 and had the car restored by Paul Russell.
Chassis 412033 and 412034 (wearing numbers 148 & 141) are not thought to have survived in tact.
|Chassis 412021 - a re-creation 8C 2900B|
I happened to see this car a number of years ago (I believe at the Quail) - I didn't know it at the time, but this car is a recreation. According to an article in the September 1997 edition of Classic & Sports Car Magazine, this car - chassis 412021 (an 8C 2900A) was re-bodied by Alfa after being retired from racing and sold to a German officer during the war. Confiscated by US troops after the war, it came to America and was caught in a shop fire - then buried. The remains were dug up and restored with a re-creation body fabricated and the car built to 8C 2900B specifications.
I've ridden in a 6C 1750 and only imagine the power and performance of the 8C 2900.
|Chassis 412021 after being re-bodied by Alfa (photo credit: Yaroslav Bozhdynsky)|