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Classic cars: Alfa 6C

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Classic cars: Alfa 6C

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It’s the 2012 Mille Miglia this week and as a tribute to the historic endurance race, the Alfa Romeo Historic Motoring team will be bringing not one but four of its museum pieces to the event. There’ll be two pre-war vehicles in attendance — the 1500 SS and 1750 GS, and the 1900 SS from the Thirties and last but not least, the gorgeous 2000 Sportiva from the Fifties. All these cars took part in the classic event between the late Twenties and late Fifties in Italy and they certainly left their mark by beating favourites such as Porsche, at the time. This year, the Mille Miglia is going to be crammed with Alfa anniversaries. For instance, it isn’t just the Giulia’s 50th birthday and the Alfetta’s 40th, the carmaker is also celebrating the 80th anniversary of the first victory by the 8C 2300 in the prestigious race. This historic accolade was achieved back in 1932 when drivers Baconin Borzacchini and Amedeo Bignami took the chequered flag in Brescia. In fact, during that race, the top seven cars were all Alfas, such was their dominance. The 1928 6C 1500 Super Sport was the first turismo model built during the Vittorio Jano era, which meant its engineering and design principles were top-notch. Boasting a lightweight and high-performance straight six DOHC water-cooled engine and a low, lightweight chassis to boot, it was a trend-setting vehicle that even featured semi-elliptic springs. The 76bhp 6C caused a storm when it was unveiled at the Milan motor show in 1925. It was received with equal enthusiasm in London and Paris too and won the first of a record 11 Alfa victories at the Mille Miglia. Only four of these are known to exist and the one the Alfa team is bringing to the event, a Spider body version no less, is not just the oldest of them all but its panels still have the original Zagato job numbers, even though it underwent full restoration in 1976. This four-speed manual car has won a ton of prizes, the best of the lot probably the First Class award at Pebble Beach in 1978. It was preceded by a more powerful version in 1929, the 6C 1750 GS with a 50mm shorter wheelbase. It became an invincible racecar while a final derivative of the original 1500 came in 1933. It was the 1900 SS, packing a 1.9-litre straight six engine with an aluminium head for the first time. It was capable of 130kph and just 197 units were ever built. The last of the four that will be on show is the 2000 Sportiva, derived from the 1900. This one, designed by Franco Scaglione, was a glamorous looker to say the least and featured a rear De Dion axle, which was all the rage back then. All four will be paraded at the Mille Miglia 2012, which runs from May 16 to 20. Now, if you’ve got the cash for say, the ultra-rare 6C 1500 SS, well then, your name must be Bill Gates. Set aside a fair few million dollars for one.

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