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1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport

RM Sotheby's

1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

24-0219009

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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Sold

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United Kingdom

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Dealer

Engine number SS928217

 

Body number 3543

 

Documents US Title

 

Ordered new by Commendatore Vincenzo Francesco Ferrario, a longstanding associate of Enzo Ferrari

 

Driven by Ferrario at the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally

 

Retains matching-numbers engine

 

Presented in Amaranto (dark red) over a tan leather interior

 

Accompanied by matching leather luggage

 

Mechanical and cosmetic restoration completed in 2022, including new leather interior

 

Exhibited at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and awarded at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza

 

An exquisite and sporting 6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este with unique competition history; ideal for use on flagship touring events and concours d’elegance

Description

Upon resuming automobile production after World War II, Alfa Romeo continued with the latest development in its pre-war lineup, the 6C 2500. Introduced in 1939, the model featured an increased engine displacement of nearly 2.5 liters, and the Super Sport iteration rode a shortened 2,700-milimeter wheelbase chassis while being equipped with a triple-carbureted intake. Closed bodywork for these desirable sport saloons was built by Touring with the coachbuilder’s signature lightweight Superleggera construction technique of welding an aluminum body to a small-diameter tube-frame, while Pinin Farina completed a number of open cars. In 1949 Touring acquired a Super Sport chassis and clothed it in a more ornate version of the coupe design that featured a tapered rear end, rounded edges along the rocker panels, flatter belt lines trailing from the wheel arches, secondary rear-quarter windows that opened up the luxurious cabin, and distinctive decorative hood lines that emanated from the foglamp areas and curved toward the A-pillars. This car was shown to great acclaim at the 1949 Concorso Internazionale d’Eleganza a Como (the predecessor of today’s Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza on Lake Como, Italy), winning the Gran Premio Referendum (the people’s choice award). Encouraged by the design’s obvious popularity, Alfa Romeo approved a short run of additional cars among the general Super Sport chassis sequencing, to be aptly named Villa d’Este. Widely believed to comprise no more than 36 total examples, including a small handful of open cars, the Villa d’Este was built until the end of the 6C model’s production run in early 1952. As a boutique hand-built luxury model, no two examples are exactly alike, lending each car a character of unique one-off individuality. The pinnacle of 6C 2500 production, the Villa d’Este is today generally regarded as the most desirable iteration of Alfa Romeo’s celebrated post-war model, combining capable mechanical performance, luxurious interior amenities, and elegant exterior design. COMMENDATORE FERRARIO’S VILLA D’ESTE Benefitting from significant early ownership provenance, two multi-decade periods of single-owner care, and more recent restoration work by the consignor, this beautifully presented Villa d’Este is surely one of the finest examples to be encountered. According to respected marque historian Angelo Tito Anselmi’s seminal book on the 6C 2500 model, and as supplemented by the research of a former owner, chassis number 915902 is the 15th Villa d’Este example built. After completing assembly in mid-February 1950, the Alfa Romeo was delivered eight days later to its first owner, Commendatore Vincenzo Francesco Ferrario, of Bellagio, Italy, a picturesque village on the shores of Lake Como. Commendatore Ferrario was a sports car enthusiast who had purchased three Alfa Romeo 8C examples during the 1930s, and his association with the company brought him into contact with the manager of the factory’s racing team, Enzo Ferrari. The two men developed a close relationship, and ex-Scuderia Ferrari team manager Romolo Tavoni reportedly told a researcher that Ferrario was one of only two preferred clients whom Ferrari addressed in the informal tu verb tense (the other being pasta magnate Pietro Barilla). Indeed, Ferrario’s closeness to the company was confirmed when he became a member of the managing board of SEFAC (Ferrari’s corporate umbrella of the 1960s). In January 1952 Ferrario put this Alfa Romeo through the competitive paces when he entered the car in the Monte Carlo Rally, a 3,374-kilometer trek that would take him from Palermo to Monte Carlo, through several challenging patches of inclement weather. Entered as race #194, and with a mysterious co-pilot (either V. Pellecchia or factory test driver Bruno Monini), the Villa d’Este finished 108th among 328 starting cars, of which only 163 crossed the finish line. Although the Alfa Romeo’s interim history is currently unknown, by the early 1970s the Villa d’Este was discovered in Switzerland and purchased by Ottavio “Popi” Franzi, who was a scion of the Franzi family manufacturing conglomerate, which had included a high-quality leather concern called Conceria Monzese. Franzi commissioned a full restoration by Carrozzeria Lopane of Cormano, which included retrimming the interior with Franzi boar hides, and adding a set of matching leather luggage. The Franzi family went on to keep the Villa d’Este for over two decades, establishing an impressive period of fastidious single-owner care. In 1994 the Alfa Romeo was sold to an Italian enthusiast who conducted a gradual sympathetic freshening that included a refinish of the coachwork in period-correct Amaranto paint, and the engine compartment in proper beige-green. Numerous efforts were taken to replicate small details, like the installation of correct headlamps, copponi rounded hubcaps, and a period Aster radio; and the fabrication of new leather luggage. The owner also presented the car at a host of high-level shows around the world, including the 1994 Paris Bagatelle (class win), 1996 Trieste Concours d’Elegance (first overall), 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, 2000 Villa d’Este Concorso d'Eleganza (Special Award from the Como Automobile Club), and the 2001 European Concours d'Elegance Schwetzingen (class win and Most Elegant Italian Car award). In 2019, after 25 years of dedicated care, the Italian owner sold the Villa d’Este to the consignor, a very discerning Alfa Romeo collector based in Massachusetts. For the next three years, the current owner invested over $80,000 in additional restorative attention to the coachwork and mechanical elements, and a new interior was installed in 2022. Beautifully presented in Amaranto over tan, this handsome Villa d’Este retains its matching-numbers engine, and one can easily imagine Commendatore Ferrario flogging the able steed through the snowy mountain passes of the 1952 Monte Carlo Rally. Still benefitting from two long-term ownerships, as well as the recent attention of one of the world’s most knowledgeable Alfa Romeo collectors, this elegant Villa d’Este is an ideal candidate for presentation at exclusive concours d’elegance, or enjoyment on major touring events. As a rare example of one of Milan’s most celebrated models, 915902 will make a wonderful complement to any sporting collection.
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