During the first half of the twentieth century, Alfa Romeo became the undisputed queen of some of the most famous motor races of the period, above all the Mille Miglia which it has won more times than any of its competitors.
The 1930s, however, were the Alfa Romeo’s golden period. That was the decade during which the company worked first through Enzo Ferrari’s Scuderia Ferrari, which at the time was Alfa Romeo’s racing department, and then with Alfa Corse. The so-called Biscione won many victories owing to vehicles such as the 8C 2300, the 8C 2600 and the jewel in the crown, the 8C 2900 – not only one of the best-performing and advanced sports cars of the period, but also one of the most fascinating cars ever made.
The 8C 2900 was the work of Vittorio Jano, one of the greatest of Italian car designers and the developer of the glorious 8-cylinder engine giving the dynasty its name.
The bodywork was entrusted to some of the best-known and most able coachbuilders of the period; but that which is indissolubly linked with Alfa Romeo’s masterpieces was Carrozzeria Touring from Milan.
The Carrozzeria Touring became famous worldwide on account of the ‘Superleggera’ patent – a technique originating in the aeronautics industry which, by using new methods and materials, gave the vehicle great lightness. The 8C 2900 was one of the first cars to use this technology.
The model was produced in a number of variants between 1936 and 1939 (the year in which the 8C series’ career was terminated). Overall, some 40 vehicles were made, including four of the famous racing type, the 8C 2900B MM Spyder.
The very few 8C 2900s which have survived to our times are a collector’s dream. Nor is it a coincidence that most of them have record price tags and are numbered amongst the rarest and costliest cars ever made.
The model depicted here is the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B MM Spyder produced by Carrozzeria Touring, the legendary vehicle with which Clemente Biondetti won the 1938 Mille Miglia, now exhibited in Philadelphia’s Simeone Museum.
Milan, September 2019