16-17 January 2014

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Lot 30

1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport Coupe by Touring

  • Chassis no. 915.734
  • Engine no. 928.105
  • Body no. 3339

Sold for $324,500

110 bhp, 2,443 cc double-overhead camshaft inline six-cylinder engine, three Weber carburetors, four-speed manual synchromesh transmission, independent front suspension with coil springs, independent rear suspension with swing axles and torsion bars, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 106 in.

  • An extraordinary, original coachbuilt Super Sport
  • Known history since new
  • Incredibly complete and road ready

Even though the 6C 2500 was introduced at the beginning of World War II, in 1939, the Vittorio Jano and Wilfredo Ricart-developed model was in many ways the first modern gran turismo from Alfa Romeo. While the roots of its basic engine design could be traced back to the great pre-war racing machines, the model features an increased cylinder bore, an improved cylinder head, and higher (7.1:1) compression. In Super Sport configuration, with three Weber carburetors added, this translated into a respectable 110 horsepower from an engine mounted on a relatively stiff frame with four-wheel independent suspension.

The Super Sport was no mere continental tourer. It was also tremendously successful in racing, which is proven by an aggressive, successful post-war campaign that included an overall win in the 1950 Targa Florio. The buyer who saw a Super Sport win would frequently have ordered his own with coachwork by Felice Anderloni’s Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. The aluminum panels they produced were extremely thin, due to the utilization of their patented superleggera (lightweight) body construction, and they were draped over a tubular frame. Not only were Touring’s bodies featherweight, they were extraordinarily aerodynamic, as the coachbuilder was one of the first to employ wind tunnel testing in their designs.

This chassis, number 915.734, was originally delivered to Touring as a rolling chassis on February 12, 1949. It was ordered new by the owner, who was of Cotonificio Vallesura S.p.A., an esteemed Milanese fabric manufacturer and men’s fashion house, and he had the interior upholstered in materials of the firm’s own creation. The completed car was delivered on July 30, 1949, and it was enjoyed around Milan for four years.

At that point, the Super Sport was acquired by Frank Griswold, a successful racing driver and, at the time, Alfa Romeo’s exclusive North American distributor based out of New York. It is believed that this was Griswold’s personal car for several years, before ownership transferred to Fred Cantor, who eventually relocated with the Alfa to California. The car then passed from Cantor in 1971 to Norman G. Snart, an employee of the San Leandro specialty garage that maintained the Alfa during its time in the Golden State. Mr. Snart was no mere shadetree mechanic; he was an active, beloved member of California’s Italian car community, and he served as president of the Alfa Romeo Association of Northern California. He lovingly maintained this car as part of a small, exclusive stable, which also included a Ferrari 342 America and 330 GTC, for an incredible 42 years, until its acquisition by the present owners.

Aside from a correct replacement Super Sport engine, number 928.105, which was installed to replace the damaged original in the early 1970s, the Alfa remains in excellent original order throughout. For an unrestored 64-year-old car, the floors, frame, and body support substructure are all in fantastic condition. The same can be said of the body, which is exceptionally straight, largely free of filler, and will only require some minimal metal work in the front valence and an adjustment of the panel match at the bottom of the doors to be ready for a concours-quality paint job.

That said, the car can easily be driven and enjoyed in its current state, as considerable time and resources have been spent improving the original mechanical condition. The radiator and all supporting components have been rebuilt. The original water plugs in the engine block had deteriorated, so new aluminum plugs were engineered and machined specifically for this car. The brakes and original water pump have been rebuilt, and all three original Weber carburetors have been removed and rebuilt. The owners report that the engine's compression is outstanding, the original gearbox shifts effortlessly without grinding or hesitation, and the car has excellent road manners, making it a truly strong running and driving example.

Dozens of virtually impossible to locate or replicate parts all remain with the car, including the exterior door handles, the window surround trim, the ornate interior switchgear, the gauges, the factory steering wheel, the Simun heater, the fuse box cover, the ash trays, the window glass, the air cleaner housings, and the mechanical fuel pump. Included with the sale (but not currently installed) are the sun visors, the headliner bows, and the license plate light housing. Additional spare parts include an extra side mirror, extra cast bumpers (damaged), extra headlights and bezels, miscellaneous spare engine parts, and various mechanical parts, such as distributor caps; all of which will likely prove helpful during a restoration.

This early coachbuilt 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport represents the very best in rare unrestored, post-war grand tourers, and it marks an extraordinary opportunity for the knowledgeable enthusiast.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more