Lot 52

2022   |   Pebble Beach Auctions

1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Series V Gran Sport

Coachwork by Zagato

Estimate

$2,700,000 - $3,200,000

Chassis

10814311

Engine

10814311

Car Highlights

1931 and 1932 Mille Miglia Entrant, Including 13th Overall at the 1931 Event

Expertly Restored by the Alfa Romeo Specialists at Phil Reilly & Company

Colorado Grand and Mille Miglia Storica Participant; Three-Time Winner of the 1000 Millas Sport

Accompanied by a History and Restoration Report by Marque Expert Cristián Bertschi

One of the Finest, Most Highly Regarded and Well-Documented 6C 1750s in Existence

Technical Specs

1,752 CC DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine

Roots-Type Supercharger

Single Memini Twin-Throat Carburetor

85 BHP at 4,400 RPM

4-Speed Manual Gearbox

4-Wheel Mechanically Operated Drum Brakes

Front and Rear Solid Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Friction Shock Absorbers

Register to Bid

Angus Dykman

Sergio Rusca, Milan, Italy (acquired new in March 1931)

Giovanni Restelli, Como, Italy (acquired from the above in October 1931)

Gian Carlo Rosti, Milan, Italy (acquired via Oreste Peverelli in 1933)

Ferruccio Giussani, Milan, Italy (acquired from the above in 1934)

Giacomina Vonwiller, Haslach, Germany (acquired from the above via Felice Bonetto in 1935)

Bill Pollock, Pottstown, Pennsylvania (acquired circa 1966)

John Mozart, Palo Alto, California (acquired from the above in 1983)

Lord Brocket, Hertfordshire, UK (acquired via Dan Margulies in 1987)

Tom Price, Larkspur, California (acquired from the above via Jim Bosisto in 1988)

Tom Armstrong, Issaquah, Washington (acquired from the above in 1991)

Pat Smiekel, Montecito, California (acquired from the above in 1996)

Current Owner (acquired from the above via Grand Prix Classics in 2003)

Coppa della Consuma, Italy, April 1931, Rusca (5th Overall)

Mille Miglia, April 1931, Rusca/Minozzi, No. 151 (13th Overall)

Grand Prix de Genève, Switzerland, July 1931, Rusca, No. 58

Varese-Campo dei Fiori, Italy, July 1931, Rusca

Circuito Tre Province, Italy, September 1931, Rusca (3rd Overall)

Coppa Tre Laghi, Italy, November 1931, Rusca, No. 2

Edolo Ponte Di Legno, Italy, February 1932, Restelli (6th Overall)

Mille Miglia, April 1932, Restelli/Pieri, No. 99 (17th Overall)

Bellagio Guello, Italy, June 1932, Restelli (1st Overall)

IX Pontedecimo-Giovi, Italy, June 1932, Restelli, No. 26 (7th in Class)

Gaisbergrennen, Austria, July 1932, Restelli, No. 23 (4th in Class)

Varese-Campo dei Fiori, Italy, July 1932, Restelli, No. 62 (4th Overall)

Coppa Torricelle, Italy, August 1932, Restelli (7th Overall)

Klausenrennen, Switzerland, August 1932, Restelli, No. 40

Vermicino-Rocca di Papa, Italy, 1933, Restelli, No. 56 (2nd Overall)

Grossglockner Rennen, Austria, 1935, Vonwiller, No. 71

Colorado Grand, 1990s

Mille Miglia Storica, 1998

Mille Miglia Storica, May 2005

Rally Pre-1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, October 2005

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, November 2005

Rally de la Montaña, Argentina, August 2006

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, November 2006

Rally Pre-1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, November 2006

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, 2007

Rally de las Bodegas, Argentina, March 2008

Mille Miglia Storica, May 2008

Rally Pre-1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, November 2008

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, November 2008

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, 2009

Rally Pre-1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, 2010

Rally de la Montaña, Argentina, August 2013

Rally Pre-1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, October 2013

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, November 2013

1000 Millas Sport, Argentina, 2015

The origins of the legendary 6C 1750 model can be traced to 1923, when Nicola Romeo hired the legendary engineer Vittorio Jano from rival Fiat to design a successful Grand Prix car. Less than a year later, Jano unveiled the P2 – generally regarded as the first modern Grand Prix car. It was an immediate success, claiming the first manufacturer’s championship for Alfa Romeo in 1925.

Following this, Jano’s next task was to design a production chassis with great sporting potential. The result was a series of six-cylinder (6C) cars built in various specifications. The rarest and most desirable were the short-chassis Super Sport and 1750 Gran Sport, featuring straight-six engines with dual overhead camshafts, hemispherical combustion chambers, and Roots-type superchargers.

Lightweight, with excellent roadholding qualities and reliable power, the 6Cs were among the greatest high-performance automobiles of their day. They often challenged Bugattis and Maseratis of greater displacement and proved victorious. The 6C 1750s won nearly every major sports car race of the day, including the Mille Miglia, 24 Hours of Spa, and Brooklands Double Twelve.

According to marque expert Cristián Bertschi’s report on file, this extraordinary 6C 1750, one of the finest examples in existence, and was issued its Certificato d’Origine on March 18, 1931, making it likely just the 11th of the Series V cars built. The Alfa Romeo was sold new on March 20th to privateer racer Sergio Rusca of Milan, who already owned a 6C 1750 Series IV, so his purchase was likely fueled by a desire to have a brand-new car for racing. He and co-driver Giovanni Minozzi entered the 1931 Mille Miglia, and a photo published in a contemporary magazine shows the 6C 1750 in a dark color with race no. 151. They finished an impressive 13th Overall, an outstanding result for a privateer team, behind the great Rudolf Caracciola and Giuseppe Campari and not far behind Tazio Nuvolari, who came in 9th. Twelve of the top 15 finishers were driving Alfa Romeos, and 10 of those were 6C 1750s. Rusca then entered the Alfa Romeo in a race at the Circuito Tre Province in September and again finished well, placing 3rd Overall.

In October 1931, the Alfa Romeo was sold to fellow racer Giovanni Restelli of Como, Italy, and he and co-driver Pieri finished 17th Overall at the 1932 Mille Miglia. Restelli then finished 1st Overall at the Bellagio Guello in June, and 4th in Class that July at the Gaisbergrennen in Austria. The Alfa Romeo was then traded among several Italian owners before coming into the possession of Giacomina Vonwiller of Austria in 1935.

The Alfa Romeo remained in Austria until around 1966, when it was purchased by pioneering collector and restorer Bill Pollock of Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Pollock was a highly regarded connoisseur whose cars ranged from the finest pre-1900 Peugeots, to chain-driven Chadwicks, Bugattis, Mercedes-Benz, and Alfa Romeos, including this special 6C 1750. He displayed the Alfa Romeo in his museum, the Pollock Auto Showcase, until it was sold to renowned collector John Mozart of Palo Alto, California, in 1983. It remained in Mozart’s famed collection for four years and photos on file show Phil Hill sitting in the car at the Monterey Historics. Prized for its preservation and originality, the Alfa Romeo was subsequently owned by the finest West Coast collectors, including Tom Price and Tom Armstrong.

The current owner, a collector of the world’s greatest cars and motorcycles, purchased the 6C 1750 through Mark Leonard of Grand Prix Classics in 2003. The Alfa Romeo was immediately sent to Ivan Zaremba at Phil Reilly & Company, who had already been taking care of the car for some years. Zaremba overhauled the car’s engine and replaced its Series VI gearbox with a correct Series V case. The consignor and his father then brought the Alfa Romeo to the Mille Miglia Storica in 2005, and he was invited back in 2008 as part of the official Squadra Alfa Romeo Automobilismo Storico. A testament to the high regard for this example, the team only featured two other cars, both owned by the Alfa Romeo Museum. The consignor finished the event in an impressive 5th Overall. Next, the consignor won the 1000 Millas Sport in Patagonia, Argentina, in 2005, 2008, and 2015, garnering podium positions in other years. These results are testament to the car’s expert preparation by Phil Reilly & Company, which has restored some of the finest six- and eight-cylinder Alfa Romeos, and the consignor’s driving skill and mechanical diligence.

In 2016, the consignor returned the Alfa Romeo to Phil Reilly & Company for a body-off cosmetic restoration. The process was closely followed by the consignor and his advisor, noted historian and Alfa Romeo expert Cristián Bertschi, who documented it with extensive photos. During the disassembly process, the car was taken down to its bare chassis and, according to photographs on file, the original Zagato job no. 913 was found in several places, including trim pieces, where the number was still written in pencil. The numbers were also found on the wooden structure, the doors, and windshield post. Numbers were also found on the hood hinges and each number found on the car was recorded and photographed.

The consignor and Zaremba determined during this process that in addition to its original chassis, the car’s body was also highly original, and they believed only the fenders and running boards had been replaced. A 3D fender scan was then taken from chassis 10814356, one of the most original 6C 1750s and a car known to have its original fenders. The Alfa Romeo was sent to the renowned Moal Coachbuilders in Oakland, California, and the scan, among other information, was used to make highly correct fenders and running boards.

Since its cosmetic restoration, the Alfa Romeo has been used sparingly and maintained within the consignor’s impressive collection. It is accompanied by two extensive documents by Cristián Bertschi, restoration photographs, records, copies of Mille Miglia documents, and period photos. This wonderful 6C 1750 is highly regarded by many experts for its rare combination of numerous desirable traits. First, it is extremely rare to find a 6C 1750 with such a known, documented history. It is also a sought-after Series V version of the 6C 1750, a model that dominated racing in the early 1930s and was even more successful in this period than the 8C. This Alfa Romeo also finished the legendary Mille Miglia twice and has a known ownership history in the hands of highly respected collectors. Moreover, for the last 30 years, it has been properly cared-for and restored by one of the world’s greatest 6C 1750 experts. These factors, combined with the numerous original Zagato markings and other hallmarks of originality found on the car, elevate it to the very upper echelon of surviving examples. Gooding & Company has known this exceptional Alfa Romeo for many years and is pleased to recommend this offering to the most discerning collector.