Individuality had been a hallmark of Alfa from the earliest days and when Nicola Romeo took over the company in 1918 this became even more the case. Competition soon came to the fore; by 1929 Scuderia Ferrari had been set up to run Alfa Romeo's racing program with Ferrari being assisted by engineer Luigi Bazzi and designer Vittorio Jano. Alfa thus became a major force in competition and successes increased due in no small part to Jano's genius.

Jano was to complement his competition work with some exceptional road cars, the first being the 6C 1500 Turismo of 1927; this was followed by the twin cam Sport model also available in supercharged Gran Sport guise. It lacked power, though, and in 1929 the 6C 1750 was announced in Turismo, Sport and Gran Sport specifications, all with normally aspirated engines.

Soon after the ultimate supercharged Super Sport and Gran Sport models appeared, rapid machines capable of 100 mph and vivid acceleration as demonstrated by Nuvolari and Guidotti's win in the 1930 Mille Miglia. Mated to a four-speed gearbox, the 1,752 cc six-cylinder engines produced 85 bhp while semi-elliptic suspension and automatically adjustable shock absorbers ensured fine roadholding.

The early history of the handsome supercharged car pictured here is not known. It is known that the car was purchased in chassis form by Italian pre-war Alfa enthusiast Ugo Isgro in the early 1980s from Bertolero, an established Turin dealer.

Apparently it came with an engine bearing a matching number and correct running gear, while little was left of the bodywork. An alternative source however indicates that the engine number many have once been recorded as 8714029. As for the chassis number, we cannot be sure whether or not is correct as no definitive records are known to exist.

Restoration of the car was entrusted to Dino Cognolato, the respected restorer, and he undertook construction of new bodywork to the classic Zagato roadster design. The present and very attractive period grey finish was chosen, complemented by burgundy leather upholstery.

The finished result is one of the best looking cars of its type, and it was subsequently driven on the 1984 Mille Miglia retrospective before being sold to a Dutch buyer. By early 1988 the car had passed to renowned Ferrari collector Albert Obrist in Switzerland. Since being sold by him it has spent most of its time in England and has seen very little use; its appearance remains immaculate throughout.

This supercharged Alfa Romeo is ideal for a wide variety of events and is a very usable and exciting touring car.

{analysis} On June 13, 1996 Coy's achieved $125,801 for this "bitsa" when it crossed the block with No Reserve. With the price of genuine, no-stories, Zagato-bodied 1750s hovering in the $200,000+ range, the amount made was appropriate.

While the Alfa 8Cs have seen a tremendous price surge the past year, 1750s of all flavors have been stagnant, albeit at high enough levels. The ultimate value of made-up cars like this one will always be directly related to the cost of acquiring the real thing.

We tried, and failed, to find out why this car was ordered sold by the sheriff of Greater London. If anyone can help, we'd appreciate it. - ED.

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