Vittorio Jano's immortal twin-overhead camshaft six-cylinder 2.3-liter engine, introduced in 1934, was later developed by Bruno Treviso to become the 2500 of 1939, and this continued in production in Super Sport guise until 1951. The Supergioelle (Super Jewel) was not an Alfa Romeo model, but a style of bodywork developed by Ghia, and mainly seen in the late forties and early fifties on the Fiat 1500. Clearly, however, this example was built as an Alfa Romeo, and is believed to have been a "one off."

The chassis, however, is unusual and probably earlier than the body. It features tubular construction, but both wheelbase and suspension (swing axles at the rear) are similar to those of the Super Sport 6C 2500, and the triple Weber carburetors also indicate Super Sport specification. The origins of the car are, however, obscure. It was imported into the UK and registered in August 1959, subsequently passing to the entertainer A.J. "Adge" Cutler of Adge Cutler and the Wurzels. It was purchased by the vendor's father in 1971 and has remained in the family since. Intriguingly, the old style logbook indicates "Fangio" under the type or model, and there is a suggestion - no more - that the car was given to Fangio by the company. Certainly Fangio was driving for Alfa Romeo, signing up in 1950 and coming third in the Mille Miglia that year, but there is nothing more to connect the car with him. A right hand drive car, it is painted white, with blue leather upholstery and features four speed column change. In store for some time it is not currently running, but was when laid up and there are no known problems. Bodywork is fair, with some rust, and chrome is pitted, but restoration would be straightforward. The car presents an intriguing enigma with an interesting history.

{analysis} This "enigma" was offered to the public by Brooks auction house on 24 October1995, and sold, after the "greatest tussle of the night," to an Austrian bidder for $35,190.

Perhaps the most oft-quoted axiom of SCM is "never confuse rare with valuable." Reading the description carefully, in SCM's opinion, what you have offered here is some sort of unknown tube-frame chassis, with "SS" front and rear suspension hung from it, and clothed in a less-than-attractive Ghia (maybe it was a good thing Ford bought them after all) designed body of some indeterminate age.

To add spice to the mix, this "bitsa" is not currently running, but in the immortal words of hack car-salesmen everywhere "was [running] when laid up and there are no known problems." Breathes there a salesman on any Buy Here Pay Here used car lot anywhere on the planet who has not breathed the words "Doesn't have any problems that I know of?"
Even more (less?) intriguing, the name "Fangio" appears in the logbook. Perhaps on the next page, the name "Elvis." And on the page after that, "Churchill."

"Fangio drove this" is the equivalent of the American "Lincoln slept here." In our humble opinion, the name written in the logbook adds at least $5 USD to the price of the car.

To Brooks' credit, they were straightforward about the mixed origins of the car, and did the seller a fair turn by painting a rosy face on this Ghia-bodied weed.

We are sure that, three years and $50,000 from now, S/N 64251 will show up at some Alfa event, splendidly restored, but still with a front clip that only its designer could love. The price paid was enough, certainly, and SCM hopes the new owner enjoys their piece of history. - ED.


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