The Rimoldi Alfa, named after its owner of over 50 years, is one of the most coveted cars of the pre-war era. The 8C-2300 series is regarded by many as engineer Vittorio Jano's production car masterpiece. By 1930, Jano recognized that the incredible racing superiority of his 6C-1750 supercharged cars would not last much longer. He developed a straight eight-cylinder engine utilizing the same bore and stroke as the 6C-1750 supercharged twin cam units. The new engine was arranged as two four-cylinder blocks in tandem, with the gear-train drive for the double overhead-camshafts ascending between the blocks, and a Roots-type supercharger was placed alongside the engine. Jano's aim was strictly performance oriented; nevertheless, one cannot help but appreciate the sheer beauty of these engines. They are a premiere example of form following function; the ribbed intake manifold and supercharger, with the twin cam covers, give these engines a sculptural quality.

The new 8C made its major-league competition debut in the 1931 Mille Miglia and began winning in the subsequent Targa Florio. In fact the 2300 series would go on to win Le Mans four times, several Mille Miglias, Targa Florio and countless other races. An 8C Alfa was the car of choice for the best drivers of the time. They were raced by none other than Giuseppe Campari, Achillie Varzi, Raymond Sommer, Earl Howe, Tim Birkin, Louis Chiron, the great Tazio Nuvolari and Luigi Chinetti.

The 8C-2300s were manufactured in various forms between 1931 and 1934, but Alfa Romeo quotes a production total of only 188. The Rimoldi Alfa is an example of the more desirable Corta, or short chassis, cars. The company's contemporary sales invoice and attached declaration quote 1933 as this particular car's year of manufacture. It was during this year that chassis 2.211.107 was delivered to Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni's revered Carrozzeria Touring.

This car was first registered to the Alfa Romeo Works in May of 1933, with plate number 43454 MI. It subsequently competed in and nearly won the Monte Carlo Rally of 1935 with Luigi Chinetti and Jean Trevaux driving. Unfortunately, while leading the race during the final stage, Trevaux spun off, slightly damaging the front of the car. It seems that the Alfa was returned to the Works, repaired, and sold to a Hungarian enthusiast in late 1935. A considerable file of contemporary documentation is associated with the car including a copy of the Hungarian registration document dated November 4, 1935, revealing that the car was subsequently owned early in its life by Giacomo Brenta of Budapest. Further documentation from the Societa Anonima Alfa Romeo Milano shows that the car returned to the Works on April 27, 1937. It states, "This is to certify that the eight-cylinder, red two-seater sports car, chassis and engine no 2.211.107, was manufactured in 1933 and has been put in working order in our works in 1937.'

The car was then sold to Signor Giulio Rimoldi, a British domiciled Italian ice merchant. Copies survive of Alfa Romeo's receipt dated April 15, 1937 for his purchase payment of 225 pounds 16 silver ($371 USD). The car was shipped to England on board the SS Tombridge departing Calais on May 5, and customs documents relating to its importation have also survived.

Signor Rimoldi was an enthusiastic and meticulous motorist who evidently took enormous care of this Alfa Romeo. He had a custom made quilted bonnet cover which he carried with him on occasional motoring tours around the Alps, to help protect the engine from frost. The car was also equipped with large baggage trunks which were mounted upon its running boards. Amazingly, these items still survive with the car together with leather trunks and the original paperwork.

In 1950, Rimoldi had the rear-mounted fuel tank reduced in size in order to provide enough space for two children's seats to be fitted in a space just under the rear access hatches. By 1966 Rimoldi had removed the seats and reattached the access doors as original. This remarkable time machine remained in his loving ownership until his death in 1988 with an approximate recorded mileage of 60,000.

The Rimoldi Alfa was subsequently offered in 1989 at Christie's Monaco sale where it sold for a world-record price. Since then it has successfully participated in prestigious long distance events such as the Mille Miglia, Monte Carlo Rally and Klausen Hill Climb, as well as participating in many vintage race meetings. During this time it has been sympathetically cared for and overhauled where necessary by Paul Grist and Tony Merrick - both recognized pre-war Alfa Romeo specialists. At some point in its long life the engine has benefited from being uprated to the more powerful 2.6-liter Monza specifications.

Developing over 160 bhp at 5,000 rpm the 8C engine has a sound of its own. The smooth roar of the straight eight harmonizing with the whine of the supercharger is music to the ear of any car enthusiast. The incredibly precise handling, instant throttle response, spectacular coachwork, unique patina, and superb provenance make the Rimoldi Alfa Romeo one of the greatest cars of all time.

{analysis} On 20 August, 1995 at the Christie's Pebble Beach event, the Rimoldi Alfa sold with a surprisingly small amount of fanfare for the remarkable price of $1,817,500. While one of the most original 8Cs in the world, several Alfa experts including David Cohen of Vancouver, BC, remarked that "its lack of racing history will keep it from achieving absolutely top dollar." Well, top dollar in our Price Guide is $1,500,000 so the price paid was clearly "over the top" and represents a great achievement by Christie's. Reportedly, this Alfa is staying in the US, going to a new home in the Newport Beach, California area to a buyer who has promised "not to restore it but to just drive and enjoy it." Perhaps the worst indignity that could be visited upon the Rimoldi 8C would be to see it undergo the ignominy of a "ground-up restoration," to be displayed as a gelded trailer queen on the soporific green at Pebble Beach. - ED.{/analysis}

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