1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport

Courtesy of Bonhams

The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport was an exciting, fast sports car that combined minimum weight with sparkling performance. The chassis was low and lightweight, featuring semi-elliptical springs that passed through the front axle. The 6C 1750 would go on to be victorious over much larger and more powerful machinery in a triumph of balance, quickness and almost thought-control responsiveness.

The 1750’s sporting career, aided by its mechanical longevity, extended far beyond its production, amassing numerous wins, including 1-2-3 finishes in the Mille Miglia and top results at Targa Florio, the Tourist Trophy and Spa 24 Hours in 1930. Nuvolari, Marinoni, Ivanowski, Campari and Varzi all recorded successes in Vittorio Jano’s “light car,” and the model is, quite simply, a legend.

Having been granted the sole concessionaire for Alfa Romeo in Britain in 1924, F.W. Stiles actively built up the Alfa Romeo brand during the early 1920s, operating as Alfa Romeo British Sales Ltd. Stiles took possession of a batch of competition Alfa Romeos at the start of the 1930 racing season. One of these, 8513028, arrived with no coachwork, to be used mainly in British events, and is documented as the Double Twelve Ivanowski car fitted with its first English racing body. Ivanowski finished 8th overall and was class winner.

Following the racing season, chassis number 8513028 features in the Alfa Romeo British Sales Ltd. records as having been bodied for the Motor Show “mounted with Young Coupe, black coachwork and chrome wire wheels.” In January 1931, the 6C 1750 was sold by Stiles under new registration number GN 4568 and tagged as chassis 8513030. It was delivered to its first owner, Lionel G. Maller, on February 6, 1931, as a new car.

According to a letter on file from Angela Cherrett dated April 21, 1998, on review of her Alfa Romeo British Sales Ltd archives, Mrs. Cherrett states, “I have discovered a mention of 8513028. This says Car nr. 8513028 Chassis nr 8513028, 1750cc see 8513030 Raced Double 12 Ivanowski’s …..1930, then there is a space in the ledger for the purchaser – L.G.Maller.’”

Maller retained the Alfa from 1931 to 1935, and he exchanged it against an 8C 2300 Alfa. The Alfa was then sold to Dr. Lionel Lankester of Guildford, Surrey, in 1935. From Lankester it was acquired by John King of Guildford. In 1957, the car was acquired by the Alfa Romeo enthusiast Geoffrey Wilson, an official of the Alfa Romeo Section of the VSCC.

The next change of ownership was in 1961, when the Alfa went to Michael Miller in Scotland, who owned it for some 30 years. He passed the Alfa to a Surrey resident who lives no more than 12 miles from the original place of delivery in 1931. From 1993, the Alfa has seen constant road and rally use, competing in the Nassau Speed Week Revival and driven by Phil Hill, who was a great fan of the 6C 1750. Sympathetically restored in 2013, it retains all of its original major components and James Young coachwork.

Considering its fascinating, well-understood and documented provenance, a continuous ownership history, including one of the founder members of the Alfa Romeo Register, all carefully documented in the substantial history file accompanying the car, 8513030 as presented today offers unparalleled historic value, authenticity and originality.