With the body bare, the originality of the car could be confirmed, down to markings inside panels left by craftsmen who created it in 1931
Alfa Romeo and Zagato are two of the most charismatic names in Italian automotive history. Alfa Romeo built thousands of cars with bodies by other coachbuilders, and Zagato bodied chassis from most of the great manufacturers of the world, but beginning in the late 1920s, these two great houses jointly produced some of the most desirable sports and racing cars of the 20th century.
One of these is the 6C 1750 Super Sport Spyder. Begun as a 1,500-cc SOHC, 6-cylinder in 1927, the engine underwent development for the next five years. The second series, in 1929, had two overhead cams and more power. In 1929, the displacement was raised to 1,752 cc, where it remained through 1932 and the fifth and sixth series.
Less than 400 of the 6C 1750 SS and GS cars were built. Campari’s win in the 1928 Mille Miglia with the first of the 6C 1500 supercharged Zagato Spyders set the stage for Alfa’s dominance of Italian sports car racing in the 1930s. In the following year, 6C 1750s and 6C 1500s filled seven of the first ten places.
This 6C 1750 is a Zagato Spyder from the fifth series of production. The supercharged engine provides good mid-range torque and 85 peak horsepower at 4,400 rpm. The excellent chassis and strikingly beautiful Zagato coachwork makes it one of the most desirable sports cars of the 1930s. It was first registered on August 10, 1931, in Southwest France to Baron Phillipe de Gunzbourg. The grandson of a wealthy St. Petersburg banker, he was born in 1904 in Paris. He took up aviation and motor racing, and it was in reference to the village where he lived that he took his racing pseudonym “Varent.” His competition successes included a first in the 2,000-cc class on June 5, 1932, at La Mothe-Sainte-Heraye hillclimb and again on June 12 at the Puymoyen hillclimb near Angouleme, probably in this car. The following year, he co-drove an 8C 2300 Alfa to second place at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Luigi Chinetti.
While his wife and baby son took refuge in Switzerland during World War II, de Gunzbourg remained in France and worked closely with the French Resistance movement, for which he was honored after the war by the De Gaulle government. He died in 1987 in Paris at the age of 83.
De Gunzbourg sold the 6C 1750 Zagato Spyder in September 1935, and it was sold again in May 1940, when it was registered to aircraft company Hydravions F.B.A.
On June 5, 1944, the 1931 Zagato Spyder was bought by a racing driver friend of Chinetti, Victor Polledri. He retained the car until the late 1960s, when it was sold to a fashion designer named Barriere, who bequeathed the car to his son at his death. His son intended to restore it in the 1970s, and rebuilt the engine and stripped the paint from the body. He abandoned the project and sold the car almost 25 years ago to its last owner, who has stored it untouched in the condition you see today.
An opportunity to acquire a 6C 1750 supercharged Alfa Romeo Zagato Spyder in original, unmolested condition is extremely exciting and incredibly rare.