1980 Alfa Romeo 179C Formula One

Alfa Romeo’s F1 program was classically Italian, i.e. lots of people, huge egos and ambitions, chaotic organization and neither enough money nor development


Alfa Romeo had dipped a toe into the waters of Formula One in 1971 when it supplied a V8 engine for Andrea de Adamich’s works March. Then in 1976, Alfa supplied engines to Brabham. From there it was just a short step towards creating its own F1 team for 1979.

This 179C began as a 179B but was converted to C specification for 1981 with the hydro-pneumatic suspension that sophisticated teams used to circumvent the ban on sliding skirts. Chassis 006 first appeared in the 1980 British Grand Prix in the hands of Bruno Giacomelli, who used it for the rest of the season.

The highlight of the year was the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, where Giacomelli put it on pole nearly a second in front of the field. He led from pole until just after half-distance, when he was eliminated by an electrical fault. At the final race of the season in Las Vegas, Giacomelli secured a podium spot by placing third. Mario Andretti was so impressed that he left Lotus to join Alfa Romeo.

Chassis 006 has now been restored to race-ready condition without regard to cost. The vendor reports that 520 hp has been delivered on a dynamometer, and the car has not been raced since restoration. It is sold with many receipts and bills, FIA documentation, and a vast quantity of spares valued in excess of $60,000.

This is a thoroughbred Grand Prix Formula One Alfa that set pole, dominated a Grand Prix, and rewarded its driver with a podium finish.