Mike Maez, courtesy of Gooding & Company
In late 2003, Alfa Romeo was preparing a return to the North American market, and it needed a flagship car to remind buyers of the Italian automaker’s glorious past. That September at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the world was shown the dramatic re-emergence of Alfa Romeo as one of the great automotive sporting marques with the reveal of the 8C Competizione concept car. Little had changed on the stunning 8C Competizione when it was approved for a limited production run of 500 units that began in the 2007 model year. Of those, just 84 were destined for U.S. shores, and most were pre-sold through Maserati dealerships well in advance of the cars’ delivery. The 8C Competizione was named to evoke memories of Alfa’s dominant pre-war race cars, as well as the Juan Manuel Fangio-driven 1949 6C 2500 Competizione, from which it takes many of its styling cues. Created by Wolfgang Egger at Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, the design incorporates evocative themes of arching fenders, a plunging rear-roofline, and a grille that are unmistakably Alfa. A modern coachbuilt sports car, the 8C features a carbon-fiber body formed by the Italian firm ATR Group. The chassis is a hybrid Maserati platform, using Gran Turismo A-arms and a custom suspension. The F430-derived, 4.7-liter DOHC V8 engine was assembled by Ferrari. Final construction took place at Maserati’s historic Viale Ciro Menotti factory in Modena, with each example personally vetted by Alfa factory test drivers in the nearby hills around the Italian city. Reported performance figures were impressive. The specially tuned V8 produces 444 bhp at 7,000 rpm with 354 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm, with 0–60 mph times of 4.2 seconds and a standing quarter-mile time of 12.4 seconds. Power is transmitted via a rear-mounted, 6-speed, paddle-shift transaxle for an ideal weight balance. Top speed is conservatively listed at 181 mph, although Alfa engineers have publicly acknowledged its true terminal velocity is higher. The reception from the motoring press was effusive, with Car and Driver magazine stating, “The 8C just might be the ultimate two-seat GT.” The example offered here is a rare U.S.-delivery car finished in desirable Rosso Alfa with a tan interior. Showing less than 2,900 miles at cataloguing, the consignor states that it is in like-new condition. Previously the personal property of a Ferrari/Maserati dealer in Hinsdale, IL, it was the beneficiary of certified factory service throughout its early life. The car has since led a pampered existence with its third owner’s collection of exotics in the Southeastern United States. With stunning looks, sophisticated interior and outstanding performance, this U.S.-market Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione coupe is as important an opportunity now as it was upon its much-anticipated initial release.  

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:2008 Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Years Produced:2007–09
Number Produced:500 (84 for the U.S. market)
Original List Price:$265,000
SCM Valuation:$324,500
Tune Up Cost:$1,900 (annual service)
Chassis Number Location:On top of dashboard at base of windshield on left
Engine Number Location:Stamped on side of block
Club Info:Alfa Romeo Owners Club
Alternatives:2003 BMW Z8, 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, 2006 Ford GT, 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Investment Grade:B

This car, Lot 3, sold for $330,000, including buyer’s premium, at Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island auction on March 10, 2017.

Anyone who has read my writing here knows I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Alfista. I was a subscriber to the Alfa Romeo Market Letter — the mother of SCM — and my first contribution to this magazine was my story “Mr. Osborne Builds His Dream Car,” about my adventures with three Alfa 2600 Sprints.

My admiration for the marque extends to its products from the 1920s through today. That doesn’t mean I can’t be objective if I must, as true beauty always has a flaw.

I had the wonderful opportunity to tour the Maserati factory in Modena, Italy, at the time when the Alfa 8C Competizione was being built there. I love these cars. It was a treat to see how carefully a proud and passionate workforce was assembling these cars.

The friends and acquaintances who are lucky enough to own an 8C speak of them well and enjoy driving them when they do. I’m even more excited about the 8C now that Alfa Romeo is officially back in the U.S. market — and we can use it as a benchmark for what they need to achieve here going forward.

The distance we’ve come in performance since 2007 can be graphically seen when comparing this expensive luxury GT to the newly introduced Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan. The $265,000 MSRP of the 8C delivered you a car with 61 horsepower less and a whopping 89 lb-ft of torque less than the new Giulia Quadrifoglios.

Of course, only 500 of the coupes were built, and you can be sure Alfa would like to sell at least 10 times more Quadrifoglios. During the first 10 months of sales in Europe, 10,475 Giulias of all models found new homes — an impressive debut.

People often wonder if a brand relaunch or new model introduction will have a positive effect on an older model. Usually, there is little — if any — connection. However, this might prove to be an exception.

If Alfa Romeo can sustain this reintroduction with compelling products that speak to a performance-oriented clientele, the 8C Competizione has the chance to go from being a little-known footnote in the brand’s U.S. history to a prescient vision of what was to come.

In October of 2013, I profiled a 2009 8C Competizione coupe in these pages (Etceterini Profile, p. 48). An 8,100-mile example, it sold at Bonhams’ Goodwood, U.K., sale for the equivalent of $135,000. That represented 81% of the MSRP for a four-year-old used sports car. The conclusion I drew at the end was that the depreciation curve of the Alfa might be near its bottom, but that time would tell.

I also pointed out that the 8C was a tempting tease of what was to come in a full lineup of cars from Alfa. That it didn’t happen is now history.

For most of the world in 2007, the 8C at its launch represented a halo car at the top of an eight-model range. As an orphan in the U.S., its impact was limited. If the early success of the new Giulia — which features performance alloy wheels very reminiscent of the 8C’s — leads to that rebirth, then the 8C stands in much better company.

Gently used — and ready for more

Our example here was a much lower-mileage car than the one sold in 2013 and was actually one of two 8Cs offered in the same sale. The other was a spider, sold at $390,500 against a $375,000–$425,000 estimate. That car had very low mileage, 950 from new through two owners, and was as close to unused as could be imagined.

The $330,000 all-in price of our subject coupe, on a narrow $325,000–$375,000 estimate, can, I feel, be considered market-correct. The mileage was low, but not freakishly, obsessively so. It was clearly less used than the car sold back in 2013 in the U.K., but it was never hermetically wrapped for future preservation.

The difference in the prices between the coupe and spider is minimal. The price difference is not a reflection of the desirability of the model. It is merely the expected delta given mileage, age and original sticker. I frankly prefer the coupe, as the lines are better resolved with the roof than with the spider’s soft top, but it’s a matter of personal taste. Both cars were in basically as-new, as-delivered condition.

Long-term appeal assured

With low production, further reduced by a few written off in accidents and a number converted into Disco Volante coupes and spiders at Carrozzeria Touring, the relative exclusivity of the 8C Competizione is guaranteed.

The car is beautiful, sounds even better and is a treat to drive — all aspects of value that contribute to long-term appeal. The question I asked in 2013 can now be answered — four years later, the 8C regularly sells above MSRP in private and auction sales, confirming that its depreciation has ended and its entry into the class of modern collectible has occurred.

The bottom line here is that, regardless of the effect the re-entry of Alfa to the U.S. market has going forward, the 8C Competizione has been recognized as a bona fide object of desire. ♦

(Introductory description courtesy of Gooding & Company.)

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