The Alfa 6C 1750 was one of the sporting greats of the 1920s and ’30s. Introduced at the 1929 Rome Motor Show, it was technically virtually identical to its predecessor, the 6C 1500, except for an enlarged version of the six-cylinder overhead-camshaft engine designed by Vittorio Jano – who had been poached from Fiat by Enzo Ferrari, then of Alfa Romeo‘s racing department.
The idea of the larger capacity was for the model to be able to cope with heavier bodywork, and so the first versions had a long wheelbase. But, of course, a short-wheelbase Sport variant was soon also introduced, using a double-overhead-camshaft version of the 1750 engine. A more powerful iteration of the Sport, named the Super Sport, was then launched, with a 95bhp supercharged development of the double-overhead-camshaft unit.
Production of the Sport and Super Sport lasted for only two years before they were replaced by the naturally aspirated Gran Turismo and supercharged Gran Sport. These were the most powerful, as well as the shortest, of the series.
As was the norm in that era, these models were bought as rolling chassis to be bodied by the coachbuilders of the buyer’s choice. Most examples went to Italian coachbuilders － the bulk of them to Zagato and Touring, and a few to Castagna and Stabilimenti Farina. Zagato’s bodies were popular for the competition cars due to their light weight.
In 1933 the Gran Sport was replaced by the 8C 2300, essentially an eight-cylinder version of the Gran Sport. The Turismo was superseded by a series of six-cylinder cars that continued to be produced until the outbreak of World War Two. This car, chassis no. 0312867, which I saw at the Concours of Elegance 2020, was prepared for the 1929 Mille Miglia, and is one of the 52 Super Sports built on the third-series 6C 1750 chassis. It was completed in March, and soon after that it was driven to victory in the Mille Miglia by Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi. Prominent businessman Enrico Wax from Genoa then paid a premium to acquire the car, seeing the kudos of owning a Mille Miglia winner – and so it was cherished virtually from new, making it one of the most original surviving Alfa Romeos of its era.
1.75-litre, straight-six, DOHC, supercharger, 95bhp, single carb
Front engine, four-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, separate ladder chassis, aluminium body, live axle, semi-elliptic spring suspension, drum brakes