The Alfa Romeo G1 was the company's first model back in 1921 – only 52 were built, and the only one left in the world is heading for auction in January 2018. It features the manufacturer’s first six-cylinder engine – a whopping 6.3-litre straight six that made 70bhp and maxed out at 80mph. Considering this was the same era dominated by the 20bhp Ford Model T, the G1 was certainly something of a screamer back in the day.
According to RM Sotheby’s this particular Alfa Romeo is chassis 6018, which is thought to be one of the early production models. It was shipped to Australia (as was pretty much the entire production run) where its owner stored the car from nearly the beginning.
It was found in the late 1940s and stored again until a noted Alfa Romeo enthusiast named Ross Flewell-Smith learned of its existence and bought it in 1965. He restored the car in the 1970s and it was brought back to life yet again in the 2000s, leading to the condition it’s in today.
Being an Alfa Romeo of some stature and significance, it’s received multiple awards at Pebble Beach and has toured events around the world. Not only is it the first Alfa model and the only one known to be complete, it’s also a fully running machine.
This car will cross the auction block at the RM Sotheby’s auction in Phoenix, Arizona this coming January, and it will find a new owner because it’s listed with no reserve. Of course, if you want to have the distinction of owning the first Alfa Romeo, make sure your Swiss bank account is stocked – it’s estimated that this special piece of automotive history will fetch as much as £750,000.