Alfa Romeo is still very much a brand that auto enthusiasts adore, but things were a bit different back in the earlier days. Consider this stunning 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta, built shortly before World War II consumed Europe. Lest we forget, this era predates Lamborghini and Ferrari, the latter of which was founded the same year this car was built. Alfa was the epitome of Italian elegance and performance in those days, which is partly why this Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winner could bring €22 million (approx. £19.5 million) when it crosses the auction block in February. Yes, it’s for sale.
To better understand that value, one must better understand the car. The 2900 was originally designed with racing in mind, using a chassis based on the 8C 35 Grand Prix car. Production versions were built, featuring a fabulously long inline-8 engine displacing 2.9 litres and crowed with a pair of superchargers. The B model made some changes in the name of comfort and better reliability, but it still delivered impressive performance wrapped in arguably the prettiest body in all of automotive history.
This particular car is a berlinetta with a body by Italian coachbuilder Touring, and only five were built. The car was purchased in 1939 and shipped to England, where it had four owners. The Alfa’s current owner watched his father buy it in 1976, and for reasons not explained has decided to part with it. Admittedly, an estimated £19.5 million value could have something to do with that.
Any way you cut it, this vintage Alfa is absolutely stunning. This prewar model literally marks the end of a grand era for the automobile, not to mention a period that many auto historians consider to be Alfa Romeo’s golden age. Artcurial Motorcars will auction this vehicle in Paris on February 8, and with its well-documented history, there’s every reason to believe it could fetch £19.5 million or possibly more.
Gallery: Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta - 1939
Winner of the prestigious Concours
d’Élégance at Pebble Beach in the US,
and Villa d’Este in Italy, the
Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta
is one of the most highly sought-after
pre-war cars in the world.
One of just five examples built, this iconic
automobile will star in Rétromobile 2019
by Artcurial Motorcars, alongside the 1931
Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix.
PARIS – Salon Retromobile opens the international motor show calendar every
year and the official auction, organised by Artcurial Motorcars, sets the pace
for the collectors’ car market.
The 2019 edition will take place on Friday 8 February, and features a flagship
model of the pre-war era: a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta,
estimated at 16 - 22 M€.
The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta #412024 presented in the
sale comes with transparent history. Delivered new in Italy in 1939, it was
transported to England later that year, where it was owned by just four
collectors. In 1976, the father of the current owner, a great enthusiast of sports
cars and beautiful coachwork, acquired this car. His son was present on the
day he bought it, some 42 years ago. This masterpiece of a bygone era has
remained in his possession ever since.
In 2014, Artcurial Motorcars promoted the Italian manufacturer with a single
marque sale, simply called Solo Alfa. This attracted the attention of collectors
worldwide and achieved multiple record prices.
"The Alfa 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta epitomises the
aesthetics and engineering of its day; it is a marvel,
a masterpiece, a dream."
Managing director, Artcurial Motorcars
1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta
Alfa Romeo was the only pre-war manufacturer that could compete with the
power of the big German constructors. Having won all the most important races,
the firm decided to share this success with its private customers by creating
road-going versions of its competition cars. This is what happened with the
Alfa 8C. Some thirty 2.9-litre chassis were built, fitted with spider or berlinetta
bodies, on both long and short chassis, and equipped with competition engines.
Just five examples of the berlinetta version were built by the Italian
coachbuilder Touring, who created what was undoubtedly one of the most
charismatic and flamboyant versions of the model. This uniquely elegant and
sporting motor car has become an absolute masterpiece in automobile history,
its exclusivity placing it on a par with a Leonardo de Vinci painting. It is consider
a part of the Automobile Aristocracy.
Along with the Bugatti Atlantic, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta
epitomises everything that was magnificent about pre-war production, and is
a model boasting the highest awards in the world’s most prestigious Concours