Wherefore Art Thou Romeo

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo

Kamran Zain takes us for a spin in his stunning 1931 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300

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What we have here Ladies and gents is one of the first model’s ever produced by Alfa Romeo a 1931 8C 2300, a reference to the cars 2.3 l (2336 cc) engine, initially designed as a racing car, but actually produced in 188 units also for road use. With an original racing chassis and a reworked body you may have seen this timeless relic driving around Saar, causing a stir. How could you not stop and stare at the mechanical finery of this classic beauty.

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Let’s take you back in time to 1924, the world was starting to recover from the first world war, liberty and freedom was on everyone’s lips and to top it all off Vittorio Jano created his first straight-eight-cylinder engine for Alfa Romeo. The 1987 CC P2, with a common crankcase and four plated- steel two cylinder blocks, which won the First Championship ever in 1925. Although it was a straight 8, the 8C designation was not used.

The first 8C engine entered in 1931 at the Mille Miglia road race through Italy, and as far as production cars are concerned, the 8C engine powered two models, the 8C 2300 (1931-1935) and the even more rare and expensive (believe it or not) 8C 2900 (1936-1941).

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Initially, Alfa Romeo announced that the 8C was not to be sold to private owners, but by autumn 1931 Alfa sold it as a rolling chassis in Lungo (long) or Corto (short) form with prices starting an over £1000 (BHD 25,653), which was a lot back then. The chassis were fitted with bodies from a selection of Italian coach builders such as Zagato, Carrozzeria, Pininfarina and Brianza. Some chassis were clothes by coach builders such as Tuscher of Switzerland and Figoni of France. Alfa Romeo also had a practice of re-bodying cars for clients, and some racing vehicles were sold as re-bodied vehicles such as this one.

While the racing version of the 8C 2300 Spider, driven by Tazio Nuvolari won the 1931 and 1932 Targa Florio race in Sicily, the 1931 Italian grand prix victory at Monza gave the ‘Monza’ name to the twin seater GP car.

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Kamran told me about how he saw the car, and knew he had to have it, he waited patiently for almost 2 years, but eventually the car was his. I know it is a pride and joy to its owner, and the experience of being able to drive such a collectable is unparalleled, a money cant buy experience.

© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS FEBRUARY 2017

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