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Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Gran Sport Testa Fissa by Zagato, #10814406, 1933

  • This car, chassis #10814406, was purchased new by Anna Maria Peduzzi, one of the classic era's most notable female drivers. Nicknamed "Marocchina" for her dark complexion, she ran this 6C Alfa in no fewer than a half-dozen races in 1933, consistently placing well. In 1934, she drove for Scuderia Ferrari in the Mille Miglia, winning the 1500cc class with her husband, Gianfranco Comotti, riding alongside. Comotti also raced for Scuderia Ferrari, though he did not achieve much success beyond minor (non Championship) Grand Prix following World War II. The strength of Peduzzi as a racing driver is evident in her ability to compete in the most arduous races of the classic era. Apart from taking a class win in the Mille Miglia—a thousand mile loop from Brescia to Rome and back, all on rough public roads—she tackled the Targa Florio in Sicily on five occasions. In the post-War era, she continued racing for many years in spite of suffering physical impairments from polio.
  • The 1934 Mille Miglia class win was a noteworthy achievement for the car, as it happened a long six years after a 1500cc Alfa won the race outright in 1928. Already by the end of 1930, Alfa Romeo had upgraded the 1500cc motor to 1750cc specification as a matter of course, along with a slightly revised chassis. However, 1.5 litre motors could still be had, if desired, until 1933. So it is that chassis #10814406—for all intents and purposes a 1750 chassis—was the very last to be fitted with a 1500cc straight six. This spelled the end of an 8-year production run for the motor, during which time more than 1,500 were employed in road and race service. This particular motor, however, in addition to being the last ever fitted by the factory, is also one of just twelve Testa Fissa specification motors—the head and block comprising one cast.
  • The Testa Fissa design gave the basic supercharged 6-cylinder an extra 8 horsepower, more or less, raising the total output to 90 brake horsepower, or thereabouts. Top speed doesn't really get beyond 90 miles per hour, but keep in mind that the average race speed for the winning Mille Miglia driver in 1930 was just 60 miles per hour. Through these early years, keeping a car alive meant more than out-and-out speed. The roads were simply too rough, and the race too long for speed to rule all. In this sense, the Mille Miglia was very much a vestige of the original Grand Prix concept—a grueling endurance test on the open road.
  • Sometime after the War, Ferrari importer Luigi Chinetti brought chassis #10814406 into Colorado. The car had not been fully restored until the present owner's effort, during which much information about the original state of things was learned through film from the 1934 Mille Miglia. Scuderia Ferrari badges identified the car, while the coachwork has been approximated, attributed by small plates to Zagato, but perhaps the original was built by Brianza. Whichever of the two did actually clothe the car is at least in part insignificant. On one account, most of the body has been refabricated, and on the second account, Brianza was a small firm run for only a few years by the folks at Zagato. So, apart from the name, it's six of one, one half-dozen of the other.

 

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2017