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Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Touring Spyder, #412027, 1938

  • The 2900B is a detuned version of the racing-derived 2900A, intended for grand touring and fitted with bespoke cockpit luxuries and custom coachwork for the ultra-exclusive customers fortunate enough to bring home a personal sampling of Italy's top Grand Prix technology. Both aesthetically and technically, the 2900B is a masterwork. Engineering comes from the famed Vittorio Jano—responsible for fantastic work throughout his tenure at Alfa Romeo, and also with Lancia and Ferrari—while the body comes from Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni's Carrozzeria Touring, and chief designer Aquino Gilardi. This car bears a direct lineage to the great sports cars of the 1950s, which is hardly surprising with its supercharged straight 8-cylinder motor and transaxle gearbox. But as for Alfa Romeo, the firm would not retrace a path so far advanced as this in the post-War era; the conflict gutted Italy and pressed its leading state-sponsored automaker toward volume rather than luxury. This is why, in the world of classic cars, Alfa Romeo is the apogee, whereas to the average person on the street, the name conjures up an image quite different.
  • Today, chassis #412027 leads a quiet life in a noteworthy, but perhaps less prolific New Jersey collection. At the time of publication, few photographs and references of this car exist on the internet. Apart from scattered concours photographs, I will note an article about #412027 appeared in the French magazine, Automobiles Classiques, issue No. 93 from October, 1998. At the time, the car wore pressed disc wheel covers. Images for that article were produced by the well known photographer, Michel Zumbrunn.
  • Chassis #412027 was last restored in 1986, and the paint shows a beautiful patina as a result. Maintenance and restoration proceeds at a measured pace, and minor idiosyncrasies are corrected as the stewardship team learns more about the car. And so even seven years between shows—I first encountered this car in 2008, and later in 2015—the Alfa looks much the same. The car is very well cared for, yet beautifully worn—elegant, without being obnoxiously polished.

 

Last Updated: Oct 20, 2017