The Alfa Romeo 6C name was used on road, race, and sports cars produced between 1927 and 1954 by Alfa Romeo; the “6C” name refers to six cylinders of the car’s straight-six engine. Bodies for these cars were made by coachbuilders such as James Young, Zagato, Touring, Castagna, and Pininfarina.
Starting from 1933 there was also a 6C version with a factory Alfa body, built in Portello. In the early 1920s Vittorio Jano got a task to create a lightweight, high performance vehicle to replace the Giuseppe Merosi designed RL and RM models.
The car was introduced in April 1925 at the Salone dell’ Automobile di Milano as the 6C 1500. It was based on the P2 racing car, using single overhead cam 1,487 cc inline six-cylinder motor producing 44 horsepower, in the 1928 was presented the 1500 Sport which was the first Alfa Romeo road car with double overhead camshafts.
Introduced in 1938, the 2500 (2443 cc) was the last 6C road car. World War II was coming and car development was stopped, but a few hundred 6C 2500s were built from 1940 to 1945.
Postwar, the first new Alfa model was the 1946 6C 2500 Freccia d’Oro (Golden Arrow), of which 680 were built through 1951, with bodies by Alfa. The 2500 had enlarged engine compared to the predecessor model, this Vittorio Jano designed double overhead cam engine was available either one or three Weber carburetors. The triple carburetor version was used in the top of line SS (Super Sport) version.
The 2443 cc engine was mounted to a steel ladder frame chassis, which was offered with three wheelbase lengths. Various coachbuilders made their own versions of the 2500, but most of the bodyworks was made by Touring of Milan.
915.503 was delivered new in September 1942 to its new owner in Italy, a Mr Cantalupi. It was only one of a handful of cars produced during 1942 to 1945 due to the obvious production constraints and differing priorities of wartime Italy. Production of the 2500 SS broke into full flow again from 1947 onwards, making this car one of the few.
Production records indicate that 915.503 was in fact car no 3 of the Tipo Supersport 6C 2500 models. Surviving the Second World War, the current owner has confirmed that the current touring style Le Mans Berninetta coachwork was fitted during the early post-war years, and is inspired by the beautiful 1938 Le Mans touring Berninetta, which competed in the 24hr classic before the outbreak of the war. File images of that motor car are included here for reference.
Presented in Burgundy with a 2442 cc triple carburettor engine, this is a truly stunning and evocative Alfa Romeo, with its louvered bonnet with leather straps and louvered side panels, it certainly is an eye catcher! The interior is simple but entirely functional with brown leather seats and split screen windscreen.
This wonderful and striking Alfa Romeo won Best in Show at the 2015 SPA Italia. A true exotic car from the era of thoroughbred sports cars and one which would grace any collection.