The Alfa Romeo 6C appeared in 1925, launching cars powered by a new six-cylinder engine that gave the series its name. This proud title was attached to a succession of hand-built luxury cars, sports cars and racers that came out of Alfa’s Milan factory for more than quarter of a century until the 1900 model superseded the 6C in the early 1950s.
Just before World War II came the 6C 2500, with a few examples built between 1939 and 1943. But the series didn’t really get into its stride until postwar production commenced with various customized options. Numbers sold were still small, but these substantial vehicles were quality cars for those who could still afford them. Top of the range was a luxurious 6C 2500 Golden Arrow (purchased by the likes of Prince Rainier and King Farouk), but one of the most interesting versions was the 6C 2500 Super Sport.
This was descended from the exquisite open-topped Super Sport Corsa competition cars created in 1939 and 1940 and was introduced in 1947. Just 413 of these wonderful Super Sports were built in five years of production, but their handsome lines and legendary engineering made them firm favorites with elite buyers. The elegant Berlinetta coupe with super-light (superleggera) coachwork by Touring of Milan has become an enduring classic. In addition to fine build quality, it seated two occupants in great comfort and easily coped with sustained high-speed driving over long distances.
The few examples that found their way to the USA were lauded by serious American auto enthusiasts, who found the race-bred twin OHC (overhead camshaft) engines fascinating. This marked the start of America’s love affair with Italian cars in the years after World War II, with 6C 2500s snapped up by trendsetting Hollywood luminaries such as Tyrone Power and Rita Haworth.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.
1939 (until 1951)
2,443 cc Straight Six
PERFORMANCE: Non-competition models reached a top speed of 103 mph (165 km/h)
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
A rare handful of Competizione variants of the 6C 2500 were especially prepared for racing – one of which won the 1947 Mille Miglia, recording Alfa Romeo’s last victory in Italy’s famous road race.