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  Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Competizione
 

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Country of origin:Italy
Produced in:1948
Numbers built:3
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAnticipating a war, Alfa Romeo hid their competition cars and production moulds before manufacturing would be suspended. When the hostilities of the Second World War were over, Alfa Romeo only needed to dig up the cars and moulds to immediately continue production. This gave the Milanese manufacturer an apparent edge over the competition, but the lack of high quality materials hampered production. One of the competition cars concealed was the Alfa Romeo 158 Grand Prix racer, which took the first Formula 1 Championship in 1950.

Production of the 6C 2500 road car recommenced early in 1947. Being the only luxury supercar available, the 6C 2500 SS was the most expensive new car. With the production 6C 2500 being similar to the pre-War model, it would have not been a surprise if the competition version would be similar to the Corsa of 1939 and 1940, but Alfa Romeo had other plans. In 1946 work was started on a new Berlinetta racer based on the Mille Miglia 2nd place finishing 6C 2500 SS Corsa.

Of the many modifications carried through, the shorter wheelbase and revised rear suspension are the most obvious. Another 20 mm was cut off the already short 6C 2500 SS, to save weight and increase the car's cornering ability. The all-round independent suspension was retained, but the rear torsion bar / friction damper setup was replaced by a single transverse leaf spring and twin hydraulic dampers. Engine performance was also increased, the six cylinder engine now produced a factory quoted 145 bhp, opposed to the 120 bhp of the pre-War racer.

The short wheelbase chassis was bodied in the factory and was designed with aerodynamics in mind only. The ultra low 'drop snoot' nose and elongated driver's compartment made the 6C 2500 Competizione's body a very efficient one; top speeds of over 200 km/h were reached in testing. The grill was shaped unlike any of those seen on previous Alfa Romeo road-racers, but it did resemble that of the 158 Grand Prix racer. The rear-end shared similarities with the Touring bodied coupe version of the 1939 Corsa.

Due to the shortages right after the War, it took until 1948 before the 6C 2500 Competizione made its racing debut. In the few races organised, notable results were achieved. Highlight of the Competizione's sporting career were the two third place finishes in the Mille Miglia of 1949 and 1950, and the 1950 Targa Florio victory. A third car was constructed in 1950 and fitted with the 3 litre engine also found in the 6C 3000 Saloon. It made only one appearance, but with the 6C 3000 prototype it was quickly abandoned.

Alfa Romeo was in the process of completely changing their line-up in favour of more affordable mass-produced saloons. The competition program was not a real priority anymore, which might explain the mediocre results of the Competizione. Although it was not as successful as it predecessors, the 6C 2500 Competizione fills a special spot in Alfa Romeo's history, being the final product of marque's finest era.

After a thorough restoration, the featured example made its debut at the 2003 Villa d'Este Concours d'Elegance. It is pictured here at the 2003 Paleis 't Loo Concours d'Elegance, where it was lined-up next to a Berlinetta bodied 6C 2500 SS Corsa. A week later it also made an appearance at the Louis Vuitton Classic in Paris.

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  Article Image gallery (9) Specifications