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8C 2300 Touring Spider
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  Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Touring Spider
 

  Article Image gallery (32) 2111033 Specifications User Comments (2)  
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Country of origin:Italy
Produced from:1931 - 1934
Numbers built:188 (all body types)
Designed by:Touring
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:May 21, 2008
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Click here to download printer friendly versionThe two cars used during the Targa Florio were of a slightly different specification and used a slightly shorter wheelbase of (2650mm). These were built as a stop-gap for Grand Prix racing before the twin-engined 'Tipo A' was ready. Both cars were raced side by side during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on May 25th. The Tipo A's debut was devastating with a fatal crash in practice with Arcangeli behind the wheel and the two cars entered in the ten hour race retiring very early. Nuvolari jumped from his Tipo A into an 8C 2300 after two hours and together with Giuseppe Campari he won the race. The subsequently built Grand Prix 8C 2300s were referred to as the Monza in honour of this win. Interestingly the slotted radiator cover that became the most typical feature of the 'Monza' was not found on the cars that raced in 1931. The 8C 2300 was successfully raced in Grands Prix until it was replaced by the Tipo B Monoposto in 1932.

Hot on the heels of the Italian Grand Prix came the 24 Hours of Le Mans for which another distinctly different version of the 8C 2300 was prepared. This time the long chassis was used as additional space was required to fit the mandatory four-seater coachwork, which was built in aluminium by Zagato. Three cars were prepared, but only two were entered in the race after the third had blown its engine in practice. The strongest competition was again formed by the massive ssKs, which were right at home on the French track with its long straights. The Works entered 8C 2300 crashed out after 99 laps, leaving the British entered example to defend the Italians' honour. Driven by entrant Lord Howe and former Bentley-boy Tim Birkin, the 8C survived the 24 hour race and finished over 100 km ahead of the fastest Mercedes. The 8C dominated the race in the following three editions, scoring a 1-2-3 in 1933 and coming very close to winning the legendary race for a fifth consecutive time in 1935.

Although the Bugatti Type 35 has gone into history as the most successful racing car ever, the Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 ranks as a close second or possibly even the Type 35's equal with three wins in the Mille Miglia, three in the Targa Florio, four at Le Mans and the Grand Prix victory at Monza. For all its successes on the track, it is quite remarkable that the 8C 2300 was available to any customer for road use. One of the reasons the 8C 2300's successes are forgotten at times is the attention grabbed by the Tipo B Monoposto Grand Prix car and the 8C 2900 sports racer that replaced it. All three of these fantastic machines were designed by the great Vittorio Jano and successfully raced by some of Italy's greatest racing drivers. The thirties was certainly the finest decade in Alfa Romeo's history.

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  Article Image gallery (32) 2111033 Specifications User Comments (2)