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1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS SWB 2 Seat Pininfarina Cabriolet

Matching Numbers, Short Wheel Base Super Sport by Pininfarina.

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sold

VIN 915797
Exterior Color Dark Blue
Interior Color Red Leather
Mileage 176 Miles
Engine 2.5 Litre 6-Cylinder no. SS928109
Transmission 4-Speed
Status Sold
Stock FJ1159

Comments

1949 Alfa Romeo 6C2500SS SWB Pininfarina Cabriolet
s/n 915797, Engine no. SS928109
Dark Blue with Red Leather Interior

A development of the prewar 6C 2300 and 2500, this 6C 2500 Super Sport is the ultimate variant of the old style elegant, glamorous, and luxurious Alfa Romeos that were developed under the guidance of Vittorio Jano and Wilfredo Ricart. The specification is accordingly modern, including dual overhead cam engine and independent suspension all round. Alfa Romeo ambitiously raced the 6C 2300 and 2500 following their introduction, amassing an impressive string of victories and podium finishes including 1-2 in the 1937 Mille Miglia, 1-2-3 in the 1937 6 hour Targa Abruzzo at Pescara backed up by another Pescara win in 1938. Successful races continued after the cessation of WWII hostilities, including an overall win in the 1950 Targa Florio.

The most technically potent of several 6C 2500 models was the Super Sport, built on the 2,700mm wheelbase. With three Weber carburetors it gave 110hp even on the low octane fuel available in Europe at the time. The 6C 2500’s relatively stiff frame and 4-wheel independent suspension delivered this power to the road much better than the typically cart-sprung solid axle cars of the day. The supple suspensions were easier on drivers and passengers, important both in preserving a competitor’s alertness at the end of the Mille Miglia and to the owner of a Gran Turismo Alfa at the end of a road trip to Cannes. Their combination of sophisticated engineering, durability, and attractive bodywork has ensured that they are and have always been highly sought after by collectors and performance minded enthusiasts. Three variants were built postwar, including the two closed versions (one by Touring and one in house by Alfa Romeo. The most attractive, sporting and valuable examples were bodied by Batista “Pinin” Farina.

Pinin Farina’s sense of proportion and innate understanding of the effect of aerodynamics was expressed in flowing curves and balanced masses that complemented the big Alfas’ size and performance. The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS offered today is one such eloquent statement by Pinin Farina, a sleek cabriolet with seating for four. The International Register of the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 indicates that just 63 6C2500 SS short wheelbase cabriolets made during the postwar period, making this a very rare find indeed.

This car boasts and interesting history, including at least one race event at Kyalami, South Africa. Completed on May 19th, 1949, and sold new via Alfa Romeo Milano to Mr. Vittorio Meneghelli of Venice, Italy, this car was taken to South Africa during the 1950s when Mr. Meneghelli relocated there. An avid racer, and previously a class winner in the Miglia Mille, Mr. Meneghelli mainly used this car for long distance high speed touring on business trips between Johannesburg and Cape down. During this time a Plexiglas bug deflector was fashioned and installed to keep the windscreen clean on these long trips. On more than one occasion, Mr. Meneghelli reports completing the 1,100 mile trip in ten hours(!). Period photos on file depict this example with the number 8 on the door, prepared for racing at Kyalami. It was evidently for competition purposes that Meneghelli converted the car to floor shift specification during this initial ownership period.

Imported to North America in the 1980s, this car was previously owned by Oliver Collins of Toronto, Canada, who sold it to Robert Berchen of Auburn, Massachusetts, who sold it to Jerry Letieri, of Connecticut. Mr. Latieri sold the car to Tim Hunt, who had much of the car restored by the Lemire Shop. Hunt sold the restored car to Bill Stetson III, of Norwich, Vermont, who kept this magnificent automobile as part of his collection which also included a Mercedes 300 SL Roadster and a Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A. In 2001, this car was sold to a prominent Southern California Alfa Romeo enthusiast via RM Auctions. Throughout its history, s/n 915797 has never been separated from its matching numbers engine.

Cosmetically, the car is best described as comprehensive restoration, aging nicely. The restorative work included the exterior, interior, brightwork, engine and engine bay, and aspects of the underside. The paintwork is in keeping with good “tour” standards, when gauged against today’s stringent modern restoration procedures. The body appears to be very straight and solid, with no obvious evidence of any major repairs. The chrome and aluminum trim is straight and complete. The glass, emblems, and lenses- including the audaciously styled headlamps—are all in good order. The interior is beautifully presented with deco styling and factory correct gauges, knobs, and switches throughout. Likewise, the trunk is restored to match and is complete with the matching spare tire mounted and wheel to a very smart articulating holder. The car sits on aluminum Borrani 17” wire wheels, date-coded April of 1954, with Firestone tires. At the time of the restoration, a new tan canvas top was installed, with a matching boot.

In keeping with the presentation of the exterior, the engine bay was also detailed as part of the restoration, with correct finishes applied where appropriate. Correct cloth wrapped plug wires, air cleaners, and hose clamps are in place. The engine and driveline are exceptionally clean and dry—a testament to quality of mechanical work performed. All the correct identification plates are in place and unaltered.

This example is a spirited joy to pilot. The car starts easily, idles smoothly, and revs freely good power and no smoke. The four speed transmission shifts smoothly and accurately. The chassis is compliant, steering accurate, and suspension tight. The brakes are effective, with minimal pull from side to side.

Included with the car is a large historical file including letters to and from the original owning family, period photographs, an owner’s manual, and photo documentation of the engine work.
This rare, beautifully deco-styled Cabriolet will be a welcome entrant to many of the world’s most prestigious concours events. In addition to its show potential, it is also eligible for nearly all the major tours and events such as the Miglia Mille, and the California Mille, among others. Its interesting early history adds a unique flair, further differentiating this example from others in the already rare 6C 2500 Cabriolet series.

 


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