This week, Roberto Motta notes the debut of the new Abarth 124 Rally; we track the Alfa 8C35 serial numbers; Eric Davison concludes the Dale Powers story and Jonathan Sharp begins a series of articles on the UK’s National Motor Museum.
The Editor Tracks the three 8C35 Alfas
Montage above by Peter Darnall
One might wonder why we are so interested in the Alfa 8C35 cars. An old saying goes that history is written by the survivors; and indeed, this is the case for the 8C35. But in addition to being survivors, the various and sundry 8C35s running today are examples of the only Grand Prix car to give the combined Silver Arrows a real run for the money. Given the might of the Mercedes and Auto-Union teams, the Alfa Romeo 8C35 had a brief but reasonably successful two seasons in Europe. Designed to be fitted with either a V12 engine, or an 8 cylinder, the 8C35 used a longer version of the famous Alfa 8C 2.3 engine, running almost concurrently with the initially unreliable V12 (12C36) while it was being developed. In 1936 Tazio Nuvolari drove the 8C35 to great victories at Coppa Ciano and the Hungarian GP. In our humble opinion, although Vittorio Jano’s V12 (actually designed by Bruno Trevisan) may have led to his downfall in October of 1937, the 8C and 12 C are underrated and much more successful contenders than results might render. And speaking of results, at the bottom of this article we’ve reproduced the Alfa racing results from the years 1935 to 1937 for your perusal.
As VeloceToday is currently publishing a series of short articles that often include these cars, (read A Most Unusual Meeting) we thought this an opportune time to provide a brief history of the 8C35 chassis known today.
Of the six 8C35s listed by Fusi, three can be determined to still exist in some form: [Read more…] about Alfa Romeo 8C35 Grand Prix Cars
Story and Photos by Jonathan Sharp
It’s funny; I have driven, and flown hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles to visit various car museums, shows and race meetings around the world, and yet I had not visited the National Motor Museum (also known as the Beaulieu) less than two hours west of my home on England South Coast, for nearly 20 years.
The National Motor Museum is located in Beaulieu Hampshire deep in heart of the New Forest. The museum was founded by Lord Montagu of Beaulieu in 1952; I will tell you a little bit more about Lord Montagu in part two. I have dim memories of visiting Beaulieu with my parents during the late 1960s before holidaying on the nearby Isle of Wight. Those memories are rather less about the cars then on display and more of the monorail built around the grounds and the replica veteran London bus that one could take a ride on, both of which are still part of the Museum today. [Read more…] about The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu Part 1
Story by Roberto Motta and Pete Vack
Photos courtesy of FCA
The new Abarth 124 Rally to debut in the 85th Monte Carlo Rally
The racing career of the new Abarth 124 Rally will start with the debut in the 85th Monte Carlo Rally, the first race of the 2017 Rally World Championship to be staged this weekend, from January 19 to 22. And as the lead photo indicates, Abarth will try to recreate the success of the original Fiat Abarth 124 Rally. And of course therein lies a story we can sink our teeth into.
We hit the reference books for information; in this case, our own Abarth Buyer’s Guide, from which we quote here liberally. Seems that Carlo Abarth wasn’t too keen on rally cars and only prepared two models in the early 1960s for rally events. In 1962 a team of Fiat 1500S Rally Berlinas was readied for the Trieste Rally but as they did not fare well, Abarth lost interest. In 1963 Abarth entered the Monte Carlo Rally with 850 and 1000 TC Berlinas, but it was the day of the front drive Minis and Saabs; Abarth & C. did not pursue. [Read more…] about Abarth 124 Rally Debuts at the Monte Carlo Rally
Story by Eric Davison
Photos courtesy Dale Powers
Over the course of his life Dale Powers searched out, owned, repaired, restored and driven too many cars to be either recorded or described. They have included, Jaguars, including an SS100, Porsches, Fiats, a Sprint car or two, MGs and just about anything else that is interesting.” What an automotive life!
While Powers aims to downsize, it is questionable as to how far he will go. He did sell the last two cars, his Deutsch Bonnet and a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II. Plus, there was the mother of all garage sales that all but emptied out the 5000 square feet of space that housed cars, a lift, parts and a lifetime’s collection of tools. The aim of all of this was to enable him and Marcia to move into something smaller and more easily manageable. [Read more…] about The Fascinating Finds of Dale Powers Part 4
Here’s a great way to start to the New Year! Peter Darnall weaves a story about Professor Porsche and the development of the 8C35 Alfa Grand Prix car; Roberto Motta at the 40th Anniversary of the Alfa Museo Storico; Part 3 of the cars of Dale Powers and from the archives, Graham Gauld writes about Mike Sparken.
The Tipo C monoposto was a breakthrough design for Alfa Romeo. Giovanni Guidotti, a long-time employee of Alfa Romeo, remembered the initial test of the prototype and the bizarre events which followed. He originally told the story to a prominent member of the “Alfisti” more than thirty years ago. The story was recently passed on to me. Although possibly an apocryphal tale, this is Guidotti’s story.
Story and montage by Peter Darnall
Story by Eric Davison
Photos courtesy Dale Powers
Vintage racing was an activity ideally perfect for Dale Powers. He joined the SVRA in 1978; his membership is #9. In 1978 vintage racing was a great place for those who had dreams of being Stirling Moss, and magnificent old race cars were available on the cheap.
Many cars that were no longer winners and had been put out to pasture still had high quotient of fun left in them. For the most part that has changed, and a visit to a vintage race paddock reveals tractor trailers hauling priceless vehicles and paid crews to service them. Rare is the owner/preparer/driver. [Read more…] about The Fascinating Finds of Dale Powers Part 3
Story and photos by Roberto Motta
It’s Hoods Up at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo for the 40th Anniversary
Wander through the many automobile museums of the world (or just follow VeloceToday!) and you will quickly note that they all have one thing in common; the hoods are usually closed and if not, one can’t get close enough to study the mechanicals. This is unfortunate, for unlike today’s plastic-covered engines, many powerplants of the 20th century were hi tech engineering, awesome to look at, art in and of themselves, and designed to be easy to work on. Yet they are so often hidden under the hoods of museum pieces. Not so in Milan however!
Testo e foto di Roberto Motta
Il Museo Alfa Romeo di Arese ha compiuto i suoi primi 40 anni e per festeggiare ha esibito le proprie vetture con i ‘cofani aperti’ per consentire al pubblico di ammirare il suo “cuore sportivo”
Se passeggiate tra le stanze dei numerosi musei di automobili di tutto il mondo (o più semplicemente seguite VeloceToday!) avrete notato che tutti hanno una cosa in comune; tutte le auto hanno i cofani chiusi, e non ci si può avvicinare alle vetture per studiarne la meccanica. Questo è un peccato perché, a differenza dei motori di oggi, interamente ricoperti di plastica, molti propulsori del 20° secolo sono un vero concentrato di ingegneria hi tech, e sono delle vere opere d’arte.
Ma, purtroppo, sono spesso nascosti sotto il cofano delle auto esposte nel museo.
L’Alfa Romeo, ha sempre creato motori per auto da corsa e per vetture di produzione fin dal 1910, ed è quindi una delle poche aziende che può vantare una lunga e gloriosa storia nella progettazione di motori tecnicamente avanzati. [Read more…] about Alfa Romeo Museo Storico Annivesary in Italia