A rare Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 Super Sport first owned by Benito Mussolini is to undergo a nut-and-bolt restoration to concours standard.
Documents show that the Alfa was delivered to the Italian dictator on 13 January 1930, for 60,000 Lire, and there’s photographic evidence of him driving the car in April 1931, plus film footage shows him driving it on a section of the II Radio Auto-Radun rally from Rome to Ostia.
Due to the car’s varied life, these early photos and films will be key in returning the vehicle to its original appearance.
Chassis number 6C0312898 was sold to Renato Tigillo on 21 March 1937 and records show it was then shipped to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea in East Africa, that August.
Originally a Stabilimenti Farina-bodied sports racer, it is during this period in its life that the Alfa Romeo 6C took on the stripped-out racing-car look it bears today.
At the time, Eritrea was an Italian colony, and hillclimbs and street-circuit races in Asmara were popular among young Italians.
The Alfa’s current owner would like the car returned to its original appearance, and restoration firm Thornley Kelham, based in Cirencester, will now undertake this mammoth job.
Extensive research has already been carried out to ascertain the car’s history and 1930 body shape, because it presently has a non-original grille and few original panels.
Its chassis, rear axle and gearbox are original, but not much else is, and the work is expected to take several thousand hours.
“Our challenge now is to restore it to the condition it first left Stabilimenti Farina’s carrozzeria, based on further painstaking research and thousands of hours of expert craftsmanship,” said Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham.
“Automotive history like this has to be preserved, and we are delighted to be involved in the latest page in its amazing story.”
Images: Ashley Border/Archivio Luce