Alfa Romeo was founded in Milan in 1910, as A.L.F.A. (“Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili“, translating to Anonymous Lombard Automobile) when Cavalier Ugo Stella took over a French car factory on the outskirts of Milan. Within a year, the company’s 24 HP car was turning heads at events like the Targa Florio endurance race. In 1915, the company came under the direction of Neapolitan entrepreneur Nicola Romeo, who converted the factory to produce military hardware for the Italian and Allied war efforts before returning to automobile production after WWI. In 1920, the name of the company was changed to Alfa Romeo with the Torpedo 20-30 HP the first car to be so badged. By the 1920’s, Alfa dominated the European motorsport scene.
The Thirties established Alfa Romeo’s reputation as a maker of awe-inspiring automobiles. The 8C 2300 was widely hailed as one of the finest touring cars in the world, winning such coveted competitions as the Mille Miglia and the Le Mans 24-hour.
The clouds of war brought Alfa’s production to a thundering halt in 1944, when an aerial bombing raid leveled the factory and ceased production. Upon the end of World War II, production resumed at Alfa’s plant, dawning the era of Alfa’s ongoing sporting triumphs, as well as initiating the creation of Alfa’s production cars of impeccable specifications and superb design.
The 1946 6C 2500 (Freccia d’Oro Golden Arrow), was the first postwar Alfa model— Through 1951, 680 were built, of which this 1950 6C Carbriolet is a flawless and rare specimen. The “6C” name refers to six cylinders of the car’s straight-six engine, the body crafted to perfection by the iconic coach builder, Pinin Farina, and sold for a veritable fortune. Assembled by hand, the Alfa Romeo 6C bestowed its proud owners with a sleek, graceful silhouette, and underneath the hood, a 110 bhp 2,433 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine along with three Weber carburetors.
The Alfa 6C became emblematic of La Dolce Vita, the postwar savoring of the sweet life and its sensual indulgences, and boasted such devotees as Prince Aly Khan & Rita Hayworth, Tyrone Power, and Prince Rainer of Monaco, all of whom owned a 6C. It was also featured in The Godfather, as a casualty of an ill-planted explosive device.
This particular Alfa 6C, striking in its original colors of black and green, boasts a 2.5 litre straight 6 cylinder engine with three Weber carburetors and 4 speed syncro-mesh gear box. It is one of just 63 short chassis Super Sport 6C cabriolets built, and has had only three private owners since it was built new with the second owner in France from 1957 – 2014. Exceptionally and painstakingly restored in the 1990s, it shows beautifully today, eligible for nearly any event worldwide. To put its high price tag in perspective, a similar 1950 Alfa 6C Coupe sold at auction in Pebble Beach in 2013 for $814,000.
The 1950 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS is a stunner— discreetly sophisticated, yet the vehicular equivalent of the Mona Lisa for those in-the-know. La Dolce Alfa Romeo, indeed!
This classic is available for purchase at Copley Motor Cars in Needham, MA.