1938 Alfa Romeo 6C

6C 2300 B Lungo Cabriolet Worblaufen

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1938
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Lot number 
    29
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Black
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

Swiss title
Chassis n° 814064

- One of the most spectacular Cabriolet made by Worblaufen
- Coming with its original engine
- Wonderful patina and original interior
- Very well documented history
- One owner since 1979
- Geneva Motorshow 1938

Between 1934 and 1939, between 1300 and 1400 complete 6C 2300 cars and approximately 224 rolling chassis left the Alfa Romeo factory (not including the rolling chassis of the 8C 2300 and 8C 2900 ). The Lungo chassis presented here is one of only 10 rolling chassis which were sent off to Worblaufen to be equipped with a cabriolet body.
To start with a conclusion: it is generally accepted that this Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B Lungo Cabriolet is one of the most beautiful bodies ever designed and made by Worblaufen...!
This elegant one-off Alfa Romeo 6C features a hand-made aluminium body with the distinguished Worblaufen signature. Built in 1937/1938, it was the revelation at the XV 1938 International Motor Show in Geneva, where it attracted ample admirers with its bold and elegant design in the midst of
traditional contemporaries. The modern aerodynamic black body with red spoke wheels and red leather interior stood out with its slim front fenders connected to the engine hood, a front grille made smaller than the standard Alfa Romeo series and the rear of the car with the integrated fin.
Letters in the Swiss Car Archive demonstrate how the story of this fine automobile started a year earlier, when Fritz Ramseier wrote to his regular customer E. Morf to recapitulate their earlier discussion, listing the specifications of a cabriolet Worblaufen he offered to build on an Alfa Romeo Lungo chassis. He priced this initially at SwFr 18.000 (Lungo chassis SwFr 10.500 and body SwFr 7.500). The offer came with a free entry ticket for the 1937 Geneva Motor Show in with his letter, to allow Mr Morf to see a similar car. Mr Morf came back with a counter-offer of SwFr 12.000.
There is correspondence between Mr Ramseier and the Alfa factory, in which he pleaded for a discount on the price of the chassis…. The Alfa factory came down to SwFr 8.500. In February 1938, the gentlemen concluded a deal at SwFr 13.500 , with the condition of presenting the car at the 1938 Car Show. There is correspondence between Mr Morf and Mr Ramseier illustrating the above.
The Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B Lungo Worblaufen Cabriolet became the star of the 1938 Geneva Motor Show, and it must come as no surprise that the present owner was invited in 2018 to present this "Meisterstück" again to celebrate the 80th birthday of the Geneva International Motor Show.
In 1939, Mr Morf sold the car to Mr Allemand from Biel (Switzerland), who later left the car to his daughter. In 1952, the third owner Mr Wagner purchased the car from her. He in turn sold it in 1979 to the current owner, Mr Koni Lutziger, a Zurich based connoisseur of rare motorcycles and cars, who has kept it in its unrestored original condition over the past 40 years. There is an impressive number of documents related to the line of ownership.
Prior to the sale in 1979, Mr Wagner's car dealer, Mr Nikles of the Lindenhof Garage, gave the car a thorough maintenance service, before presenting it for an official check-up at the relevant authorities. From these documents, all preserved at the archives, we learn the car had run 57.165 km by that date. Mr Nikles bill amounted to around SwFr 2.600, but the bill states also that a 2% discount could be deducted for cash payments…

Technical details of 814064, 1937 6C 2300 Lungo
In 1934, Alfa Romeo developed a successor to the 6C 1900: the 6C 2300. During its first year, this model still had the ladder frame and beam axles of the previous series, but was already being equipped with a new type of gearbox and a newly developed engine. Already tested and proved on the 6 C 1750 6th series and the 8C 2300, the new engine received an aluminum cylinder head, the engine capacity was increased to 2300cc, the camshafts were driven by a chain, and all of this was implemented on a new engine design. In 1935, the 6C received independent front and rear suspensions, also used in a modified version for the 8C 2900. This configuration stayed the same until production of the 6C ended in 1952. "814064 ", being a "Lungo", was equipped with one updraft double venturi carburettor.
From 1935 until 1939, the "new"6C 2300 was available in two wheelbases: 300 cm - the "Corto", "GT" or "Pescara", and 325 cm - the "Lungo" or "Turismo". During WWII, much of the pre-WWII archives of Alfa Romeo were lost. Also, the terms "Lungo" and "Turismo" were used alternately, referring to the same type of chassis. This can cause some confusion when trying to determine the exact number of chassis built of this type. Still, it is safe to assume that in 1937, 78 "Lungo" cars were produced by Alfa Romeo, but it is not clear how many were delivered in chassis form to external coachbuilders. We do however know that "814064" was one of the latter, exported to Worblaufen in Switzerland.
When examined today, the car turns out to be exceptionally original, showing an even patina all around. There is no sign of any restoration or refurbishment, except for an external repaint at some stage. And, of course, there are signs of maintenance.
The very original tool roll is still with the car. Over time, some tools were lost and replaced, but this is very nice to see. All major mechanical components are correct and matching for this chassis. There are minor details that might (and can with minor effort) be improved by the next proud owner. These suggestions have been listed separately and are available in the file of the car.
It has to be mentioned here that the correctly numbered engine is with the car, nr. 823139, but it is not fitted into it at present. Currently, the car is fitted with a correct engine for this series of Alfa, numbered "GT 823380 ". As long as the correct engine stays with the car, it is off course fair to call the car "matching numbers".
This car can be enjoyed as-is, with no major work anticipated. The body is in a very good, consistent and solid condition. The leather interior is still the original one, and is rarely seen in the beautiful condition as found in this car! It is well-kept and in no need whatsoever of restoration. Glass, trim, lights and all external details are equally very well preserved.
As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder… But if one looks at the design, the proportions, the color scheme and the simple fact of being built by the renowned and talented Worblaufen Coachbuilders on an Alfa Romeo chassis … it is rather safe to argue this simply is a beauty. Vintage and classic cars are all about emotions. Well, for the best of reasons, this car provokes a wide spectrum of emotions. It being a unique car, a truly one-off, most certainly adds to that as well...

Raoul San Giorgi

Lot from outside the EU: In addition to the commissions and taxes indicated above, an additional import VAT will be charged (5,5% of the hammer price for vintage/classic cars, 20% newer/modern motorcars).

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For more information and photos: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/lot-1938-alfa-romeo-6c-2300-b-lungo-cabriolet-worblaufen-3980-29

Photos © Peter Singhof