• Year of manufacture 
    1949
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    r0120
  • Reference number 
    MO24_r0120
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
    United States
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys' Monterey event, 15 - 17 August 2024.

  • The last of three post-war Pinin Farina-bodied special cabriolets built on the short-wheelbase Super Sport chassis
  • Originally owned by former Alfa Romeo team driver, Le Mans competitor, and Scuderia Inter manager Count Goffredo Zehender
  • Retains matching-numbers engine; subject of meticulous seven-year restoration by European specialists completed in 2020
  • Accepted to the 2020 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for display in the special celebratory Pininfarina class (but not shown due to COVID cancellation)
  • Exquisitely restored example of Pinin Farina’s rare 6C 2500-based special cabriolet

Introduced in 1939, the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 featured an increased engine displacement of nearly 2.5 liters, and the Super Sport iteration rode a shortened 2,700-milimeter wheelbase chassis while being equipped with a triple-carbureted intake. Standard closed coachwork for these desirable sporting chassis was built by Touring, although a minority of cars were bodied by Pinin Farina in open and closed forms. Widely regarded as a pivotal bridge between the company’s bygone hand-built pre-war era and the mechanized mass-production that soon followed, the 6C 2500 has evolved into one of Alfa Romeo’s most collectable vintage models, combining performance, style, and luxury.

Claiming initial ownership by a significant Italian competition driver, and benefitting from a comprehensive restoration commissioned by the consignor, this rare Pinin Farina-built cabriolet is surely one of the finest 6C 2500 Super Sport examples in existence. According to the records of marque historian Angelo Tito Anselmi, chassis number 915871 was built in October 1949, specified as a short-wheelbase Super Sport chassis and equipped with engine number 928182.

The Alfa Romeo was dispatched to Pinin Farina’s workshop for the mounting of special cabriolet coachwork that is believed to be common to just three or four examples. While Pinin Farina bodied as many as 123 different Super Sports from August 1942 onward with a variety of open coachwork designs, just a handful featured this car’s unusual front fascia, chiefly characterized by a lower enveloping treatment with larger inset grille sections, a sculpted hood and rear haunches, and a license plate cut-out in the trunk lid.

In April 1950 the 6C 2500 was delivered to its first owner, Count Goffredo Zehender of Milan. Count Zehender had long flourished in Italian motorsports, joining the Alfa Romeo factory team in 1929, and moving on to stints with Maserati and Mercedes-Benz during the 1930s while participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice. The elegant but sporty 6C was surely the perfect ride of choice for the man who managed the Scuderia Inter racing team, one of the first privateer teams to campaign Ferrari sports cars.

In 1953 the 6C 2500 was imported to the United States by an armed forces serviceman who registered the car in California. Four years later the cabriolet was sold to Robert Allinger of Saratoga, California, an independent body builder who created exteriors for experimental high-speed dry-lake racers.

After 12 years of ownership, Mr. Allinger sold the Alfa Romeo in August 1969 to Alfred “Wayne” Williams of Moreno Valley, California. Mr. Williams drove the 6C for a few years before storing the car in 1974, and it remained carefully domiciled for many years. In 2010, after a remarkable 41-year period of single-owner care, Mr. Williams sold the cabriolet to Lawrence Zinkin of Northern California.

Acquired by the consignor in January 2013, the unrestored longtime California car was treated to a comprehensive refurbishment by European craftsmen that took seven years to complete. Due to many years of dedicated care, the 6C displayed remarkably original and rust-free condition, and required only very minimal welding repairs on the sills. All of the original parts were available and intact for rebuild, like the factory wheel covers with brass centers; or at least as templates for the production of accurate facsimiles, such as the exhaust (which was meticulously copied).

The engine and gearbox were dispatched to a specialist in Belgium who performed a complete rebuild. The carburetors, instruments, and wiring loom were entrusted to Italian specialists, while the suspension elements, rear axle, steering components, and radiator were rebuilt by an expert in Germany.

Motorima in Sweden, Scandinavia’s leading specialist in Italian marques, was commissioned to refinish the rare Pinin Farina cabriolet coachwork, which was rejuvenated with a bare-metal refinish in grigio metallizzato. Motorima also re-chromed the brightwork, including the intricate 98-piece grille. Finally, an expert upholsterer in Norway re-trimmed the interior in forest green leather and fitted a new complementary green-grey soft top.

Upon completion of the restoration in 2020, the 6C 2500 was accepted for exhibition at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance’s special Pininfarina class, which was to celebrate the storied carrozzeria’s 90th anniversary. Unfortunately, the 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID, and lingering travel restrictions prevented the consignor from attending the concours a year later. As such, this phenomenally restored cabriolet still awaits its major concours debut, a pleasure that the next caretaker can certainly look forward to.

Having accrued only 387 kilometers (~240 miles) since the refurbishment, this Alfa Romeo is ideally prepared for touring enjoyment. Given its rarity and extremely high level of presentation, not to mention the continued presence of its matching-numbers engine and coachwork, the exquisite cabriolet should anticipate a warm welcome at the world’s most distinguished concours d’elegance.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mo24/.


RM Sotheby's
5 Heron Square
Richmond
TW9 1EL
United Kingdom
Contact Person Kontaktperson
Title 
Mr
First name 
Augustin
Last name 
Sabatie-Garat

Phone 
+44-2078517070