1938 ALFA ROMEO 6C 2300 B

PURE EL­E­GANCE

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents - Words: Ash­ley Webb Photos: Adam Croy

Ex­cel­lence

It all started when Garry Boyce was a 15-year-old ap­pren­tice fit­ter and turner and be­came in­volved in the lo­cal clas­sic car fra­ter­nity. In the en­su­ing years, his ca­reer ex­panded into all types of en­gi­neer­ing po­si­tions, be­fore he moved into man­age­rial roles within the in­dus­try. It was dur­ing this pe­riod that Garry gained an at­ti­tude to­wards ex­cel­lence in ev­ery­thing he did.

It was ob­vi­ous to him that, at this point, ex­cel­lence in cars was rep­re­sented by the Mercedes-benz mar­que, and he vowed that one day he would own one.

It wasn’t un­til the late 1980s that Garry pur­chased his first Mercedes, but the real high­light was 1994, when he bought his first real ‘col­lec­tor’ car, which was the start­ing point of his col­lec­tion. He soon re­al­ized that his ul­ti­mate dream was to have a 300 SL Gull­wing sit­ting in his garage. That was ut­terly and com­pletely out of the ques­tion at the time, so he con­cen­trated his thoughts and ef­forts on the next best thing, a 300 SL Road­ster, as he had al­ways ad­mired the sen­su­ous, volup­tuous lines and the su­perb per­for­mance and han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics of the car, though he felt that the only way he could ever achieve his dream was to trawl the world for a restora­tion project.

Fi­nally, af­ter many years of dif­fi­cult search­ing — mainly be­cause most had al­ready been re­stored — Garry fi­nally found a 300 SL Road­ster in a some­what dis­tressed state in the Netherlands in 2001.

The 1957 300 SL Road­ster, num­ber 154 off the pro­duc­tion line — re­ferred to by Garry’s wife as piles of junk in card­board boxes — re­ceived a full nut-and­bolt restora­tion and went on to win not only the cov­eted Masters Class award at the 2009 Eller­slie Clas­sic Car Show, with the high­est ever score at the time, but also in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion in the US, when the car was shipped to Sonoma, Cal­i­for­nia, to par­take in the Mercedes 300 SL Road­ster and Gull­wing Con­ven­tion held in Septem­ber 2008, where it won Best Show 300 SL Road­ster.

Since then, Garry cer­tainly hasn’t let the grass grow un­der his feet, as he has com­pleted a few more award­win­ning restora­tions, no­tably his mag­nif­i­cent 1956 Mercedes-benz 300 SL Gull­wing, which he also en­tered in the pres­ti­gious Masters Class com­pe­ti­tion along­side four other con­tenders. Af­ter judg­ing, Garry’s 300 SL coupé won the Masters Class, scor­ing 564 points out of a pos­si­ble 590 points — the third-high­est score achieved at this event in its 42-year his­tory.

Sculp­tured art form

At this point, you’re prob­a­bly look­ing at these pho­to­graphs of one of Garry’s more re­cent ac­qui­si­tions and won­der­ing why such a staunch Mercedes-benz afi­cionado chose an Alfa Romeo — but the an­swer is quite log­i­cal.

Af­ter many years of vis­it­ing the world’s lead­ing con­cours events and be­ing ex­posed to the best pri­vate and pub­lic clas­sic and vin­tage car col­lec­tions, Garry gained more of an ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the au­to­mo­bile as an art form. He had also grown a lik­ing for pre-war cars with what is known as ‘starlight’ front wind­screens — flat glass wind­screens with­out any coach­work along the top, pro­vid­ing a clean un­in­ter­rupted fea­ture.

So, when the time came for Garry to add an­other col­lectable clas­sic to his col­lec­tion, he fo­cused on au­to­mo­biles that present as a sculp­tured art form, the epit­ome of which hail from the in­di­vid­ual car­rozze­ria of Euro­pean pre-war body builders such as Car­rozze­ria Tour­ing, Za­gato, and Figoni et Falaschi — which is why he now has in his col­lec­tion bod­ies built by Sin­delfin­gen and Gan­gloff, as well as Tour­ing.

Due to his in­ter­est in such cars, he is con­stantly up­dated with in­for­ma­tion from auc­tion­eers, bro­kers, and other con­tacts from around the world about ve­hi­cles com­ing up for sale. Con­tin­ued on page 14 ...

Garry had cer­tainly done his home­work and had com­piled a de­tailed dossier on this Alfa be­fore phys­i­cally view­ing it at Techno Clas­sica in Essen, Ger­many, in 2016. Af­ter fur­ther re­search and due dili­gence, he de­cided that it would be the per­fect car to com­ple­ment his Mercedes-benz col­lec­tion, es­pe­cially as the Alfa had won Best Cabriolet in Show at the event.

Garry de­scribes the car as a piece of rolling sculp­ture, with an Alfa Romeo chas­sis and a body from Tour­ing.

Pure el­e­gance

This 1938 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B Pescara Mille Miglia Cabriolet — Su­per­leg­gera body by Tour­ing was the orig­i­nal ex­hi­bi­tion car for the London Mo­tor Show in 1938. From the 17 Pescara Mille Miglia short chas­sis pro­duced, only seven were sent to Car­rozze­ria Tour­ing — and this car is the only cabriolet from Tour­ing on a Pescara Mille Miglia chas­sis.

This sen­sa­tional pre-war Alfa Romeo was cre­ated with cut­ting-edge con­struc­tion, strik­ing de­sign, and un­ri­valled com­pe­ti­tion lin­eage. Its chas­sis was clothed by Car­rozze­ria Tour­ing of Mi­lan, which em­ployed its up-to-the-minute Su­per­leg­gera tech­nique to cre­ate one of the most el­e­gant and well-pro­por­tioned au­to­mo­tive bod­ies ever.

Af­ter the London Mo­tor Show, the Tour­ing Su­per­leg­gera Cabriolet re­mained in Eng­land for a fur­ther 80 years. Its first owner was Mike Carter, who sold it to Ed­ward Perry in Bel­gium. Af­ter a full restora­tion, Ed­ward Perry com­peted in it at the Mille Miglia in 1984.

In 2007, a seven-year restora­tion com­menced to bring the car back to its orig­i­nal body con­fig­u­ra­tion. This work was car­ried out in Italy by a rec­og­nized and rep­utable Alfa Romeo spe­cial­ist, su­per­vised by Car­rozze­ria Tour­ing Su­per­leg­gera, while the me­chan­i­cal re­build was car­ried out by Mo­tor­sport Gil­ian­ico, and the en­tire project man­aged by Mar­burt SLR Turin.

This ex­tremely el­e­gant Alfa Romeo is in ab­so­lute con­cours con­di­tion and was re­cently ex­hib­ited in the Mille Miglia Mu­seum in Bres­cia, Italy. Last year, the car was awarded the Best Cabriolet at Techno Clas­sica in Essen, Ger­many.

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