Alfa Romeo to be auc­tioned

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

IT’S not often that a fa­mous au­tomaker’s very first com­mer­cial model comes up for sale, but at RM Sotheby’s auc­tion in Phoenix, Ari­zona, next month, a 1921 Alfa Romeo G1 is ex­pected to sell for some­where in the re­gion of $1.5 mil­lion (RM6.2 mil­lion).

If pro­to­types are included, only 52 units of the G1 were ever built by the Ital­ian man­u­fac­turer be­tween 1921 and 1923. The ex­am­ple go­ing un­der the ham­mer next month is stamped with the chas­sis num­ber 6018, and is be­lieved to be the only sur­viv­ing, fully op­er­a­tional Alfa Romeo G1 in ex­is­tence.

Pow­er­ing the G1 is a 6.3-litre side-valve in­line-six en­gine be­lieved to have been de­signed with some in­put from none other than Enzo Fer­rari, who was a driver for the company at the time. It was the largest en­gine ever built by Alfa Romeo, al­though it only de­vel­oped what by to­day’s stan­dards is an in­cred­i­bly mod­est 71hp and 293Nm of torque.

Ac­cord­ing to the auc­tion­eers, a stripped-down ver­sion of the G1 won its pro­duc­tion class at the Coppa del Garda race, but the pro­duc­tion mod­els didn’t sell well, as they were seen as ex­pen­sive fuel guz­zlers in a pe­riod of eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty in Italy af­ter World War I.

Alfa Romeo there­fore de­cided to ex­port all 50 pro­duc­tion ver­sions to Aus­tralia, and pos­si­bly South Africa, which is how this one ended up in the hands of a Queens­land busi­ness­man. He later went into bank­ruptcy, and de­cided to send the car to a re­mote farm in the Aus­tralian out­back to hide it from his cred­i­tors.

Af­ter its years of be­ing used as a farm run­about by ranch­ers and as a wa­ter pump af­ter its rear axle failed, the G1’s re­mains were bought by Ross FlewellSmith in the mid-1960s.

He spent more than a decade restor­ing the Alfa with au­then­tic re­place­ment parts. It later went on to un­dergo three full restora­tions in sub­se­quent years. – AFP Re­laxnews

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.