Alfas top Heveningham
The silverware went elsewhere – but this pair of storied pre-war Alfa Romeos were the unexpected stars of the returning event
Familiar Astons and Jaguars – including D-type ‘OKV 1’ – drew the crowds in at the second Heveningham Hall concours. However, a pair of Alfa 8Cs with significant ownership histories stole the show – if not the pre-war Best in Show award, won by a twin-supercharged 1935 Frazer Nash.
Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Zagato Spyder
Chassis 2111044, one of the first cars to wear the Scuderia Ferrari’s prancing horse shield, made a rare public appearance at Heveningham after more than 80 years in private collections. First registered to Ferrari in July 1932 when it first adopted the emblem, it was commissioned as a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ at Enzo’s behest – a Monza chassis bodied by Zagato as a sports car. Nuvolari drove it to victory at Piemonte and the Klausen Hill climb, but after a series of disqualifications it was sold after five months, first to privateer racer Lelio Pellegrini, then a series of dealers, including Clifton Penn-hughes in 1934.
It was sold as a birthday present to Michael Crowleymilling, then a student at Cambridge. He kept it for more than 60 years, taking it with him to CERN in 1971 where he helped invent the computer touch-screen, restoring it out-of-hours in the machine-shop, discovering such secret racing features as a cut-down driver’s door to allow Nuvolari more elbow-room. It took more than 20 years to complete, the car returning to the UK in 1999. It’s only had two owners since Crowley-milling’s death.
Alfa Romeo 8C 2300
One of the first Alfa Romeo 8Cs built, this 1931 2300, chassis 2111022, was sold new to Sir Roy Fedden, former chief engine designer at the Bristol Aerospace Company. Unusual at the time for being a road car from the start, its Touring coachwork is one of just three examples in this style.
Fedden bought the Alfa while working on the supercharged Bristol Perseus. He left Bristol before the firm built cars, but his legacy includes one of the first successful uses of a turbocharger.
This 8C 2300, originally Ferrari’s rule-bending track weapon, was restored at CERN
Did this Alfa 8C inspire Bristol’s engineering?