Al­fas top Hevening­ham

The sil­ver­ware went else­where – but this pair of sto­ried pre-war Alfa Romeos were the un­ex­pected stars of the re­turn­ing event

Classic Cars (UK) - - Month In Cars -

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?

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