Alfa Romeo will celebrate its centenary in style this weekend at Italy's premiere historic motoring event, the 2010 Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza.
The famous event, which showcases the world's most beautiful cars, has been a highlight event in the Italian manufacturer's annual show circuit since 1929, and is held in the picturesque surrounds of the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and Villa Erba in Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como, Italy.
Alfa Romeo will display nine superb examples from the company's Centro Storico at Arese, including a 1931 6C 1750 Gran Sport with coachwork by Zagato.
Of the nine Alfa Romeo classics on show, the oldest dates back to 1925. This special version of the RL Super Sport, a six seat ‘torpedo’ with aluminium coachwork by Castagna, was made for an Indian Maharaja, and brought back to Italy in the 1970s.
An 8C 2300 Mille Miglia Spider, also with coachwork by Zagato, was built the following year. This particular model won the Mille Miglia race two years in succession (1932 and 1933) and is the only one among the Alfa Romeo classics on show that has had a racing past.
The prestigious line-up on display in Cernobbio contains the exclusive 8C 2900 B Lungo of 1938, finished in a splendid blue, and a 6C 2500 Super Sport Villa d’Este that dates from 1949 and features an elegant metallic champagne livery.
Another Touring model is the highly original 1953 1900 C52 Disco Volante Spider, a car with an unusual and fascinating design that always attracts great interest. Though the Disco Volante, or Flying Saucer, never actually raced, it was originally designed for competition use.
Alfa Romeo’s contribution to the event also includes a Pinin Farina styled Giulietta Spider, one of the company’s most popular models. The version on show, a prototype of the America series, dates from 1955 and differs from the production model in a number of details.
The historic Alfa Romeo line-up concludes with a 1954 2000 Sportiva and a 1967 33 Stradale prototype. The 33 Stradale is a supercar, with an eight-cylinder engine, designed by Scaglione. It is considered the stylistic forerunner of the recent 8C Competizione, and in its day, was top of the Alfa Romeo range. The 2000 Sportiva, also designed by Scaglione and with coachwork by Bertone, is an elegant metallic grey coupé: not widely known to the general public.
These precious examples from some of the most significant stages in Alfa Romeo’s long and distinguished history of design and innovation, will be accompanied by the marque’s two latest models, the brand new and already widely acclaimed Giulietta, and the magnificent 8C Spider.
Finally, bearing witness to 100 years of fruitful collaboration between Europe’s top car designers and the Alfa Romeo Style Centre, the Alfa Romeo area at Villa d’Este will also be displaying Pininfarina’s 2ettottanta, a concept presented at this year’s Geneva Motor Show as a homage to 80 years of Pininfarina automobile history, and to the famous Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider designed by the company.
The Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza takes place this weekend, April 23 - 25.
(with Alfa Romeo Australia)