The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa D’este Coupe is a classic car which was introduced in 1949 as a Villa d’Este version of the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 nameplate including road, racing and sports cars. The Villa d’Este version is so named to celebrate its victory in the Concours d’Elegance (Concours D’elegance), a prestigious annual event held in an Italian hotel since 1929 to showcase the best of the best in classic and vintage cars..
The Concours d’Elegance event began in 1929, two years after the launch of the first Alfa Romeo 6C. The “6C” was a nod to the car’s straight-six engine.
At this time, the 6C nameplate spawned various models, ranging from the 6C 1500 to the 6C 3000 and bearing the imprint of different coachbuilders. The first 6C 2500 was introduced in 1938, marking the beginning of the end for Alfa Romeo 6C road cars as World War II approached. Yes, the 6C benefits from a rich post-war motorsport history, including a spider variant that won the 1st Gran Premio Supercortemaggiore held at Merano in 1953.
A look at the 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa D’este Coupe
The “SS” in its name is a nod to the platform it was built on, the 6C 2500 Super Sport chassis. The Super Sport variant was produced from 1939 to 1952 and debuted by winning the Tobruk-Tripoli coastal endurance race in 1939. Marquee designed the 6C 2500 SS coupe as a Berlinetta (Italian for “small sedan”) model ), i.e. a 2-seat sports coupe, a term popularized by Ferrari in the 1950s.
The car was then christened with the Villa d’Este title after claiming the top overall classification in the Concorso d’Eleganza at the historic Lake Como resort in northern Italy. As mentioned earlier, the 6C line of cars had various coachbuilders including James Young, Zagato, Touring Superleggera, Castagna and the well-known design studio Pinin Farina.
As for the 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa D’este, it was a hand-built model by the Milan-based Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, with only 36 prototypes (including convertible variants) produced in 1952. However, Alfa Romeo built a few other racing cars. variants of the 6C 2500 the following year.
The 6C 2500 SS Villa D’este featured an upgraded 2,443cc engine with an improved cylinder head that allowed for better ventilation and a higher compression ratio that was increased from 6.75 to 7.1. This post-war engine with an increased bore was an upgraded version of Alfa Romeo’s all-new 6-cylinder DOHC engine that replaced the 6 and 8 cylinders of the late 1920s and early 1920s. 30s.
The new engine was robust, efficient and sporty. In the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Super Sport variant, the engine could produce 110 BHP (109 bhp) at 4,800 rpm using 3 Weber carburettors, 15 BHP more than the Sport variant with a single 2-throat Weber carburettor. Linked to a 4-speed manual transmission, the Villa d’Este could produce a top speed of 102.5 mph with a specific output of 45.03 bhp per litre.
Victory in the Concours d’Elegance may have earned it the christening of the Villa d’Este, but the car stood out and won the coveted prize, thanks to its masterful Superleggera craftsmanship. In fact, this unique subliminal bodywork from Milan’s Carrozzeria Touring debuted with the 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este coupé.
The car’s eventual emergence as the winner of the Public Referendum Grand Prix was as much a recognition of the elegant machine as it was a recognition of the coachbuilder who designed it, in this particular case the owner and chief designer of Carrozzeria Touring, Carlos Bianchi Anderloni.
The design was marked by clean, flowing lines in an avant-garde style that is still as beautiful today as it was innovative in 1949. After the one-off Villa d’Este model, Alfa Romeo rolled out 31 more before to cease production in 1952. Alfa Romeo handmade at the end of an era was replaced by the Alfa Romeo 1900.
How rare is the 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa D’este Coupe
The 1949 6C 2500, produced in just a few dozen units, will inevitably be rare after more than seven decades, but the Villa D’este Coupé is undoubtedly one of the most famous and most famous Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS models. rare. It is also one of the most expensive classic cars of that era, with prices reaching over $1 million. A restored 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa d’Este with build number 915.882, formerly owned by Dutch driver Toine Hezemans, sold for $900,396.00 at RM Sotheby’s in 2015.
By the standards of the Golden Age, the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 line of cars was not only premium, but also the most expensive. He was favored by royalty and deep-pocketed patrons, including Prince Rainier, Tyrone Power, King Farouk, Rita Hayworth and Ali Khan. The car was even featured in the cult classic movie Godfather which premiered in March 1972.
Judging by the few examples of the Villa d’Este that still show up at the historic hotel to celebrate and gather, there are less than 20 left in the world, and we’re the ones being generous with the numbers, assuming logistical issues prevented most from attending the ride home. to party. Organizers call it “the world’s smallest car meeting”, with only around five cars on display.
If you happen to buy one, you’re buying a piece of history, and the best part is that no two Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Villa D’este are exactly the same because they were made by hand. hand. An example with chassis number 915888 is currently for sale at MM Garage, California.