1937→1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Corto Spyder

The first 2900s bodied by Carrozzeria Touring were dramatic spyders built on the shorter Corto 2900 chassis. These were loosely based off the 2900A Spyders which were bodied in-house by Alfa Romeo.

On the track, the 2900 competition cars benefited from a decade of Alfa Romeo progress and became the most successful of their time. A trio of 2900As placed first-second-third at the 1936 Mille Miglia, while three specially built 2900MMs accomplished the same feat at the 1938 edition. The decision to make a road-going variant of these winning designs must have been easy.

The chassis was outfitted very similar to the competition cars with twin trailing arms up front and a swing-arm suspension in the rear with both friction and hydraulic dampers.

The engine was similar to the Tipo B unit but was made from new castings in aluminum instead of magnesium. They retained a 10-main bearing crankshafts that sat in white metal babbits. The cylinder head was cast integral to the block with hemispherical combustion chambers and domed pistons. The valvetrain and axillary devices were all gear driven.

The first Corto Spyder appeared at the 1937 London Motor Show and Simon Moore reports the chassis being 412011. It was unique with a smaller rear overhang. After being shown at the Berlin motor show, the car was retained in Germany and modified by Karosserie Nowak to appear more like Horch. Five more short-wheel base Spyders were produced after 412011 by Touring and Pinin Farina made a sole cabriolet.

In December of 1942, Autocar tested a Touring-bodied 2900 which reached 60 mph in 9.4 seconds and they reported a price of £1,950.

L’Auto Italia described the car as “the fastest production car in the world” when featuring chassis 412019 shortly before its delivery to the Maharajah of Indore.

1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Corto Spyder Gallery

See full 1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Corto Spyder Gallery here.

In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
typeSeries Production Car
production years1937 – 1938
released at1937 London Motor Show
production6
price $$ 9,457
price £/td>£1,950
engineAll Alloy Inline-8
positionFront Longitudinal
aspirationTwin Roots Superchargers
ignitionVertex Magneto
valvetrainGear-Driven DOHC, 2 Valves / Cyl-
fuel feedTwin Carburettors
displacement2905 cc / 177.3 in³
bore68 mm / 2.68 in
stroke100 mm / 3.94 in
compression5.75:1
power134.2 kw / 180.0 bhp @ 5200 rpm
specific output61.96 bhp per litre
bhp/weight140.85 bhp per tonne
redline5000
body / frameAluminum Superleggera Body on Steel Ladder Frame
driven wheelsRWD
front tires5.5×19
rear tires5.5×19
front brakesHydrualic Drums
rear brakesHydrualic Drums
front wheelsF 48.3 x 11.4 cm / 19 x 4.5 in
rear wheelsR 48.3 x 11.4 cm / 19 x 4.5 in
steeringWorm & Sector
f suspensionDouble Trailing Arms w/Coil Springs over Hydraulic Dampers
r suspensionSwing axles w/Radius Arms, Transverse Elliptic Leaf Spring, Hydraulic & Friction Dampers
curb weight1278 kg / 2818 lbs
transmission4-Speed Manual
tran clutchSingle Plate
gear ratios2.44:1, 1.50:1, 1.14:1, 0.88:1
final drive4.54:1
top speed~185.03 kph / 115 mph
0 – 60 mph~9.4 seconds
fuel econ epa21.38 L/100 km or 11 mpg-us
fuel capacity83.27 litres or 22 gal.