1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900MM
Above Images ©Alfa Romeo, Supercars.net
The dominant race manufacturer of the thirties was Alfa Romeo. From 1930, up to the war, Alfa achieved a string of successes at races like the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 2900MM (Mille Miglia) contributed to this success by winning the 1938 edition of the race it was built for.
Only Grand Prix cars of the era could offer similar performance to the 2900MM. In many ways, it was the definitive sports car before World War II. These cars were so ahead of their time that many scored victories in the post-war period, including Clemente Biondetti's win at the 1947 Mille Miglia! This was won, despite the ban on supercharging which dropped the power to 130 bhp from the normal 180.
Leading up to 1938, Alfa Romeo's chosen engine was their Vittorio Jano-designed straight eight. It powered the Lemans-winning 2300 sports car, the P3 Grand Prix and the legendary 2900. The final version of this engine was built for the 2900MM and produced 225 bhp thanks to its twin Roots superchargers.
Built before the days of unit-body construction, the 2900MM had a striking body from Carrozzeria Touring. Similar to the 2900B supercar, this body featured graceful and enveloping lines which probably wouldn't have been out of place at a Concours D'Elegance.
Only three examples of the 2900MM Touring Spyder were made and they finished 1-2-3 at the 1938 Mille Miglia. Our feature 2900MM, chassis #412030, is one of the two surviving cars. It was restored for world-class designer Ralph Lauren and has the distinction of retaining its original body. After a thorough restoration by Paul Russel and Company, #412030 will always be one of the most valuable cars in the world.
Story by Richard Owen