1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900MM

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900MM

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900MM

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.

1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900MM Gallery

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In Detail

submitted byRichard Owen
typeSeries Production Car
engineAll Alloy Inline-8
positionFront Longitudinal
aspirationTwin Roots Superchargers
valvetrainDOHC, 2 Valves / Cyl-
fuel feedTwin Carburettors
displacement2905 cc / 177.3 in³
bore68 mm / 2.68 in
stroke100 mm / 3.94 in
power167.8 kw / 225 bhp @ 5200 rpm
specific output77.45 bhp per litre
bhp/weight180.0 bhp per tonne
body / frameAluminum Superleggera Body on Steel Ladder Frame
driven wheelsRWD
front tires5.5×19
rear tires5.5×19
front brakesHydrualic Drums
rear brakesHydrualic Drums
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 weight1250 kg / 2756 lbs
wheelbase2545 mm / 100.2 in
front track1349 mm / 53.1 in
rear track1349 mm / 53.1 in
length5000 mm / 196.9 in
width1700 mm / 66.9 in
transmission4-Speed Manual
gear ratios2.44:1, 1.50:1, 1.14:1, 0.88:1
top speed~230 kph / 142.9 mph