This unique Coupe was the best Alfa Romeo could offer in the immediate post-war period. It used a pre-war drive train, but had a thoroughly modern chassis and body unique to this car. The body, called Supergioiello or jewel, was designed by Ghia while the chassis was a unique design by Gilberto Columbo from Gilco.
At their 2010 Retromobile sale, Bonhams offered the “unique tubular ‘Gilco’ chassis-ed example” with an estimate of €250,000 – 280,000. The description follows.
This well-known Alfa carries exclusivity and exquisite condition to its credit, being a finely restored example of only four ‘Supergioiello’ or ‘jewel’ coupes, built by Ghia in 1950. Better still, of the 4 built, 3 were constructed on the standard Alfa Romeo chassis, while this was the only constructed on a more advanced and distinctly post-war tubular chassis manufactured by Gilco Milano. Those that are not familiar with this company will no doubt know the name of its proprietor, the company name being an abbreviation of his names – Gilberto Columbo. Columbo would of course go on to be one of the leading figures in designing and building Ferrari and Maserati chassis through the Fifties.
The original 1950 order for the car came from SIRCA, Milan’s largest car distributor in those days, who requested that Gilco build chassis 64251 with this special frame to accommodate the 6C running gear with all correct Alfa Romeo 6C 2500SS mechanical components. It has long been suggested that the car was built to be given as a gift to Fangio, but this appears to be hearsay rather something substantiated firmly.
By the late 1950s the car had found its way into England where it was discovered decades later in the early 1990s in unrestored condition. From 1995 to 1998 an exhaustive restoration ensued, some 5,800 hours of work being required to return the car to its former glory and to the magnificent order in which it remains today. That work is charted through documents and photographs.
Presented in blue livery with light grey leather interior, the stunning result has been well appreciated ever since, particularly at concours level. Most notably it recorded a class win, and second prize overall at the Villa d’Este in 2001. It arrived in a private collection of English and Italian Sports Cars in 2006, since when it has been carefully stored, but not actively used.
On file are details of the restoration, its former British log book and copy of the original chassis drawing. Certainly one of the most elegant and unique cars of immediate post-war era, this beautiful Ghia Alfa would be at home once again on the concours circuit or could theoretically campaign the Mille Miglia, its model having run in the event in 1949.