Alfa Romeo 1750 Drophead
The 6C series had been founded as early as 1924 when Alfa Romeo engineer Vittorio Jano, perhaps the greatest automotive engineer of his era, was detailed 'to develop a medium capacity light car with brilliant performance'. The great engineer chose the balance and pick-up characteristics of an in-line six cylinder engine and combined them with what was, by the standards of the time, a very lightweight and nimble handling chassis design. Much experience gained in development of his AIACR World Championship-winning Alfa Romeo P2 Grand Prix car of 1924-30 was built into this production series.
The prototype, initially known as the model 'NR' - standing for Nicola Romeo - but subsequently renamed '6C-1500', was unveiled at the Salone dell'Automobile Milano in April 1925, and then reappeared at both the Paris Salon and the London Motor Shows. Deliveries to customers of the original single-camshaft version commenced in 1927, followed in 1929 by an increase in engine capacity in to 1,752cc. The grass roots of the highly successful twin cam supercharged competition version, these cars show the same quality of build together with a not inconsiderable 70mph performance.
In the early 1920s, Alfa Romeo’s legendary chief engineer, Vittorio Jano, was instructed to create an advanced, lightweight, high performance vehicle that could be enjoyed on his native northern Italian roads. The vehicle was to be based on an advanced, race proven chassis and would feature an all new inline six-cylinder engine. After the success of his first project with Alfa Romeo – the P2 grand prix race car that conquered the inaugural Automobile World Championship, the predecessor to today’s Formula 1 – Jano was effectively given carte blanche to undertake a new road-going project.
Jano’s project was to replace the Giuseppe Marosi-designed RL and RM series Alfa Romeos. Although they had earned a reputation for providing sporting on-road performance, Nicola Romeo had the foresight to insist on a smaller, lighter replacement based on a racing car. Romeo had hired Jano with the understanding that the engineer would first create a competition eight-cylinder vehicle followed by a six-cylinder passenger car that would have much in common with its racing car sibling. Those who gathered in April 1925 at the Salone dell’ Automobile di Milano were treated to the unveiling of the new NR model, better known as the 6C 1500. Based on the competition-proven chassis of the P2, the 6C 1500 Normale featured a Jano-designed single-cam, 1,487 cc inline six-cylinder motor producing 44 horsepower. It was the 6C 1500 Sport, with the first twin overhead camshaft motor ever featured in a roadgoing Alfa Romeo, that would truly capture enthusiasts’ hearts. Its race-engineered twin-cam motor produced 54 horsepower and would later go on to power the 1928 Mille Miglia-winning 6C 1500 Sport, driven by opera baritone and skilled racing driver Giuseppe Campari.
For 1929, Jano’s six-cylinder engine was expanded to 1,752 cc, thereby creating the third series of the 6C: The 1750. Although output was increased slightly to 46 horsepower, improvements to the cast iron head and the relocation of the spark plugs, intake manifold and exhaust improved mid-range performance. In addition, the wheelbase of the 6C 1750 was stretched by 200 mm. The 6C 1750 quickly established itself as a formidable open road competitor, skillfully piloted by such drivers as Campari and the legendary Tazio Nuvolari.
Initially, three variants of the 6C 1750 were offered for 1929: the single-cam Turismo, the twin-cam Sport (which was renamed Gran Turismo for the model’s second year) and the supercharged, twin-cam Grand Sport, Each were also differentiated by a wheelbase that decreased in correlation to the power increase.
While 327 Turismo models were produced in the car’s first year of production, considerably fewer exist today because until recently, many enthusiasts focused on acquiring the cars’ more powerful siblings. Thus, the more pedestrian – by 1920s and 1930s standards – Turismos have become increasingly rare and valuable, especially when fitted with bodywork that suits their more refined and luxurious character.
1929 Alfa Romeo 1750 Drophead
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|Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A., a subsidiary of the Fiat S.p.A. since 1986, car timeline, 1910-1949||Next ->|
|4-cyl.||12 HP / 15 HP / 24 HP / 15-20 HP / 20-30 HP||20/30 HP||RM|
|6-cyl.||G1 / G2||RL|
|6-cyl.||6C - 1500 / 1750 / 1900 / 2300 / 2500|
|8-cyl.||8C - 2300 / 2600 / 2900|
|GP||P1 / P2||Tipo A||Tipo B (P3)||Tipo C (8C-35)||Tipo 308||158 / 159 Alfetta|