NEW YORK, United States (Reuters) — A preview at Sotheby’s in New York City on Thursday (July 21) showcased a rare 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B, which is expected to fetch in excess of $15 million (USD) at auction.
“This is a personal favorite of mine, the 1939 Alfa Romeo is one of the grandest pre-war cars ever built,” said Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast division. “It combines an absolutely spectacular design in terms of its coachwork, this is lightweight aluminum coachwork by Touring, which is an Italian coach builder, they would call that Superleggera, and with that coachwork and an eight-cylinder dual overhead cam, twin supercharged engine that develops approximately 180 horsepower, you can achieve speeds in excess of 100 miles an hour in this car. This was a car that was designed to be a race car but then clothed in very light weight coachwork so that you basically could do anything you want with it. You can race it, you can take it out at night, it’s the best of both worlds in that respect, and the embodiment, in a lot of ways, of what pre-war Italian manufacturing in the classic car world, was about.”
The current record for any pre-war car at auction is $11.7 million for a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Special Roadster sold in 2012.
The 1939 Alfa Romeo is the pre-war equivalent to the Ferrari 250 GTO, according to Kelleher. A red 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta set the world record in 2014 for the most expensive car sold at auction, going for $38.1 million.
The car is one of five on offer from the Sam and Emily Mann Collection, which will be up for auction in Monterey, CA from August 19-20.