|Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta: courtesy of Tom Wood/RM Auctions|
It is well documented that Italy’s notorious war-time dictator, Benito Mussolini, enjoyed many of the finest things in life; so when he sought to gift a car to his lover, Claretta Petacci, he was naturally drawn to the stunning lines and effortless performance of an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta. Chassis no. 915033 rolled off the production line in 1939 with stunning coachwork by Touring, and passed into the custody of Ms. Petacci for her exclusive use during the war years, chauffeur-driven by Franz Spögler, who confirmed the vehicle’s identity and its war-time use many years after the conclusion of hostilities. It is also understood from Spögler’s documented recollections that this was the very car that Petacci and other members of her family drove in convoy from Milan in a bid to find refuge across the Italian border in 1945, only to be stopped by partisans close to Lake Como. Her fate after capture, along with that of Mussolini, is well known, and it is remarkable to think that her last journey took place in this incredible Alfa Romeo.
915033 has since enjoyed an amazing and well acknowledged history, having been acquired by a US army officer after the war and shipped directly to the United States. Originally re-discovered in 1970 on a farm in New York State, it has been fully and faithfully restored in recent years by world-renowned marque expert, Francesco Bonfanti, and honoured with ‘Best in Class’ at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2007 and ‘Best of Show’ at the 2011 Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance amongst others. (Estimate: €1.900.000-€2.400.000).
“Few cars that have passed through our hands have had quite the important historical context that this Alfa Romeo can boast,” says Augustin Sabatié-Garat, Car Specialist, RM Auctions Europe. “It played a role in one of the most important moments of the Second World War, and is a fascinating footnote in 20th century history. That it is also one of the most desirable of all pre-war Grand Touring cars and beautifully restored by the world’s leading marque expert, makes it an unbelievable prize for any serious collector.”Other notable consignments for RM’s Paris sale include:
• 1957 Ferrari 250 GT Coupé (€580.000-€650.000)
• 1966 Lamborghini 400 GT 2+2 (€450.000-€550.000)
• 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder (€550.000-€650.000)
• 1990 Ferrari F40 (€900.000-€1.300.000)
• 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster “alloy block” (€1.300.000-€1.900.000)
• 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta “Plexiglas” (€500.000-€700.000)
• 1939 Bentley 4¼-Liter Sports Coupé “Honeymoon Express” (€600,000-€730.000)
RM’s Paris auction will be held at Place Vauban immediately after the Festival Automobile International. This exciting event will gather a stunning display of beautiful concept cars and pay tribute to car designers from around the world (www.festivalautomobile.com).
For further sale information, or to view a frequently updated list of entries, please visit www.rmauctions.com or call RM’s London office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070.
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