One of the more impressive cars that I saw at the 2015 Lime Rock Historic Festival was an Alfa Romeo grand prix car from the 1930s. The Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C was a very good racing car, but unfortunately it was active in the glory days of the two great German racing teams – Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union.
Alfa Romeo Tipo C – 8C 1935 Grand Prix Car
The 8 cylinder engine in the Alfa Romeo Tipo C is made up of two monoblocks of 4 cylinders each. The 3.8 litre engine is supercharged and has twin overhead camshafts. On methanol the engine produces about 330 horsepower at 5,400 rpm.
This Is A Great Looking Race Car!
The rounded front of the Alfa Romeo Tipo C is from an era when racing car designers were beginning to pay more attention to the aerodynamic shape of their cars.
An interesting feature shown in the photo above is the circular tube located just below the cockpit. This tube is an external oil cooler.
The Build Quality Of The Car Is Spectacular!
The louvers in the rear of the car are helpful in cooling the car and I think would reduce the aerodynamic resistance of the car by eliminating trapped air in the back of the car.
A Very Business-Like Cockpit
The Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C is fitted with a 4-speed transaxle. It also had independent front suspension and independent rear suspension using swing axles. When I looked at the components in this car, it was easy to see that the build quality was excellent.
Note The Holes Drilled In The Brake Drums
In September 2013, this particular car, in which Tazio Nuvolari had won the 1936 Coppa Ciano, sold for £5.9 million which was at the time a new world record price for any Alfa Romeo. Happily, this car is not parked in a museum; it is raced regularly in historic racing events and is presented for everyone to see.
In This Era The Scuderia Ferrari Raced Works Alfa Romeo Cars Like The Tipo C 8C (1)
Some people who might not be familiar with the history of the Scuderia Ferrari might be confused by the Ferrari “prancing horse” decal on this Alfa Romeo. During the 1030s Enzo Ferrari started his own racing team and he was able to be responsible for the Alfa Romeo works race team. Hence Ferrari added his Scuderia Ferrari emblem on these race cars. During World War II, the relationship between Ferrari and Alfa Romeo ended and Ferrari began to build and race his own cars.
An Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C In The Pits (1)
The picture shown above shows an Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C at the first Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest Park in 1936. Nuvolari won that race with Rosemeyer and Varzi coming in second and third, both in Auto Unions.
On the Track At Lime Rock In 2015 (3)
When I saw the car at Lime Rock Historic Festival it was on display however Evan Gamblin sent me a photo of this car when it was on the track. This picture with the hood down shows the lines of the car quite well.
Tazio Nuvolari Driving An Alfa Romeo Tipo C – 8C (2)
The Alfa Romeo Tipo C – 8C car that was on display at Lime Rock was the car that Tazio Nuvolari drove to victory in the 1936 Coppa Ciano at a new circuit near Leghorn.
Alfa Romeo Tipo C 8C Race Cars Ready To Race (2)
It was very impressive to see such a competitive historic and valuable grand prix car in a public forum.
2. “Alfa Romeo” by Peter Hull, 1971
3. Evan Gamblin