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Coachwork by Touring
From a Private Swiss CollectionRaymond Barbey, Lake Geneva, Switzerland (acquired new in November 1950)Brother of Raymond Barbey, Morocco (gifted from the above circa 1955)
Building upon the “6C” dynasty established by Alfa Romeo engineer Vittorio Jano in 1925, the 6C 2500 debuted in 1938 as the successor to the 6C 2300. Rooted in the brilliant prewar racing machines from Alfa Romeo, the 6C 2500 remains historic. Noted author and historian Griffith Borgeson characterized the model as the company’s “bridge to post-World War II production,” with the 6C 2500 produced until 1952.
In addition to enlarged displacement, the 6C 2500 cylinder head was carefully improved and compression rose from 6.5:1 to 7.1:1 in top Super Sport (SS) tuning. This, along with triple Weber carburetors, gave the 6C 2500 SS 110 hp. Performance was heightened with the use of aerodynamic superleggera bodies pioneered by Carlo Felice Bianchi Anderloni at Carrozzeria Touring, which remains perhaps the most successful coachbuilder on the 6C 2500 chassis. As before, the 6C 2500 SS was one of the most exotic and expensive cars of its time, drawing a list of owners including the era’s luminaries. Just 413 examples of the 6C 2500 SS were produced, all of them sophisticated coupes.
Numbered 915831, this 1949 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS was imported into Switzerland during May 1950 and subsequently registered that November in the name of Raymond Barbey, a private banker living along the shores of Lake Geneva and a direct neighbor to the famed engineer and Hispano-Suiza founder Marc Birkigt. Mr. Barbey was a great Alfa Romeo enthusiast and his previous car was a beautiful 6C 2500 S Touring Cabriolet, the 1939 Berlin Motor Show car. Adding to his stable, Mr. Barbey opted for this more powerful, short-wheelbase 6C 2500 SS with a coupe body by Touring.
Being one of the last examples produced before the launch of the Villa d’Este, 915831 features many fascinating styling cues that render it particularly well-refined in comparison to many of the earlier examples. Mr. Barbey kept his Alfa Romeo for about five years before he gave it to his brother, who was then residing in Morocco. Subsequently, it passed through Germany during the 1990s and then the US before being acquired by the current Swiss owner, who is an acknowledged classic Alfa Romeo marque expert.
During its early years, the original engine block (stamped 928141) was replaced with a period-correct unit (stamped 926778). The Touring body number is 3390. During the past decade, a very accurate and breathtaking restoration was completed, and the mechanical components were restored at the world renowned Jim Stokes Workshops with approximately 90,000 euros invested.
A welcome entry to many prestigious concours events, this outstanding and historic 6C 2500 SS is also eligible for a multitude of desirable classic driving events and tours worldwide.