Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Pinin Farina
Please note that this vehicle is titled AR300000128.
Aaron Mosko’s Italian Motors, Denver, Colorado (acquired in 1960)Howard Wignall, Littleton, Colorado (acquired from the above circa 1965)Jackson Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1975)Ernest Kanzler, Los Angeles, California (acquired from the above in 1979)Peter Kaus, Aschaffenburg, Germany (acquired circa 1988)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2006)
Torino Motor Show, Italy, 1956Salon de l’Automobile, Paris, 1956Geneva Motor Show, Switzerland, 1959Geneva Motor Show, Switzerland, 1960Monterey Historic Automobile Races, 1976Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 1976 and 2013 (First in Class, Vitesse Trophy)ArtCenter Car Classic, California, 2007Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, Italy, 2014Techno Classica, Essen, Germany, 2017 (Best of Show, Best in Class)Chantilly Arts and Elegance, France, 2017 (Best in Class)Royal Automobile Club, London, England, 2017Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance, UK, 2017 (Best of Show, Best in Class)Warren Classic & Supercar Show, UK, 2017 (Best of Show)
In the late 1940s, Alfa Romeo revived its legendary racing program, which had been a dominant force in the decade leading up to WWII. The first new racing car developed by Alfa Corse was the 6C 2500 Competizione, which debuted at the 1948 Mille Miglia. This model formed the basis for a one-off car called the 6C 3000, introduced in 1950. While these models showed promise, Alfa Romeo was determined to build a world-class sports racing car and tasked engineer Giuseppe Busso with developing an all-new machine based on the 6C 3000 engine.
The result was the 6C 3000 CM – the CM suffix standing for Competizione Maggiorata or Competition Enlarged Displacement. Built to contest endurance races such as the Mille Miglia and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 6C 3000 CM was Alfa Romeo’s answer to Italian rivals Lancia and Ferrari and, in many ways, it was the most advanced sports car of the early 1950s.
The foundation of the new Alfa Romeo was a state-of-the-art chassis, which featured a unique backbone design and tube-frame construction. The car’s suspension was equally sophisticated, with independent A-arms in front and a De Dion rear axle. This layout allowed the 6C 3000 CM to be fitted with massive finned-aluminum drum brakes mounted inboard at the rear to reduce unsprung weight. The engine was a glorious 3.5-liter twin-cam straight six, with six individual Weber carburetors and dry sump lubrication. It developed 275 bhp at 6,500 rpm, with power transmitted to the rear wheels by a five-speed gearbox and aluminum-cased rear differential. Carrozzeria Colli of Milan, a small firm specializing in aluminum coachwork, built both Berlinetta and Spider bodies for the new Alfa Romeo competition car.
The 6C 3000 CM debuted at the Mille Miglia in April 1953, where Juan Manuel Fangio drove a Berlinetta to a 2nd Place finish behind a Ferrari 340 MM. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, the Alfa Romeos recorded the fastest speeds down the Mulsanne Straight, and, in September, Fangio took the 6C 3000 CM to its first victory at the Gran Premio Supercortemaggiore. Despite the successes it achieved, Alfa Romeo withdrew from factory-backed racing after the 1953 season to focus its resources on the development of a new production model – the Giulietta. As a result, the 6C 3000 CM program was put to an abrupt end and several of the eight cars built were sold to important customers. One car, chassis 00125, was sold to Jo Bonnier and rebuilt by Zagato, while another, chassis 00126, was sold to Argentine president Juan Peron and fitted with custom coachwork by Boano.
The 6C 3000 CM presented here, chassis 00128, was originally built as a Berlinetta by Colli and is believed to have been part of Alfa Romeo’s 1953 Le Mans effort, serving as the team’s training car for the famous endurance race. When Alfa Romeo gave up racing, this car was shipped to Carrozzeria Pinin Farina in Torino, where 00128 became the foundation for one of the most influential show cars of the 1950s – a rolling test bed for new ideas that the coachbuilder christened “Superflow.”
The 6C 3000 CM’s first appearance as a Superflow took place in April 1956 at the Torino Motor Show. In its original form, the Pinin Farina design featured dramatic tail fins, see-through Plexiglas front fenders, a heart-shaped grille, and a wraparound windscreen with a full glass canopy and “gullwing” roof panels. Finished in white with blue coves and upholstery, the Alfa Romeo Superflow did not remain in its original form for long. It soon returned to Pinin Farina, where it was restyled for its next appearance – at the Salon de l’Automobile in Paris that October.
In creating Superflow II, Pinin Farina replaced the unusual transparent fenders with conventional steel wings and covered headlamps. Although the original glass canopy remained largely unchanged, the body’s traditional grille was substituted for a lower air intake, simple hood scoop, and oversized Alfa Romeo badge, while the rear fenders were reworked to incorporate transparent Plexiglas fins. The updated body was then repainted red with white striping, the interior was re-trimmed, and the badging was revised to reflect the updated Superflow II identity.
In 1958, Pinin Farina redesigned the Alfa Romeo once again, resulting in the Super Spider. An open sports car, finished entirely in white with bright red upholstery, the Super Spider featured open headlamps, a raked windscreen, and large faired-in headrests that recalled the Disco Volante Spiders built by Touring in the early 1950s. Liberated from soon-to-be-outmoded fins, the Super Spider featured an elegant, rounded rear section with simple wraparound taillights. Unveiled at the 1959 Geneva motor show, the Super Spider was particularly influential, as many of its design cues were repeated in the Duetto Spider that arrived in 1966.
Not yet satisfied with the design, Pinin Farina kept busy by remodeling the entire car one last time. Unveiled in its final form at the Geneva motor show in March 1960, Superflow IV featured covered headlamps, smoother fender profiles, and a new windshield frame. The design’s most remarkable feature was its extraordinary glass canopy, made possible by a structural ridge running down the center of the roof, with sliding roof panels and removable windows on either side.
In late 1960, following its show and promotional duties in Europe, Superflow IV was flown to the US, toured the country, and left with Continental Alfa Romeo in Boulder, Colorado. In February 1961, the 6C 3000 CM graced the cover of Sports Cars Illustrated, and was road-tested by Karl Ludvigsen for a feature titled “Last of the Red-Hot Alfas.”
During the early 1960s, Superflow IV was displayed at Aaron Mosko’s Italian Motors in Denver, and, some years later, it was sold to Howard Wignall of Littleton, Colorado. In 1975, noted car collector Jackson Brooks purchased the Alfa Romeo from Mr. Wignall, paying $35,000 for the car. The following year, he drove 00128 to and from California to take part in the annual Monterey Historic Automobile Races and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. Years later, Mr. Brooks wrote about his adventures in a memoir titled Cars I Could’ve, Should’ve, Kept, in which he vividly described the experience of driving this one-of-a-kind Alfa Romeo:
“I drove it home to get the feel of the car, and it was simply fantastic. The only cars that were as thrilling for me to drive were the 8C-2.3, the 8C 2.9 Alfas and the 250 Mille Miglia Ferraris. The acceleration felt like a big spring was being released…The shift lever was mounted on the very high, carpeted tunnel and it felt solid as a bank vault. The gearing is out of this world for high-speed road racing. Speed through the gears is 66, 93, 122, 145, and 166! And the drum brakes were the best I have ever experienced, and may have been the most advanced drum brakes ever...I put the car over the pit in my garage at home and just marveled at the beautiful drive train and undercarriage.”
In 1979, Mr. Brooks sold Superflow IV to Ernest Kanzler of Los Angeles, who retained the car through the late 1980s. From there, the Alfa Romeo was sold to Peter Kaus of Aschaffenburg, Germany, and he proudly displayed it in his Rosso Bianco Museum alongside other important Italian sports cars. During his ownership, Mr. Kaus decided to pay homage to the racing legacy of the 6C 3000 CM by removing the car’s Pinin Farina coachwork and commissioning a replica of a Colli Spider body to be built and fitted to the chassis.
The 6C 3000 CM remained in this configuration until 2006, when the Rosso Bianco Museum closed, and the car was sold to the current owner, a prominent North American collector with a passion for coachbuilt Italian sports cars. In his ownership, Superflow IV was completely restored to show condition by Tillack & Co. of Redondo Beach, California, during which time the Pinin Farina body was reunited with the original chassis. At the same time, a replica chassis was built and fitted with the Colli-style Spider body, and this accompanies the sale.
Since its restoration was completed, Superflow IV has been exhibited at prestigious events and received major awards, a credit to its superb presentation and historic significance. In its debut at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, it received First in Class and the Vitesse Trophy. The following year, it was shown at Villa d’Este, and in 2017, it captured Best of Show awards at the Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance and the Warren Classic & Supercar Show in the UK. Today, the Alfa Romeo remains in pristine condition and is poised for future success on the concours lawn.
Built in extremely limited numbers, the 6C 3000 CM is one of the most rare and sought-after postwar Alfa Romeo models. Not only are these the last great front-engine, large-displacement competition cars built by the celebrated Milanese firm, they are also among the most exotic, possessing groundbreaking engineering and extraordinary performance. Today, just four examples are known to survive, all of which are kept in the Alfa Romeo factory museum or in significant private collections.
Among the surviving examples, this car is unique in that its thoroughbred competition underpinnings are clothed in a one-of-a-kind show car body, designed and built by Carrozzeria Pinin Farina, the most famous and influential of all Italian coachbuilders. In its various guises, this exceptional Alfa Romeo was displayed at the leading international motor shows – Torino, Paris, and Geneva – and, in the years since, has been featured in numerous books on Alfa Romeo and Pinin Farina. Furthermore, it possesses a known, continuous provenance, and its expert restoration and sensational appearance have earned it an impressive concours pedigree.
Gooding & Company is thrilled to present this magnificent automobile – surely among the most important and distinctive Alfa Romeos ever built – at public auction for the first time in its history.