1935 Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Grand Prix
Offered by Bonhams | Chichester, U.K. | September 14, 2013
Before Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren there was Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Auto Union. The 1930s were a thrilling (and scary) time in Grand Prix racing and some of its all-time stars came from that era: Caracciola, Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Varzi and more. And so did one other man: Enzo Ferrari. Scuderia Ferrari began as a race team in 1929 – becoming the Alfa Romeo factory team. It wasn’t until after the war that he started building his own cars.
This is a special, special car. It’s an 8C-35 – it uses a supercharged 3.8-liter straight-eight engine making 330 horsepower – quite a sum for 1935. This is an actual Scuderia Ferrari team car driven by Nuvolari (and more). The Ferrari-era history of this car is not known, but legend holds that Nuvolari won the 1936 Coppa Ciano with it. Toward the end of 1936, this car was sold to a privateer – Hans Ruesch, who raced it as often as possible. Some of his driving career in the car is as follows (including 3 European Championship – the precursor to Formula One – eligible races in 1937, as noted by asterisk*):
- 1936 Donington Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch and Dick Seaman)
- 1936 Mountain Championship at Brooklands – 2nd (with Ruesch)
- 1937 South African Grand Prix – 4th (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Grosvenor Grand Prix – 5th (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Finnish Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Grand Prix des Frontieres – 1st (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Bucharest Grand Prix – 1st (with Ruesch)
- 1937 German Grand Prix* – 8th (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Monaco Grand Prix *- 8th (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Swiss Grand Prix* – 15th, DNF (with Ruesch)
- 1937 Mountain Championship at Brooklands – 1st (with Ruesch)
Ruesch sold the car in 1939 after much success (and a few major repairs). The car came into the hands of Dennis Poore during the war and he maintained the car for 40 years, using it in a fair number of events. It was sold at auction in 1988 and was restored to its 1930s-era look in the late-1990s. The current owner acquired it about 10 years ago and has used it in some historic events as well. This is the only surviving example of an 8C-35 and it should sell for between $8,600,000-$10,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams at Goodwood.
Update: Sold $9,511,542.