Amelia Island

9 March 2013

Lot 144

1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Sport Berlinetta by Carrozzeria Touring

To be auctioned on Saturday, March 9, 2013

High Bid of $900,000

  • Chassis no. 915030
  • Engine no. 823113
  • Body no. 2302


95 bhp, 2,443 cc dual overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 118 in.

  • Outstanding, concours-quality restoration
  • Pebble Beach Most Elegant Closed Car
  • Quail Motorsports Gathering Best Pre-War Alfa Romeo
  • Stylish Touring Superleggera design & construction
  • One of only 13 built


In the twenties and thirties, Alfa was equivalent to today’s Ferrari, and more, supplying not only competitive rides for the best drivers, but also a steady stream of beautifully engineered and constructed cars for private entrants.

When the company, which employed thousands of artisans, mechanics, and functionaries to build only a few cars, encountered the inevitable financial difficulties, it was bailed out by the State. Instead of being directed to downsize and build saleable automobiles to generate cash flow and keep those thousands employed, Italy directed Alfa to build great racing machines to demonstrate Italy’s technology and competitiveness on Europe’s race courses. Production shrank, but the few cars that were built were the best in the world.

In a time when automobiles were exotic and often idiosyncratic creations, the products of Alfa Romeo were finely crafted works of art, elegant in conception and executed with due regard to combining function with exquisite form. Virtually every important piece was produced in-house in Alfa’s fabrication shop, pattern works, foundry, and machine shop. The product of artisans, each of whom took pride in the performance, reliability, quality, execution, and appearance of his separate creation, these Alfas also reflected the overall responsibility of engineer Vittorio Jano, who continually tested, evaluated, and improved their performance until they met his high, and growing, standards.

Debuting at the 1925 Milan Auto Show, the 6C 1500 set new standards for lightweight, high-performance road cars and was followed in 1929 by the 6C 1750. The next evolution of the 6C came in 1934, and although traditional in its layout, the 6C 2300 had nearly twice the displacement of the car it succeeded. Accordingly, it was a highly competent automobile capable of providing excellent performance with multi-passenger coachwork.

In 1939, the 6C 2300 was replaced by the 6C 2500. Although the basic engine design traced its roots to the great pre-war racing machines, highly regarded automotive author and historian Griffith Borgeson characterized the 2500 as a “bridge to post-World War II production,” due to the fact that production of the model lasted from 1939 through 1953, including the war years, albeit in limited numbers. This change was affected by an increase in the cylinder bore of two millimeters, as well as an improved cylinder head for better aspiration and increased compression, from 6.5:1 to 7.1:1. In the sport configuration, this translated into a respectable 95 horsepower, with performance aided by lightweight aluminum coachwork.

Production of the 2500 chassis began in 1939, the year of the early example offered here. Chassis 915030 is one of 13 similar examples built by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan between 1930 and 1940 and was imported into the United States by Earl Potter, of Chicago, Illinois, in 1962. It was later purchased by Mr. John Jumer, of Elkhorn, Wisconsin and Chicago, in 1965. In 1990, the Alfa was acquired from Mr. Jumer by Charlie Morse & Malcolm Harris, who commissioned a restoration carried out by a number of Seattle-area craftsmen beginning in 1994, and it was finished just before the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Mr. Harris was personally involved with the disassembly and reassembly work, and over 1,500 of his own hours were invested in this masterpiece.

So intensive was the body-off restoration that the chassis was completely disassembled and every piece was refurbished to concours quality. The 6C 2300 block installed in the car is externally similar to the 2500 block, and it was bored-out to the correct 2,443 cubic centimeters and thoroughly fitted with all correct 2500 components, including the cylinder head, carburetor, manifolding, and other ancillary parts, such as the starter and generator, so that it performs and presents as it should.

The attractive tobacco-colored leather interior was restored to original Touring specification as well, and it is virtually unworn, save some wear to the driver’s seat. Interestingly, the interior also displays a lumbar support adjustment hidden under a flap, which was patented by Touring and is likely the earliest of its kind. The original gauges, which remain flawless, were beautifully restored using the photo-transfer and etching processes to be brought back to their original appearance.

Finished in a lovely dark blue-green, with matching wire wheels shod in the correct size 550x18 tires, in dim light the exterior paint appears blue, but it takes on a greenish hue in the sunlight. The exterior panels remain excellent, as does the finish of the engine, ancillary components, and glassy walls of the engine bay.

The results of the restoration were recognized by a Second in Class Award, as well as the Most Elegant Closed Car Award at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. At the 2004 Ironstone Concours and the 2004 Kirkland Concours, it was again awarded the Most Elegant Closed Car. Finally, at the 2012 Quail Motorsports Gathering, it garnered Best Pre-War Alfa Romeo, a testament to the elegant Touring lines, as well as to the quality of craftsmanship employed in the restoration. As acquired by the current owner, it was thoroughly sorted out and shaken down, including a servicing of the hydraulic dampeners, wheel bearings, brakes, and fuel system. Today, 915030 is still stunning in presentation and is arguably worthy of display on the world’s most prestigious concours lawns.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alain Squindo


Detroit, Michigan

Alain Squindo joined RM Auctions in 2007, after graduating from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a degree in History. R... read more

Alex Classick

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United Kingdom

Alex Classick joined RM Europe in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Nottingham University with a degree in Business Mana... read more

Alexander Weaver

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California, USA

Alexander Weaver joined RM Auctions in 2011 as a car specialist, after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born into ... read more

Annette Abaci

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Germany

With post-secondary degrees in Economic Science and Mechanical Engineering, Annette Abaci initially worked part-time at Mercedes-Benz ... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a senior car specialist, after more than a decade in the collector car hobby... read more

Dan Warrener

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Ontario, Canada

Possessing a degree in Economics from Brandon University, Dan Warrener spent the initial stages of his career working around the globe... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don Rose joined RM Auctions in 2006, after many years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputatio... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, USA

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord joined RM Auctions in 1998, initially responsible for the transportation and logistics of the company’s auction and restora... read more

Ian Kelleher

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New York, United States

Ian Kelleher began his automotive career immediately following his graduation from Oberlin College, with a B.A. in Political Science. ... read more

Jack Boxstrom

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Ontario, Canada

Jack Boxstrom joined RM Auctions in late-1996 to assist with the recently acquired, and subsequently record-breaking, auction in Monte... read more

Max Girardo

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United Kingdom

Max Girardo started his career in the vintage automobile industry in 1998, joining Brooks Auctioneers (now Bonhams) as a car specialis... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Auctions, Mike Fairbairn has a longstanding interest in the classic car industry. Graduati... read more

Peter Wallman

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United Kingdom

Peter Wallman joined RM Europe in 2007, following nearly two decades in the international advertising industry, read more

Peter Giddings

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+1 925 831 2048
California, United States

A life-long car enthusiast, Peter joined RM’s California office with over half a century of experience in the automotive and rac... read more

Peter Blond

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United Kingdom

Peter Blond joined the RM Europe team in 2013 after being immersed in the collector car industry for more than 60 years. An... read more

Rob Myers

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Ontario, Canada

As chairman and founder of the RM Group of Companies, Rob Myers’s entire career has been devoted to the classic car industry. Ro... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, USA

Shelby Myers literally grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to w... read more

Vinnie Mandzak

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California, USA

Vinnie Mandzak joined RM Auctions’ California office in 2012 as a car specialist, following more than 30 years’ experience... read more

Jeff Whiteside

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Ontario, Canada

Jeff Whiteside joined RM Auctions as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer following almost three decades in a diverse r... read more