Historic pre-war Alfa Romeo leads RM Sotheby's 2017 Paris sale

Le Mans Lover

Le Mans Lover

2016-12-13 10:45:27

A rare and remarkable Alfa Romeo will lead a line-up of historic racers in Paris next year, as RM Sotheby's returns to host its annual sale as part of the renowned Rétromobile week.

The Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 has been described as "one of the world’s most important pre-war Grand Prix cars", and is the first car of its kind to be offered for public sale in over a decade.

Whereas most early Grand Prix racers featured a second seat for a mechanic to ride with the driver, the Tipo B P3 was one of the first cars to streamline its design to a single seat. This bold new 'slipper body' design was an instant success upon its launch in 1931, winning at Monza and sweeping the podium in both the French and the German Grand Prix. 

Financial problems caused by the Great Depression mean the company was forced into bankruptcy half-way through the 1931 season, but both the Alfa Romeo racing team and the Tipo B P3 were rescued by Scuderia Ferrari, who continued to run the cars to great success.

(Images: RM Sotheby

(Images: RM Sotheby's)

The car heading for sale in Paris, the 1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3, chassis no. 50006, is the second of only nine examples ever produced, and one of just three with the IFS Dubonnet front axle and reversed-quarter-elliptic rear spring configuration.

Having been campaigned extensively by many of the period's greatest drivers, the car is now expected to fetch €3.6-€4.6 million ($3.39-$4.33 million) when it hits the auction block.

Addition early entries for the Paris sale include a 1954 Osca MT4 1500 raced by both Italian Formula 1 driver Giulio Cabianca, and then the legendary Alfonso de Portago, in the Nurburgring Rhineland Cup and Tour de France, estimated at €975,000– €1,175,000 ($1.03 million-$1.24 million).

"Headlining the sale with a P3 Alfa is a real honour," said Peter Wallman, Managing Director of RM Sotheby’s Europe.

"Evocative of the golden era of pre-war racing,with the likes of Nuvolari, the Flying Mantovan wrestling the wheel, the Scuderia Ferrari shields adorning the bonnet are an instant reminder of Enzo Ferrari’s early racing exploits.

"In addition to the P3, we are delighted to present the ex-Mille Miglia, ex-Targa Florio, ex-de Portago Osca MT4 1500 – the perfect entrant for future Mille Miglias and many other great historic events. That we are also consigning so many other special and rare cars to Paris is a strong indication of the continued confidence in the market and in the auction process, in particular."

The RM Sotheby's Paris sale takes place at the Place Vauban on February 8, 2017. 

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