Wait, Someone Is Restoring Mussolini’s Alfa?!
As far as classic cars go, any pre-war Alfa Romeo is an incredibly desirable find, no matter the condition. But couple that with the fact this particular Alfa was owned by a notorious dictator from the Second World War, and it becomes more than just automotive history, but history itself.
And that is what this 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS 3rd Series seems to be, as its first owner was none other than the Italian fascist, Benito Mussolini, purchased in 1930 for 60,000 Lire. Chassis number 6C0312898 is now owned by a resident of the U.S., but it was recently shipped to Thornley Kelham Restorations in the U.K. for a full, nut-and-bolt ‘sympathetic’ restoration. And judging from the photos, it’s going to be a big job.
This car was the first Alfa Romeo ever built with double overhead camshafts, based on the P2 race car from that era. One of just 200 examples built, it sported an inline six-cylinder engine and could reach speeds in excess of 120 mph. Il Duce apparently sold it in 1937, where it went to Eritrea, East Africa – an Italian colony at the time – and became a race car, having its body heavily modified.
Today, only it’s chassis, rear axle and gearbox are original, but the restoration is aimed at bringing it back to its Mussolini days.
*Images courtesy of Thornley Kelham Restorations and Archivio Luce