Collection of Christopher Ohrstrom, The Plains, Virginia

Sponsored by: Jana Lisle Parham Wealth Management of UBS

In 1939 Alfa Romeo introduced its sporty 6C 2500, which was built in cabriolet, coupe, berlina (five-passenger coupe), and sedan formats. Despite the outbreak of wartime hostilities, a few examples were built as late as 1943 from leftover prewar components, but only for high-ranking military and civilian clients.

This bespoke 6C 2500 Speciale was commissioned in 1946 by a wealthy Milanese woman, Giuliana Tortoli di Cuccioli. Coachbuilder Gian Battista “Pinin” Farina had twenty-eight 6C 2500 chassis delivered from Alfa during World War II as part of his wartime contracts. Fourteen were delivered in 1942 and only six of those have survived to the present day. Pinin Farina used one of these chassis to craft this one-off car. The design has been attributed to both Pietro Frua and Giovanni Michelotti.

After a famous but uninvited appearance at the Paris Salon in 1946, the Alfa was next exhibited at the 11th Turin Concours d’Elegance. It won the Automobile Club of Italy cup for “Best Open Car.” The next year, at the 29th Concours d’Elegance de Monte Carlo, the Alfa received the Grand Prix d’Honneur. It was the subject of numerous magazine and newspaper articles through 1947. That year, Pinin Farina purchased it from Tortoli and used it as his personal car for six months. In 1948 he sold the car to Leonard Lord, CEO of the Austin Motor Company, where it was used as the basis of the design for the Austin A90 Atlantic.

Completely restored by the Guild of Automotive Restorers over a six-year period, this Alfa appeared at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as well as at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2015, where it was awarded the Trofeo Foglizzo for “Most Beautiful Interior.”

—Adapted from the exhibition catalogue essay by Ken Gross

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